Barefoot Shoes

New Balance NB Minimus Trail Photos and Video

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…

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 with the site here for the benefit of those who don’t have the ability to run over to a local store and check these puppies out.

So after the jump is a video and twenty-four photos of the New Balance NB Minimus Trail!

Other New Balance Minimus Reviews

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.

25 replies on “New Balance NB Minimus Trail Photos and Video”

As with the new merrell line, I really really wanted to like these and just can’t. The inside of this shoe just feels wrong, like it was patched together. Then there’s this uncomfortable band over the top near the toes, and it was too tight in the forefoot on the right side. I don’t think I have overly wide or strangely shaped feet, but these just don’t fit, which is enormously disappointing because I really thought both NB and merrell “got it.” Maybe it’s just me?

I just tried these on this past weekend. They were ok. I have wide feet (ee) and they were a little tight around the band and lacing, but not as bad as I was expecting based on people’s reviews. I ordered the Wellness/Life from NB’s website (no local stores carry them) and hope they fit more comfortably. Since they just came out I guess it would be too early to ask but… has anyone experienced the Trails loosening up after some mileage?

Got mine last week. I run on gravel forest service roads and the VFF just didn’t cut it. The NB Min Trail is perfect, I can feel the ground, yet I have protection from those “unseen” sharp rocks. BUT… the strap around the back of the shoe is cutting into my achilles. I’ve cut a slit in the band, but I still have to modify it more. Other than that, I love these shoes. I also run in the NB101 Trail, the NB Min is much better.

Went to a NB store near work today and bought a pair of these.I can definitely feel the drop from heel to forefoot.Been wearing VFFs(KSO trek and Bikila) outside of work.I’ve always wanted a minimalist shoe to be worn during my work hours since VFFs really aren’t OSHA compatible 😛 It’s hard to find a minimalist footwear being a Porsche Tech….I’ll see how the minimus trails will do @ work starting tomorrow 😀

I tried some one and might buy them, but do they smell when worn extensively without socks? If so, are they machine washable/easy to wash?

Absolutely great shoe. I wear them constantly, they feel great and I’m so glad I bought them. One thing I would like is if they come out with an All black version and if it could breath just a bit more.

Justin, fantastic web site. I’ve been reading everything on it for over a year now. I bought a pair of these last week. In my opinion these are outstanding shoes. I also own KSO’s, Bikila’s, Treksports, Nike Free 3.0 and Nike LunaRacers so I know what to expect in a minimal shoe. For me, the shoes fit perfectly and feel fantastic. I don’t feel the forefoot strap at all. I run primarily on trails and frankly don’t feel the 4mm drop at all. People are making an issue out of the drop but I think it is a non issue. If you want a zero drop, wear VFF. The soles have plenty of flex, they have a lot of traction and just a little cushion which is welcome on rough trails or very long runs. This is a great shoe to alternate with VFF.


I picked up a pair of these on Sunday and love them. I own two pairs of Bikilas and a pair of Komodo Sports. I have used all of them on trails, but prefer the Komodos and the NB Minimus Trail for off-road use. I would’ve stopped at the Komodos, but I snagged my pinky toe in a rock garden while running last Thursday. I jogged it off pretty quick and it didn’t break, but it wasn’t pleasant. I thought I’d give the NBs a try and I’m glad I did. I’ll use the Komodos for the less rocky trails and the NBs for the rock garden trails. The drop isn’t really noticeable to me.

Does anyone know now the sizes compare to say the Merrill Barefoots. I wear a 9.5 (43.5) in these and 42 in VFF…help!!!

To James:

I also wear 42 in VFF and a 9.5 merrell Barefoot (which were fitting a bit just first time I put them on but are perfect are a couple of hours of use). I ordered the 9.5 Trail and while they fit I don’t have any free space a 10 would probably have been better. I now ordered a pair of Minimus Life and ordered size 10 (hoping the sizing is the same as the trail) a slip-on for a new father is a must!

Hope it helps

For further sizing reference:
I wear Merrell Trail Gloves in size 9, KSO Treks in 41, and just tried on and bought the Minimus Trail size 9.5.

I’m loving these shoes. Used them today in my first race with them and set a PR for my 1/2 Marathon time.

Tried these on last week, and like a few others have noted — the band across the top was too tight! I was told that the “wide” version is scheduled to hit stores mid-May 2011, we’ll see if they are any better…

For what it’s worth, the Merrell Trail Gloves were much more comforatble for me

I picked a pair up last friday because the store in Toronto with the Trail Glove was out of stock. I tried them out running and as a walking everyday shoe with work.

I hoped the heal drop would be insignificant but within 5 days they brought back the very knee injury that got me looking at Fivefingers in the first place. Unfortunately I found them disappointing. If they didn’t have the heel drop they would be perfect.

The New Balance store here was very helpful and understanding and let me return the shoes for a full refund as opposed to exchange or store credit (the girl asked me again to make sure she heard me right when I said they had too much cushioning).

So my experience is that the heal drop defeated there purpose as a barefoot shoe, but this is only because of the knee injury I started using minimalist shoes to escape. If you don’t have those problems you’ll probably love them, It’s too bad they’re super nice looking and very practical aside from there one flaw.

LOVE THESE! Also own the Bakila and the KSO but these are my new fav! I wear them running indoors and out, also in the lake, climbing rocky shores doing my kettlebell and circuit training workouts and running errands and to work! The strap across the top was a bit tight and took me a few wears to get use to but now I really like it.

These aren’t available in Australia until end July. Does anyone know where I can get a pair online..shipping internationally…help pls???

Thanks for the video, it was a good heads-up.

I tried these on yesterday. I went to the shop to check out the VFF and got into a discussion with a gentleman there about VFF and Nike Free Run+ 2 running shoes, and then the sales lady showed me the Minimus. They look amazing. I tried them on and the strap doesn’t bother me at all.

Great toe box, fits true to size, very comfortable and breathable materials. One thing concerned me: I felt my heel LOWER to the ground than normal, while the ball of my foot felt higher (the reverse of the Free Run+ 2…). While the fit was interesting, I know it will force me to alter my gait.

I plan on getting several barefoot shoes over time for different needs: VFF, Merrell Barefoot Trail, NB Minimus Trail, and Nike Free Run+ 2, for starters.

Have 3 pr of fingers, 2 of which I wear on the floor as a nurse, but wanted a little more for when I run on hard surfaces. LOVE the fit and feel of the Minimus trail BUT my little pinky toes are not happy. The fit and feel of the upper – with the exception of the outer seams – is great, as is the feel of the shoe underfoot. I can’t even wear them as a work shoe because of the rubbing after about 2 hours. If I go up half a size and wear socks, I lose the conformity of the sole, which is what I love about the shoe. Heard a rumor about a redesign for next year because of little toe problems and I hope it’s true!!!!!!

I just bought my first pair of the Minimus Trail. They felt great in the store and even on a 6 mile trail run. But towards the end of the run I began to feel some discomfort on the top of my fifth metatarsal of my right foot. It seems to be because of the band. I could cut it like I read some have but, at this point, I would rather not do that. Is there a way to stretch it?

FYI for those that are curious about machine washing. I asked NB Customer Support that same question. Here is their exact reply:

Dear Robin,

Thank you for contacting New Balance Consumer Support! The suggested cleaning method for New Balance shoes, along with your Minimus model, is to use a light bristle brush (old tooth brush) and a light detergent (dishwashing or laundry). Scrub the shoes with the brush and use a damp cloth to wipe clean, you can also immerse them in water. Allow shoes to air dry thoroughly for about twenty-four hours.

If purchasing a cleaning product, be sure that it is silicon-based to prevent any possible damage to the footwear.

Putting shoes through a washing machine cycle is NOT recommended.

**Note that if you have suede shoes or leather shoes you would need to use a suede or leather cleaner. Follow the instructions on the brand of cleaner you are using to clean your shoes.

Please click here to view or purchase shoe care products including water repellents.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns by email or at 1-800-622-1218.

New Balance Consumer Response Team

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