New Balance Minimus: High Resolution Photos

New Balance Minimus Trail SoleNew Balance took the next step in their slow buildup to the release of their Minimus line of shoes yesterday by posting high resolution images of each shoe in the lineup (the NB Minimus Trail, Road, and Walking/Wellness). The marketing approach they are taking with these shoes is unlike anything I have seen before, which is hopefully a sign that they see minimalist shoes as a big part of their future offerings. Combine signs like his with a very pro-minimalist article in the November 2010 issue of Runner’s World, and you have to ask yourself if we are on the cusp of a big change in the way even the big shoe companies approach shoe design – I strongly suspect that minimalism is here to stay.

I’ll largely withhold comment on the shoes below until I can get my hands on a pair, but I do like the look of the last – looks like a pretty roomy forefoot on all three.


New Balance Minimus Trail

New Balance Minimus Trail BlueNew Balance Minimus TrailNew Balance Minimus Top ViewNew Balance Minimus Trail MedialNew Balance Minimus Sole 2


New Balance Minimus Road

New Balance Minimus RoadNew Balance Minimus Road Lateral   New Balance Minimus Road SoleNew Balance Minimus Road Top New Balance Minimus Road Sole 2


New Balance Minimus Walking/Wellness

New Balance Minimus Walking SideNew Balance Minimus Walking Medial  New Balance Minimus Walking TopNew Balance Minimus Walking SoleNew Balance Minimus Walking Sole 2


Saucony ProGrid Kinvara Men's Red
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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. My primary interest is the Minimus Trail. I don’t like the look of the outsole/tread. It doesn’t look like it will have any traction (grass, scree, hard-pack soil, etc.) and so won’t meet the important requirement of being functional in use as well as fit. Other than that, the shoe looks good from the pictures (especially the forefoot), though they leave me worried about the fit of the heel cup also.

  2. Radicalsenseofhope says:

    Drool.

  3. Adammbsmith says:

    While I love Vibram Five Fingers, I’m not a fan of minimalist shoes. After all, what’s the point of going barefoot if you can’t wiggle your toes?

  4. Does not look that “minimalist” to me !

    • Pete Larson says:

      That’s the thing – despite the heavy marketing, these shoes aren’t really
      pushing the envelope all that much. There are plenty of 4mm drop, cushioned
      options out there right now, and 2011 is going to see a lot of zero drop
      shoes arrive, as well as some additional shoes in the same range as the
      Minimus line. Of the three, I’d say the trail shoe seems to be the most
      innovative, but then I haven’t seen any of them in person.

      • There isn’t any other 4mm drop well cushioned shoes bar the Kinvara is there ? The Asics Piranha has a 4mm drop, but that’s not as cushioned as the Kinvara.

        Anyhoo, re the Minimus – I’d be very worried about the durability of that sole in the road version

        • Pete Larson says:

          Nike Free 3.0, Newton, Inov8, Mizuno Wave Universe is close

          Sent from my iPod

          • Well the Wave Universe, like the Piranha certainly doesn’t have as much cushioning as the Kinvara. The Kinvara has a whopping 14mm high forefoot, which I thought was high until I just looked at the Newtons ! Shame Nike don’t publish their heel/toe heights.

            I wonder if having such a thick sole/more cushioning in a minimal shoe is a bad thing ? If having a low heel/toe drop is cancelled out by having a high platform to wobble along on.

  5. Joe Maller says:

    The road shoe has sort of an orthopedic look to it. It best fits my normal usage but is my least favorite visually.

  6. Ugh! $100!?!? Yeah, make a shoe with LESS material, and make it cost more… R&D? You mean paying some one to do online searches? Ridiculous.

    That said… Interesting color selection on that second Road model. A nod to the Nike Lunar, maybe? (duh!) I like the Trail and Walking, though with the latter I hope that elastic band can be replaced with a lace.

  7. Maybe it’s just me, but the sole looks thicker than the original photo releases.

    See:
    link to counterkicks.com
    link to counterkicks.com

  8. A running coach at my track was wearing the women’s road minimalist, she must be a NB tester. I think they look way more functional than the Kinvara. From what I saw, the midsole is very thin, they looked like a racing flat. Definitely less midsole than my Kinvara.

  9. Tobycarson says:

    Is it just me or does the wellness look like a zero dropped nike free?

  10. Wow, what’s up with that Vibram logo? That’s pretty intriguing!

    Can’t wait for this shoe. I’m running in the WT100s right now, and I think I’m ready for a lower heel drop.

    The walking/wellness version looks like a martial arts shoe. :)

  11. As long as it doesn’t have a plastic heel counter, I wouldn’t be too worried about the heel cup fit. NB is usually on top of the ball when it comes to fit parameters and such. I think the midsole looks thicker because the first pre-release picture was just a drawing, and the second one has someone standing in them. If you watch Pete’s slow-motion videos, shoes compress a decent amount when you put your weight on them. A “NB rep” posted on a thread on LetsRun in August about the minimus, and said MSRP was $100–on par with the Frees and the Kinvara. With all the R&D going into these shoes, plus the ad campaign and all, I can’t imagine they’ll be hucking these for $45 at Sports-mart. Since they are pitching them as a “minimalist” shoe and not just a racing flat, they can price it higher because there is a bigger market if you call it a “minimalist shoe,” even if it will be great for track 10ks and the like. I’m most interested in the road model, and it looks like the outsole will be much like the Nike Free–no carbon rubber, except for a tiny crescent on the heel. Hopefully that won’t cause durability issues, and hopefully rocks won’t get stuck in those honeycomb holes in the sole! I’d like to know what the absolute thickness of the heel and forefoot is.

  12. Chris Stedman says:

    The trails look great.

  13. I love the rugged look of the models. Any idea of what pricing might be?

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