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Barefoot Running, Gear, Training

NB: MR00 Road Minimus Review

New Balance Minimus Road shoe  Zero Drop MR00 ($110)

Now that it’s taken 4 or 5 years for me to transition into “lesser” shoes, I would say this one is my favorite. This model is more like the trail version of last year Minimus. That shoe too was a sweet ride but on the road it didn’t hold up so well. This second edition road Minimus is a winner in the category of “less is more.” The first edition was a looser mainly in the upper construction.

The drop or the ratio of heel to forefoot is zero, like our own feet. The heel is the same distance from the ground as the fore foot, so more natural and providing for a more natural stride. The midsole is 12 millimeters thick throughout the shoe and ways a paltry 6 oz. Most traditional running shoes weigh nearly twice that. Mid foot striking is oh so easy in this shoe.

The outsole seems durable as I have about 400 miles on such a flimsy and it feels the same as the day I put it on. With such little midsoles to degrade you would suppose the life of the shoe would be lengthened.  I suspect this to be the case. So with an A rated midsole and outsole, the upper could be a letdown like its predecessor was. But no, the upper is excellent as well. The fit of the upper is very FOOT LIKE. Meaning it really does look like the shape of a foot. The toe box is roomy and you might even say sock shaped.(like the shape of your foot with a sock on) The heel is snug or is on me but the forefoot is definitely not SNUG. The vamp or the mid foot fit is much snugger than the forefoot and this helps in keeping the shoe on and fitting secure.

If I’ve found any drawback to the shoe it would be in the ridges and seams inside the shoe. In the summer I normally train sockless without any problem but in this shoe I had a few tender areas due to those seams and transition areas (insole to wall). This is all cured with wearing socks. I’ve applied some anti friction powder to the inside and have since gotten tougher in those tender areas.

Unlike traditional running shoes this shoe is excellent for cross training. Typically the midsoles are too clunky to do good gym work. You can’t move laterally with a midsole that high off the ground. For most movements the closer to ground we are the more stable we are. The MR00 fits this bill perfectly. Also the smooth outsole won’t catch and can scoot or slide if need be. Any Cross Fit people out there would love this shoe.

WARNING: injured runners should use caution when transitioning to a shoe such as this. It’s a drastically different environment from traditional running shoes. A non injured runner might need a year or more to transition to this for running. A suggestion to help expedite the transition time is to wear them casually before starting to run in them. Once you’ve successfully transitioned into the natural running shoes you should have fewer running injuries and better form.

Larryh@kencombsrunningstore.com

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