New Balance Minimus Multi-Sport MO10 Review

New Balance Minimus MO10 LogoThe New Balance Minimus Multi-Sport (MO10) is not so much a new shoe as it is a variant of the New Balance Minimus Trail MT10. As such, this review will not be comprehensive, and you can read my original NB MT10 review if you’d like more detail on how the shoe performs all around (disclosure: the shoes reviewed here were media review samples provided free of charge by the manufacturer).

In reality, there are only two significant things worth discussing that distinguish this shoe from the MT10, and both have to do with the upper. First, instead of the breathable mesh upper of the MT10, the MO10 has a water-resistant synthetic upper. Functionally, it’s important to emphasize that water-resistant does not mean waterproof. I’ve run in these shoes quite a bit this winter, and they do a good job keeping my feet dry. I’ve held them under a running faucet to see how well they shed a steady flow of water, and the water beads up and rolls right off. However, I ran in them in some really nasty wet conditions yesterday, and they do allow water in near the junction of the upper and the sole if you submerge your foot in a puddle. In contrast, the Merrell Sonic Glove, which is also billed as water-resistant, prevented leakage even when submerging my foot in a river to a level just below the laces. In any case, the MO10 will keep you dry in rain and help shed splashing water, but don’t expect it to keep you completely dry in puddles.

New Balance Minimus MO10

The second significant point I’ll make about the MO10, and this is a big one, is that the forefoot band in this shoe has not caused me any problems. With the MT10, I had to sever the forefoot band on the right side to prevent it from squeezing my foot to the point of causing pain. I’m not sure why things have improved with the MO10 – perhaps it’s just the case that there is some variability from pair to pair in how tight the band is. Alternatively, perhaps the more rugged upper has changed the fit in some way. In either case, it’s made for a much improved shoe, and one that does not require me to pull out my scissors. That’s always a good thing!

New Balance Minimus MO10 Medial

I’ll finish this brief review by saying that both the New Balance Minimus MO10 and the MT10 are among the most versatile shoes that I own. They’re solid performers on non-technical trails (I’ve run a trail 50K in the MT10’s, but the lack of a rock-plate means you’ll feel rocks and other trail debris through the sole), and the 4mm heel lift provides just a bit of cushion for roads (I’ve run up to 20 miles in a run on roads in the MT10). I also use these frequently as casual shoes, particularly when it’s wet, snowy, or slushy, and I have been known to wear them to work on occasion as well. A very solid offering from New Balance.

The New Balance MO10 is available for sale at Backcountry.com.

New Balance Minimus MO10 SoleNew Balance Minimus MO10 Top

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. I run (mostly on dry pavement) in the MT10 with very thin socks and have taken the laces off(with the laces off it forces me to keep a good form). NB has a winner in the MT10, do not quite know exactly what will be coming in as a replacement. When I noticed the liquidation sale on 
    http://www.runningwarehouse.co… panicked and bought another pair, just in case the replacement does not quite measure up as well. 

    I similar looking/feeling shoe with zero drop would be great; my 2cents.

    • You’ll be happy to know that NB plans on keeping the MT10s around through next year alongside the MT00 since it has done so well. I was just as panicked but have a family member who works for NB who let me know they won’t be going anywhere yet, just new colors.

      • Thats good to know; I like running in them; with the laces off, going thru A/P is a breeze as well. It is also an eye catcher.

        any idea when the MT00′s hit the shelves? Thanks.

  2. Did you see the new MT110 winter edition at the Outdoor Retailer show? Looks pretty sweet.

    http://www.atrailrunnersblog.c

    Thanks for the review!

  3. I bought a pair of these at your recommendation and find them to be an excellent winter shoe, mostly.  I had to track down a pr of EE width but that also allowed me to get into the correct length (had to size up in my original Trail Minimus).  I also found the original trail minimus to be unwearable due to the constrictor band, but the MO10 is great.  I don’t feel the band at all.  The “mostly” in my first sentence is that these still do not have enough traction on compacted snow, particularly on hills / slopes.  OK on unpacked powder where feet do not tend to slip anyway.  I did an 8 mile run on Friday and at times was “running in place” because of poor grip.  My Garmin foot pod gave me an extra .5 miles for the run :)

    • Pete Larson says:

      Traction is definitely a tradeoff with these, but the lack of prominent lugs also makes them usable on roads, which is good for me since winter means a lot of mixed surface running here in NH.

  4. These (and the MT10s) look great. I tried a 20km non-technical trail in my VFF KSOs, and call me soft, but I hated it, not enjoying myself, and hobbling towards the end. (The trail was a mountain bike track in height of summer here – compact/hard dirt, with lots of sharp basalt rocks).
    So I guess what I’m wondering is whether these (or MT10s) will provide significantly more protection than my KSOs? (I have the basic flat non-trail ones).
    I don’t mind feeling the trail, but don’t want to be crippled by it.
    Cheers, and thanks for such a great repository of info!

    • Neilrosenthal says:

      I would have to agree with Pete about the lack of a rock plate and bruised metatarsals. On the trails you are describing I think you’ll find the MT or MO10s to be unforgiving if you contact rocks, roots or anything else that can push up through the shoe. I’ve run numerous 20+ miles on varied trail and had tenderness in the ball of the foot to say the least. Try the MT110s if you want something ‘similar’ but with some forefoot protection from NB.
      I also think the soft shell material does allow for more volume overall. I have the MT and MO in the same size and the MOs are noticeably more generous which allows nicely for a warm sock for running in the cold and snow which is helpful up here in Canada ;)

    • Pete Larson says:

      They will protect better than the KSO, but are no comparison to a shoe with a rock plate. I would not recommend them if your trails have lots of rocks, for as Neil notes you’ll feel them and can wind up with stone bruising.

  5. Christopher Babb says:

    I really love these shoes, I hope they keep making them as they are just the perfect shoe for the winter job. You could stay even dryer in other shoes but these also breath quite well. I’ll try to save them just for winter conditions so that they last me a little longer.

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