New Balance teased yesterday on their Facebook page a new shoe in their Minimius line — the Minimus 3090 Connect.
I hadn't heard a word about this new release from New Balance so I was intrigued. What more, there was a spastic, 30-second YouTube teaser video on the 3090 that immediately had me thinking about the soles of the New Balance Minimus Trail Zeros — the molecule-shaped soles of the Minimus 3090 just looked all too familiar. So I started seeing what I could find out about these beasts.
Want to know more? I've got video, screencaps, and stock specs and images all after the jump!
The Minimus 3090 Connect
Let's start with the teaser video. It's a quick 30 second watch that will have you guessing what you saw since it blitzs you with image after image from various disconnected scenes. Check it out:
To save you the effort of pausing this video to try to get a better sense of these shoes, I took the liberty of taking a liberal number of screencaps. Check'em out:
On watching the video and taking these screencaps, it didn't take long to start suspecting that this new Minimus wasn't a "Zero" like the Road or Trail Minimus Zeros, which have no differential from heel-to-toe. Rather, these Connect 3090s looked more built up all around but certainly more at the heel. But how much? Would New Balance go more than 4mm in differential (as that was the differential from heel-to-toe in the original Minimus Road, Trail, and Life/Wellness)?
What are the specs?
Here's FootLocker's product description:
Powered by REVlite and cradled by ground contact EVA, the NB Ionix platform redefines what an everyday running shoe can provide. The New Balance 3090 has material from the midsole to provide a plush, lightweight underfoot feel with enhanced flexibility and cushioning. Breathable mesh upper offers ventilation. Innovative REVlite midsole provides premium responsiveness and durability at a lighter weight than other foams with comparable performance. Innovative NB Ionix platform is engineered to reduce weight and enhance flexibility. Wt. 6.5 oz.
And here's NewBalance:
Much is made of what goes into shoes, but with genuine innovation and inspiration the New Balance 3090 is made truly great with what has been taken away. Inspired by the geometries of a molecule, the 3090 with Ionix technology removes some material from the midsole to create a lightweight everyday running shoe with a plush, underfoot feel with enhanced flexibility and comfort. Weighing in under 7 ounces, this shoe looks and feels so great that you may just extend your daily run by a few blocks—or by several miles!
NB Minimus is a whole new approach to footwear, a place on the spectrum from barefoot running to the traditional maximum-cushioning running shoe. Inspired by Good Form Running and designed to be worn with or without socks. With only a 4mm drop from heel to toe, as little as a third of that of a traditional running shoe, the NB Minimus collection holds a world of discovery for neutral runners; additionally, Good Form Running teaches methods of improvement for those seeking to conquer gait issues.
Did you catch the 4mm drop mention? Yep. So there's that question answered.
What's not clear is what the stack height is. Sure, you've got a 4mm drop but how thick is the Minimus Connect 3090 at the forefoot? At the heel? Are we talking something like the old Road/Trails which were around 14mm/10mm if I recall? Something more or less? At this point, I don't know.
Here are some 360° photos of the Connect 3090:
What is the Minimus Connect 3090 for?
I guess this is the big question: what is the Minimus Connect 3090 intended to be used for? Running? If so, what would be the benefit of it over the Road or Trail Zeros? Is it a transitional shoe?
Meanwhile, the marketing teaser video is showing a bunch of hardcore high-intensity exercises — sprints, box jumps (that one guy has insane ups, by the way), ring push-ups, ropes, and tire slinging all make appearances. Is the Connect 3090 geared towards CrossFit?
I'll also point out that while the molecule-looking sole of the Connect 3090 is evocative of the Minimus Trail Zeros, it doesn't have the Vibram rubber outsole.
The Big Picture, NB Filling Gaps
If I had to guess, I'd say that New Balance is aiming the Connect 3090 towards consumers who might be considering the Reebok Realflex or Nike Free — basically, folks who aren't mentally ready to go with even less shoe and want a bit more of a plush ride in their footwear. I wonder if the Connect 3090 is the most maximalist Minimus yet. It sorta looks more built up to my eye, but looks can be deceiving.
It seems FootLocker.com apparently got the green light to be the first to launch this shoe as they've got a ton in stock already. They're retailing at about $90 there. Meanwhile, ShopNewBalance also has one single colorway (so far) at the same price.
I'll wrap here and ask for feedback — what do you think about these? Any interest?
(And here are some other colorways)