New Balance Minimus Review: Best Trail Shoes for Training

If you are looking for a New Balance Minimus review, you are in luck!

New Balance Minimus trail running shoes have gained popularity among minimalist runners and fitness enthusiasts alike.

They have several models from recent years designed to cater to various terrains and activities.

Sarah's review of her new New Balance Minimus TR shoes.

We are here to help you understand the features, benefits, and potential drawbacks of the New Balance Minimus Road series, helping you make an informed decision before purchasing your first pair of these innovative shoes.

Here is the scoop on our New Balance Minimus review!

All About the New Balance Minimus

The NB Minimus Road has become a favorite choice for entry-level minimalist trail runners, and many users have had good luck with the shoe and a great first impression. 

This shoe features a lightweight design with a 4mm drop and a firm midsole for a minimal yet supportive feel on tough trails and rocky terrain. 

On the other hand, the New Balance shoes are designed for gym-goers seeking a true minimalist shoe. 

With a zero-drop, great toe height, and cushioned midsole, this model provides a comfortable transition from conventional athletic footwear to the minimalist realm.

We are here to give you a closer look into various reviews to gain insight into the performance and durability of these New Balance Minimus models, as well as explore how they cater to the needs of different fitness enthusiasts to ensure the best experience. 

By understanding the key features and unique aspects of each shoe, you can make a more informed decision on which New Balance Minimus line may be love at first sight for your specific needs and preferences.

Design and Style

Upper Construction

The New Balance Minimus is an everyday shoe which features a stylish and functional upper design, as well as many color options. 

At the end of the day, the light weight, breathable mesh material helps keep your feet cool and comfortable during workouts or a long run. 

The minimalistic approach to the entire upper construction ensures flexibility and a seamless feel, perfect for those who prefer a more natural foot movement on their first run of the day.

Toe Box

One of the first things that users notice in the New Balance Minimus series is the spacious front of the toe box. 

This design allows the toes plenty of room to spread out comfortably, promoting a more stable and efficient stride, making this a great shoe! 

The Vibram outsole extends to protect the toes while maintaining flexibility for a smooth and natural ride.

Lacing System

The lacing system in the great minimalist shoe is simple yet effective, and one of the many nice features it has to offer. 

The flat laces offer a secure fit without causing discomfort or pressure points, unlike standard shoelaces. 

Additionally, the shoe’s minimal structure ensures easy adjustments and a personalized fit, making it a popular choice among minimalist enthusiasts.

Heel Counter

The heel counter in the New Balance Minimus offers adequate support without adding to the overall weight of shoe, making them feel like heavy weights. 

The low-profile design helps to lock the heel in place, providing stability and control during a variety of activities, making it safe to heel strike. 

With a focus on minimalism, the heel counter still manages to offer the necessary support for those transitioning to minimalist footwear.

Comfort and Fit

Arch Support

The NB Minimus trail shoe offers moderate arch support, catering to those with a neutral to slightly elevated heel. 

Its minimalist design emphasizes a natural tendency foot movement, such as a midfoot strike when running. 

This makes the shoe ideal for those transitioning from a traditional running shoe to minimalist ones, all while providing the needed support for the foot’s arches.


Although designed as a minimalist shoe, this minimal shoe doesn’t skimp on cushioning. 

The shoe features a well-cushioned, thick midsole, ensuring comfort and shock absorption during physical activities. 

The Acteva midsole provides a firm yet comfortable ride, suitable for various surfaces such as roads, trails, and even gyms.


The tongue of the New Balance Minimus is designed to provide comfort and a secure fit. 

It is thin and lightweight, reducing potential irritation or pressure points on the top of the foot. 

These structural elements, along with the strategically placed padding, contributes to the overall comfort and unique appearance of the shoe, providing comfort to your lower legs while engaging in activity.

Sock-Like Fit

The New Balance Minimus is known for its sock-like fit, thanks to its lightweight upper and wide toe box. 

This design ensures a comfortable and tight fit, allowing the foot to move naturally while still providing adequate support. 

The wide toe box accommodates users with wide feet, giving ample space for toe splay during workouts or long runs. 

Moreover, the molded foam in the heel area further enhances the shoe’s sock-like fit and comfort.

The New Balance Minimus offers a comfortable and secure fit, with features such as:

Sarah's new balance minimus sneakers with neon accents.
  • Moderate arch support for neutral to slightly high arches
  • Well-cushioned Acteva midsole for shock absorption and comfort
  • Lightweight tongue and padding for a snug fit and reduced irritation
  • Wide toe box for users with wide feet and natural toe splay
  • Sock-like fit with molded foam in the heel area offering additional support and comfort

These aspects make the New Balance Minimus a top choice for those seeking a minimalist trainer shoe that doesn’t compromise on comfort and support.



The New Balance Minimus is a minimalist shoe designed with a lightweight and flexible design, making it suitable for various types of running, including trails and short sprints. 

With a 4mm heel-toe drop and reaction-diffusion systems, it allows for a more natural running experience and offers sufficient traction on various surfaces for easy runs. It is similar to running in a zero-drop shoe.

The overall weight of the shoe is perfect for running long or short distances.

The shoe’s breathability ensures comfort during runs, and its REVlite midsole provides responsiveness and durability.

  • Lightweight and flexible design
  • 4 mm heel-toe drop for a natural running experience
  • Sufficient traction on various surfaces


When it comes to CrossFit, the New Balance Minimus TR is a versatile and functional cross-training shoe that performs well during high-intensity workouts. 

The shoe’s grip and flexibility make it suitable for a range of CrossFit exercises such as box jumps, kettlebell swings, and sprints. 

The zero-drop trainer allows for better stability in the contact area during heavier lifts, making it easier to stay grounded and maintain proper form for a long time.

  • Versatile and functional design for CrossFit workouts
  • Apt for exercises like box jumps, kettlebell swings, and sprints
  • Zero-drop design for better stability during weight training


In the realm of weightlifting, the New Balance Minimus offers a stable platform for lifting, performing well during squats and other heavy weight exercises. 

The external TPU heel counter helps increase stability, allowing you to maintain proper form during lifts, even on hard surfaces. 

  • Stable platform for lifting
  • External TPU heel counter for increased stability
  • Better suited as a cross-training shoe than a dedicated weightlifting shoe

While the New Balance Minimus is well-regarded for its performance in running, CrossFit, and weightlifting, it shines in terms of versatility, proving suitable for a variety of athletic training and workouts.

Stability and Support


Sarah's new balance minimus running shoes in pink and blue.

The New Balance Minimus series is known for its minimalist design that appeals to those interested in transitioning from conventional footwear to minimalist shoes. 

The midsole of these shoes maintains a good balance in providing structural integrity and comfort while keeping a zero-drop design for a natural feel. 

This indicates that the cross training shoes offer a stable base for a variety of workouts in addition to running.


The outsole of the Minimus series, particularly the Minimus TR and Minimus 20v7, features a Vibram outsole that offers excellent traction and durability. 

The midfoot rubber shank and stability strap in the Minimus TR further reinforces the stability of the shoe, making it an ideal choice for indoor workouts.

Some key features of the outsoles in the Minimus series include:

  • Vibram outsole: This ensures great grip and durability, making the shoes suitable for various workout and running surfaces.
  • Rubber strap (Minimus TR): Increases stability during indoor workouts and other high-performance activities.
  • Heel counter: Found in the Minimus Prevail, the flared-up support in the heel area adds to the shoe’s overall stability.

Apart from these features, the popularity of the New Balance Minimus series can be attributed to its blend of minimalist design, stability, and support. 

These shoes cater to a wide range of preferences in terms of cushioning, arch support, and stability without compromising on their minimalistic appeal.

Pros and Cons

Let’s discuss some of the pros and cons of the New Balance Minimus shoes.


  • Minimalist design: The New Balance Minimus shoes have a minimalist design with a zero-drop for the Minimus TR and a 4mm drop for the Minimus Trail 10v1. This makes them suitable for those interested in transitioning from conventional to minimalist footwear.
  • Lightweight and breathable: The Minimus shoes are lightweight, with the Minimus TR BOA weighing 8.35 oz for a size 10. The mesh upper promotes breathability, making them an ideal choice for training sessions.
  • Comfort and support: Despite their minimalist design, the shoes maintain the structural integrity and comfort for the thickness of the midsole. The PerformFit™ Wrap Upper gives the shoe a low-profile and sock-like fit, ensuring comfort during workouts, and even helping with plantar fasciitis. 
  • Versatility: The Minimus lineup has a variety of shoes tailored for different activities like running, trail running, training, and hiking. The reaction-duffusion systems and flexibility makes it easy to find the perfect Minimus for your needs.


Every shoe has its drawbacks, and the New Balance Minimus is no exception. Here are some cons that users might come across:

  • Limited cushioning: As minimalist shoes, the New Balance Minimus shoes may not provide the cushioning and support that some may be accustomed to in conventional footwear. Users may find it challenging to adjust initially, especially if used to more cushioned and a higher drop shoe.
  • Narrow fit: Some users may find the Minimus shoes to be narrow, which could limit their comfort and cause issues during extended periods of use. It’s essential to try them on for size before committing to a purchase.
  • Durability concerns: With the minimalist design on some models, there may be concerns about the shoes’ durability and how well they hold up during intense workouts or long runs. This may vary depending on the specific model and the level of usage.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of the New Balance Minimus based on your specific needs and preferences. 

By understanding both the positive and negative aspects of these shoes, you can make an informed decision on whether they align with your fitness goals and requirements in the near future.

Durability and Quality


The New Balance Minimus shoe utilizes high-quality materials to ensure durability and comfort. 

Sarah's new balance minimus running shoes in pink and blue.

These low profile shoes feature an engineered knit upper, providing flexibility and breathability while maintaining its shape over time. 

The midsole uses REVlite technology, a lightweight foam material that offers premium responsiveness and long-lasting performance at a lighter weight compared to other traditional foams.


To enhance the overall strength and durability of the versatile shoes, New Balance incorporates several reinforcement features. 

One such feature is the external TPU heel counter, which helps increase stability during your run by providing additional support in the heel area. 

This not only improves the shoe’s performance but also contributes to its longevity.

Engineered KnitA durable and flexible material used in the shoe’s upper.
TPU Heel CounterA reinforced heel for added stability and durability.
Vibram OutsoleA strong, grippy outsole designed for various surfaces.

Durable Design

The New Balance Minimus is designed to withstand the test of time, making it a worthwhile investment for those who value quality and longevity in their footwear. 

With features such as the 4 mm forefoot drop, a sturdy but lightweight upper, and a beefier Vibram outsole for improved traction, the Minimus is built to endure various terrains and workout conditions.

  • 4mm drop from heel to toe promotes more natural movement
  • Sturdy and lightweight upper improves durability
  • Vibram outsole enhances traction and durability on different surfaces

Comparisons and Alternatives

New Balance Minimus Prevail

The New Balance Minimus Prevail is a versatile option for those looking for a balance between a minimalist shoe and CrossFit footwear. 

The thin and firm base ensures stability for weightlifting, while the lightweight and breathable construction adapts well to agile exercises. 

Key features include:

  • 4 mm drop
  • Asym collar with molded foam for a natural heel fit
  • Engineered knit upper
  • External TPU heel counter for increased stability
  • Innovative REVlite midsole for responsiveness and durability

New Balance Minimus 10

The New Balance Minimus Trail shoe is a popular choice for minimalist trail runners, or transitioning runners. 

This shoe has a 4mm drop and a firm midsole, providing the necessary support for transitioning to a more minimal running style. 

Some highlights of the shoe include:

  • Crowd-favorite, returning to its original design
  • Suitable for entry-level minimalist runners
  • Stout construction to help ease the transition

Nike CrossFit Shoes

Nike offers a range of CrossFit shoes that prioritize stability, durability, and support during high-intensity workouts. 

Some popular models include the Nike Metcon series and the Nike Free X Metcon. These shoes typically feature:

  • Flat and stable outsoles for weightlifting
  • Flexible forefoot for agility exercises
  • Breathable, lightweight uppers for comfort

Merrell Barefoot Shoes

Merrell Barefoot Shoes, such as the Merrell Trail Gloves and Vapor Glove series, cater to the minimalist and barefoot running communities. 

These shoes provide a close-to-ground feel and promote a natural running stride. Key aspects of the Merrell Barefoot Shoe include:

  • Zero drop design
  • Thin, flexible soles for ground feedback
  • Durable outsole for protection on rough terrain
  • Breathable upper materials
Sarah Scoop's new balance minimus shoes are white and orange.

Inov CrossFit Shoes

Inov is well-known for its collection of CrossFit shoes, such as the F-Lite series. 

These shoes are designed to meet the demands of various workout formats, from weightlifting to sprints. 

Inov CrossFit shoes often feature:

  • Lightweight design for agility
  • Durable and supportive outsoles for stability during lifts
  • Breathable materials for comfort during intense workouts

Each brand and model offer unique features and benefits to meet different preferences and requirements in minimalist shoes, CrossFit footwear, and barefoot running options. 

While these shoes may be an additional cost, and include separate pieces compared to the New Balance Minimus, they are still great alternatives that are perfect for all of your needs. 

Consider your specific needs and personal taste when choosing among these alternatives.

Final Thoughts

That is the scoop on the New Balance Minimus review! This shoe proves to be a standout performer in the realm of minimalist running shoes.

With its lightweight construction and superior traction, it allows runners to experience a natural and unrestricted gait while providing ample protection and support.

Whether tackling short sprints or long-distance runs, the Minimus excels in delivering a harmonious blend of style and performance.

New Balance has undoubtedly succeeded in crafting a shoe that caters to the needs of minimalist runners, allowing them to push their limits and embrace the joy of running in its purest form.

With the New Balance Minimus and its reaction-diffusion engineering, every stride becomes a liberating and exhilarating experience, making it a clear choice for anyone seeking a truly exceptional running companion.

Best trail shoes for training.Keywords: trail shoes, training.

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