New Balance Minimus 10 Gore-Tex Shoes

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Manufacturer Description

Bad weather? Bring it on. The Minimus 10 men’s multi-sport, multi-season shoe features waterproof, durable GORE-TEX so you can rough it — rain or shine. The fitted, odor-resistant upper let’s you go with or without socks, while a Vibram outsole delivers the traction and protection you need beneath your feet.

Features

  • Minimus approach to footwear
  • Inspired by Good Form Running
  • Designed to be worn with or without socks
  • Odor resistant
  • Water-resistant synthetic/mesh upper
  • NL-1: Natural Last Heel Width – Standard Instep Height – Lower Toe Box Depth – Shallower Forefoot Width – Wider
  • 4mm heel-to-toe drop
  • Designed to mimic the natural shape of the foot
  • Tested size 9
    • Forefoot width – 101.9 mm (4.0 in)
    • Stack height – 15 mm (heel), 11 mm (toe), 4 mm drop
    • Measured weight – 226 grams (8.0 oz)
  • Retail – $125

YMMV Review

If you are a runner, then you know New Balance. You will often see them on a good percentage of runners and walkers out and about. I have been a big fan of New Balance, especially after they created their Minimus collection. This collection focuses on having a natural foot shape, lower drop and less is more concept. This model s not a pure runner, but a jack of all trades.

Side View - Click to See Larger
Side View – Click to See Larger

I was really excited about these shoes. I was excited for a Gore-Tex minimal shoe. There are not many of them out there and especially at the light weight that these are at.

Testing

To test the Minimus 10, I used them hiking, running, and wearing around this winter. The longest I went was about 5 miles and I never really had any truly wet days but had plenty of snow.

Design ★★★½☆

Appearance (15%) ★★★★☆

Construction (30%) ★★★☆☆

Materials (20%) ★★★★☆

Sustainability (10%) ★☆☆☆☆

Weight (25%) ★★★★☆

The Minimus 10 is a multisport shoe according to New Balance, but it really is not far from the trail running version. In fact, from a build standpoint it reminds me a lot of the first Minimus Trail Shoe I reviewed for the site. The Minimus collection is hallmarked by a foot shaped last, light weight, low stack height, and flexibility. The upper is made of a mesh material but unlike other meshes, this one is not very breathable. Between the mesh outer and the fabric liner is sandwiched a Gore-Tex membrane which inhibits breathability a little to add waterproofness. The inside of the shoes has a fabric liner with minimal seams for comfort. The only ones are located in the heel and around the attached tongue. There are also seams located around the footbed as it is stitched into the shoe as shown in the pictures.

Vibram Outsole - Click to See Larger
Vibram Outsole – Click to See Larger

The Minimus 10 Shoes have standard laces but do not have an extra eyelet for locking your laces. This may be missed by some but did not bother me. Similar to the original Minimus that I tested, the upper has a band that goes over the top of the forefoot to add some stability. There is also a similar strap that goes around the heel to add some structure there as well. The shoes have a low stack height with 4 mm of drop. This gives the shoes a closer to barefoot feel without going too far from what is found in most shoes. The midsole of these are made of Acteva, which is 12% lighter than regular foam. It cushions as well as resists compression set so it will not lose its cushioning as fast as standard foams. The sole of the shoes is made in conjunction with Vibram. Vibram has been a leader in outsole and rubber compounds for decades. The outsole has a web-like structure to balance performance, weight, durability, and protection. Take a look at the picture to get an idea of what I mean here. With this structure and minimal cushioning, the shoes end up having excellent flexibility as you would expect. While they are labeled as a multisport shoe, the outsole has traction similar to their trail runners.

Looking Inside - Click to See Larger
Looking Inside – Click to See Larger

The only drawback that I have with these shoes and most others while I am at it is the lack of sustainable materials used in it. None of the materials to my knowledge are made of sustainable materials. On a positive note, since the shoes are on the minimal side. By being a less is more shoes; they use fewer materials. For that reason, I gave it a point.

Fit ★★★☆☆

Comfort (25%) ★½☆☆☆

Foot Length (15%) ★★★★☆

Foot Volume (15%) ★★★½☆

Heel Width (15%) ★★★☆☆

Midfoot Width (15%) ★★★½☆

Toe Box Width (15%) ★★★★½

I have been a big fan of the New Balance Minimus collection since its inception. The main reason for this is the fit. They have a foot shaped last, which seems to work well for me. The shoes have a wide forefoot, lower toe height, lower instep, and standard width heel according to New Balance. After testing the shoes I would have to agree. I really like the shape of the toe box. They fit me just about perfectly. I guess I should add that I am normally a size 9 with a medium width foot. In the Minimus 10, I tested a size 9 and never felt like it was the wrong size. The length left just a bit of room in the end of the shoe, not too much which seems to be happened more often than not lately. Through the midfoot and the heel, the shoes were secure but were a bit stiffer in the upper then some of their other models. This is not unexpected as the Gore-Tex upper adds extra material and therefore, stiffness.

Top View - Click to See Larger
Top View – Click to See Larger

Since I am comparing these a bit to the original Minimus Trail shoes, I need to cover the band that goes over the forefoot. Many people complained about this strap on those shoes. I personally did not have a problem with them once again did not have a problem with the strap on these either. If I was to complain about these shoes, it would be the heel. They are a bit on the looser side on me which I think may be affecting how the upper part of the heel rubs my foot. The issue I have is actually with both feet. Around the cuff, the shoes have a finished top and for some reason, on both of my shoes seem to have a slightly inverted lip. What this meant for me is that off and on I had issues with this lip rubbing on my Achilles and in some cases causing a blister, even on short runs. Off and on, I tried different socks and definitely had better luck with thicker socks. I also noticed the issue more often when running, but it would get sore on some hikes as well. This truly was a bummer as I was really excited about a Gore-Tex version.

Lip on the Heel - Click to See Larger
Lip on the Heel – Click to See Larger

Performance ★★★½☆

Breathability (15%) ★★★☆☆

Ground Feel (20%) ★★★½☆

Durability (10%) ★★★☆☆

Flexibility (15%) ★★★½☆

Traction (15%) ★★★½☆

Weather Resistance (25%) ★★★★½

I have to admit that on some of my runs, it was hard to focus on the performance of the shoes. If it was rubbing my heel, then I was not generally thinking of much else. I did have plenty of runs and hikes where they were cooperating, and I must say that in those cases, I was a big fan of the shoes. The shoes sit close to the ground and have a great balance between minimalism and protection. The Minimus 10 reminded me of the Minimus Trail that I tested before, but with a bit more protection on the bottom. If there was one complaint about the other pair, it was the protection from the ground, rocks would occasionally be felt when you ran. That was not the case with these which is good.

Outsole Up Close - Click to See Larger
Outsole Up Close – Click to See Larger

The Minimus 10 breathe all right. It is tough with gore-Tex shoes as the membrane inhibits breathability, especially compared to a mesh upper. That said, I did not feel like they had any breathability issues. All my runs were in colder weather, so I am not sure how they will do in warmer weather. They did keep my feet dry, which is what they are made for. The only time my feet got any bit damp is when the snow was above the ankle and even then it was only the cuffs of my socks that got wet. I do not think there is any doubt they are waterproof. The Vibram sole has been plenty durable thus far. I must say that I have about 45 miles in them and much of that has been in the snow, so I would not expect them to wear out to fast in the snow. I must say that the traction was decent even in the snow. I definitely would not suggest these for icy conditions, but then again, there is not much I would suggest.

Overall ★★½☆☆

Overall, I really liked the performance of the shoes, but could not get over how much it rubbed on my Achilles. There were a couple runs where I was literally bleeding before the two-mile mark. There seems to be a slight lip on my shoes which I think is the culprit. Too bad as the rest of the shoes are really sweet. This is what I really was hoping for in so many ways. Of course, fit is something that is subjective so these may be great for many people, they just did not work all the time for me. I would still recommend these shoes, but definitely try them on first. The New Balance Minimus 10 retails for $125. If you want a minimal runner that is lightweight and waterproof, take a look. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • Minimus fit is excellent through the forefoot & midfoot
  • Waterproof
  • Good blend of Ground Feel & Protection
  • Vibram outsole

Cons

  • Tore up my Achilles

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About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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