First some history …. then into the good stuff …. Relax and read this important information before purchasing these trail shoes!
New Balance has over a period spanning 4 decades become one of the most respected shoe makers in the market. The company which is based in New England started making running shoes in the 70s and has over the years provided some of the most applauded designs with the most cutting edge technology within them.
The New Balance Minimus Trail series of shoes continue this trend and provides trail runners with a featherweight shoe offering minimal but optimum protection against the elements and has a “sock like” fit along with a highly flexible sole.
Weighing a mere 6.2 ounces, the shoe is very light for the amount of padding they provide. The Minimus lines of shoes are designed for trail runners who require very little padding under their feet and want to run with a natural gait.
However, some diehard trail runners might consider it a little bit too cushy. Its upper has been designed keeping aesthetics in perspective; the shoe is also airy, soft and flexible; it also breathes very well parting maximum comfort to the runner while he/she is out negotiating trails.
The Minimus’s interiors are also smooth meaning you really do not need to wear socks with it. New Balance has also done a great job meshing separate grids of Vibram rubber with EVA Layers in the sole which gives the shoe a lot of flexibility.
The New Balance Minimus Trail Ver. 2
As trail running requires a lower drop, (i.e. the difference in height between the heel and the toe) the Minimus shoes are available in 3 categories – one category consists of shoes with 0 mm drop including the Minimus HI-REZ and the Minimus Zero and two categories with 4 mm drops; the Minimus Trail 10V2 which has been exclusively designed for trail runners has a 4 mm drop.
The Minimus Trail 10V1 was very well received by professional runners and amateurs alike when it was released and the shoe in its latest iteration continues to impress. V2 keeps all the goodies of V1 while making it lighter by 1 ounce and adds a thin foam layer which is sandwiched between two mesh fabrics; meaning there are no gaps in the sole through where water and mud can seep into the shoe; this was a known problem with the Minimus Zeros.
The new version 2 also takes into account some reviews that version 1 received – for instance the toe box in the forefoot portion of the shoe has been made wider; this was done to relieve pressure that some wearers complained about.
The shoe also offers excellent traction and balance, some trail runners who have tested the shoe on trails ranging from the rocky terrains to muddy ones have stated that the Minimus 10 Version 2 simply outperforms any competition in its price range; it offers adequate protection against sharp rocks as well as against swampy terrains.
New Balance Minimus Trail Pros and Cons
While the New Balance Minimus Trail no doubt is a great shoe, it offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here they are in a nutshell:
- Very low weight: Weighing in at a miniscule 6 ounces, the Minimus Trail V2 is one of the least weighing trail running shoes in the market.
- As minimal as it gets: The shoe offers a 4 mm drop which is really more than enough if trail running is your thing. With minimal weight and support, it keeps your foot comfortable while allowing the terrain running to strengthen your legs as well.
- Connectivity to the terrain: As a trail runner, you will be able to feel the terrain under your foot, despite its 4mm drop.
- Excellent grip: The shoe provides really good grip, regardless of whether you are running on a muddy terrain or a rocky one.
- Can be a little tight, at least initially: Some runners have complained about the shoe needing some loosening up before it becomes comfortable.
- Socks might be required: Although New Balance claims that you do not really need socks when wearing the shoe, it is recommended that you do as on some occasions the shoe can start to chafe and cut when worn barefooted.
- Lacks bite for serious trail running: New Balance clearly wanted to keep the shoe design minimal as the name suggest, but in doing so they have added depth to the tread by recessing it inwards. Some trail runners have said that this has taken the bite out of running and has caused them to almost slip when negotiating a tedious uphill solid rock terrain.
This is simply the best trail shoe I have ever worn personally.
And for its price, I truly believe you will have an extremely hard time finding a better trail shoe than this.
With the Minimus Trail V2, New Balance has definitely brought a winner to the table. Long haul runners are going to appreciate the featherweight of the shoe and at a cost of $100-$110, it is an excellent choice.
While the design is minimal it can still be expected to last a long time, thanks to the superb materials it has been executed with.
The New Balance Minimus Trail can take on most terrains, whether you are planning on going up steep, technically challenging slopes, or flat trails, this shoe can handle whatever you throw at it.
And while some have had a few issues with steep uphill, rocky terrain, I can report that I have had zero issues with grip/slipping. I would have no problem recommending these shoes to anyone.
Looking for an awesome pair of walking shoes when you are off the trails? Check out my review of the top 3 women’s walking shoes!