New Balance Minimus Road has Arrived

I received a surprise package from the UPS man today – a tester pair of the New Balance Minimus road shoe!

New Balance Minimus Road

I’ve been in touch off and on with a New Balance rep about trying the Minimus out when it was ready, but had indicated only a day or two ago that the New Balance Mimimus trail shoe might be more suitable heading into winter. There was no indication from them that the shoes would be ready to send out anytime soon, so I was quite surprised and excited when these arrived on my doorstep this afternoon.

I haven’t had a chance to run in them yet, but here are a few quick impressions from wearing them around the house for a bit.

1. Weight in size 10 = 8.5 oz

2. Sole is surprisingly firm. In earlier pictures the midsole kind of looked like the squishy one on the Nike Lunaracer, but these are much firmer. Firmness feels similar to the Saucony Grid Type A4.

3. Outsole has an almost sticky-rubber like feel to it.

4. Forefoot is very roomy. This may be the transitional shoe that wide-footed people have been waiting for. I’ve heard rumors that it may come out in additional widths next Fall.

5. The undercut heel is pretty interesting – can’t wait to see how it feels on the road.

6. No insole, just a thin layer of fabric. Appears to have a very thin wedge of cushion under the heel.

7. Very comfortable, could easily see myself running sockless in them.

8. They feel pretty flat under foot, but heel-toe drop measures around 4-5mm.

That’s about all I can say for now – hope to get in a run or two in them this weekend and I’ll report back more when I can. In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

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. Would like to see a view of the sole… I’m really looking forward to the market availability of these shoes (as well as the Altra’s). I just got a pair of Kinvara’s and had my first run in them yesterday. ONE store within a 30 mile radius carried them. Anyway, looking forward to a more in-depth review, and would love to see a comparison between these, the GoLite, and the Altra.

  2. Pete,

    I’d be interested to see what your thoughts are as to how it compares with the Kinvara.

  3. Pete,
    Is this shoe completely neutral? It looks like there is more material on the medial side midsole. Is there a medial post in the shoe?

    Would love to try this shoe but I’ve found I need something completely neutral.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Dave,

      There is a bit more material on the midsole under the arch area, but it’s
      not dual density, so no posting per se. I’d call it a neutral shoe, but it
      might be better to check directly with NB on that.

      Pete

  4. OK, where and how can I buy them to???
    :)
    This is the most anticipated shoe for me ever!

    Also, waiting for a full review :)

  5. Jason Fitzgerald says:

    Really interesting Peter! I also haven’t seen this color before, but I think I like the blue/white better.

    What is an undercut heel?

    • Pete Larson says:

      Jason,

      I may have made the term up. Basically, if you look at the Minimus from the
      side, the heel curves a bit forward as it extends downward from the upper.
      In most shoes it is either straight down or flares backward. May help
      prevent scuffing the heel on the ground. The only other shoe that I have
      that looks at all like this is the GoLite Amp.

      Pete

  6. RunningPT12 says:

    Muy Cool!

  7. Yea for the UPS man! (Brought me my Christmas Garmin yesterday!) Looking forward to your thoughts on this and the trail version… I’m hoping for good ground feel, especially for the trail. (Tell me they’re grey and RED… looks awfully pink for you guy types.)

    • Pete Larson says:

      Ha! You’re the second person who called them pink. They are black and red,
      just some bad lighting when I took the picture. I’m going to try to get some
      better ones tomorrow.

      Pete

  8. I’m hoping there is no arch support and just a flat unsupported feel to it. Is this the case?

  9. Dude, that is sweet! What a fantastic surprise! The undercut heel reminds me of the Inov-8 f-lites. I think you’ll really like that feature.

    I’m looking forward to your first report after the runs in them this weekend. Have fune!

  10. I tried on the Minimus road a few weeks ago. I should say that I tried one of them on. I think it was the right foot. I would agree with the firmness of this shoe and how wide the toe box is. I also would agree that it fits very closely to the Wave Ronin from Mizuno. The shoe also had a great midfoot feel and the couple of strides I took I really liked it. I am going to get it right when it comes out to finish my Boston training in.
    I tried on the sample 9.5 too and it felt perfect (I normally wear a size 9 even in the New Balance 100′s). I also run in the Saucony Kinvera (only wear it on roads because it is so soft, the brooks launch (my marathon and long run shoe), the Mizuno Wave Musha (my race and mid distance 7 to 10 mile shoe, and the New Balance 100 for off road running.
    I got to see the Minimus trail too. The tech rep did not have my size, but what stood out the most to me is how flexible the shoe was and how sticky the shoe was. Sticky equals good on wet surfaces which is always nice in New England.
    New Balance is also doing a lot of good things with the rest of their shoes. They got some Nike vibe in a lot of their new uppers.
    I can not wait to get these shoes, Go New Balance!!!!!!!!

  11. I have a very narrow foot. How does the width compare with say the Mach 11? I run sockless in them and MT100. This may be the road shoe I have been waiting for. I can’t wait to hear further reviews!!!

    • Pete Larson says:

      Definitely wider than the Mach 11. Most comparable shoe I have in terms of
      width would be the Mizuno Wave Ronin. If you are looking for a narrowish,
      minimalist road shoe check out the Saucony Grid Type A4.

      Pete

      • Ghgreyhound10 says:

        Pete interesting how you compare this shoe to the green silence. I just got a pair (black ones) based on your review. Also how it compares to the Kinvara (another shoe I got based on your review and really like).

  12. Very exciting! Thanks for the first impressions.

    Now I have what is know is a dumb question…but here goes:

    When you write that the “Weight in size 10 = 8.5 oz” … is that the weight of ONE shoe, or the combined weight of both shoes in the pair?

    I ask because I wear a size 14, and a PAIR of my shoes has ranged from 20 to 40 oz. I would like to be able to compare the weights you publish (and the weights I see on the websites of shoe retailers) with the weights I have measured.

    Thanks!

  13. Greg Anderson says:

    Wow! Never expected to see one in the wild so soon!

    Any idea when it will hit stores?

  14. Thanks again. Your blog is great and I look forward to a review of the New Balance Minimus. I am currently debating waiting for the NB Minimus to come out OR get the Brooks Green Silence now to start my foray into a mid sole shoe. I have already started running with Vibram KSOs on the treadmill and on dirt roads this year for 5 miles and less.

    THANKS AGAIN

    • Pete Larson says:

      The Saucony Kinvara is probably a better choice than the Green Silence for
      midfoot running – both of these are a bit softer underfoot than the Minimus,
      but the Kinvara has a slightly lower heel..

      Pete

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