New Balance Minimus 10 General Info:
The Minimus 10 brings together the ruggedness of its trail counterpart while keeping it road friendly. The Gore-Tex waterproof upper of the GT makes it ideal for changing outdoor conditions. The form fitting last and upper give the shoe a more sock like fit that can be with or without them.
The Multi-sport versatility of the Minimus 10 makes it not only a good minimal running shoe, but easily transitional to the gym.
New Balance Minimus 10 First Impression:
After initially unboxing the shoe and visually inspecting it the Minimus 10 looks just like the first version of the Minimus trail. The only thing that I can find different is that the Minimus 10 has the added offering of GoreTex in the upper which the Minimus trail never had.
Once on the shoes natural last was very apparent. The shoe had a very comfortable sock-like fit that followed the contours of my foot well. This was even more apparent in the toe box. The toe box had ample room allowing my toes to wiggle and splay.
The rubber strap that lays further back in the toe box gives the shoe a noticeable compression at the metatarsal region. This connection point brought the shoe up close to the ball of my foot which was different than anything I have worn before.
New Balance Minimus 10 Sole Unit:
The uniquely lugged Vibram outsole of the Minimus 10 is much like the other minimus shoes, and are almost identical to the Minimus trail. The outsole rises up in three separate points one at the heel and either side of the ball of the foot. These projections provide some structure to the shoe.
The outsole also offers a mite of arch support as it curves up at the instep of the foot. The outsole has superb traction on and off road, and performs strong in wet, snowy, and slushy conditions.
The Midsole is constructed from New Balance Acteva foam with a 4mm drop. Really there is not a lot to elaborate on here as the cushioning that the midsole provides is not that substantial. C’mon it’s a minimalist shoe!
New Balance Minimus 10 Upper:
The Minimus 10 is designed to be worn with or without socks so let me start from the inside and work out. To begin with for those of you that didn’t know or are unfamiliar there is no insole in the minimus 10, and I’m pretty sure that goes for the whole Minimus collection.
Anyhow, the inside of the upper is completely lined with a smooth satin like fabric that appears to be seamless. This interior is where the shoe really takes on a more sock like feel.
The only issue that I had was along the heel collar, which is finished in a silky material and was comfortable laterally, but rubbed my heel raw to the point of bleeding at my Achilles. So while the rest the interior was comfortable being sockless the Spartan heel forced me to wear a thin pair of socks for needed protection.
The main body of the upper is constructed using two different types of mesh. The bulk of the shoe and along the front of the toe box are made from an open basket mesh backed by a thin tighter mesh. This mesh on mesh was very flexible but its design made it also very structural.
A tighter more elastic mesh comprised the tongue and remaining toe box. This increased the flexibility of the shoe through these areas while maintaining a snug fit. The thin tongue was gusseted which kept out debris while preventing slippage. A thin layer of padding kept it comfortable.
Lying hidden between these mesh materials and the inner lining is a GoreTex layer. This helped keep the shoe highly waterproof and warm, the coldest day being around 25F. The only drawback I see to this is if water comes in over the heel collar there is no way of it getting out.
One other thing that I may make mention of is that when I did use the shoe indoors my feet werewarm. And when they emerged from the shoe it was like they had been in a sauna.
The major structural support of the Minimus 10 comes from 2 rubber straps versus overlays. The first, that I noted earlier, spans across the toe box of the foot just distal of the tongue. This strap coupled with the protruding outsole give support both medial and laterally. It also gives structure across the tarsal region of the foot, and holds the shoe firmly to the ball of the foot.
The second strap runs bilaterally from the protruding midsole component at the heel. The straps continue diagonally from the top of the heel to the midfoot of the shoe. These two components help to form a simple, flexible, and effective heel counter.
The shoe is finished off with a simple set of flat laces the weave through a set of rubber reinforced eyelets. The shoes remained tied on all of my runs with no discomfort or pressure.
New Balance Minimus 10 Opinion:
The Minimus 10 is a commendable minimal shoe that sits atop a nice stable platform. The shoe is perfect in cooler wet conditions and transitions well between the road and trail. Being that it is a multisport shoe it definitely has the ability to be adapted into a variety other activities especially crossfit workouts.
We thank the nice people at New Balance for sending us a pair of Minimus 10 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.