New Balance Minimus Road & Trail v2 Updates

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New Balance is launching updates to its existing Minimus style – the original Minimus Road (MR10/WR10) and Minimus Trail (MT10/WT10), which we wear tested and reviewed over two years ago.

New Balance Minimus 10v2

Designed for the minimal road runner who requires the perfect balance of protection and proprioception, the Minimus 10v2 is the result of a complete overhaul and reconfiguration but still retaining its original 4mm drop.

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Changes to the original Minimus 10 includes the addition of a Vibram designed outsole. The Vibram Road Lite compound delivers a lightweight and cushioned ride and durability for miles of training. This outsole also offers flexibility in key areas and appropriate rubber placement in others to allow the foot to strike naturally, without sacrificing proper form.

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The upper has also undergone a mini-makeover thereby bringing the Minimus 10v2 more closely in-line with other shoes in the Minimus collection. Utilizing fewer materials and less foam translates to a more natural fit and feel. Much like the Minimus Zero, the Minimus 10v2 now features a mono-tongue construction that wraps the midfoot in a secure burrito-like fit.

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While the changes to the outsole and upper make a significant difference to the overall experience, the overhaul to the midsole really makes the Minimus 10v2 a completely different fit, feel and ride. The midsole heights have been lowered by 2mm bringing the entire foot closer to the ground and key areas have been significantly sculpted to reduce weight and increase flexibility. The introduction of RevLite cushioning foam offers a bouncy underfoot feel.

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All of the traditional Minimus DNA exists in the Minimus 10v2: an anatomically correct natural NL-1 last with a 4 mm drop, barefoot friendly interiors, and a lightweight fit. That said, the update from the original Minimus 10 to the current debut was a revolution not an evolution. By taking inspiration from the fit and feel of the Minimus Zero and making the v2 more closely aligned with the rest of the collection, runners will be pleasantly surprised with this new introduction and the unique experience it delivers.

So how did the Minimus 10v2  perform?

The second you put on the Minimus 10v2, you can feel the difference in fit and performance compared to the original Minimus 10. I like this version much more and is able to run comfortably and with better breathability. Actually, it feels much closer to running in the Minimus Zero Road but with slightly more cushioning.

The uppers are much improved as I prefer the mono-tongue design as in the Minimus Zero Road. Overall, this feels like a hybrid of the best features of the Minimus Zero Road incorporated into the original Minimus 10 platform – clearly targeting the transitioning runner or beginner barefoot-style runner.

My US Men’s Size 11.0 weighs in 6.8 ounces compared to the original version (US Men’s 9.5) at 8.2 ounces I tested – a lot lighter even a full size and a half up!

Available in three colors for men and women, the Minimus 10v2 will launch in March 2013 and retail for $109.95.

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New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail

Updates in the Minimus 10v2 Trail are minimal, addressing specific areas of concern. The first of those was a change to the forefoot band. For the Minimus 10v2 Trail a more traditional synthetic is utilized, replacing a less forgiving rubber, enabling the band to provide necessary support without completely restricting the foot.

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Another change from the original to the v2 is the addition of NuFoam, a material that will stretch and flex to enable the transverse arch the freedom to expand while also providing enough support to ensure a secure forefoot feel.

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The biggest design update occurred on the outsole, where just enough rubber was removed to decrease overall weight and increase flexibility in key areas, while maintaining durability and traction. Additionally, the addition of lugs to the medial side of the outsole increases traction on a variety of surfaces.

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The original Minimus 10 Trail established a new direction for the New Balance brand not only within the Trail category but within the larger running market. As such, any changes to this shoe have been focused on addressing the few areas of concern that were voiced from its loyal following while maintaining as much of the original character as possible. The result is a minimal trail shoe that is the perfect balance of protection and proprioception, offering runners a closer-to-the-ground fit and feel and better than barefoot running experience.

So how did the Minimus 10v2  Trail perform?

I had a hard time figuring out if there is significant difference between the original Minimus 10 Trail but on close inspection, found the forefoot band is a lot better even though my foot width has grown since testing the original version. Everything else feel the same – comfortable, unchanged running form, breathability, support. If not for the changes in the forefoot band, I would have thought it’s the original Minimus 10 Trail!

My US Men’s Size 11.0 weighs in 7.0 ounces compared to the original version (US Men’s 10.0) at 8.0 ounces I tested – just like the Minimus 10v2, a lot lighter even a full size up!

If you love the original Minimus 10 Trail, you will also love the much improved forefoot band and lighter Minimus 10v2 Trail!

Available in three colors for men and women, the Minimus 10v2 Trail will launch in March 2013 and retail for $109.95.

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The New Balance Minimus Road v2 and Minimus Trail v2 will be available in March on the New Balance web site and running specialty retailers.

 

http://www.newbalance.com

*Product provided by New Balance. CMP.LY/1 Review

If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at info@minimalistrunningshoes.org

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