Barefoot Shoes

New Balance Minimus Zero First Look


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…

Updated 3/1/2012 for the release! On March 1, 2012, New Balance finally released their next generation of minimalist shoes in their Minimus line — the Minimus Zero Roads and Trails! It’s been about a year since New Balance rolled out their first shoes under the “Minimus” line — minimally soled trail, road, and “wellness” or life shoes (we’ve reviewed them all, including the recent water/winter update called the “multisport” as well as the made-from-recycled-plastic newSKY). The first generation of New Balance Minimus shoes lacked a neutral sole, meaning the first gen “Minimi” didn’t have a “zero drop” sole (one where the sole is the same thickness at heel and forefoot). Rather, they had a heel that was about 4mm more thick than the forefoot. Why is that so important? Namely because an elevated heel impacts your biomechanics by making it harder to land midfoot or forefoot, and by extension, easier to heel strike (more on this via Lieberman). What’s 4mm? It’s certainly not much, but still enough to notice if you’ve (re-)learned natural biomechanics/neutral shoe walking and running. Thankfully, the 2nd generation Minimus shoes from New Balance are taking out the 4mm and going “full monty” — neutral from heel to toe, and as you’ve probably guessed, this is why they are dubbed the “Zero.” Finally, “zero drop” minimalist footwear from New Balance! The wait was killing me! Meanwhile, the Minimus Zeros also have a revamped, wider toe box to allow your toes to expand laterally on impact. The overall weight and stack height is also reduced compared to the original Minimus collection. About two weeks ago the fine folks at New Balance kind enough to send a pair each of Minimus Zero Road and Minimus Zero Trail shoes to a few of us Birthday Shoes’ bloggers — Tim Kelley, Leah Sakellarides, and me (Justin). What follows is something you won’t find anywhere else on the web — a first look at both the Minimus Zero Road and Trail from three people in one place, plus video, plus over 50 photos. Read on and see and hear our first take!

Tim’s First Look at the Minimus Zero Trail and Minimus Zero Road from New Balance

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 ground and have stuck to road running in Vibrams FiveFingers.

Minimus Road Zero [Tim]

I was very excited when the first Minimus ZERO photos leaked out as I thought they would be more in line with what I was looking for in a minimalist shoe. I’ve been wearing the Road ZEROs for about two weeks now casually and for running. I’m in love with the styling (I’ve been rocking the bright red, and especially like the one-sided “burrito-style” attached tongue) and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on them. Overall, they are quite comfortable and so far my only qualm has been with the narrow width of sole under the arch of my foot. I have rather wide feet and my foot strains the soft uppers and spills over onto the inside of the sole. I haven’t experienced this problem with either the Minimus Trail or the Minimus Trail ZERO (discussed below) so going up a half size here might be one potential solution. While running, the Minimus Road ZEROs have a wide enough toe box to allow for my feet to expand with each step and the soles provide more than enough protection while still giving a decent feel for the ground. I think they would be a great shoe to use if one was transitioning from traditional running shoes to something very minimal like the FiveFingers. I should also note that I run on varied surfaces and from a traction point of view, the Road ZEROs did great on asphalt, brick and concrete but I did notice they were extremely slick on metal grates, especially when wet, where that hasn’t been a problem in other running shoes.

Men’s New Balance Minimus Road Zero [Photo Gallery by Tim]

Minimus Trail Zeros [Tim]

I also really like the look and feel of the Trail ZEROs. While I haven’t gotten enough of an opportunity to check out the Trail ZEROs from a running perspective, from the few times I’ve worn them casually I’ve found that they are comfortable once I get them on my feet. Again, the toe box is nice and wide and New Balance has done away with that annoying “strap” on last year’s Minimus Trails that went across the metatarsals. This was my biggest complaint with wearing the older Trails for long periods of time, as my feet would start to feel cramped, but now my foot can expand with each step. From a weight standpoint, they are actually on par with some of the lighter Vibram FiveFingers. New Balance saved a lot of weight in the uppers by using a very thin nylon-like mesh which is translucent in places. The tongue is a single piece of thin fabric so actually putting them can pose a bit of a problem. The tongue tends to folds over on itself and the lack of much structure in the uppers means I have loosen the laces quite a bit to slip my foot inside and then I have to retighten and adjust everything once my foot is properly seated. When moving in them, the uppers have a tendency to buckle over onto itself right above of the metatarsals which feels is a bit awkward. I haven’t gotten the chance to take them out on the dirt trails yet, but I am apprehensive about how much support the uppers will be able to provide for side to side motion on quick switchbacks. Only time will tell how good a trail shoe they’ll be, but they are quite comfortable and other than the difficulties in putting them on, should make a great addition to the Minimus line.

Men’s New Balance Minimus Zero Trail [Photo Gallery by Tim]

Tim’s Takeaways (and Video!)

Overall, I like the direction that New Balance is headed with a truly minimal sole and looking forward to testing these out a bit more. Now for some video!

Leah’s First Look at the Minimus Zero Trail and Minimus Zero Road from New Balance

Minimus Zero Road [Leah]

Form meets function… yes! That’s a win in my book. I love the look and feel of these. Not only have I been wearing them running, but I wear them all over the place since they look great on. (I’ve even worn them skateboarding on my longboard). They’re styled like a low profile trainer with sleek lines and a different approach to the tongue… a mono-tongue. I love the idea of it. It’s a great new design that hugs the top of my foot nicely. I’m especially drawn to the extremely soft mesh upper. It feels great on the foot and has lots of give and flexibility. It sort of feels like I’m wearing a thick sock rather than a shoe. I haven’t had any hot-spots and my toes have lots of room to spread out in the wider toe box. They’re super lightweight too. My women’s size 8 weighs in at 4.9oz per shoe (9.8oz/pair). No clunkiness here! I took the Minimus Zero Roads out for a few 3 mile runs on an asphalt trail with some hills and they performed great! The word that always comes to mind is “spongy”. The midsole is made of REVlite which is a durable foam compound that has ⅓ less weight than an average compound found in a typical midsole. This seems to add a little bit of a spongy softness factor to the feel of the sole. The minimized 12mm stack heights of the heel and forefoot give the feeling of being closer to the ground. The sole features a Vibram R-Lite rubber with large low circular lugs. Since they are meant to be worn on the road, you don’t need an aggressive tread. The sole is designed with an almost completely level surface except for some contact points that are strategically placed for prominent points of impact. It provides the perfect amount of traction and a surprisingly good amount of flexibility. The 0mm drop is definitely noticeable as well. Having a level sole allows for a nice neutral stance and your foot is capable of striking more naturally. Only a minor gripe, I still feel “aware” of the Zero Road while I’m running since there’s lots of room in the toe box. My forefoot and toes tend to move and shift around in there which reduces my agility. It doesn’t deter me from wearing them though, this shifting seems to come with the territory of a wider toe box. I’d like to have a more form fit, but then my toes would not be able to stretch out naturally. I’m digging the Zero Roads so far! Since they look great on you can also wear these as a casual shoe. Also, the fabric is so light, soft, and forgiving that they would be great to travel with. You could throw them in your suitcase or duffel without having them eat up a lot of room or adding excess weight. If you’re in the market for a super lightweight road runner you might want to check these out when they come out in the spring, they are so unbelievably soft and comfortable that you may not ever take them off!

Women’s New Balance Minimus Zero Road [Photo Gallery by Leah]

Minimus Zero Trail [Leah]

The Minimus Zero Trail is an ultra-minimal flyweight model with a new Vibram T-Lite outsole. They are so lightweight that my size 8 only weighs 3.7oz each (7.4 oz pair). New Balance took the design to another level with these new trail runners. These are some futuristic looking kicks! They’re bold, but I really dig the bright orange color. They come across techie with the grid pattern and the white contrasting detail and laces. The upper is made of an ultra-thin, laser cut, fully-welded overlay. It’s a more structured fabric, but they’re comfortable and I haven’t had any hot-spots. Also, the tongue is soft and almost feels like a second skin on the top of the mid-foot. The only thing that gets me is the toe box. There’s a paper thin translucent “window” on the top through which you can see your toes. It isn’t a forgiving fabric and it folds funny causing it to make a popping sound when I step (you can see it folding in the closeup shot). I also feel this structured material of the window against the top of my my toes while I’m running. It doesn’t do any harm, it’s just a minor annoyance. I don’t feel as if that area of the upper is working in sync with my step since it’s not very forgiving. It’s sort of crinkles instead of flexing with my foot. The Vibram T-Lite outsole is built using a bubble-like pattern with cushioning pods that are strategically placed based on common points of impact as studied on the previous Minimus trail model. I ran my usual dirt single track trail in them a few times for a couple of miles each time. I feel nice and close to the ground with the heel and forefoot stack height of 13mm, and the 0mm drop definitely encourages a natural mid-foot strike. The sole has great traction but the pods are prominent and noticeable to me with each step. I’d say it feels a little like wearing some sort of modified cleat. I can feel the raised pod placement on the heel and forefoot with every strike. I have a nice range of motion and good flexibility, but I don’t feel as nimble or stable as I’d like. The heel feels nice and form fitting, but my toes move around quite a bit in the front. This tends to cause me to adjust my footing to accommodate the shoe on sharp rocky turns. Again, the material of the upper isn’t forgiving so I feel a little as though the shoe has a mind of it’s own and doesn’t “work” with me… especially on steep inclines and sharp turns. I’d feel more agile on the downhills if the material on the toe box had a little more flexibility and give to it. I’ve also found the laces to be quite long and I have tie them twice to keep them from hitting the ground. I really dig the idea of these trail runners. They look awesome, they’re ultra lightweight, and they’re very comfortable. The only thing is the material of the upper is extremely thin and feels a little like paper to me. It has a mind of it’s own and sort of bounces back into place instead of having some give to it. I’d like to see how it performs over a longer period of time. Maybe it will break in and have more flex with wear.

Women’s New Balance Minimus Zero Trail [Photo Gallery by Leah]

Justin’s First Look at the Minimus Zero Trail and Minimus Zero Road from New Balance

Minimus Zero Road [Justin]

What can I say that hasn’t already been covered by Leah and Tim? Well, I’ll say that if you’re already familiar with the Minimus Life uppers, then the Road upper is going to feel very familiar. Actually, I’d go so far as to say the entire shoe reminds me a bit of a neutral version of the first generation Minimus Life/Wellness, which to this day is still my favorite of the first Minimus line, largely due to the extreme comfort provided by the silky soft/smooth/sock-like upper. The Minimus Zero Road takes that upper and gives it a neutral, zero dropped sole. Not surprisingly, this works exceedingly well. Compared to the 1st generation Minimus Roads, the Minimus ZERO Roads are night and day better. I found the first Minimus Roads to be head scratchers — very built up in the upper and pretty stiff-soled. Overall, I just didn’t find them that foot friendly and they seemed very disconnected from both the Trail and Life/Wellness. Thus, I am really happy to see New Balance take a fresh stab at the Road with the Zero. I’ve only had a brief amount of time to test the Zero Roads, which given Thanksgiving and other insanity in my life, has mostly been relegated to casual wear with some heavy lifting thrown in. I actually liked the Roads for heavy lifting (dead lifts), which is something considering I’ve not been a huge fan of the older Minimus shoes for things like squats and dead lifts. Looks-wise the red/white is loud but provocative. For some reason, this colorway just looks rich — fancy — to me. I feel I could wear them to an Indian wedding with a fancy bejeweled kurta top. I digress. Bottom line: world’s better than the first Minimus Road. Awesomely comfortable on the inside against my bare foot.

Minimus Zero Trail [Justin]

The Minimus Zero Trail is a daring attempt at minimalist shoe design. It’s hard to say just what struck me most about them when I first pulled them out of the box. First off, they are incredibly light. The Minimus Trail is the lightest of all the new Minimus Zeros with the men’s 9.5 coming in at only 4.4 oz! It’s amazingly light to hold and compared to the gen-1 Minimus Trails, the Zero Trails are featherweights. New Balance apparently went to lengths to minimize weight by coring out the EVA midsole wherever possible, something they only loosely did with the soles of the first Minimus Trails. They also worked to reduce the Vibram Rubber: rubber is used sparingly and piecemeal — you see the Vibram rubber clustered at the forefoot (comprised of six separated sections of Vibram rubber pod sections) and at the heel (two separate Vibram rubber sections) — as with this photo. The coring and separated rubber not only reduces weight, it also lends to crazy flexibility in the sole. Other weight reductions are made by eliminating the thicker upper material and replacing it with this mono-filament fabric that is welded together (rather than stitched). As noted above, the material is translucent: when you wear the shoes you can see your toes in blurry outline through the toe box window (weird at first and awesome over time). Apparently, this material doesn’t soak up water making it more trailworthy. I’ll also say it seems to breath very well compared to the 1st Minimus — cold air is immediately felt on the foot on heading outside. This high-tech monofilament fabric also has a stiffness to it — a structure — which is what lends the upper support and shape. And if there’s any issue with the Trail, I’d cite this as it. As both Leah and Tim noted, the upper fabric has a tendency to crease in odd ways — sorta like paper. In particular, it indents around my metatarsals, most noticeably around the inside, bottom of my foot right by my first metatarsal (big toe side of my foot). See this pic for reference and follow the grooves. It’s almost like my foot is stressing the sole, which is the greatest point of structure on this shoe, at a point that causes a fold to push in on my foot at this point. I half expected to get a blister there after prolonged wear but a weekend’s worth of wear walking miles about Atlanta didn’t seem to cause any issues. Meanwhile, the angle of compression while running doesn’t seem to trigger the same indentation (so it’s not really bothersome there). What’s going on here? Well, if I had to guess, it has something to do with the flattening out of the Trail Zeros when they’re fully loaded with my weight, specifically when my weight is distributed evenly from heel to toe. You see, the cored out, rubber at front and back (but not at the arch) sole collapses completely under the load of my full weight (as with standing). When I’m running, my heel only gets loaded at the end of a step, and even then it’s only for the briefest of moments before I am back at my toe-off. More testing is required. Meanwhile, it does seem that he fabric will break in a bit over time. I”ll also say that despite not having the silky smooth sockliner of the Road Zero (or Life/Wellness or original Minimus Trail), the inside of the Zero Trail is still quite comfortable on my bare skin (creasing excepted). I actually wonder if a wider version of the Zero Trail will fix this problem (you will be able to buy these wide by the way!). When you see a ton of minimalist/barefoot shoes, you see a lot of design compromise — it’s hard to get the balance just right and if you add too much toe box, you make the shoe too loose. If you structure the upper too much, it loses flexibility (dorsiflexibility!) and adds heft (and the sense of being weighted down on the foot). Toe boxes in and of themselves are a compromise by default (Read my “Why toe shoes?” post for more), and introduce all sorts of challenges as far as designing foot friendly, dynamic footwear. All of which is to say that something about the Minimus Zero Trail design really strikes me — sorta like how I can look at a mountain bike and just appreciate the design. I can’t help but appreciate the Zero Trails mixture of elements to be as light as possible, as minimally there as possible, and yet still have some element of being a “shoe” with structure (And not just some water booty). The Zero Trail isn’t flawless at all, but it will clearly push the envelope in the minimalist footwear market. It’s a daring effort from New Balance. Finally, the Minimus Trail Zero ditched the rubber-band over the metatarsal area of the foot that you got with the first Minimus Trail. I don’t think anyone will miss it. I look forward to putting these to the test further. In the meantime, I’ll keep seeing how the upper fabric breaks in.

Available as of 3/1/2012

The Minimus Zero Roads and Trails became available for sale on 3/1/2012 — both online and in some stores! If you’re an online shopper, you can check them out for $110 over at If you pick up a pair, we’re super eager to hear what you think of them so comment below or email us!
About the Author — Tim is a bicycle advocate by profession and an Ironman triathlete for fun which keeps him healthy and fit. He got into minimalist footwear during the summer of 2009 after dealing with injuries resulting from running in “normal” running shoes. Check out what’s going on in Tim’s life through photos at or follow him on twitter: @TimKelleyDotNet
About the Author — Leah lives in southern California and writes a creative lifestyle blog about adventure, travel, and photography. She interviews inspiring women and feature travel tips such as how to pack a backpack. She can’t live without avocados, standup paddling, mountain biking, and cameras.

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

51 replies on “New Balance Minimus Zero First Look”

Whew! That’s a lot to take in. But, what a great first-look post! And, those photos are fantastic. I’m definitely looking forward to the release of these in a few months. Thanks!

Hello everyone…

thanks for another great review. Can’t wait to see these in stores.

Question: I’ve been running almost exclusively in my Inov8 Road 155’s lately. How does the cushioning on these new Minimus Roads stack up against the 155? Stiffer? firmer?

While I love the 155s, I sometimes wish that it was just a touch softer underfoot.

Thanks and keep up the great work!

Stan (

ok i have been reading your views for a little over a year now . . . by the way thank you so much. i have the new balance trail minimus in the black and yellow and from the pictures post above the new color palette for 2012 seems crazy loud. is there any talk of maybe some not so bright color choices as well

Do any of these new Minimus Zero models come in a wider shoe? I wear the vibram five fingers shoes pretty much every day, but I could not fit into any of the earlier Minimus models. Thanks for any input!

Please tell me that NB will have some more subdued color options. These colors remind me of the overly bright technicolor styles of the Vivo Barefoot. Just give me some black or dark blue colors and I am good. I wear these types of shoes for function, not to look like a circus clown.

Also, unrelated topic, but does anyone else find it interesting how Vibram FiveFingers are on sale all over the place now? Could it be that sales are down?

Tim, I think you pretty much confirmed what I suspected would happen on the road version, but if you don’t mind can you elaborate a little more? One of the biggest issues I have with almost every minimalist road shoes on the market today is that the area under the middle of the foot is too narrow for people with wide feet. This causes my foot to spill over the platform and potentially overpronate while running, which is what I’ve been trying to get away from with minimalist shoes. This isn’t a problem with anything low to the ground like Vibrams that don’t have a built up platform. Any word from NB on a wide version? How tall is the platform and how much impact does the narrow center have?


Great reviews. I a looking forward to buying a pair as soon as they become available in 2E or 4E. Any word on when that will be?

I like that you’ve put so many people’s reviews in one post. Another reason to make this a Go-To website for barefoot updates.

Those don’t look any wider than the originals. NB has been told over and over again to come out with wider widths. If they fail on this again, then they will not get my business.

Great review, all! I want some trails.

The trail Leah is running on looks like the stuff I used to run all over when I was in the Marine Corps on Camp Pendleton. Man I miss those days…

So far I’ve really liked my NB Minimus Trails and I’m anticipating the zero drop which I think will better compliment my Bikilas. After reading the reviews I’m very interested in what becomes of that upper material, will it break-in? Hope to see a follow up review before they’re realeased.

Thanks for the website!!

Almost forgot, for some strange reason I love my running shoes with crazy loud colors and these are right up my alley 🙂

In September New Balance posted that the Zero would be available in 4E for men and 2E for women.

The shape of the last at the forefoot is as important as the width. NB has a variety of lasts. Some that have worked very well for me for decades have been replaced by new lasts which are poor matches to my foot shape.

yes! the tongue that is on the roads is going to be so nice. my scarpa climbing shoes have that attached tongue and they feel so nice. i cant wait fro these to come out.

Still looks like they havent done much in the way of traction. Plus I hoped they would add a rock plate of some sort. I live in the white mountains NH and all the rock running and tree roots cause serious foot brusing.

The following 00 models have already been released here in Australia:
– MR00 (red colour)
– WR00 (white colour – they look hot!)
– WT00 (turquoise colour – super light)
– MW00 (walking – that answers your question @Kai

They are better than the pictures. The WT00 is insanely light – just waiting for the MT00 to arrive..

Thanks for the great coverage – look like some great new models. I’ve got the Minimus Life which Justin reviewed and they’ve been great.
Here in Australia we got a really bad range of the first gen Minimus and I had to get the Life overseas.
Just saw on the NB Australia website a new Minimus Life the MW00 and haven’t seen these in any reviews or on other sites.
Surely this is not a scoop for us neglected Aussies?!!
Anyone seen/tried them?

Hi Nick,

Believe it or not – it is absolutely a scoop for us Aussies! From what I understand, the Zero’s have been released here BEFORE the US!!

I can say with absolute confidence, that they have been hugely popular in-store – up next to the Vibram FiveFingers, Inov-8 and Merrell Barefoots. There are is a local site and blog that covers this.. not sure if I can put the links in here – but search locally and you will find us (in Sydney, CBD).

They look great, I just transitioned to VFF, and I love them but I am looking for something more rugged for the trails around here.

100 bucks seems to much, since I want to run a marathon, and I dont think I will be ready to fun it in my VFF, I would need to buy the minimus road, and minimus trail to be able to do it.

Or dou you think the Zero Trail could be used to sun a marthon? with that sole it seems not.

What are your opinions about this?

one more question I have is:
in either the minimus trail mt10 and the minimus mt20, how should I select the sizing?

I mean should I select my normal shoe sizing? or has it to be fitted as the VFF?

Thanks in advcance!

I have more question though:

what about the sizing on the minimus trail? If I order them, should I select my usual shoe size? or are they fitted like the VFF??

Thanks for any response,

Cesar I believe it should be normal shoe size. It isn’t as fitted as VFF’s.

If anyone is interested Barefoot Athlete has these for sale if you’re in the UK.

I’m stoked about the new line of Minimus! I love my first generation Minimus, so any improvement will be appreciated. As an owner of 2 pairs of Vibrams, too, I’m a huge fan of your site and the feedback I get about the new (and current) minimalist footwear out there. I own a fitness training center ( in Southern California, and am constantly trying to convince our clients to adopt minimalist footwear, not only for the gym, but for the trail runs we lead and the obstacle course races in which we run. Your site is a great informational resource from which we can reference useful info for our clients. Do you know if any of the companies featuring shoes that you review offer discounts to people in the fitness industry who represent their products?

Great reviews from everyone. I’m looking forward to the trail shoes but I’m a little apprehensive about the mesh upper. As it might be a little to uncomfortable for longer runs. And possibly very prone to ripping. But I guess will see.

Would love to try the new models — I have last year’s Minimus Trail….I just wish they got a little more neutral with the colors.

I was super excited for these to come out and actually almost ordered a pair online without trying them on. I’m incredibly glad I went to the store and tried them out before purchasing. I have to say, honestly I am horrifically disappointed. They both felt and looked like they would fall apart in my hands and really felt awkward on my feet as well.

I have instead opted to go with a pair of the Merrell Trail Gloves to supplement my VFF KSO’s.

Don’t take this as a full blown review, as I haven’t actually tried them on the road or trail. I do, however, strongly suggest trying them on before ordering.

I’ve had the MT00 for about 4 weeks and have now done one hundred miles in them (including a 32 mile Yorkshire fell race). They are fantastically comfortable (only problem has been socks rubbing on the top of my toes – a first) but be aware the shoes wear very quickly. The fabric has creased and worn through on the inside of my big toes (both shoes) and a trip through heather has ripped the fabric in the arch of the left shoe. As well, the heels have worn much faster than I could have imagined (OK – maybe I’m not the world’s best barefoot runner).

Not sure it makes any difference having the fabric ripped (it’s so minimal that it probably doesn’t make any difference having holes in it) but I’d rather it hadn’t happened so quickly.

An interesting features is that water comes up through the sole because of the holes. Even wet grass will give you wet socks but the experience of snow is agonising because there is so much water moving through the shoe that it never warms up.

I bought them partly because they are so cheap compared to Inov-8s and FiveFingers (I have used both) but, given how quickly they have worn, they could be (per mile) the most expensive shoe I have every bought.

Still, I do rather like them… The weight makes it all seem worthwhile!

Tried on the MT10, MT00, and MR00. The strap that goes over the top of the MT10 bothered the hell out of my left foot for some reason. Also, it’s supposed to have no arch support, but I felt it. MT00 was super comfortable and incredibly light. Although I didn’t like the see-through fabric. MR00 was also super comfortable, too. But I didn’t like the design nearly as much as the MT00. And not being so much a runner as an all-around fitness guy, I chose the MT00. I hope it doesn’t tear apart on me. Going to take it out for a jog and some weight training later today.

I am running the first gen minimus road. They were my first considerably minimal shoes (my previous shoes were asics speedstar 5)

I am glad New Balance took the idea of the burrito style toungue. I messaged them saying they should do it for less seams and easier to build. not to mention id assume more comfortable.

Thanks for the reviews!

I have been wearing a pair of the MT00 around the house and find the creasing of the papery upper really annoying. As the shoes wear in, do you feel it and hear it less? I love the idea of a light shoe but will probably return them as it seems really distracting. Thanks for any insights!

These are the noisiest shoes I have ever worn. The new material clicks with every stride when jogging and the noise is noticeably louder when walking after a run.

After wearing out two pairs of MT100Bs these are a disappointment.

Jim – Thanks for your update and sorry about the annoying noise!

I returned mine and was questioning if I made the right decision. I think NB will figure out the right “balance,” just wish it would happen tomorrow!

Same here; wish it would happen tomorrow. In the mean time I picked up some new Merrill Road Gloves and they are working pretty well; quiet, good fit and feel good.

I bought s pair of WR00 (tiny size 5) snc brought them home. I hated the “support” under the arch of my foot. For whatever reason the WT00 are formed to your foot more that the WT00 on the outer sole. The roads are flat instead of curved like your arch. I hated this. My second issue was that I received a defective pair where the stitching was bulky and crooked.
So I returned them hoping for a non defective pair. My size 5 are hard to come by so my local nb store is ordering a pair for me. Against the advice of the nb manager, I got him to order the WT00 for my everyday shoe. I want a barefoot shoe, with the thinnest sole, without a weird wide toe box like vivos. I returned a pair of Vivo Neo airmesh bc the sole was too thick snd hard feeling under my foot. It was not comfortable. The trails will take a week to come in.

I also ordered a pair of five finger sprints. I had ordered a pair of these a white back, which was also defective and I had to return them. I guess it’s hard to make small shoes.

Until then, can anyone suggest anything else? I want a very barefoot shoe (3-5mm) without a wide toe box. I have normal to narrow feet so the vivos were too spacious feeling for my comfort. I loved the feel of the five finger sprints when I bought them, but not sure about the feel of the toe separation. I want something to fit like a glove but maybe without the toe separation. Any suggestions? I wish the nb zero road we’re curved on the bottom, but since the reviews of the zero trail are no bueno. I want my shoes to last longer than 2-3 months.

Help? Please and thank you!!

Christy – I bought a pair of NB MR00SB (road version) and I’m really liking these. I have a narrow foot and these fit well. The sole gives me more feel for what is going on underneath my feet, traction is good and they feel great without socks. I’m using these for walking, jogging on sidewalks, in the grass and on smooth dirt trails with no problems at all. I think these will be my “go to” all around shoes until a really thin and flexible sole material comes out.

Jim, thank you so much. I think I may actually have to get both the nb road and trail zero. The only think I didn’t like about the road was the way the outer sole felt under the arch of my foot. Other than that, it was like wearing a comfy silky sock. I think I will order the road show as well. Thanks!

i was able to wear these fresh out of the box for a 9 mile trail run. no complaints. but the paper like creases people have talked about and the narrow build, along with a consistent blistering of the 2nd toe made these just an occasional trail shoe.

however, i have to say that they break in very well!! i have a 11 mile trail run coming up and have chosen these as my go-to-shoe. i’m flat footed and was worried about the tight feeling due to them being narrow, but the “paper” has simply lost all tension. just perfect, perfect, perfect. and they weight nothing.

I love these shoes and the feel of them, but I want to point out that the mesh on the top of the foot over the toes wears quickly. I’ve had them about 3 months and put in several hundred miles and I’ve got a big hole in the mesh on the left shoe, and a smaller hole on the right. You can see it occurs where the top mesh bends as your toes bend.

It’s annoying, but because I like running in them, I tolerate it. Although NB cut a lot of weight, the durability of the shoe has suffered, and it makes me consider looking at something else if I need to buy a minimalist shoe down the road. I hope NB fixes the issues with the material and durability in their next generation.

The mesh fabric over the toes started tearing at 260 miles, partly due to the strange creasing that Justin describes. Now at 305 miles, I have six holes in the uppers, with the largest 1″ long. The oversized lugs on the soles are very soft and wore down almost flat, with almost 100% trail use.

Can someone please tell me how these shoes (road) are supposed to fit? I am getting differing advice in store!

Should I go up a size from my normal dress shoe size (eg a thumb width room between my toe and the shoe) like I would in a standard running shoe, or should I look for a snug fit with just a 1/8 inch between my toe and the shoe?

I currently own VFF bikilas and take a VFF 42. They fit really well. Any idea what size I should get in the woman’s new balance minimus road zero? I plan on going sock less.


I think the minimus trail are absolutely crap and I will tell you why :

The sole is hard as stone and you cannot use them in wet conditions. One foot in a puddle and your shoe is completely wet. It drains the water fast but wtf???

Barefoot, yes indeed :/

I bought the Women’s New Balance Minimus Zero Trail back in January, and have since put a little over 100 miles on them. I was disappointed to already find a tear in the forefoot upper (that slightly translucent stiff fabric above the toes). The lining around the heel has also started to peel off. They’ve served their purpose well as my first zero drop shoe, but it’s too bad they’ve already started to come apart after not-that-much wear.

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