New Balance MT10 Minumus Trail Shoes

Manufacturer Description

An entirely different approach to trail running, the MT10 Minimus Trail takes the proven versatile durability of a Vibram outsole and combines it with a fitted, minimalist upper that’s comfortable with or without socks.

Features

  • Synthetic/Mesh upper provides lightweight comfort and support
  • Minimus is a whole new approach to footwear, a place on the spectrum from barefoot running to the traditional maximum-cushioning running shoe. Inspired by Good Form Running and designed to be worn with or without socks. With only a 4mm drop from heel to toe, as little as a third of that of a traditional running shoe, the Minimus collection holds a world of discovery for neutral runners as well as those with gait issues or chronic injury to conquer by learning better form.
  • Odor resistant
  • Minimal Vibram outsole for lightweight traction and durability
  • Deconstructed ACTEVA midsole provides great flexibility and a featherweight cushion
  • Measured Size 9
    • Weight – 205 g each (7.2 oz)
    • Stack Height – Heel (13.0 mm), Toe (7.7 mm), Drop (5.3 mm)
    • Forefoot Width  – 101.0 mm
  • Retail – $100

YMMV Review

Design ★★★★½

New Balance has worked to create a minimalistic trail running shoe. They chose not to go all the way to a zero drop shoe with this model, it has a 4mm heel/toe drop. The upper is made of two types of mesh.

Top View

Most of the upper is made out of a very open mesh. The tongue and part of the toe section are made out of a less porous mesh. These two types of mesh are connected over the toes by a flat lock seem. While I have not had any issues with this, I have read where some others have. Since the shoes are flexible, New Balance has used synthetic materials to hold your foot in place. There is a band that goes over the top of the shoes at the bottom of the laces. This helps prevent your foot from sliding forward and banging your toes into the front. There is also reinforcement in the heel and bands that wrap around the heel to cup it. This provides reinforcement and support for the heel of the shoe. The lacing is standard. The interior of the MT10 is made so you can wear socks or go sockless. The insole is permanent and New Balance has tried to make the interior comfortable against the skin. The sole of the shoes is made by Vibram. It has circular lugs with little pits in between. The sole is really flexible. Overall the drop on the shoes is 4mm. Low enough to still promote mid to fore foot striking but not the full transition to zero drop shoes.

Fit ★★★★½

The Minimus Trail shoes fit me very well. I usually wear a size 9 and found that the 9 fit me well in these as well. The heel is snug and the forefoot is wide to allow your toes to splay out as they would do barefoot. I used these both with thin socks as well as barefoot. I prefer the socks; I felt like it prevented some of the dust getting in and was more comfortable for me. For some reason when barefoot in these shoes I would get a hot spot under my big toes. Not sure if this was due to my running style in these or not. I felt like the band over the fore foot worked well to keep my foot in place. I have heard of others who had issues of the band being too tight. I had no such issues. The lacing is standard but I found it easy to over tighten them. On a couple runs I had to stop and loosen up the laces slightly as my midfoot was getting squeezed. Even with the shoes a bit looser, the fit was still quite good.

Overall ★★★★½

New Balance has done a good job with the MT10 Minimus Trail Shoes. Not only are these shoes comfortable, but they allow your foot to move more naturally. I have run on technical trails, gravel trails, and roads.

Dusty Sole

The flat circular lugs help the shoes stay low to the ground so they work well on all surfaces. I can feel smaller rocks and pebbles when wearing these but apart from the occasional big rock I had no issues. The Minimus’ are lightweight and a good option for people looking to transition into minimalist running. I would recommend them for the road as well as the trail. They breathe really well and dry quickly too. They do allow some dirt and dust into the shoes. While I preferred to wear socks when wearing them, you will have to try it both ways and see for yourself what you prefer. At $100, the New Balance Minimus Trail shoes are a good value. They pack plenty of technology and due to less cushioning; they should have a longer lifespan than standard shoes. Overall I really was impressed by the MT10 and am looking forward to the MT20’s coming out soon. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Thin, flexible Sole
  • Reinforcement bands hold foot in place

Cons

  • Heard of some issues with toe seam, I had none
  • Got blister when sockless (might be just my running style)

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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