As Spring 2011 comes closer, New Balance continues to leak information and photos of up their upcoming entries into the minimalist footwear market, including two "barefoot running shoes", the NB Minimus Trail and the NB Minimus Road, as well as one casual-wear shoe, the NB Minimus Wellness.
The New Balance NB Minimus line has three separate shoes — Trail, Road, and Wellness. Each features a wider toe box to allow toes to splay naturally, a reduced heel-to-toe drop (4mm), and a sole that is reduced in thickness to increase ground feel. Here are some specific details of the NB Minimus line pulled from an interview with Katherine Petrecca:
NB Minimus is a barefoot-inspired line of shoes created specifically for runners seeking a truly minimalist experience. It’s a cross-category collection, including road running, trail running, and wellness shoes ...
With NB Minimus, the idea is to balance this desire to deliver a "closer to barefoot" experience with the realities of the terrain on which people are running today, and the fact that most of us have been raised in shoes. With that in mind, for NB Minimus we developed a new, more anatomically-correct last, along with midsole heights specifically-engineered to deliver more natural movement, and better form. People will also notice that the uppers are a lot thinner, which helps reduce weight. The increased ground feel was accomplished by employing thin, flexible midsoles, and eliminating the inserts ...
To us, a meaningful 'closer to barefoot' experience is something very specific: a shoe with a neutral foot position, meaning that it has a minimal drop from heel to forefoot. It's certainly lightweight - under 8.5 ounces - although we're not content to make another lightweight shoe and call it 'minimal'. Also, and this is really important, it has to deliver a great minimal running experience - enhanced ground feel and a barefoot-compatible interior. That, of course, means reducing the number of seams, and making the shoe highly-breathable.
We specifically asked New Balance why they went with any heel-to-toe drop with the NB Minimus line and they said told BirthdayShoes, "We decided to go with a 4 mm heel-toe drop because we really wanted to make these shoes very "run-able." The reality being that most of us were raised wearing shoes, so we didn’t want to go from a 12 mm drop to totally neutral for fear of injury — the transition from 12 mm to 4 mm will still take some time. We believe we serve as a nice midpoint between truly barefoot and some of our other competitors on the market."
Below are individual details about each style of the 2011 New Balance NB Minimus.
NB Minimus Trail
The NB Minimus Trail is the New Balance shoe folks can't wait to get their hands on. It has a low 4mm heel-to-forefoot drop, a rugged Vibram sole, and a great off road look. Pictured here are a yellow for men and a blue for women. There has been an orange version in previous photos, so we are hoping they will come in many colors.
Men's NB Minimus Trail MT10GY
Women's NB Minimus Trail WT10BLG
A promotional video featuring ultramarathon runner Anton Krupicka in the NB Minimus Trail running shoes was leaked on YouTube. You can watch it here:
The NB Minimus Road is New Balance's minimalist-minded running shoe that is geared towards your every day road, concrete, and asphalt runner. Pictured here in blue and yellow for men and white and orange for women, has a bit of a retro feel. Its design is reminiscent of Nike and Onitsuka running shoes from the 1970s. Yet, it has updated colors and a minimal 4mm drop. The NB Minimus Road does not appear to have a Vibram sole but this is just speculation on our part.
Men's NB Minimus Running MR10BG
Women's NB Minimus Running WR10OG
A promotional video of the NB Minimus Road was also leaked on YouTube — however that video is no longer available. For now, check out this screencap of photos of the NB Minimus Road:'
Screen captures of the 2011 New Balance Minimus Road in a video that talks about how to run.
The New Balance NB Minimus Wellness shoe appears to be a unisex model with just one set of pictures being released by New Balance. In basic black and white, it looks a little like a cross between a nursing shoe and a moccasin. It also doesn't seem to feature a Vibram sole.
The NB Minimus Wellness seams geared towards casual wear for walking, everyday use. Though I'm sure the NB Minimus Road and NB Minimus Trail could also be used for casual wear, perhaps the NB Minimus Wellness brings some additional "barefooted-ness" to the game since it won't be used under as stressful conditions as the other varietals of NB Minimus shoes.
NB Minimus Walking WW10BK
Note: The pictures above were added to the New Balance Flickr page on October 15, 2010.
The New Balance NB Minimus coming in Spring 2011 — what do you thinK?
Is the New Balance NB Minimus going to be a major contender in the minimalist footwear world? It's hard to see how it couldn't be. The list of barefoot running shoes just isn't that long (yet) and New Balance is certainly known for making a quality product. With the backing of runners like Anton Krupicka, I'm sure the line will be very popular with Vibram Five Fingers fans who want a mono-toed option that still affords some "barefoot feel." Of course, with others like Merrell coming out with Merrell Barefoot and Vivo Barefoot, New Balance will have it's work cut out for them.
In practice, the ground feel of the Hi-rez is absolutely tremendous. Surprisingly you can’t really feel the individual hexagons underfoot, but rather it feels like one uniform sole. In a side by side comparison with the Vibram El-X, running on a varied terrain of asphalt, grass, and dirt, there was virtually no noticeable different in ground transmission. It’s really just amazing what New Balance has been able to pull off in this regard. more »
Above are the New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail (left) and 10v2 (right)
If you’re like me, then it’s time to replace those original Minimus Trails that you picked up back in 2011 just a few weeks after they were widely released. Luckily, New Balance has come through with a reboot and update of the Minimus 10 in both the Ro… more »
I should start off by admitting that I avoided trails for a while there. Especially organized single-track trail runs, when the fire of competition pushes me to run harder than I might normally. My first real running injury was on the Philosopher's Way… more »
New Balance recently released the popular Minimus MT10 Trail shoe with a leather upper.
New Balance's first minimalist shoe offerings hit the market back in the Spring of 2011. Perhaps their most popular "Minimus" style then, and perhaps even still, was the MT10 or the Minimus Trail (which we've reviewed in depth here and with video here)… more »
New Balance teased yesterday on their Facebook page a new shoe in their Minimius line -- the Minimus 3090 Connect. Here's a first look at the shoes, which seem aimed at the high-intensity fitness crowd.
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 You… more »
The New Balance Minimus Life/Wellness Zero (MW00), the latest casual, post-workout zero-dropped minimalist shoe in the NB Minimus line.
Here at BirthdayShoes.com we've provided exhaustive coverage to the new New Balance Minimus Zero line-up for 2012 — including wide reviews of the Minimus Zero Road (MR00) and Minimus Zero Trail (MT00) and a multi-user review of the Zero Road and T… more »
For all of you eagerly awaiting the first "zero drop," neutral-from-heel-to-toe minimalist/barefoot running shoes to arrive from New Balance, I'm happy to announce that the NB Minimus Zero Road (MR00 and WR00) and NB Minimus Zero Trail (MT00 or WT00) ha… more »
A look at two NB Minimus Zero Trails (MT00) - wide (4E) on the left and regular (D) on the right.
The release of the next generation of New Balance Minimus minimalist shoes — the "Minimus Zeros," so called for being the first "zero-drop" or same sole thickness at the heel as at the ball of the foot — is imminent. One exciting aspect of… more »
In a follow up to the first look at the New Balance Minimus Road Zeros (the red pair in these photos), I’ve recently had the opportunity to test out a wide version of the Minimus Road Zeros in a lime green/yellow colorway.
It's exciting that the Mi… more »
My background experience with the New Balance Minimus lineup is a bit limited as I have only really extensively used the Minimus Trail shoes for casual wear. I felt the Minimus Roads had too much of a heel on them to get a good feel of the groun… more »
Above is the New Balance 10 or Minimus Multi-Sport, a water-resistant/waterproof-ish version of the Minimus Trail.
An entirely different approach to all-season outdoor athletics, the New Balance Minimus Multi-Sport MO10 takes the proven versatile durability of a Vibram® outsole and combines it with a fitted, minimalist upper that's comfortable with or without socks. Navigate the trails through the winter months with this water- and odor-resistant Minimus edition. more »
Introducing the New Balance NewSky, a shoe that is 95% made from recycled materials - specifically plastic bottles turned into fabric for the upper. And that sole? It's the Minimus Life sole, meaning the NewSky shoe is another minimalist footwear option (despite having a small heel-to-toe differential).
New Balance recently released a new shoe built on the Minimus platform — specifically the New Balance Minimus Life/Wellness sole. It's called the newSKY. What makes the newSKY interesting as a shoe is less the fact that it has a minimal amount o… more »
A couple close-ups of the outsole on the 2012 New Balance NB Minimus Zero Trail (left) and Road (right). Both feature Vibram rubber "pods" that are separated from each other to improve sole flexibility while adding some rubber protection at high points of impact.
A look at the outsole design of the New Balance NB Minimus Zero - the first zero-dropped New Balances that cater to the trail and road barefoot/minimilist/natural running communities! more »
A few photos of the New Balance NB Minimus Cross (MX20) in red and black.
For me the NB Minimus Cross (the "MX20") were "Like-At-First-Sight." When I first opened the box I grinned at the design. We've got simple, clean lines, no flashy distractions or garish colors, and a cool contrast from the upper to the sole. I actually… more »
Building on the intentionally leaked (by New Balance PR), ultra-close-up photos of the upcoming 2012 New Balance NB Minimus (Trail) we saw a few weeks back comes new photos of the entire Minimus Zero Trail and Road shoes from a BirthdayShoes reader from… more »
2012 New Balance NB Minimus Zero Trail (my guess) teaser, close-up shots just leaked. This is the first zero-dropped New Balance for their minimalist footwear/barefoot shoes line and a departure from their original 2010 installation, which featured a 4mm heel-to-toe drop.
The folks over at New Balance have started leaking out information about their next entry into the minimalist footwear/barefoot shoes category — the New Balance NB Minimus Zero,or the NB Minimus Zero for short. The NB Minimus Zero line will, as t… more »
Gerald running in his New Balance NB Minimus Trails.
Gerald is a dedicated trail runner from New Zealand who recently put the New Balance NB Minimus Trail through its paces in the Tarawera Ultra Marathon. See what Gerald had to say about how they performed after the jump!Guest Post by Gerald Water… more »
165 people entered the NB Minimus Life Giveaway! Look at all those old shoes!
Win a FREE pair of the new New Balance NB Minimus Life shoes by entering our drawing! The random drawing will be held next Monday, March 7th. To enter, send us a picture of your last shoes before you went minimalist or any picture of shoes that need an u… more »
The New Balance Minimus Trail in black (or very dark grey) and neon yellow.
We've reviewed the New Balance Minimus Trail already, but I got my feet into a pair of the dark grey (I might call them black) and neon yellow New Balance NB Minimus Trails recently and figured I'd do a little video overview and snap some photos to share… more »
Two shots of the New Balance NB Minimus Life barefoot shoes being released by New Balance for Spring 2011. These are meant for casual, everyday wear or light fitness (nearest I can tell).
I've been wearing a pair of the NB Minimus Life shoes almost exclusively since I got them about a week ago. I'd say this was for testing purposes only (Disclaimer: New Balance sent me these to test), but truth is, I just really like these shoes. more »
New Balance just released an interview with ultramarathon runner Tony Krupicka and New Balance shoe designer Chris Wawrousek that talks about the iterative design process behind the NB Minimus Trail shoe. The post includes the leaked video of Anton Krup… more »
Screen captures of the New Balance Minimus Trail "barefoot running shoe" set to be released in 2011 by NB. The video these shots were pulled from features ultramarathoner Anton Krupicka.
Two New Balance Minimus (available Spring 2011) marketing videos have appeared on youtube. We haven't had time to do any analysis of them yet, but here they are:The first features ultra marathoner Anton Krupicka wearing the orange Minimus seen in pre… more »
New Balance has released some macro photos of one of their upcoming shoes for their new line called the Minimus. The New Balance Minimus line is intended to cater to needs within the growing minimalist footwear / "Barefoot shoe" movement.
New Balance recently reached out to the minimalist running blogging community with news of their upcoming, Spring 2011 new shoe line called the New Balance Minimus by way of sending off some macro photos of a pair of Minimus shoes. New Balance reached o… more »
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