New Balance Minimus Trail (MT10): Shoe Surgery to Free My Forefoot

New Balance Minimus Trail Metatarsal BandA few months ago I wrote a post detailing how my glowingly positive initial thoughts about the New Balance Minimus Trail shoe had been tempered by two consecutive runs in them during which I suffered some nasty iliotibial band (ITB) pain. They were the only two runs I can recall in the past several years where my ITB has hurt, they were separated by a month’s time, and the surfaces run on were very different (treadmill and road). I was left to conclude that the shoes were messing with my gait in some way, and I suspected that it might have something to do with what I think is a manufacturing defect in the right shoe (although my pain was on the side of the left knee – go figure…).

My problem with the shoe was that the black metatarsal band that crosses the forefoot just in front of the laces (see yellow line in picture at left) was way too tight, causing it to compress the joint at the base of my pinky toe, which in turn caused hard pressure and pain at the base of that toe (on the top in the area of the red circle in the image above). This was disappointing because in all other respects I really like this shoe. Now that the Minimus shoes are available in stores, I have received several questions from readers about whether I have done any additional running in the shoes. The truth is, I hadn’t run again in the Minimus Trail, nor have I run much in the Minimus Road – the former because I didn’t want to risk an injury, and the latter mainly because I’ve been running on snow and lots of ice since December, which demands more traction than a road shoe can provide.

Given that I had no plans of running again in the Trail shoes because of what I perceived to be a genuine flaw, I figured it was a good chance to overcome my aversion to dissecting shoes (I need to get over that, I am an anatomy professor after all…). I got out a Swiss Army knife and commenced an operation on the metatarsal band – my thinking was that if I bisected the band near where the pressure was occurring, it would allow additional stretch of the orange forefoot fabric, and this might alleviate the problem. The end product is shown below on the right:

New Balance Minimus Trail Cut 

The shoes above are photographed with my feet in them, and the gap you see in the band on the right is entirely due to stretching of the forefoot material by my foot after making a single straight cut through the band – in other words, that gap is how much additional slack my foot needed. A little Loctite fabric glue was required to ensure that the stitching between the forefoot material and tongue did not separate completely (I’m hoping it holds). After putting the shoes on I could immediately tell that the pressure on my pinky toe was gone, and that the problem had been fixed. The right shoe now feels more comfortable than the left shoe, and I may repeat the operation on the other side – the tightness of the met band is my only big complaint about the Minimus Trail.

I was confident enough in how the shoes felt after surgery that I decided to give them another try earlier today. I ran 4+ miles at 7:59 min/mile pace and felt no discomfort in my left ITB. I can’t say for sure that this modification is what solved the Minimus related ITB pain problem, but it’s interesting to think that it required surgery to fix the issue, only the surgery was on my shoe and not on my knee.

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. Check out this running blog. Flo is an experienced running shoe surgeon!

    link to girlinmotion.com

    - rovatti

  2. I have had shoes bothered me that previously never gave me any concerns. I would put them on a few weeks later and would be just fine. My concern is that you are portraying a particular shoe in a negative light with very little statistical evidence except for two runs. Hardly a valid statistical sample.

    • In Pete’s defense, I actually view this review as his opportunity to give the shoe a second chance. If you read his first review of this shoe, you will note that the manufacturing defect he refers to is not one based on a style flaw, but rather a problem with the pair he received. He clearly points out in photos that the right shoe is clearly different from the left. In this new post, he is simply trying to “fix” that defect in the right shoe. I expect that this is not a problem with every pair of these shoes and was only in Pete’s pair. I suppose Pete will step in and say this better than I am – but I disagree that he is trying to portray this shoe in a negative light… and rather do what the rest of us would do after two painful runs in a pair of shoes (throw them out), he gave them a second go after careful inspection and fixed the flaw in his right shoe. That’s my take on it.

      Lance

      • Pete Larson says:

        You got it Lance – said it as well as I could have, thanks!

        I do find it quite odd that I have a single shoe, the only shoe in several
        years in running, that causes me ITB pain on two widely separated runs under
        very different conditions. The only commonality was the shoe. I don’t know
        what else to conclude, even if the sample is small. I will note that I like
        the shoe in all other respects, but I believe in being honest about my
        experiences, and that’s what I did here.

        Pete

    • Pete Larson says:

      I’ll add this – I wouldn’t risk destroying a shoe by cutting it if I didn’t
      think there was a genuine problem. I’d also ask how many painful runs
      someone must endure before the sample is large enough, especially when it’s
      the only one of 20+ shoes that I own that has caused the problem?

      Pete

  3. Wspanicrunner says:

    OUCH! I have both the road and trail version, size 13. Ran 6.2 miles with the trail (on the road) sockless and developed a nice blister on my left foot 2nd toe, and rubbed some good blisters on both of my heels. I think next run in the trails will be with socks. Overall, I love BOTH shoes. I’ve been running in bikilas since June of ’09 and still use them for a run or two per week, but i have a feeling i will use both the minimus shoes for the majority of my runs this summer. i haven’t had any issues with the fit of either shoe and i think both shoes will adapt to my style of running. hope everyone gets the proper fit in these shoes, they are great shoes!!!

    on another note, i tried on the trail gloves, size 13, and they were a tad big so i think they do run .5 to 1 size larger than your normal shoe. once i save up another $110 i will get a pair of those also, they felt pretty nice!!!

  4. Brian Williams says:

    I had the same problem….pain above pinky joint on both feet. I think the problem is not one of tightness but that they chose to put that clump of stitching and such UNDER the rubber band. If they simply put the end of the lacing support on top of the band, I think it would resolve the issue.

    • Pete Larson says:

      I think it’s a combo – the band was tight on one side and the
      stitching impinges. Didn’t happen on other side, and cutting the band
      fixed it. I initially was trying to see if I could remove that clump,
      but couldn’t figure how to do it.

  5. Thanks for the post. I just recently received my MT10s in the mail after trying on the shoe at a local store (I’m overseas). In my wisdom I only tried on the right shoe and it fit perfectly. The shoes I received are perfectly symmetrical, but alas my feet are not. The metatarsal band on my left shoe caused very noticeable pain after only wearing the shoes around the house for a short amount of time. Thanks to your post I can now fix this issue as returning them really isn’t an option for me.

    It would seem that if New Balance would simply make the metatarsal band adjustable, these shoes would be perfect for a lot more people across the spectrum.

  6. Jeffmccullough says:

    Im assuming a narrow foot wouldnt cause a problem with these?, i really want these and ive suffered ITBS off and on but have a very narrow foot. i would be interested in your thoughts on that when you get a chance

    • Pete Larson says:

      Jeff – I don’t suspect they would be a problem with narrow feet, and after cutting the band I have done a 20 miler in these with no ITB pain. I’d recommend buying in-store or from an on-line shop that does free returns.

      Pete

  7. Jennefer says:

    I am very impressed with your attempt to give this shoe another shot! I after two painful runs they would have been in the trash without a second thought if it were me :) And BTW I never took your original post as a negative towards the shoe, just one personal experience. It did not turn me off the shoe but just gave me something to think about. It’s interesting to think about how a small flaw or a shoe that it not completely comfortable it a seeming unimportant way might cause some serious issues and maybe even injury!

  8. Hello Pete, I did the same. I even cut the whole black band, I cut the sole to be all even (11mm) + cut the band at the heel on the outside.

  9. Hi y’all
    I’m a size 10 and bought a pair of NB minimus. The band on the left shoe is way too tight, i wouldnt even dream about running in them. The right shoe fits ok though. There must be a general issue with this, reading all the previous post information. Great look and feel shoe otherwise, a real shame.
    Surgery or return, that is the question… : )

  10. I don’t know if I would classify this issue as a genuine problem with the shoe or an inherent design flaw. The fact is, shoes are created to fit as many people as possible but inevitably, no one shoe is going to fit everyone perfectly. The real issue seems to be that the shoe is evidently too narrow for your foot in its given width. The solution could be that you need a wider width in this particular shoe. I know that they are not available in widths currently but I have heard there will be widths at a later date. Based upon you picture, these shoes fit you and me differently because my foot is narrower. I have 70 miles on my Minimus Trails, including a 35 mile trail run yesterday, and in terms of fit, the shoe is fantastic. However, I have learned over the years, what may work great for me, may not work great for you and I cannot attribute that directly to an inherent design flaw in the shoe but to the fact that every’s feet are different and each person has a different opinion of what is the right fit. In this case, it is obvious that the Minimus Trail, in its unaltered, manufactured state is not the right shoe for your foot.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Woody – I think you misunderstood what I meant by a design flaw. It’s not a
      problem with the Minimus Trail in general, just the specifc right-side shoe
      that they sent me. I can tell that the black band is pulled too tightly
      under the sole on that side (it looks different than the left shoe), which
      made the fit different between the left and right shoe. So what I meant was
      it was a manufacturing flaw in this one single shoe, not a design flaw in
      the Minimus Trail as a whole. In all other respects this shoe is fine (I
      actually like it quite a bit and may run an ultra in them), and I run in
      many shoes that are far narrower than the MT10. The problem wasn’t so much
      width as forefoot volume – the band caused the forefoot material to push
      downward on my foot, not from the side.

      Pete

      • Qcassidy352 says:

        I disagree that the issue is specific to the shoe they sent you. I’ve tried on 3 pairs of MT and have experienced exactly the same thing in exactly the same spot (right foot only) with each pair.

        • I love these shoes, bought a second pair just one week after my first, same thing on the same spot, the exact same spot! Right shoe, right side of the shoe band near the pinky. Now I have two pairs of them, the left foot shoes are perfect and the right side foot shoes flawed. Thank you I thought it was the stitching from the inside. I think I need to perform some shoe surgery.

        • Pete Larson says:

          I’ve now heard this from several people, so you may be right. Cutting
          through the band has completely resolved the problem. Ran a 20 miler on
          roads in them last week, and a 50K Ultra on trails yesterday in them, and
          they have held up perfectly after the modification. It’s the only negative I
          really have about this shoe.

          Pete

      • Understood. Thanks for the clarification. Really enjoy the blog!

  11. Cambodhi says:

    I read your post before I bought a pair of yellow/black size 9.5 and even brought the post up to the New Balance Store employee. He told me he hasn’t heard of this happening to anyone.
    I tried them on and they felt normal, and I even asked the salesman if they felt tight to him and he said nope. I’ve run three runs with these spaced out a week each because I wanted to make sure it was the shoe and not something wrong with my foot. I experienced an abnormal pressure during movement right behind my big toe on my left foot. There is no strain there at all standing still, but when I run in these shoes I feel pain I’ve never experienced in my 8 years of running.

    I’m going to try and return them tomorrow. Highly disappointed because I really liked the feel of these shoes–except in motion.

    • Pete Larson says:

      I contacted New Balance about this, but don’t know how widespread issues
      are. Seems clear that the forefoot isn’t deep enough for some (height rather
      than a width issue I think).

      Pete

      • Cambodhi says:

        Just to let everyone know, my local New Balance store took them back today for a full refund. I definitely appreciated that.

  12. I really enjoyed your blog, if you want to I’d love to help promote your blog by posting your link in my blog. My blog is: runwithstyle.blogspot.com, it focuses around shoes for runners on college track teams! Please check it out and let me know.

  13. Thanks for the educating post. I bought a pair recently and had similar issues (left shoe). Then I remembered reading this post a while ago, without it I would have “blamed” myself for using them improperly. The Minimus had to go back to the store.
    It’s a pity that NB has not overcome these production issues for so long, apart from this fault it is a great shoe.
    Oh and by the way, mine were red/grey so looks like the problem is not specific to a particular colour combination.

  14. Romero129 says:

    Hey Pete. Hoping you’re still responding to these. A few quick questions: What size do you wear normally, what width are you, and did they recommend a Bigger size when you went back into store?

    I’m a 10 1/2 E by most standards, so I Usually just get an 11. When I walked into the Foot Action last week, I asked for 11, and she brought me out 11 AND 12, saying that they run narrow in the forefoot, although they’re on a med-wide last. The 12 was arguably more comfortable, but I worried about Slippage involved in a runner 1 1/2 Sizes bigger than my length…

    Also, though you’ve taken flack on here for saying it was a design flaw, I thought that Immediately when I saw how Rigid that rubber section is. Just thinkin about how much the forefoot stretches on impact… WTF New Balance? My last two runners, Vibram Five Fingers and Nike Free
    Prefontains have So much give up front for a fat foot, I’m super wary of a 100$ shoe that’s not goin to fit proper, or going to constrain.

    I’m a broke-ass student, and I NEVER shop, so I appreciate any further advice.

    • Pete Larson says:

      I wear a 10, and have a medium width foot. Mine were media samples direct from NB, so not from a store. If they feel tight, sizing up may be wise, but I can’t comment on slippage unfortunately. You could also try the MT20 as it is a slightly different construction but the same sole – I saw them at Dicks the other day and the fit still feels a bit snug for me, but others have said they are better.

      Pete

  15. I love the MT101s how do these two shoes compare?

  16. RicksRunning says:

    If you look at the elites they have shoes custom made for their feet.
    We all have slightly different shaped feet and to be honest no one shoe will be correct for everyone.
    But I hope you will pass your problems on to to NB,

    • Pete Larson says:

      Absolutely correct, and I honestly think my problem with the shoe was an
      isolated one related to a specific defect in my pair, not a problem with the
      Minimus Trail in general. Still an interesting example to discuss though.

      Pete

      • Del Neves says:

        I looked at 2 pairs(10.5D & 11D) of the MT10s today, both had the left/right asymmetry. The right band was noticeably more snug & side by side it was immediately obvious. The left shoe fit perfectly. They did feel good on the treadmill though so I bought the 10.5Ds. I have yet to give them a good go but with a 90 day return option plus the surgery option I think I’m covered.
        Also tried the MT101s but they didn’t fit right around my ankle bone.

  17. I tried them today. I felt the top of my right foot hitting that black pad, particularly around the big toe area. I did like the shoe a lot, it felt more comfortable than the Merrill (although the Merrill is a lot more minimal)…except for this fact, which, I’m guessing if I put them on and run for 3-5 miles, will probably hurt a lot. I ended up buying the Merrills. Tried the Minimus road as well, but it was both too narrow for my feet and it also felt somewhat weird around the inner midfoot area. I’m looking forward to my first run with the Trail Gloves though.

    In sum, for those with doubts, if you want to go more minimal, get the Trail Gloves. If you want a little bit of cushioning, and your foot is not too wide (or apparently high, as in my case), try the Minimus trail.

  18. I actually just sold mine because of this problem. My issue amplified it so much to where I developed a neuroma in the area where you have circled in red. Glad I wasn’t the only one. Mine was the left though.

  19. Qcassidy352 says:

    I’m so glad I found this post. I’ve tried on the MT a couple of times and have really like them in every respect… except that there’s uncomfortable pressure bordering on pain in exactly the place you describe on my right foot. I thought I was going crazy. This one issue has completely ruined this shoe for me.

  20. The band is tight, folks. I have a low volume, D width foot and have tried two pair of MT’s, now (sized up). Also, both have exhibited the asymmetry with where the band is glued to the outsole. I have a feeling China is having trouble making these as designed because there’s just no way NB would want that met. band so tight. I anticipate a lot of shoes going back within shopnewbalance.com‘s 30 day trial period. I would’ve rather waited for the April debut than they rush production and have them all screwed up. I anticipate big changes in the second generation MT’s.

  21. eyalasko says:

    Hi there,

    Does anyone knows if this flaw exists also on the gray/yellow model (as well as the black/orange model presented above) ?

    Thanks

    • Pete Larson says:

      I tried another pair on at the store yesterday – same issue. Too bad,
      as I would havenought a second pair…

      Pete

      • eyalasko says:

        Thanks Pete.

        Was the second pair gray/yellow ?
        Did you pick any rumor (or even better NB response) when this flaw will be corrected. Do we have to wait for Minimus 2 ?

        • Pete Larson says:

          I tried on the black/yellow men’s version at the store, immediately felt
          pressure in the same spot. I just emailed New Balance – hopefully they can
          work this out as I love this shoe.

        • Sam Winebaum says:

          I wonder if the issue correlates to size. I would imagine the uppers are attached to midsole over some kind of a form which is size dependent.Could it also be that certain sizes of the upper were not quite right in dimensions for that foot and thus drawn down to tightly as shoes were put together? As this line seemed to hit the shelves a bit before the other similar spring 2010 competitors I wonder if there was a rush to get them out which affected QC. This happened with the original Timberland GoLite shoes several years ago. The glue holding the overlays on wasn’t quite right and ended up cracking the uppers. I ran in prototypes and this was not an issue. When moving from prototype to production there is always risk of something going wrong and this needs to be caught before shipping. There is an “opportunity cost” in waiting and checking but if the result of moving faster is a defect all the good in the design can be harmed by defective first products.

          • Sam Winebaum says:

            Pete, looking at your very good photographs of the right and left side by side with yellow arrows in your post link to runblogger.com… it is clear there is a difference in the forefoot construction as the shoe to left (right shoe) clearly has less material just in front of the black rubber and thus lower tighter volume in that area pulling the rubber band down over the ball of the foot more than it should. If you looked under in the insoles you might be able to see if they stitched it to far in or there was just less material to work with. I think cutting the black band gave you more room.

          • Pete Larson says:

            In that shoe, yes, definitely. The ones I tried on at the store the other
            day looked fine, but I still felt distinct pressure under that location,
            enough to scare me away from buying another pair. Shame, because I do love
            the shoe.

            Pete

          • eyalasko says:

            I looked at the women version (WT10).
            It appear (to my bare eye) that it is defect free.

            I wonder if its men’s model defect or specific to a certain size as Sam suggested above…

          • Pete Larson says:

            I’m now wondering if it may not be a defect, but maybe just a design element
            that doesn’t mesh well with some feet…

            Pete

  22. I tried them today (local shoe store running group had them to try out). I’ve been running with the trail gloves for the last 1.5 months, making it up to 11 miles on them without barely any pain.

    Right foot hurt over the ball of my toe since I pretty much put them on. However, that pain never got worse, and was manageable. However, the side of my left toe (kind of where the ball is) started hurting around mile 5. By the 9th mile (I took them out for 12 miles), my left knee was feeling stiff and hurting a little bit. I walked a bit around mile 10 and was able to finish the run. It’s been about 3 hours after the run and my heels feel a little sore, but nothing that I think won’t be gone by tomorrow.

    I spoke with the NB people at the end of the run. They wanted my feedback. I showed them this website with the concerns others are posting. They said that my problems were probably width related. They have wider models coming out in July.

    The shoes did hurt my left leg, but, I’m willing to give them another try when the wider version comes out. I love how the shoe feels (other than the leg problems). The 4 mm difference between them and the Trail Gloves is very noticeable once you’re running in them. However, this was more what I was looking for than the TGs, it’s just that those are wider, and my feet don’t hurt in them (haven’t had any problems running in those).

    I hope this helps for those considering them. If you have wide feet, then these are definitely not your shoe. Wait until July or get the Trail Gloves.

  23. John Minter says:

    Shoe surgery – you’re turning into Tony Krupicka :)

  24. Susanna3 says:

    After reading alot of comments about the black band, I think the issue is not the shoe but people’s feet. As an industrial designer, I can say that production and manufacturing can only become so perfect. The shoes are probably not all that different from each other, but people’s feet are often not perfectly symmetrical. Thus some people experience the pain on the left foot, some on the right. Currently, the only option is to do shoe surgery or wear thinner/no socks. But maybe in future, NB will make that strap adjustable. Nevertheless, it seems that for those whose feet do fit these shoes, it is fantastic. If you have pain in one foot or the other, you can smile and be amused at the variability of the human body, modify the shoe, and continue on.

    Running for life! 

    • Pete Larson says:

      I would agree, except that it’s the only shoe I’ve ever worn that has caused this problem for me. As such, it’s a limitation of the design of the shoe. The band is too tight, but if you have small enough feet it will not likely cause trouble.

      • Susanna3 says:

         Hm. True. Then again, if the foot is small enough to not have this problem with the band, perhaps it is in a size too big for it overall.

        • I went online to see if surgery was even possible so this post is a true Godsend! I think it’s the design of this particular shoe and not people’s feet because I’ve never had a problem before with the width of any running shoe. In the store the shoes felt extremely comfortable and I was so sure I was set with a great new pair – but everything changed when I started running in them. I can go about two and a half miles and then I have to trade them out for my older pair because by then my feet are throbbing where the band crosses – especially the right one. Until the pain kicks in though I absolutely love them. I’m hoping that surgery will fix the problem because I will not have $100 to throw done on a new pair anytime soon!

  25. I have also bought the minimus trail version. It was a shoe I was looking forward to wearing as I have taken to removing insoles from all my current running shoes.

     At first, it was really comfortable but after a day of wearing it, I had the same exact issue!!! The same spot which kept rubbing my right foot!!!Rather than try something so drastic as surgery, I tried changing types of laces and in the end, changed the lacing pattern and it seems to have worked somewhat.

    Though, sometimes it does takes a while for the “spot” to subside from my consciousness. Up till date, I have ran 2 10km races and 1 16.8km races in this pair. HOPEFULLY newbalance fixes this as I really dig the concept and the design!

  26. I had the same issue with the right shoe forefoot.  I took out the factory laces and replaced them with elastic laces and that seemed to help.  Can’t wait for those 2E widths! 

  27. Guerosd says:

    Wow glad I found this post. I was a day one adopter of these but my 3rd run in them was a 10-miler and started feeling pain at the top of my right foot in exactly the spot you identified. After the run I was greeted by a nice round bruise on the top of my foot, and a week later it still hurts like hell. I love these shoes and up till this run thought they were the most comfortable I’d ever worn. Decision now is try and modify like you did or exchange for new ones on the chance it was a 1st run manufacturing problem.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Tough decision – I’ve run about 55 miles on my modified shoes, including a
      road 20 miler and a 50K on trails and they are holding up fine. That being
      said, if I’d had the opportunity to exchange, I’d probably have done it.
      Exchanging also ensures that NB is aware of the problem if it is widespread.

      Pete

      • Following up on this. I did an exchange at the store and the new pair completely resolved this issue. I’m guessing it may have been a 1st run problem since I bought the last pair the very day they came out. So I am again happy. I will however give a “fail” to new balance on transparency, the nicely worded review posting I made at the NB Store has still not been posted.

  28. I have this exact same issue only in the right foot as well! And this is a pair direct from New Balance corporate office after sending in my first pair because of a different defect.
    Thank you so much for these posts. I have been wondering over the past few days if just my right foot is messed up, or somehow bruised, or something.

    NB was great about exchanging my first pair, which was defective in that the sole padding did not extend all the way through the foot (I could feel the individual contours of the Vibram outer sole through my toes). It took 2 weeks, but I got a new pair in the mail. It’s just that they don’t feel right.

    I don’t think it’s a defect just with that one pair. I tried some on at a NB store, and felt that right foot pinky toe pressure in the store pair as well.

    I may be trying this shoe surgery very soon.

    Thanks!

    • Pete Larson says:

      The surgery works very well, and my shoes have held up despite cutting the band. I also tried another pair on at the store and felt the same thing.

  29. restinginlove says:

    I just got a pair of these (well, women’s version) for a steal off ebay, and the left shoe fits so comfy and the right is on the verge of painful due to the band. And my left foot is the wider one! I got them because a lot of people love them for their weightlifting, and while I love the WX20 (cross trainer shoe in the minimus series, first version), these are supposed to be more flexible. And they are! If I can stand the discomfort for my workouts, I’ll grin and bear it, but I have a feeling I’ll be doing this surgery on my right shoe, and I’ll keep this page and the tips you’ve given here handy! Thank you for the pictures and loctite recommendations, as if the ladies’ version has this issue too, I’m sure it’s pretty widespread, unfortunately. And it’s probably why I got them so cheap and lightly used!

    • Pete Larson says:

      Thanks, glad you found this! Version 2 of the MT10 just came out and it seems to have fixed this issue for me.
      Sent from my iPad

      • restinginlove says:

        I’m a broke college kid and spent $45 on the pair I have now, but as the new model comes down in price a bit, I may consider it, cause the shoe that does fit well is so, so comfy. Plus it looks like they finally have wide widths in this new version of the WT10 so I won’t have to order up a size for my duck feet! Yay!!

  30. colorunner says:

    I agree..this issue happened to me in my left foot. I donated the shoes. I am now in NB 101s which seem to be great shoe with plenty of forefoot room.

    This metatarsial band issue with the Minimum Trail is very frustrating and I see no reason why this band is there in the first place — it can cause some major injury issues.

  31. aaron nicholas says:

    just got these today. experiencing the same problem in my left shoe. i’ve been running in merrell trail gloves solely (heh) and decided to grab another pair of minimalist shoes to switch out for road runs, which currently is 50% of my running. i do about 30-40 miles per week, half barefoot, half in the merrells. 

    i’ll be adding the minimus into the mix, though i can tell ya right away i feel that damn 4mm heel. 

    on a side-note, i need those merrell road gloves ASAP. spring 2012 seems so far away.

    anywho, thanks for sharing yr experience, i’m gonna go do an 8 miler and decide whether or not i’ll be copying yr surgical techniques.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Surgery does fix the problem if it persists!

      • aaron nicholas says:

        ended up doing 11.5, felt pretty good surprisingly. tight, but not debilitating. still, i think i’m gonna emulate your process. i did get the beginnings of a blister on the left inner arch, though this could be just the breaking in process.

        thanks again for your post! i dig the blog, glad i stumbled upon it.

  32. Just bought a pair yesterday and was super excited about them. After 5 hours of walking around in them at work I was feeling pretty sore on my right foot in exactly the same position! I’m hoping this goes away because they were so comfortable at first.

  33. Can anyone tell me is this is true? Apparently the difference between half sizes, isn´t the lenght, but the width, this means that a US 11 sized mt10 would be exactly as large as the 11.5 US, while the 11.5 US is a bit wider?  Is this correct? 

  34. Please keep posting on how you do with the shoe. I actually tried the Merrell’s last weekend at the store and, on the True Glove version, my right foot barely fit in it as well…although I loved how the show felt on the left foot. The Trail Gloves felt better overall anyway, but was shocked at how uncomfortable my right foot felt in that shoe. I think it might have been also a manufacturing defect. Who knows.

    I’m curious of trying both NB Minimus shoes as well so I appreciate your reviews and concerns with this one. I’ll probably buy 1 of the 4 models (2 NBs and 2 Merrels).

  35. I recently picked up a pair of these after forgetting to pack my regular shoes for a weekend trip. I did a quick run in them on Saturday and then ran a race on Sunday. They felt great but I’m experiencing the same problem with the band on the right foot. Before I go for the knife I wanted to see if your shoes were still holding up. Have you put any more miles on yours without anything unravelling?

    Thanks – love your blog!

    Tom

    • Pete Larson says:

      I’ve run 50+ miles on them post-surgery and they are holding up fine. Just
      get ahold of some Loctite Vinyl and Fabric glue and it seem to do a good job
      holidng the seams together.

      Pete

      • I am having the same problem at the base of my pinky toe.  Surgery or return..?  Is there a way to stretch that band?  Maybe via a shoe cobbler?

        Frank

  36. i am glad you posted this… i bought these shoes and had the EXACT same problem, for 100 bucks I wasn’t going to cut them up though, I just returned them.

    Did you find it was ONLY your right foot? I did. The left was perfect.

    • It appears Pete you are not the only one facing problem with your right foot shoe. Could be a batch of these shoes has defect.

      • Pete Larson says:

        Seems possible, and such things are not unheard of. I know Vibram had
        problems with soles delaminating from some of the Fivefingers awhile
        back.

        Pete

        On Wednesday, March 16, 2011, Disqus

    • Pete Larson says:

      Yes, only on my right foot.

      Pete

      • I bought the MT10  black/yellow WIDTH:2E/US 9 2011-AUG-1 (@TAIWAN)and had the same problem to me…. only on my right foot

  37. After reading this review and all the posts I figured I would finally post. I have run many, many miles in these and have figured out that not only is the black M band a problem but the extra black pad on both the inside and outside of the M band (one with the vibram logo on it) presents a problem. I have a wide foot and have found that cutting the M band helps but I had to take it a step further from blisters forming on the inside and outside edge of my foot. I literally cut off the vibram piece (little black piece of sole) on both the inside and out. What a difference! So, if you have a wide forefoot than you may need to do this extra surgery to prevent these issues that rear their ugly head on longer runs.

  38. Pete I wrote you earlier about trying the Minimus again after the problems you encountered. I have wide feet and took your advice about getting a pair of the Minimus road shoes. So far they are working great! Coming off of the Nike Lunars, the Minimus really encourages a mid foot strike. It has improved my running! I still want to try the trail shoe and contacted New Balance, the wider widths (and more colors) will be out in July of this year.

    Steve

  39. Rmichael23601 says:

    I had the same issue, which led me here. Ran just 4 miles yesterday. No major pain aside from the terrible miscomfort around my pinky toe. Instead of bisecting, the band, I took out the stitching on the right on the band itself. Definitely relieved the discomfort wearing them around the house. Will take them out for a run tomorrow.

  40. Sam Winebaum says:

    Pete-Glad you could adapt the shoe to try to make it work. I think the root cause of the pain may a combination of the band and the outsole wrap (with Vibram logo) up the side which combine to force your pinky toe in. Maybe a manufacturing defect or maybe they should have widened the upper slightly in that area or as you effectively did reduced the compression of that black metatarsal band.

  41. I tried on a few of pairs of the MT10 (v1) and they were all very tight at the band (these were D width models…I never could find a wider one to try). A couple of months ago I tried the MT10v2 (D width) and it’s much better.

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