New Balance Trail Minimus MT 00
Newbalance.com | 4.4 oz | $110
Fit | The fit of this slipper-like shoe is not as snug as you might expect. None of our testers complained, but a few remarked that it was a bit loose under the arch. “I’ll admit that I was a bit apprehensive at first but was pleasantly surprised by the comfort and freedom that this shoe offers,” said a tester. Most welcomed the smidge of extra room in the toe box and appreciated the uninhibited flexibility.
Feel | This is the pinnacle of minimalism for the trails. “It feels like an extension of your foot, almost like a sock with a little bit of protection underneath,” one tester said. While there is great foot-to-shoe connection, “you hardly know you’re wearing anything if you’re on smooth, soft terrain,” said one tester.
Ride | On smooth dirt, you can run confidently with a quick leg turnover. “I really felt the connection to the ground, and running on groomed trails was great because of the weight and feel,” one tester raved. Gait becomes choppy over rugged and rocky surfaces, however, as you try to avoid obstacles because every pebble and stick makes an impression in the sole, which provides almost no protection.