Folks are really excited about New Balance’s forthcoming Minimus line. We think there are a few reasons for that. First, it’s a major brand’s foray into the whole minimalist running thing. Second, it follows on the success of New Balance’s introduction of the MT 100 last year. Third, the Minimus line (like the MT101/101 before it) was designed with significant input from top ultramarathoner Anton Krupicka. Below is a video in which Anton talks about many topics, such as the simplicity of running, how he came to start shaving the heels off his shoes, what minimalist running can (and can’t) do for you, and what its like being sponsored by New Balance. As a bonus, the video is very well put together with great images. You can also see the full Minimus running shoe, including its sick Vibram outsole.
Check out the full New Balance article for a written interview with Krupicka and senior designer Chris Wawrousek. They discuss how New Balance found Anton and Kyle Skaggs and why the company started working with them a few years after researching ultramarathoners, who were “grueling along.”
In the written article, Wawrousek also shares how the MT 100 started as a racing shoe for Krupicka and Skaggs, but had to be watered down for the broader market. The timing for such a minimalist shoe wasn’t yet right. Here’s a great quote, “So, a lot of what we had talked about with Tony and Kyle and the origins of the 100 – the 100 itself didn’t really live up to all of those ideas, but when we were able to free ourselves up and do NB Minimus, a lot of the seeds had been planted with the 100.”
A later question about Krupicka’s personal modifications of the NB 790 and MT 100 yields reinforces that just a year or two ago, companies were bound by consumers’ concept of the running shoe. Now, after Born to Run, a company such as New Balance can move forward with radical designs.
The second half of the article goes into the nuts and bolts of how Krupicka was involved in developing the Minimus line. In the most telling question (and answer), in our minds, Anton was asked, “Is the feedback you’re giving [for the Minimus], Tony, geared toward making a better shoe for racing, for training or just for running?” Krupicka responded “The 100 is kind of a racing shoe that I’ll use for long runs, and the NB Minimus is something I’ll use more as a training tool. Over the last few months, I’ve begun to gear my feedback to the two shoes with that in mind.”
If you’re looking for more detailed shots of the Minimus trail shoes, they’re up over here [broken link to barefootrunners.org removed].
Call for Comments
What are your thoughts on New Balance’s Minimus line? What did you think of the video and interview?