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New Balance Minimus Road Zero (MR00) Review

New Balance Minimus Road MR00As I’ve slowly been building my mileage back up after a long period of low volume running, I’ve found myself way behind in writing up shoe reviews. One of the shoes that I’ve had for quite some time now is the New Balance Minimus Road Zero (MROO). I’m not sure exactly how many miles I’ve put on them, but it’s a fair amount, and I just did a ten miler in them earlier today. All in all I’m quite a big fan of this shoe (disclosure: these shoes were media samples provided free of charge by the manufacturer).

Weighing in at just over 6 oz, the MR00 is both lighter and more flexible than the original Minimus Road (MR10) – in my opinion it is far superior shoe. With only 12mm of sole underfoot (the shoe is zero drop), the MR00 keeps you close to the ground, but there is just enough cushion to take the edge off. I’ve come to very much like zero drop running shoes with a bit of cushion, and this one fills that niche nicely. I ran a fast 7 mile leg of a Ragnar Relay in them back in January, and found that there was plenty of cushion for speed. They also handled my 10 mile run today quite well – I was especially pleased about this given that it was my first double-digit mileage run in a few months.

New Balance Minimus Road MR00 SideNew Balance Minimus Road MR00 Medial

The fit of the MR00 is excellent on my feet, which have grown very intolerant of any shoe that is even remotely too narrow. The upper is lightweight, lacks any structural elements beyond a few overlays, and is plenty breathable.The heel and midfoot fit snugly (the midfoot could even be widened just a bit), but the forefoot is expansive, leaving my toes plenty of room to spread out. The interior is nicely finished, and this is a shoe that causes me no problems when I decide to go sockless – this is a rarity for me, and is a huge plus. I have read some complaints on-line about the raised “rim” that has formed around the margin of the non-removable sockliner – this seems to be caused by the way the sockliner was stitched in. I can feel this under my medial arch while standing in them, but it has caused me no trouble while running, so for me it is a non-issue. Though the midsole does curl up a bit under the arch, there is no real arch support in this shoe (note that I am not generally sensitive to arch support, so others may disagree).

IMG_3187

Having now run in and reviewed a large number of shoes over the past several years, I often find myself comparing each new shoe to those that I have worn previously. I find a lot of similarity in feel between this shoe and the Mizuno Universe 4. The MR00 is flatter and maybe just a tad wider in the toebox, whereas the Universe is a few ounces lighter and considerably flashier (this could be good or bad depending on your personal preference), but not as comfortable for sockless running (the faux-leather heel liner is problematic for me). Both are flexible and ride close to the ground, with just enough cushion for speed work and longer runs. Both are among my current favorite shoes.

New Balance Minimus Road MR00 Sole

Conclusion

New Balance Minimus Road MR00 BackI’ve grown to really like the New Balance Minimus Road Zeros. Given my experience with this shoe so far, I’ve found it to be a rather versatile road shoe. It works well for speed, and it handles distance nicely as well. Not sure if I’d choose it for marathon distance, but then it’s been a year since I’ve run 20+ miles in one run, and I’ve been running more and more in zero drop shoes of late, so I would no discount the idea. The MR00 is also going to see a lot of use for me as a casual out-and-about shoe. I’ve been zero drop pretty much 100% of the time when I’m not running for over a year now, so having more options like this shoe for everyday wear is appreciated. I highly recommend the New Balance Minimus Road Zero.

The New Balance Miminus Road Zero is available for purchase at Running Warehouse.

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Recent Posts By Category: Running Shoe Reviews | Running Gear Reviews | Running Science

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. Kevin Leapley says:

    I ran 6 miles in this shoe without socks and the raised rim around the margin of the non-removable sockliner caused a painful blister and hot spots along both of my feet.  I have been running sockless in Inov8 180s and had no problems.  I was also disappointed with the firmness of the sole and was hoping for more flexible material.  Personal preference.  I am trying the Inov8 150s next. 

  2. I’ve ran in the Mizuno Wave Universe 3 and found that the shoe was a little too thin for me.  Just not enough cushion specifically if I wanted to take the shoe offroad.  I have also ran in the Asics Pirahna SP3 and felt that shoe had the perfect amount of cushion both on and off road.  

    Can you comment on how the cushion (in the forefoot) of the MROO compares to the MWU3 and the APSP3?
    I love your blog!  Thanks for your time!

    • Pete Larson says:

      Similar to the Mizuno, have not run in the Asics shoe. I’d say stick with the shoe that works, sound like the Piranha is that shoe for you.

  3. mohamad firdaus nasrudin says:

    hi. just asking, can i use it in off road/terrain race?

  4. Ruairidh MacDonald says:

    how would you compare the durability (both upper and sole) of this new balance shoe and the mizuno wave universe 4?

    • Pete Larson says:

      I don’t usually get enough miles on a shoe to comment on long term durability, but I’d guess these are similar.

  5. Hi. I am a high school Varsity Cross Country athlete. I bought these shoes 4-5 months ago and I love them. Would they be suitable for XC races? My coach said they could work as racing flats.

    • Pete Larson says:

      I’d worry about the lack of traction and grip on grass/trails, but otherwise they are similar to an XC flat.
      Sent from my iPad

  6. amy thompson says:

    I have a burning question. I love the NB Minimus Trail but now I want
    more and the Zeros look like a great update. I do most of my running in
    roads but I’ve seen that the MT00 are lighter than the MR00. The thing
    is: why would you use the MR00 instead of the MT00 on the road? what are
    the advantages of MR00 vs. MT00? more cushioning? the outsole has the
    same thickness so…

    link to goo.gl

    • Pete Larson says:

      The MR00 has a softer upper, and feels a bit more stable underfoot due to the flat foam sole. The MT00 is lighter, works fine on roads, but the upper is very thin and I do have some concern about durability. May be a non-issue, but we’ll see. The podded sole is a bit more rounded and thus requires a bit more of the legs to maintain stability.

      • kamilothoris says:

         I run in the MT00 daily and the uppers seem to be holding up exceedingly well even though all the reviewers still have doubts about the durability.

        • Pete Larson says:

          Thanks for the update _ I haven’t had trouble with them yet either, but do know one fellow reviewer who had the upper rip pretty quickly, hence my concern.

          • kamilothoris says:

             Can you FEEL the difference between the MT00 and MR00?

            One part is weight and it makes sense that you should feel that when switching from one to the other. But the sole of the MR00 seems to be a lot more substantial than the one on the MT00 so I am wondering how much difference in road feel there is.

            I guess most people see the MT00 as a  “barely there shoe” that might fall apart at any point and offers no protection whatsoever but that is what I love about it.

          • Pete Larson says:

            Yes, I’d say the MT00 is closer to a Vibram style shoe, lots of road feel and it makes you work harder as it is not as stable underfoot. All depends on what people are looking for in a shoe. They both have their place.

          • kamilothoris says:

             I now have 2 runs in the MR00 so I have some basis of comparison to the MT00 and they are totally different shoes. It is not just the weight but the feel of the shoes too. I can feel the arch support in the MR00. I can hardly heel strike when walking in the MT00 the shoe is so stripped down. I can heel strike all day long when walking with the MR00. The MR00 are for when I want to take it easy on my calves and feet.

  7. Michael Baker says:

    Any insight on why the road comes in a 2E but no 4E and the trail comes in a 4E but no 2E? loving the MT00, want to love the MR00, but it’s just a little snug in a 2E… damn my wide feet!

  8. I may give these shoes a try. I’ve been a Saucony runner for a long time and moved on from Kinvara to Hattori and VFF. The Hattori’s are great (though the upper doesn’t breathe enough in my view) but I would like a little more cushioning for those long runs without having my heel raised, like Dr. Mark Cucuzzella. Wished Nike and Saucony would come with an actual flat racing flat. 

    • By the way Pete, are these shoes in your view more comparable to the Newton MV2 or the Saucony Hattori in terms of amount of cushioning? Thanks!

      • Pete Larson says:

        I actually thnk the Hattori is more forgiving than these because the cushion is softer – the NB are pretty firm. You might also take a look at the Merrell Bare Access.

  9. I love these shoes so much! Not only are they the most comfortable pair that I have ever bought, but they also:

    Match my University’s colors
    Are ninja like: They make no sound when contacting pavement
    Feel awesome
    Look awesome
    Just plain awesome.

  10. How is the wear of the sole? I know the white part is Vibram, but from what I understand, Vibram have a range of materials with differing durability.

  11. Great review! I recently received a pair of the red Zeros too and haven’t ran in them yet my preferred shoe has been the 730s following your review of them a couple of months ago. The 730s have been great but after 125 miles on them (including several 18-21 milers) the upper has already started to rip on the left shoe. 

    I’m running Big Sur marathon in 10 days and am torn between buying a new pair of 730s or running in the zeros… dilemma, anyone have any thoughts on this? Thanks!

  12. Pete, how would you compare the Minimus Road with the Altra Sampson?

  13. William Verheul says:

    Thank you for this review. Could you tell how they compare to the Kinvara? 

  14. KingCaster says:

    They might be good but they sure is UGLY. Brooks PureFlow to the rescue! http://christopher-king.blogsp

    BTW I used to live in Nashua, always MTBike through Mine Falls you should take a run through there if you have not yet done so, great little escape right in the city, peace.

    • Design aesthetic is very subjective matter. Personally I like NB’s minimalistic visual design. Loud colours and stripes etc. I personally find “ugly” but then again it’s just me.

      • KingCaster says:

        Oh, totally, beauty all in the eye of the beholder. I had a thing for SAABs for a while, I find them beautiful. Others would beg to differ LOL.

  15. Wilson says:

    How would you compare this shoe with the Merrell Bare Access? Both are zero drop shoe in similar price range. Thanks.

  16. Kennethhanson says:

    Can you comment on the arch support in this shoe. I really wanted to like the Merrell Road Glove and Bare Access shoes, but found the arch to pronounced and uncomfortable (especially in the Road Glove).  

  17. I hope the interior’s color doesn’t bleed out like it does for the MR10. I’m looking forward to getting this shoe once my MR10 is done.

    • tangovoxtrot says:

      My black and red MR10s did the same thing. It was my preferred colorway and the only one that bled in my experience. I only have the MR00 in lime green and black. The inside is black and the color has not run. I’ve worn them with socks a couple of times, but I usually wear them sockless.

      • Thanks. That’s great to know. I also have the MR10s in black and red – they made my socks pink! Maybe I’ll try running sock-free for a change. Come to think of it, who’s “bright” idea was it to make running socks white anyway?

  18. Dave Clark says:

    Pete, how would you compare this shoe with the Altra Instinct zero drop shoe?  I have been very happy with the Instinct, especially for long runs on the road.  Thanks.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Lighter and more flexible, but narrower in the midfoot I think. Both are in the same zero drop with cushion niche.

  19. Johnnyroyale says:

    Hello,
    I have worn these shoes since mid-January (for some reason they were released at the start of the year in the UK) and can safely say they are the best running shoes I have ever owned. I have done around 150-200 miles in them (longest run is about 15 miles) and they show little signs of wear so far, although only half of my running is done on roads. They are comfortable and feel like I am running in a slightly cushier pair of my own feet, rather than a pair of shoes. They also dry very quickly if you get them wet (I have run along the beach at low tide and had no problems with slooshy feet). I can vouch for the statement in Pete’s review that there is no discernable arch support, despite the relatively tight-fitting midfoot – to the extent that when I run in my Nike free 3.0 shoes, they feel overbuilt. The only drawback is they need regular washing by hand because they can honk after a few long warm-weather runs. I went a half size up to my regular running shoes (or, to put it another way, the same size as my slightly narrow Nike 3.0s).

    • tangovoxtrot says:

      Once I finally found the size that fit my feet, I would agree that these are the running shoes that I’ve liked the best. I barely notice them on my feet and the upper is very comfortable. Even though the Mizuno Wave Universe is lighter, I find this shoe more stable and more comfortable to wear.

  20. KingCaster says:

    Boston Marathon video coming by 6p video uploading to YouTube :)
    http://christopher-king.blogsp

  21. läuferin says:

    Hi Pete,

    I have a burning question. I love the NB Minimus Trail but now I want more and the Zeros look like a great update. I do most of my running in roads but I’ve seen that the MT00 are lighter than the MR00. The thing is: why would you use the MR00 instead of the MT00 on the road? what are the advantages of MR00 vs. MT00? more cushioning? the outsole has the same thickness so…

    I’m a little bit confused, any insight will be highly appreciated!

    • Pete Larson says:

      Thanks for your comments. Nike needs to get their act together and widen the Free 3.0!

      • Ranniedv says:

        Exactly! I got the 3v4 last week and did a 10k run, and the toebox is narrow! I can’t understand why Nike keeps on screwing on the good design which I think 3v2 all has. I have one remaining 3v2 left and will not be using v3 and v4.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Great question. The MT00 shouldbe one of my next reviews. It is indeed lighter, and it does work just fine on roads. My one concern with the MT00 is long-term durability – the upper is extremely thin and made of a crinkly kind of mesh, and it seems like it could be prone to tearing with repeated use. I have had no problems so far, but it is something I am keeping my eye on. The upper on the MR00 is a more traditional fabric and seems like it will hold up well. Stay tuned for more.

  22. KingCaster says:

    Boston Marathon Video, sorry for the production value maybe it is because I shot at 24fps but also iMovie is meh but FC X doesn’t work on Lion OSX: link to youtube.com

  23. Thanks, I have been thinking of getting a pair of those for my shorter runs. I do think I´m convinced by now.

  24. Herschel says:

    I am looking to work on my form and get into running in this shoe or one like it. I get shin splints and some knee pain running in my bulkier Nikes and such, and I feel that in addition to my form generally needing work my shoes are making improvement difficult. My question is: Would you recommend this as an entry level minimal shoe? (I will certainly try to ease into it and wear it around casually)

    • Pete Larson says:

      Yes, I think this may be a safer choice than something like a Vibram, but a gradual transition is still wise.

      • Herschel says:

        Awesome, thank you so much. Just one more thing…In my situation would you recommend this shoe over the Merrell Road Glove you had reviewed previously?

        • Pete Larson says:

          Depends on what you prefer. The Road Glove has a harder rubber sole and less foam, so probably a bit better ground feel. The NB will provide a bit more shock absorption. Both have a fairly wide fit.

  25. Damián Bonadonna says:

    Hi,

    I don’t run a lot but I’ve been using Reebok zignano for the last year. Do you think it is better for me to go for MR10 or MR00, I want to start running like barefoot but I don’t want to destroy myself neither. I am jumping the rope now.Thanks!

    • tangovoxtrot says:

      I enjoy using both for running and walking. The MR10 is more cushioned and only has a 4mm heel-to-forefoot drop. The MR00 is zero drop.

      The MR10 is a good transition shoe that still feels like a shoe. The MR00 is very comfortable and closer to being barefoot. I prefer the MR00, but I’ve been using mininalist low drop shoes for a couple of years. If you’re concerned about hurting yourself, i suugest you try the MR10 first and go from there.

      • Damián Bonadonna says:

        Thanks for the quick reply!

        Another one.. I was able to try in the shop only the Puma FAAS 200 and 300. How do they compare? I had the idea of buying puma (not the H-Street as I feel them very narrow) until I found the NB. I may made the purchase this week.

        I also sweat a lot my feet, does it make any difference?

        • tangovoxtrot says:

          I can’t really speak personally about the Puma FAAS. I haven’t tried them. However, my understanding is that the 300 is a lightweight cushioned shoe with a heel-to-toe drop more comparable to that of conventional running shoe. The 200 is more minimal racing flat with a lower heel-to-toe drop and less cushioning. I believe they’re lighter than the MR10, but with more cushioning and a narrower toe box. The cushioning is a concern for me because I overpronate and the soft midsole might exaggerate that tendency.

          If your feet sweat a lot, the MR00 is good because the upper is quite breathable. However, with the MR10 in the black and red colorway, the red color tends to run and bleed. I like the looks of the shoe, but I some of my socks are pink now.

  26. Is the red rubber on sole EVA foam or similar material? MR10 has these holes which lead straight to EVA foam and I can tell you that if you get sharp stone stuck in there you’ll notice in within a millisecond.

  27. Kevin Dickson says:

    I really like the 730s and am wondering if the MR00 are worth almost double the price.  I know the 730s have a slight drop but I honestly don’t feel it when I’m running.

  28. Surfing_vol says:

    I take it that you like the MR00s better than the 730s.  I know that the 730s still have a drop (3mm?) and don’t have a Vibram outsole, but otherwise how do the MR00s feel compared to the 730s?

  29. Leviskar says:

    How is the sizing? I’ve seen some sites advertise ordering up a half size ( for comparison sake, I had to do that with my Kinvara 2 and Hattori). This is a great looking shoe that is on my list to check out this spring.

    • tangovoxtrot says:

      That worked for me and sounds right from my experience. In spite of New Balance’s assertion that the shoe runs true to size and that you should order your regular athletic shoe size, I had to go up half a size and from a D width to a 2E. I’ve had no problems as a result. My regular size in the standard width (which was what I took in last year’s Minimus Road MR00) was too uncomfortable to bear. The shoe was very narrow in the midfoot under the arch and very tight where my forefoot is the widest.

  30. How does v2 compare link to newbalance.co.nz

  31. Hello Peter,

    I’m looking for a shoe which i can use for jogging on a synthetic track as there’s one close to my home. My goal is loose weight and get back in shape. I weigh around 203 lbs and my sedentary life style for last 3-4 years have put me out shape..i currently have a pair of aspics which i intend to replace as they are hard on my knees and lower back. Appreciate your help.

  32. i meant Asics not aspics sorry for the typo

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