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Author Topic: NB Minimus Zero Trail - First Impressions  (Read 3462 times)
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tak555
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« on: March 03, 2012, 03:17:47 AM »

Hola folks... it's been a while since I posted here, but I just picked up some NB Minimus Zero Trails today at the local NB store and thought I'd report in.

So, background... I've pretty much been running in Bikila's exclusively since they were originally released.  I absolutely love the biks... I've run fairly consistently, racking up a couple half marathons, a trail race, and some shorter races in them.  They've held up fairly well, and once my current pair wear out, I'll probably get another pair (maybe the LS version).

Anyhow, after running the trail race in the Biks (Mt Wilson Trail Race for those of you in Southern CA), I decided I needed something with a little more traction.  I know that Vibram has plenty of off-road options, but I wanted to try something new and the NB Minimus Zero line was intriguing to me.  NB FINALLY released them a couple days ago, so I went down to the shop today and picked some up.

[Before I go on, apologies if this is just a partial repeat of the birthdayshoes review!]

I tried on both the zero road and zero trails at the store... the zero trails are obviously noticeably lighter.  But right out of the box, the zero roads were more comfortable.  The roads just seemed to fit my foot right and moved with my foot more naturally.  In comparison, the synthetic upper on the trails seem to create semi-stiff creases when you walk, so it's not as supple as the roads.  But I said screw it, I'm going with the trails anyways. 

So, I threw on my injini socks and headed down to gym to see what they were like on the treadmill... After walking around in them a while, I noticed a little burring in the front arch area of both shoes, so I was concerned that I might get some blistering or soreness.  But I'm happy to report that after almost 7 miles slow miles (over the course of about an hour), no problems!  I'm hoping that once I get them out on the road and trails a little bit, they'll soften up a little too.

Initial Impression - I LIKE!

I keep you all posted.

--greg--
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« on: March 03, 2012, 03:17:47 AM »

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tak555
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2012, 03:30:01 AM »

Here are some pics (again, nothing new, but thought I'd share):



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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2012, 05:58:29 AM »

Thanks for the review. I am considering getting both the trails and wellness. Oddly I have only tried on the roads since they were all that were released when I went to the shops.
Can you explain a bit more about the burring? I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that, thanks.

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tak555
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2012, 01:58:39 PM »

Thanks for the review. I am considering getting both the trails and wellness. Oddly I have only tried on the roads since they were all that were released when I went to the shops.
Can you explain a bit more about the burring? I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that, thanks.



sorry, yah the phrase "burring" may be a little vague and misleading.  let me try again... in the arch area, closer to the front of the shoe, one of the 'pods' protrudes ever so slightly when you strike the ground and flex.  so, even when you pick up the shoe and inspect it, the inner sole feels nice and smooth. but there's so little material used in the shoe, the pod-in-question seems to push through the inner sole a little. 

this could be isolated to me based on my foot shape or something like that... HOWEVER, like i said, after about 7 miles on the treadmill it didn't cause me any pain or discomfort, so at this point it's really a non-issue.
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2012, 01:58:39 PM »

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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2012, 08:41:18 PM »

Thanks for the review. I am considering getting both the trails and wellness. Oddly I have only tried on the roads since they were all that were released when I went to the shops.
Can you explain a bit more about the burring? I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that, thanks.



sorry, yah the phrase "burring" may be a little vague and misleading.  let me try again... in the arch area, closer to the front of the shoe, one of the 'pods' protrudes ever so slightly when you strike the ground and flex.  so, even when you pick up the shoe and inspect it, the inner sole feels nice and smooth. but there's so little material used in the shoe, the pod-in-question seems to push through the inner sole a little. 

this could be isolated to me based on my foot shape or something like that... HOWEVER, like i said, after about 7 miles on the treadmill it didn't cause me any pain or discomfort, so at this point it's really a non-issue.
Cool, that makes sense now thanks. Once I get my pair I will see if it happens to me.
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2012, 01:56:51 AM »

So what made you pick the Trails over the Roads?

Also, do you think these shoes will fall apart easy? I mean I know you're not supposed to play soccer in them, but in the instance I don't have a substitute pair of shoes will I still be able to play without having to worry TOO much? I know how thin the "flesh" of the shoe is (Practically transparent) so I think it would tear fairly easy. What do you think?
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2012, 09:50:39 PM »

Soccer shoes are built to withstand a lot of abuse to the upper. Leather, reinforced areas, strong stitching and whatnot.

I've only tried the MT00 but for serious soccer, I would wager these would fall apart quick.

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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2012, 09:56:27 PM »

Well I mean I used soccer as an example. Football, frisbee, anything!

What I'm trying to say is that if I'm hanging out with my friends and they decided they want to go out and play something will I be ok?
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tak555
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2012, 02:42:40 PM »

So what made you pick the Trails over the Roads?

Also, do you think these shoes will fall apart easy? I mean I know you're not supposed to play soccer in them, but in the instance I don't have a substitute pair of shoes will I still be able to play without having to worry TOO much? I know how thin the "flesh" of the shoe is (Practically transparent) so I think it would tear fairly easy. What do you think?

the only reason i went with trails is because i'm completely happy running in VFF bikila's on the road. however, i had a need for some minimalist shoes that also had some traction for the trails, so i decided to go with the trails. 

imo, and it's still early, but i would have no problem using these to toss around a frisbee or play some hacky sack, or stuff like that...  i would not feel confident using these as soccer shoes (maybe once or twice would be okay, but not all the time).  but they are trail running shoes, so they should be built to hold up to some level of abuse i'd think. hope that helps!
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2012, 08:37:56 PM »

I tried the Minimus Zero Trail the other day (Saturday). I needed to size down a full size (from 8.5 to 8 ) and get 4E wide to have a decent fit (1/8" clearance on big toe at mid-day which means probably perfect after a run or at the end of the day). That said, the toebox is really good if you get 4E width but mediocre akin to Merrell Barefoot if you get D width. This is odd because the clerk told me typically for Minimus people size up half a size, not size down half a size. That said, 8.5 is my Brannock Device measurement.

The upper has mesh panels on the rear and front that are pretty much see-through with a material strikingly similar to Vivobarefoot Evo's material. The tongue difference is not that drastic as New Balance described. It reduces seams a bit though if you are wearing them sans socks, but I'd wear Injinji socks unless wearing VFFs to deal with toebox slack anyway.

It's a HUGE improvement over the MT10s in weight, toebox fit, ground response, flexibility. The abrasion-resistant overlay/support seems akin to the ones used in the Minimus Multisport.

I didn't bother with the road version because it's heavier than KSOs/Seeya, isn't meant to be barefoot (or as toesalad's review puts it: "NB is not marketing this sole as being close-to-barefoot, it is a zero-drop minimalist shoe" - http://www.toesalad.com/reviews/new-balance-minimus-zero-first-impressions) and the colorways are really flashy. I like the MT00BK (black) colorway better than the Minimus Road ones (only saw red and white with red). Since the Road supposedly cradles the midfoot ("The Minimus Zero Road EVA midsole curves up on the sides which - I am assuming - is designed to cradle the foot. Unfortunately for me and my wide mid-foot, this foam presses into the side foot uncomfortably" - http://www.toesalad.com/reviews/new-balance-minimus-zero-first-impressions) , the Trail's lugs are relatively flat, and also the Road one has no lugs I don't think I'd ever buy the Minimus Road when the Altra Adam and Saucony Hattori AW exists.

* I suppose maybe the Road one doesn't let water in and has more groundfeel due to surface area?
- "One thing you need to be aware of with a design like this is that if there is any amount of moisture on the ground, your feet will feel it. I recently went for a run on wet pavement and quickly got wet feet as the water soaked-up through the soles. " - http://www.toesalad.com/reviews/new-balance-minimus-zero-first-impressions
- "One interesting detail to note is that water comes into this shoe VERY easily thru the bottom of the shoe - because it lacks a solid layer of material under the foot you may be surprised the first time you step in a shallow puddle and come away with wet feet!"- http://blog.summithut.com/post/2012/03/02/New-Balance-Minimus-Zero.aspx
- "In the forefoot there are gaps in between the lugs that go right through to the soft foot-bed material that is only a mm or two thick. If you poke your nail into it you can actually feel the shape of your nail inside the shoe as only a mm or two of soft material separates the sharp object from your foot. A large thorn, hawthorn or cacti, stone etc could rip right through surely??? Also, your feet get wet from beneath if you run in damp conditions!!!" - http://www.irunfar.com/2011/12/new-balance-minimus-trail-zero-and-road-zero-review.html
- "The lightest shoe in this guide, the Minimus [Zero Road] feels like a sock with an outsole. The synthetic mesh upper wraps the arch well, but opens up to provide a little breathing room through the toes. But it's not as wide as the other minimal shoes in this guide. The shape and fabric earned high marks from wear-testers for comfort. Only efficient should log a lot of miles in these shoes." - http://www.runnersworld.com/article/printer/1,7124,s6-240-400--14221-0,00.html
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 09:36:12 PM by acc » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2012, 09:54:14 PM »

How have you found the moisture/water situation to be tak/acc?
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2012, 10:07:45 PM »

How have you found the moisture/water situation to be tak/acc?

Didn't purchase it in-store because it was for full retail + tax. I'm still hesitant on buying it because it doesn't fit into this grand scheme of things I have... for 90-100 I could round out the repertoire I had in mind:

Minimal for road/dirt trail: KSO
Minimal for rocky trail: Merrell barefoot (because of rock plate) / Bormio
Casual: Merell barefoot (because black leather but with sneaker-styling) /Bormio
Dressy: Vivobarefoot Ra (oxford styling)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 10:10:39 PM by acc » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2012, 04:32:24 PM »

Long-time reader of this site, first time poster to the forums. I was so excited by the reviews and hinted-at improvements in the MT00 (MT10 wearer previously), that I jumped the gun and purchased from a UK store last month before they were offered in the states. I have had no problems with the shoes until last week and was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience:
Sockless (they feel great without socks, compared to the blister-fest the 10s encouraged on the ankles), matching friction points popped up on the top of my feet just before the big toe which coincide with a crease on the transparent fabric of the upper. After 4 miles, they basically went past blisters and into full-on cuts on my feet. It's a shame because, for lesser miles, there isn't an issue I can think of other than the occasional slick-surface traction problems. Luckily, the New Balance folks are really receptive to customer concerns and I am in the process of possibly swapping them out of the roads, but wanted to see if anyone else is having a similar problem with the rigidity of the upper fabric causing friction blisters. Or could I could this possibly be avoided by going to the EE rather than the D?

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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2012, 06:00:08 AM »

I ordered a pair of the NB Minimus Zero Trails this morning. Main reason being because i enjoy minimalist shoes and im eager to try something new. Where im at, about 1/4 of the roads are paved, therefore leaving the rest of the roads made up of dirt and gravel. Im eager to see how these hold up. I was definitely impressed by the reviews.
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2012, 05:31:41 PM »

Is it just me or does the toe box seem awfully narrow on these?
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