New Balance Minimus Trail Zero and Road Zero Review

Back in February of 2011, I reviewed the first New Balance Minimus Trail and Minimus Road giving high marks to both shoes as being excellent and functional minimalist shoes.  New Balance has taken these successful designs a step further this time and released their first zero drop shoes in their line, the NB MT00 and MR00.  For those fans of the previous versions of the Minimus shoes with 4mm of heel drop, New Balance will continue to make those models.  The MT00 (aka the Minimus Trail Zero) and the MR00 (aka the Minimus Road Zero) are not merely zero dropped versions of the previous models, but different animals altogether. Both models will be available in February 2012.

As always, check out the comments for many more details about these shoes. We also included key images of the new Minimus Zero models in the following review. More images are available on Facebook.

NB MT00 (Minimus Trail Zero)

New Balance Minimus Trail Zero MT00

The Minimus Trail Zero ($100) is definitely the most minimal and lightweight upper of any trail shoe I have ever worn.  Similar to the upper material of many state of the art distance track spikes, the MT00 upper is made of a thin, but very durable, nylon with welded overlays which provided plenty of form but very little restriction throughout the upper.  This material does allow dirt and dust into the interior of the shoe, but seems more puncture resistant than mesh.  The old Minimus upper seems bulky and overbuilt by comparison.  Simply put, this upper looks and feels space age and hugged my foot throughout the heel and mid foot while providing a nice wide toe box.  The tongue is made of a thin synthetic leather and the laces are flat and fairly wide which didn’t put any uncomfortable pressure on the top of my foot.  The heel collar is flexible and low all around the ankle.  There is not an Achilles notch.

New Balance Minimus Trail Zero MT00 lateral upper

The NB Minimus Trail Zero's lateral upper.

I was able to put on the MT00 right out of the box and head out for a six mile trail run without any issues whatsoever.  They absolutely fit like a slipper and the pliability of the upper was accommodating whether I wore thicker wool socks or very thin socks.  I did not run in the  MT00 barefoot, but I did walk around outside for 3-4 hours in the shoe.  The inside of the shoe is essentially seamless apart from where the tongue stitches into the upper and I never felt rubbing on any part of my feet.  The barely-there insole is not removable, but is very soft.

After enjoying the original Minimus Trail (MT10) for shorter runs I found that it lacked the outsole protection needed from sharp rocks and I frequently ended a run with a bruised foot where a sharp rock had found it’s way between the lugs.  New Balance updated the outsole with larger, more cushioned lugs and reinforced the lugs in high wear area by adding more durable Vibram rubber.  Gaps still exist where a stone could get through, but with the outsole being deeper I didn’t have any problems.  The MT00 outsole also felt more protective on steep down hills where I couldn’t help but heel strike and the Vibram rubber is placed in all the right spots conducive to trail running.

New Balance Minimus Trail Zero MT00 outsole

The New Balance Minimus Trail Zero's outsole.

The midsole/outsole is also decoupled and the MT00 is very, very flexible.  I felt my foot working the shoe to dig into uphills in loose dirt or rocks, and, as a zero drop shoe, I was surprised with the ease of transition that I felt since I normally wear trail shoes with 4-to-10mm drops.  My calves where a little more worked than usual, but my feet didn’t feel battered by lack of protection.  As a non-minimalist runner, I could slip on the MT00 and run trails up to 10 miles without any after effects.

Overall Impression
Weighing just 4.4 ounces and being trail worthy is quite an accomplishment.  The MT00 may be the new benchmark for what minimalist trail running feels and performs like.  It is more protective than the original Minimus Trail and can actually handle some burly trails.  Overall, I didn’t notice my feet getting as beat up in the MT00 and the traction and bit of cushioning from the outsole lugs is impressive.

New Balance Minimus Trail Zero MT00 medial upper

The NB MT00's medial upper.

NB MR00 (Minimus Road Zero)

New Balance Minimus Road Zero MR00

Drumroll please…I’d like to introduce you to the best upper which has ever graced my feet.  The fit of the Minimus Road Zero ($110) is simply phenomenal!  With a very similar fit and last to the MT110, the MR00 incorporates an innovative tongue design which enhances comfort and decreases rubbing through the midfoot.  You could think of it as a mono-tongue which has been tried in the past by other shoe companies but never worked well.  The MR00 tongue is part of the upper and wraps over the top of the foot where it slides flush under the outside of the shoe.  New Balance used flat laces with flat oval shaped eyelets on the lateral side of the shoe and loops on the medial side to give a highly adjustable, snug lacing system.  The fit is perfect throughout the heel and midfoot before offering a splendidly wide forefoot which minimalist runners will love.  Like I stated before, I believe this is the exact same upper fit as the MT110, but I cannot be sure because I only tested the MT110 for two months and then had to send them back to New Balance.

New Balance Minimus Road Zero MR00 upper

The NB Minimus Road Zero's upper.

The upper material is a dual density mesh with a honeycomb pattern and overlays are welded on sparingly, keeping the upper pliable.  Barefooters will love the plush interior that lines the inside of the MR00 and I was able to do several runs without socks and had no issues.

The full-length midsole material is made of a durable EVA foam keep the shoe highly flexible.  The Vibram outsole is only found in the high wear areas of a neutral foot strike, which shouldn’t be a problem as the zero drop kept me on my midfoot and forefoot during each run.  When I first tried on the MR00 I noticed a feeling of less cushioning along the lateral edge of my feet where the Vibram outsole is most heavily distributed.  This was not noticeable while running and I was able to wear the MR00 on the road up to 6 miles without issues and longer on crushed gravel.

New Balance Minimus Road Zero MR00 outsole

The NB Minimus Road Zero's outsole.

For runners, like myself, with a less than perfect gait cycle/ foot strike there are some areas of the sole with exposed foam that could wear over time.  This foam is similar to the outsole of the Saucony Kinvara, so my best guess is that it will hold up fairly well.  It is important to point out that the MR00 platform is quite a bit different than the first Minimus Road.  The MR00 responds and rides more like a stripped down racing flat with greater durability than a stripped down road trainer.

Overall Impression
At only 6.4 ounces, minimalists are going to love the fit and feel of the MR00.  I can’t say enough good things about the upper and for those looking for proprioception on the roads with minimal cushioning this shoe is it.  I especially hope that New Balance incorporates upper akin to the MR00’s into some of their other road shoes.

New Balance Minimus Road Zero MR00 upper

Another shot of the MR00's upper.

Words of Caution

Transition slowly in any shoe with zero drop, but especially minimalist shoes such as the MR00 and MT00.  I am not a minimalist runner and I will continue to use both shoes as a training tool, but will probably not run longer than 6 miles in either due to my belief that I need a bit more shoe to sustain my training.  I have really enjoyed wearing both shoes casually as well because they look amazing and allow my feet to relax and function in between runs.

Call for Comments

  • Will you try either version of the Minimus Zero? If so, which model?
  • Which features are you most excited about?
Tom Caughlan

is iRunFar's Minimalist Gear Editor. Tom’s passion for trail running and specialty running retail experience shine through in all of his highly technical reviews, which do range outside minimalist shoes.

There are 70 comments

  1. Caleb E

    I would be interested to see how you thought these new models compare to Inov-8's new road/bare line…any chance you'll be testing those soon?

    1. Ash

      I'll be anxious to compare the Inov-8 Road line with the MR00, too. I really like the Bare-X 150 Lite. It'll be nice to have a few decent zero-drop road shoes to compare in the near future.

  2. Ralph

    Tom: Kudos to a great preview to the 2012 NB zero drop duo lineup. Since I have been running in the MT101 and MR10 Minimus these shoes sound like a performance upgrade. Lightweight protective minimal pillows for my feet. With the new MT110 due out next month its runners nirvana. February won't come soon enough! Thanks again for your review.

  3. David

    So is the mono-tongue just like the Brooks Green Silence (which does work extremely well)? None of your pictures really shows it off.

    Thanks for the review!

  4. Nrmrvrk

    I will definitely try the MT00. I might try the MR00. A road shoe that you were only able to comfortably run in for 6 miles doesn't sound like a good idea for a marathon / ultramarathon runner. I really enjoy the Merrell Trail Gloves but I'm disappointed that the lack of cushioning gives way to midfoot soreness after ~12 miles for me. For road / packed trail running I'm looking forward more to the MT110 and the new Merrell gloves with a little bit of cushion.

    Feature-wise, I'm excited about the weight, the loss of the strap that went over the top of the foot in the last Minimus Trail shoe, and the sole. I'm hopeful that the footbed is wider than the previous Minimus Trail that didn't fit my foot at all.

    I hope the sole of the MR00 is better than it looks. Those suction cups don't look like they're going to help the shoe / traction much.

    Thanks for the detailed review. I've been eagerly awiting the MR00 to show up in stores.

    1. Tom Caughlan

      Nrmrvrk: The 6 miles in the MR00 is what I can comfortably do in them without any after effects in my calves. I think that runners more adjusted to minimalist zero drop shoes would fare much better. Thanks for the comments!

  5. Andy

    Runners' nirvana indeed. Especially excited by the beefed up outsole on the MT00. With both these shoes, the MT110, and the Cascadia 7 all coming soon, I'll have to lobby for all holiday gifts to be Backcountry gift certificates so I can hold out and cash in in 2012!

    For Nrmvrk – Not sure how the MR00 will feel relative to the first Minimus Road, but the latter certainly has enough substance for marathons — I recently PR'd by 17 minutes wearing a pair. The 00s weigh nearly 2 oz less, though (6.4 vs. 8.2), so this may not be a fair comparison.

  6. Chris


    Looking good, thanks for the review.

    Question for you– other than the difference in drop, what sets the MT00 apart from the MT110? I was counting on buying the MT110 in a month or two but now I may have another contender to consider…



  7. DiscoStuGotz


    Great review! Thank you!

    How would you stack up the foot protection on the MT00 against, say, the Merrell Trail Glove? I run mostly in MTG's and my feet are hamburger after about 30mi on minimally-technical / technical terrain. Do you think the MT00's would be as good or (hopefully) better than the MTG's in that area?



  8. Digger

    Beware running on anything wet or slippery with the Minimus trail shoes.It doesn't look like they've improved the grip at all. I'll stick with the INOV-8 212's and the Crosslites.

  9. Dominic


    The MT310 is a derivative of the MT101 with the same sole, but a new upper. It is offered in big box stores (sports authority)


    To clarify (and I'm sure Tony may chime in too) the MT00 does not have a rock plate, and has a lot less rubber (and thinner rubber at that) on the sole. If you have trails free of rocks/pointy objects, this shoe will feel like running in nothing but a frim arch wrap, with the sensation of a "floating arch". But, if there's rocky or very inconsistent terrain, these won't protect and they will take some extra foot strength. The zero drop feels great, but this is in a class of it's own as far as minimalist shoes go (thinner than any merrel I've tried, but just a little thicker than a set of VFF's (on the fore foot only). I use it as a training tool, but don't go near any rocky terrain in it.

    But as Tom mentioned, it is the best upper that you'll find in any shoe, anywhere. The forefoot toes have room to splay natureally, but the nylon is wrapped snug to keep the height of the toebox low, and keep it from feeling sloppy. The arch wraps like a glove and the heel confroms to whatever your heel shape is (no heel counter).

    One interesting feature of this shoe is the last that features a pointed big toe which serves to discourage toe off on the big toe. It offers a more natural curve around the smaller toes to promote a biomechanically correct toe off on the middle toes.

    The MT00 is great for consistent trails, road, and speed work. For me, some minimalist shoes I've worn have felt a little too forgiving in the upper, and not kept the sole attached well enough at high speeds. Also, some lasts weren't curved enough, and would get in the way of a faster stride. These are generously curved (as on the 110) and fit like a track spike through the arch (as in the 110).

    Overall, one of my favorite shoes to wear when not on demmanding terrain.

    1. Andy

      Tom's review (and the photos) make it sound as if the MT00 has significantly more protection underfoot than the Minimus, but your comments suggest otherwise. Thoughts on the comparison?

      1. Dominic

        I'd have to say I disagree. I run Southern California trails with a mix of every type of rock and root you can find.. and just look at the weight, 4.4 oz vs. 7.1 oz. I just want to make sure no one is mislead into thinking this is more than the minimus. Less drop, less material, less protection, more free, more minimalist.

  10. Jeanni

    Any chance you've got comments on how they do in "real" trail conditions, mud or snow? I'm constantly on the battle to find the trail shoes that hold on to the least amount of mud and can hold their traction on snow or slick dusty sections.

  11. Digger

    The best shoes I've ever had for shedding mud(clay) were Pearl Izumi trail runners. The best grip are the INOV-8's and La Sportivas. I won't run in my Minimus' if there is even a chance of slippery conditions.

    Maybe others like the grip, I haven't met anyone who has.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    1. KenZ

      I personally haven't run in the INOV-8s, but having lived in the UK for 5+ months and talked/run with a lot of people there, and per their experience and comments you'd be hard pressed to find better for grip. No one knows wet slippery conditions like the Brits, and it's the environment that bred the INOV-8s.

      I ran a wet, slippery 35 miler in the UK in my MT101s, and was on my butt so often, impaled my hand on a gate latch during a slip, and generally had zero control. What was funny though was that I THOUGHT I'd do well, but right before the start the RD asked for a show of hands of who had INOV-8s on (most people) and if anyone had road/non spikey shoes on (that was me and only me). His comment was: "Good luck to ya." He was right.

      So there's a plug for the INOV-8s from a guy who hasn't used them… the only reason I don't own a pair of INOV-8s for when I'm running in the UK/wet is the forefoot is too narrow for me.

      1. Ben Nephew


        I am running in your shoes right now. Inov-8 will be coming out with a new line of lighter trail trainer/racers that have a much wider forefoot. Have you tried the road shoes? The road shoes have a wider forefoot than the X-talon, and the new trail shoes may even be a bit wider.

        I'm still not sure why the terrain is so slippery over there in the UK and Ireland, I've run on pretty slippery stuff over the years, but the Fell running in Connemara was crazy. People in non-lugged soles were literally paddling themselves downhill like they were starting the luge.


        Where do you live? The definitions of real trail conditions and mud tend to greatly greatly by region. In general, the X-talon and the Roclite soles have great traction on loose surfaces, even deep mud. Due to the height of the lugs, they will maintain traction in pretty deep snow. The X-talon sole sheds better due to the greater spacing, but the Roclite sole is more durable and is a better all-around sole. It even works well on the roads. I would suggest Goretex shoes if you are regularly running in cold wet conditions and snow. Your feet will be much happier.

        1. KenZ


          Thanks, that's super good info. I like the road shoes I have, so those I won't trade in, but am definitely looking at a new pair (or two or three) of trail shoes; the MT110s probably being one of those as an upgrade I hope from the 101s (which, by the way, I think are the best shoes I've ever worn for non-slippery conditions, based on personal preferences of course). That said, I would love to add something with REAL traction for those "kinda sort of slippery" days in California (read as: not really slippery at all if you can pull it off in an MT101) and the occasional run in the UK which is either going to be gorgeous, or an endurance slip and slide.

          Connemara is great! Make sure you drive out to the Twelve Bens next time you're there and do a random trail run assault of several of them. The ridge line running between them is just frickin' fantastic. Another not-to-be-missed running experience is to take a boat out to the Aran Islands. Most people get bussed around or rent a bike for the day, but with a pack and a set of legs, you can run the spectacular cliff side with NO ONE there. Recommend the west side of Inishmaan. Probably worth staying overnight so that you can do the "sighseeing sights run" one day and then get in a full adventure run along the coast.

          1. Ben Nephew

            I was asking if you've tried the road shoes just to get an idea of how wide your forefoot is. If you like the fit of the road shoes, you will probably like the fit of the new trail models.

            I experienced Benbaun at the IAU race, but I think I was the one being assaulted. It would have been awesome to do more of that ridge, though. I was thinking that looking at the map of the park before the race, and it was great section of course. I was just glad we had good weather for the race. I can't imagine being out there for 6 hours in a cold rain while racing. The Kylemore side of Benbaun was ridiculous. I still have no idea how dirt and grass stick to such a steep slope. Then there is the uphill bog….


            Mike Wardian was telling me how nice the Aran Islands are before the 50k in Galway last year, but most of the those trips end up being about 48 hours for me. I'll have to get back for vacation sometime soon.

  12. Tom Caughlan


    The MT110, besides being engineered specifically for trail, has a softer midsole and traditional tongue construction. The cushioning and protection from the MT110 doesn't feel quite so minimal. If you run a lot of trail I would definitely go with the MT110. The MR00 has a firm and minimal cushioning/ midsole and is really designed to feel the road.

    I would like to be able to compare them side by side, but I cannot. So, from memory, that is what I remember.

  13. Tom Caughlan


    I reviewed the trail glove and liked it. But, I agree with you about hamburger feet after technical trails. The MT00 is quite a bit more protective and I was even able to hit the downhills pretty hard in them. Something I couldn't say about the original Minimus Trail or the MTG.

  14. Tom Caughlan


    I appreciate the comments. I disagree about the original Minimus vs the MT00 on technical terrain. I'm in CO on very rocky trails and I think the MT00 holds up a lot better. We have very sharp rocks where I live sticking out of the trails and the MT00 lugs seemed to protect better than the flatter lugs of the Minimus or Trail Glove. That being said, I do agree with you that the MT00 is more flexible and feels more minimalist. I just didn't get a bruise on my foot where I have several times with the original Minimus and the Trail Glove.

    However, you just proved that it's really a personal preference. I'm not wearing any of these shoes every day (maybe twice weekly).

    Thanks for all the feedback, great gear chatter!

    1. Dominic

      Minimalist running is very open ended to creative use of the shoes, so I'm not suprised that someone, somewhere can run rocky trails in these. I don't know if all minimalist runners will be able to do so as well, but I applaud you for finding more ways to enjoy this shoe.

  15. Tom Caughlan

    I'm agreeing with Dominic. The MT110 is a great shoe and it shed mud and clay (I have clay everywhere here!) very well. I also like the Pure Grit for shedding mud (some say the Pure Grit doesn't have enough traction but I found it ample).

    1. Andy

      Have put quite a few miles/hours on the Pure Grit and agree the traction is ample, as is its rock protection despite lacking a rockplate (I'm in the northeast where rocks/roots and stretches of crushed stone prevail). It's not truly a minimalist shoe other than the relatively light weight (8+ oz?) and the 4 mm drop. Agree — great reviews and gear chatter on the eve of some much anticipated releases!

  16. DDDDDDavid.R

    Can someone explain how a shoe that weighs 4.4oz can be more protective then a shoe that ways 7+oz?

    That is almost half the weight, I have always figured that for the most part more weight equals more protection. With the bottom part being the main area of protection from the ground(rocks,roots,etc.) and also being the heaviest part of a shoe when I see the weight reduced by so much I really start wondering how the protection did not change or decrease. The upper may be totally minimal but the upper is not really were the weight is in a shoe, so not sure you can cut half the total weight there.

    Overall I have to say the MT00 review leaves me asking many more questions then providing answers to the ones I had.

    The road shoes looks totally cool, but again in the weight world I question how a shoe built for the road which is flat, man made and offers much less obstacles can weigh more then a shoe designed for the trail.

    Again the whole thing leaves me asking a lot of questions.

    I am not trying to make weight the end all, but it is a very real way of judging something, and puts personal opinions aside, which can often take priority in a shoe review.Overall the shoes LOOK really nice, hopefully I have the budget to try them both.

    1. Tom Caughlan


      You pose some very good questions. First of all, NB did save quite a bit of weight in the upper. The upper of the MT00 is about as minimal as a Nike Zoom Streak XC or a Zoom Victory XC spike but way more durable. We're talking Minimal. Durable nylon/ dual density mesh with nicely welded thin overlays. The original Minimus had a thicker upper with synthetic leather overlays. NB probably saved at least an ounce there.

      Next up, the original Minimus Trail had an EVA midsole covered by a flat lugged Vibram outsole which covered the entire shoe (save for some small spaces in between the lugs). The MT00 uses a harder EVA foam on their convex lugs (no midsole here) and puts the durable Vibram only on areas of high use. Reducing Vibram saves a lot of weight.

      I hope this helps. I trust the way my feet feel while running which is entirely subjective. I have more confidence in the MT00 than the minimuss trail on technical terrain. Others may feel completely different about these shoes but that is my take on how they saved weight.

  17. Ben Nephew

    Since the MR00 does have a midsole, is more comparable to the road x 155. The main physical difference is that the 155 has no rubber, just a combo midsole/outsole like the old Nike Skylons and it has a 4mm differential. The Bare X shoes have no midsole at all.

  18. Ben Nephew

    You might want to try the X-talon 190's if you like the 212's. Although they are only 1 arrow, the protection is very similar to the 212's due to a new midsole compound, and I think the upper on the 190 provides a better fit. The upper on the 212 is better for off trail orienteering type runs, though.

  19. KenZ

    Ben, that video from your Connemara link is awesome. US trail runners should really give that a watch; it's a whole different type of race for sure. Fell running is insane…

  20. Tom Caughlan


    I realized after re-reading these posts that I mis-answered your question. Too many MRs, MTs, ….

    Anyways, the MT110 is a lot more trail worthy for long runs, racing, etc…. than the MT00. Unless you are a very minimalist runner the MT00 is probably not an everyday shoe which you could do all of your training in. The MT110 has a lot more protection and cushioning in the midsole. Also, I think that the upper will hold up quite a bit better than the MT00.

  21. Chris

    How about large sizes? Many other New Balance runners go up to size 16 which I wear. I am interested in trying this style shoe. Will 16 be available?

  22. bogie

    What is the difference between MT10 and MT20 .. the NB website says the sole and lift of 4mm is the same. Did you had a chance to touch and feel both shoes ?

    And i am not sure if i should wait for the new MT00 … you were saying the upper is not very sturdy ?

    Plus the sole of the new MT00 … because they shaved rubber … it seems it will be thinner and more prone to rocks poking thru the gaps in the sole

    I need a low heel shoe for longer distances like 50s , BUT i need it to be wide … not sure who else except new balance has wide low heel shoes minimal heel drop

  23. Jerry Bailey

    The mesh upper on the 10 was nice for those of us who do quite a bit of river/creek crossing. I don't wear socks and the 10 quickly dried out while the 20 feels like walking in a bucket of water for quite a distance after exiting a creek. It appears the 00 has the same upper as the 20. BTW, I ran a trail 100 in the 10s without so much as a blister or sore joint.

  24. Jur9en

    I would love to see durability included into reviews. Perhaps in the year-end round up, or as an annex after 6 months to the original review.

    I've used the MT10's for about 8 months now, mainly on mountain trails in Nepal. I love the fit and general feel. But the wear is starting to show. Exactly the lugs reinforced on the MT00 are starting to wear down; providing less grip & protecting. Where the Vibram sole is fused with the mesh near the big toe, the rubber is starting to peel. A couple of big mesh squares in the upper part have been ripped by rocks.

    I run maybe 10mi 2-3x a week, and I rotate with another pair of trails shoes. Isn't this a bit quickly after 8 months?

    In general, I run into this with other brands as well. Often I have to buy new shoes because the upper part is worn- especially inside padding is torn if there's a heelcup- while the soles are still perfectly good.

    1. Bryon Powell

      I'd suggest looking at the comment threads for feedback on durability. The small stable of iRunFar reviewers tests so many shoes (many not reviewed) that we generally move on after reviewing a shoe. In fact, the greatest compliment I can give to a shoe is wearing it until it's worn out!

      As for your wear, if you're approaching 400-500 miles on gnarly terrain, I think your wear is right in line with most models, especially minimalist models. There are some "bombproof" trail models that'd hold up even better, but they're heavier, less flexible, and, generally, less breathable.

  25. Andy Clarke

    Thank you New Balance. I am a UK resident and they have arrived here (January 13th) and I have managed to bag myself a pair.

    I have been out for a run and they are amazingly light and hold the trail well. It actually feels like you are wearing nothing on your foot…less than a VFF!!!

    My only concern is the following:

    In the forefoot there are gaps in between the lugs that go right through to the soft foot-bed material that is only a mm or two thick. If you poke your nail into it you can actually feel the shape of your nail inside the shoe as only a mm or two of soft material separates the sharp object from your foot. A large thorn, hawthorn or cacti, stone etc could rip right through surely??? Also, your feet get wet from beneath if you run in damp conditions!!!

    Any thoughts anyone on this?

    Apart from this, everything about the shoe seems amazing and it ran so smoothly it felt like I was completely barefoot.

    Time will tell on durability, full review coming soon at for those waiting to see if the shoe is worth buying (UK or US market)

  26. Jonathan

    I had bought a pair of the previous minimus shoes, and unfortunately the curve of the front of the shoe was too much for my feet, my little toes kept hitting the end. Is the curve of this shoe pretty similar in that way?

  27. Todd

    I routinely run 12-16 miles in my old Minimus', but hated them for rocky trails (ouch!), I look forward to getting both of these models and trying them out on some Eastern Kentucky mountain trails.

  28. mcwbadger

    I have to disagree. The bare X-150 do have a midsole. The bare X-180 and 200 don't have a midsole. One difference may be that the MR00 outsole may hold up better and the Inov-8 bare X line that only last about 300-400 miles before breaking down.

  29. Collin

    When you say that the MT00 has a "very durable" upper, did you actually wear these for more than a run or two? I shelled out $110 for a pair, started developing holes on my second run, and the upper of my right shoe literally ripped in half within 3 weeks of decent mileage (a hair over 100 mpw). My MR00s are doing better, but whoever designed the MT00 upper deserves to be fired.

  30. Collin

    Also, my soles flattened to just about nothing within a few weeks. Yes, New Balance had some great ideas with the MT00s, but they really shouldn't have released these without doing better product testing… Hopefully they'll make the next Minimus considerably more durable, even if it means adding back an ounce of weight.

  31. Jerry Bailey

    My initial report for the zero goes like this: I've put the MT10 through several thousand miles of rocky/rooty trail, and have zero complaints. I tried the MT20 and the toe box is a bit too narrow for me, and I hated the plastic canvas material used for the upper. The 20 is a great shoe to wear around the office.

    I was disappointed when I discovered the zero has that same canvas material for the upper. The material refuses to form to my foot. On uphills the material bunches up and becomes oh so annoying after a few hours on the trail. The last thing I want on a 50K or 50 miler is another annoyance to send me mentally over the edge. If the zero sole wears out as fast as the 10 and 20 that thinner surface between lugs is going to be a problem. But fair is fair, I need to put in a few more miles before I decide their fate.

    The big question for me is, why can't we have the 10 with zero drop and no raised toe box?

  32. Anonymous

    Jerry Bailey: I couldn't agree more. You have hit the nail on the head.

    I have reviewed the MT00 ( and after many more miles the upper gives me blisters where it bends at the toe and refuses to give or soften at all. It bunches and 'pops' and 'clicks' on bending.

    I conclude that if I had my wish, it would be the MT10 with zero drop and yes, no toe spring. Please New Balance, bring out a MT10Z (zero drop)


    I say nonsense to your comment about about "my soles flattened to just about nothing within a few weeks".I product tested the MT00 for six weeks. I put over 210 miles with a 60/40 ratio of road (60) to trail (40). I also completed the North face endurance challenge marathon in Wisconsin wearing the MT00s. I'm a 5'9" triathlete/multi sport/runner who weighs in at a 175lbs. Plenty of tread/sole remaining. I could have put in another 200 plus miles, but my test was up.

  34. Bennie

    I got my first pair of MT00's in March after glaring them with a great deal of scepticism since Jan. While a very light shoe(kudos to that), impressive zero heel drop, and comfortably glove-like, whoever came up with the mesh top idea should be axed! The mesh top area tore around my small-toe within 30 days, and I did a combination of trail running (once a week, Lion's Head, Cape Town) and road running (Seapoint Promenade, Cape Town). Box in hand and full of fury, I returned it and got it replaced. But now, exactly the same thing happened to the new shoe! Am I doing something wrong? Does this mean my feet is just not suitable to this particular shoe? The shoe eased my transition to forefoot running, which I now love as it added more k's to my session. Could it be that the pressure of the forefoot, (and therefore the toes?) is too much and caused the mesh to tear?

  35. Scott

    I purchase a pair of R00 a couple of months ago. I have been transitioning into lighter and flatter shoes for a while now and was a huge fan of the Adi Zero Rocket. This NB shoe is my favorite road shoe. Fit and feel are outstanding! After I brief time of getting used to the shoe and the zero drop it is now my shoe of choice for all distances including marathon.

  36. Frank

    I've got about 200 miles on my MR00's. If I had to run out and get a new pair of shoes today, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another pair of them. I've gone from the Brooks Mach 12's, to the Saucony Shay's, to the Mizuno Wave Universe 4's to these. My favorite shoes by far. I can do about 15-20 miles in these before I still to feel worn down. In the Mizuno's, it was about 10-15.

  37. Liz

    Hi Tom

    Great review!!

    Today I just purchased the MT00, men's size 7 width D. I actually wanted the MR00 but my size wasn't available.

    As soon as I tried on the MT00 I knew it was 'the one', although I must admit this is the first time ive tried a minimalist shoe! What have i been missing???!! The space at the forefront is deluxe, and it fits like a glove.

    Now, apologiesif i sound like a spoilt child but I am now wondering if I'm missing out on something as the MR00 tends to receive rave reviews in comparison to the MT00.

    My training ground is a mix of grass, pavement and bitumen, and my workouts are a mix of speed work, hill reps and steady mid-distance runs (8km). I train 3x per week. Do you think I should have gone for the MR00??

    In any case, I'm sure these shoes will work a treat and maybe I can treat myself to a second pair for christmas! Hehe…anyhow I'd just be interested to hear your thoughts based on my recreational training needs.


  38. Dylan

    ? I own two pairs of the INVO8 Bare-X 180's and my first pair went 800 miles for me before finally getting a hole in part of the heel of the sole……

    And also currently have been trying out the New Balance Trail 00 and have only clocked in 100 miles so far (all trail) and already the soles of both shoes have started to fall apart.

  39. blasbike

    I have also felt "the one" for MR00 when I first try them and I still feel like that. Great shoes.

    Just did second road marathon this year in them. I don't run much on road, mostly trail, dirt road in MT10.

    About caution on 0mm heel drop mentioned in the review. This is not about heel drop!

    The caution is about heel strike vs forefoot strike. This shoes are for forefoot running form.

    In "traditional" "iron" shoes you can run both forms, in minimal/less heel drop/less support shoes you better go forefoot form.

  40. Corey

    I'm a big fan of the New Balance Minimus, I'd like to mention if you've been running in typical running shoes and are thinking about making the switch to a Minimal type running shoe, It's a good idea to pick a middle-of-the-road type running shoe. When I was at New Balance getting a fit for a minimal shoe (MR10), they actually set me up with the New balance 890's as a precursor. The 890's are an 8mm shoe that will allow your feet to get use to the smaller sizes (Before you move to the 4mm MR10 (… )/ MT10 (… )), thus reducing injuries.

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