Comment from: John [Visitor]
John

I have to say they're pretty ugly compared to last year's. I have thin (low-volume) feet, so the strap might be good for me, but I don't like the way it looks. Regardless, it doesn't look like they made the toe box any bigger. I tried a 15 last year (only available in the Life) and had plenty of room for my big and second toes but not enough for 3 & 4. Too pointy of a design in my opinion.

03/13/12 @ 14:49
Comment from: Jeepman [Visitor]
Jeepman

What's the deal with the geriatric looking Velcro strap? Lol! I think I'll pass on these. It's a shame that NB continues to screw up the design of their new models. It's like they listened at the beginning, but now they've gone off on their own tangent. They should have corrected the small things they got wrong with their first models. I have to say I had high expectations for the second generation of minimalist shoes from NB, but they've been nothing but a disappointment.

03/13/12 @ 15:15
Comment from: admin [Member]  

@John,

Yeah they could really round out the toe box -- I feel like the new Minimus Life is even more pointy than the old one but that could be an optical illusion.

@Jeepman,

Geriatric about nails it. That said, I totally disagree with the idea that NB actually screwed up with the Road or Trail Zeros. To me, both are vast improvements over the originals -- particularly the Road Zero. The original Roads were very built up in the upper and somewhat stiff in the upper not to mention quite stiff in the sole being totally covered in rubber over foam. The Trails (MT10) had a lot going for them comparatively as they had a pretty solid upper design that I still like -- only problem with them was their too inflexible sole (better than the Roads though) and the "Rubber band" over the midfoot, which put way too much pressure on the foot there.

The Trail Zeros are a wild new design, incredibly mininimalist and flexible and really a whole new, better shoe. Mind, they probably could have gone a less extreme route in their Zero-ification of the Trails and I could see a MT10/MT00 hybrid that could borrow on the 10s upper materials with the 00s sole -- that'd be a pretty awesome shoe, actually, but it'd weigh a little more.

The Road Zeros are much improved over the originals, but the faulty sole ridges really damage them overall. A bummer. They're still better than the original Roads though.

03/13/12 @ 16:00
Comment from: Nick Hind [Visitor]
Nick Hind

After reading your review I picked up the original Life/Wellness on an overseas trip and they're still my favourite minimalist shoe. Super comfy, just enough cush for everyday use and so nice on the foot. Strangely Australia didn't even get the originals, but we do get these ones! I've already bought the Road Zeros (online from UK at half price in Australia) and hear what you're saying about the ridges on the edge of the sole. I've just sent mine back as there is a slightly raised seam under my toes on the right foot that gives blisters in no-time. So close and yet ...

03/13/12 @ 18:47
Comment from: chirmer [Visitor]
chirmer

So glad I got the Originals when I did! I love them to pieces and recommend them to everyone who thinks toe shoes are weird. Sucks they're gonna be discontinued though :( Might have to pick up another pair before they go!

03/13/12 @ 19:36
Comment from: GrimReeper [Visitor]  
GrimReeper

I don't mind the style of the new Zero Wellness, although I do agree it could be a little too grey.
I have been considering getting the original Life's since I first read your review on them but with slip on shoes I seem to have the opposite problem, I have a rather low instep so I can never get the shoes the hug my foot tightly enough for a good fit.
How does the instep on the original Life's compare to say VFF's?
Thanks

03/13/12 @ 20:37
Comment from: Matthew Goh [Visitor]
Matthew Goh

It seems too much shoe to qualify as a minimalist shoe, just me maybe....
Anyone been wearing Lemings (previously known as Stem.) Waiting for mine to arrive.. Meantime, would really like to hear some user's review.

Shoutout to Leming's customer service - Andrew, Lindsey, you guys are awesome. Still yet to receive..but i believe it's worth the wait..

03/13/12 @ 22:08
Comment from: Matthew Goh [Visitor]
Matthew Goh

Just to add..no prejudice or malice here (in case i'm being misunderstood), if these are considered minimalist shoes..how abt Converse Chuck Taylor Slim? Someone should do a review on them. Basic, cheap and super shoes- the forgotten heroes. My opinion, that is..

03/14/12 @ 02:14
Comment from: A C C [Visitor]
A C C

I don't classify these as barefoot, more like minimalist.

A 12mm stack height is quite a bit, at least for forefoot, but then the Merrell Bare Access is more by 1mm (13mm stack) and the Road Glove is 10-11mm stack height. It's roughly the same forefoot stack height as the Nike Free 3.0 / Saucony Kinvara.

The weight is within reason though, seeing how the Minimus Road Zero is around that weight (6.4oz or so). What bothers me is the lack of rubber in the midfoot area. The Minimus Road and Trail both cover the fifth metatarsal ray, although the Road version does a better job.

I think the problem is the comparison of something that's "casual"/ "wellness" / "life" to something built to be fast but not as well-rounded like the Minimus Trail. 6.5oz is still light any way you cut it: the Nike Free 3.0 and Kinvara weigh more and so do VFF Komodosports, Vivobarefoot Evo/Neo, Merrell Road Glove. It's on par with the Vivobarefoot Aqua Lite / Stem Footwear Origins weight. It's a step backward from the original, but it's still reasonable.

They could have shaved off weight by coring out (such as by putting lightening holes on, like on the VFF Seeya) the enormous strap though. It's annoyingly made when you think about it. If the strap doesn't adjust tightness it just adds weight. On this they tried to make something akin to the Bikila strap design: there's a heel cup/collar but it is tensioned by a strap. On VFFs if you don't unhook the strap it's almost impossible to get your foot in/out. If Justin is not an anomaly, then that means the strap is just weight or what I would call a lame "decoration".

I feel like the Saucony Hattori represents a better level of minimalism, as a zero drop shoe with more stack height, compared to the new Minimus Wellness. It also weighs less at 4.4oz even though it has the same 12mm stack height.

New Balance made the most improvements in the Road version. If you look at the sole, the old one was basically a slab of EVA. The old upper was also really not something I would consider minimalist at 8.2 oz coming mostly from the upper since it was an EVA sole. It was sad that the Trail version was used more for road running than the Road one was at least on all the blogs I read, and at 7.5 oz the NB Minimus Trail MT10 (MT20 was 6.5oz) wasn't extremely light either.

03/14/12 @ 20:53
Comment from: Matt [Visitor]
Matt

I really like the OG Wellness and was waiting for these to come out based on last years shoe. I'm on the fence about picking these up. I might just get another pair of Stem/Lemings.

03/14/12 @ 21:43
Comment from: Jimmy Hart [Visitor]
Jimmy Hart

Would you run in this one? I think I recall the original being something that could also be run in if you wanted it for that since it was really a better shoe than the Roads. With the changes made for the new Zero I wonder if it would be decent for running.

03/15/12 @ 19:25
Comment from: Malcolm Elliot [Visitor]
Malcolm Elliot

I'm looking for a minimalist casual shoe just to wear around during the day, and I'm on the fence about these, I really like that they are zero drop (I have an old pair of Adidas shoes that have a nice big toe-box but have a really large heal pad.) The thing that concerns me about these shoes are the ridges at the edge of the sole, I think that would be annoying. I have relatively slim feet, and so maybe it wouldn't bother me.

You should do a video review of these, it would be really helpful in knowing whether or not to buy these.

Thanks!

03/19/12 @ 20:42
Comment from: Steve M [Visitor]
Steve M

I have had the originals for sometime now and while I love them, my right foot is a bit too loose and I am pretty sure it has started to cause arch problems. I have low volume feet and I kind of wished the elastic strap was tighter or something. I am pretty sure that is what is causing the arch pain in the right.

It was my first go and I love it. Outside of the velcro strap, I am not a big fan of pretty much all of the changes. Like you those back loops make it easy to slip on and just go in a hurry.

05/22/12 @ 20:56
Comment from: alvinj88 [Visitor]
alvinj88

is it okay to run with these?

10/22/12 @ 03:30
Comment from: Ryan Timothy [Visitor]  
Ryan Timothy

Did they release a 2013 model?

08/28/13 @ 23:35
Comment from: Chris C [Visitor]
Chris C

Man I am so bummed I missed out on the original 2011 model. I'd been searching high and low for a good looking, comfortable slip on shoe ever since my slip on shoes that I'd worn for 10 years had finally given out on me. It's a shame about the 2012 models, and looking at the New Balance site, it doesn't seem like there is a new version of these for 2013... :( Maybe 2014...? haha

09/30/13 @ 19:19
Comment from: thom flaherty [Visitor]
thom flaherty

read the reviews, LOVE the originals ,do not understand why they dropped the model. what irks me sometime is why these companies never consult the people who throw down the money and buy.what do we want in conjunction with what they "know" to be better. how do you let new balance know ? e mail ???

11/07/13 @ 19:31