I’ve written a number of posts about my up and down experience with the New Balance Minimus Trail shoes. The original version, the MT10, is an awesome shoe, but suffers from what I feel is a serious design flaw in that the black band across the forefoot is rather constricting (for at least some people). I initially attributed this to a manufacturing flaw in my pair, but have subsequently heard from many others who have had the same problem, and the clerk at a local shoe store indicated to me that he has had trouble selling them due to this very issue.
Earlier today, I received a message from a friend on dailymile (thanks Mike!) who had found the MT20 listed as being available for sale on June 1 at The Shoe Mart. The site also includes images of what appears to be and update to the existing shoe. The construction of the upper is noticeably different, and though there is still a band across the forefoot in the same area, it looks quite different than the one found in the MT10. In the new version the band is continuous with the material supporting the eyerow for the laces, which will hopefully alleviate pressure caused by the seam in that region on the MT10. The forefoot material is uniform in the MT20 – no stitching over the toes as seen in the MT10 (I had no problem in this area). There are other differences, but the forefoot is of most interest to me as that is where my troubles arose.
I’m wondering if this sequel may have been pushed to market quickly due to known issues with the MT10 – total speculation on my part, but it is awfully fast turnaround for a sequel to appear to what is already an almost brand-new shoe. I know no other details about this other than what is on the Shoe Mart webpage, so feel free to post a comment if you no anything more. I’m hoping this update fixes the problem to what is one of my current favorite shoes.
Update 5/15/11: Here’s a tidbit from the Onlineshoes.com blog for those who question the reputability of Shoe Mart (a store about which I know very little): “…OnlineShoes.com won’t carry the Minimus MT10, but this summer we will carry the MT20 and the WT20 from New Balance, which are pretty much the same shoe as the MT10 with some awesome updates.”
Below are comparison pictures of the MT10 and MT20.
New Balance MT10 – Side View
New Balance MT20 – Side View
New Balance MT10 – Medial View
New Balance MT20 – Medial View
Soles of the New Balance MT10 (left) and MT20 (right).