Barefoot running is growing more and more popular. It seems like every day another shoe company is marketing a new “barefoot” style running shoe. So where do you start when picking one to try? You should consider giving New Balance’s Minimus a try, because they just might be onto something here and we think they nailed it. So read on and enjoy, we’re not going to get super technical here. Just tell you how they feel and have held up so far.
My Minimus were a gift for Father’s Day this year, 2011. I had been thinking about purchasing a pair for a while, but was pretty happy with my Nike Frees at the time. I decided to go with the black and yellow which I think I like more now, then when I first bought them. I noticed that they were lighter and thinner than the Nike’s. I decided to wear the Minimus on a daily basis to break them in and found them to be very comfortable.
My first run in the Minimus was about 3.5 miles on the road. The balls of my feet were very sore which I wasn’t used to after running so I continued to wear them every day, while wearing my Frees for road runs. As I started to hit the trails more I found that I really liked the feel of the Minimus. My first race with them was the McGuire Mud Run in September 2011. The mud run was a 10K obstacle course race with hills, trails, mud pits, water, sand and more. This was the farthest that I would have run in the Minimus at this point and I determined that this was the shoe for me. They felt great, and I didn’t have any problems during or after the race; I never looked back.
In November 2011, our race team (Team MAFC) ran the Tri-State Tough Mudder® both Saturday and Sunday. We had four team members run both days and a fellow teammate wore her Minimus also. The Tri-State Tough Mudder® was 12 miles, and about 25 obstacles that included mud, swimming, sand, walls, cargo nets, a warped wall, and more. Our team has collectively ran 14 Tough Mudders® to date, and these are my personal favorite shoes to run in.
The New Balance Minimus have held up very well. They have been washed in the washing machine 6 times already, worn daily, used in a sand pit numerous times, on the trails and obstacle/mud runs. There is some normal wear on the shoe, mostly at the ball of the foot and midsole. There is also a wear spot in the upper, but nothing significant.
I would recommend this shoe to anyone looking for a “barefoot style” trail running shoe. If you like the barefoot style then you could probably wear them daily. They are comfortable, light weight, and offer good traction for any off road terrain.
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