I had to retire my aging pair of New Balance All-terrain running shoes and went out shopping for a new one. I got very curious with barefoot running that I got really interested at the Vibram FiveFingers at first. Thinking I’m not up for fully barefoot running yet, I decided to go with a safe choice for a brand which is still New Balance, which I have trusted for years. I found out they got minimal running shoes with their Minimus line and decided to try the New Balance Minimus Road 10v2. A month after, more than 70km run and gym use later, how did I find this minimal shoes perform?
Construction and Design
The Minimus Road 10v2 is an incredibly light shoe. I may not have the five-fingers but the outsole is a Vibram Road Lite which is very flexible, lightweight and has an incredible hexagonal pattern pods design straight out of a chemistry chart that actually helps on traction while withstanding road abrasion. There’s a 4mm heel drop for that minimal feel but not completely for barefoot running (which usually has zero drop). The upper portion is a solid smooth mesh layer with the tongue open only on one side to avoid the tongue-slide which happens on some shoes. There’s just some strips of thin plastic support glued on mesh to keep it in shape. There are three color variety, I originally wanted the orange/black but it wasn’t available so I took the white, blue and alien green colors which I thought looks pretty cool too.
Comfort and Fit
Unlike regular shoes where you had to get a half-stop size bigger for the feet to breath, I got the exact size for the Minimus Road 10v2 for a perfect fit. I did find the toe-box roomy enough without sliding around but the mid-sole part is a slightly narrow. Once worn, my feet were able to breath comfortably with or without socks (a really thin ankle socks) The lightness was a bit getting used to since I’m new to minimal shoes. At first I was bothered by the mid-foot cushion which was quite noticeable when walking but when I start to run I understood why it was there, it helped my feet land efficiently flat on the mid-foot even when I run even with minimal padding.
Test and Performance
When I broke-in the shoes, I tried it on a treadmill first then on a track field. Being new to minimal cushion running, I had to get a feel for it first adjusting my form as I go along. Initially I would go on a 30-minute run alternating on the treadmill and on the track. Honestly it is so far the most comfortable running shoes I had. The Vibram Road Lite outsole has very good traction on pavement even on wet ground after a rain. I do feel I had to exert more effort on my form to make sure I always land mid-foot. The longest run I did for the Minimus Road 10v2 was on a 10km fun-run after more than a week of breaking-in the shoes. While at first I felt comfortable, towards the latter part of the run (about 8-10km) I do felt the stiffness on my shins and calves which I never get on a full running shoe. I guess it’s just me getting used to minimalist running.
The Minimus Road 10v2 has a cool-looking design, incredibly light, comfortable on runs, sturdy construction and performs just as well. I just feel the mid-portion can be adjusted being a bit narrow. While not really for barefoot running, it’s a good transition shoes for minimalist running which is just apt for my needs. It’s good for short runs but I have to get used to it for longer runs (or just switch shoes). I’m quite satisfied with it as it is light and easy to bring, perfect to take for my travels.
Minimus Road 10v2 SRP: Php 5,095
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