Monday, December 12, 2011

New Balance Minimus Zero Road Initial Review

No other shoe has made a better first impression on me in terms of fit, feel, and yes, even looks.  I rarely comment on the look of shoe simply because it is not that important to me.  For anyone who has worn Vibram FiveFingers or Soft Star Shoes understands what I mean.  These shoes however, just look damn good on and off. 

Luckily they feel just as good as they look.  The interior of the Zero Road or MR00 is silky smooth with no seams.  The few overlays are welded and thus there is zero irritation when wearing New Balance Zero Road sock-less.  This shoe also has the perfect amount of width.  It hugs your foot in all the right places while allowing great freedom in the wide toe box.  The Zero Road comes to a sharp point, but your toes are not shoved into the end of the shoe.  They feel much wider than they actually look.  

One of the most unique features of this shoe and one that I wish was standard on all shoes is the tongue.  The upper is actually all one piece that has simply been cut down one side to allow easy on and off.  I also really like the laces and how the hold the foot in the shoe. Usually I take remove the standard laces the shoes come with and replace them with Yankz laces. With the MR00 I have no plans on removing the laces.  They allow you to tighten certain areas while leaving other areas loose.    

While the upper and interior of this shoe is great, the outsole of the New Balance Minimus Road may be the best part of this shoe.  It provides a great combination of protection, ground feel, and flexibility. In addition the high wear areas are composed of Vibram rubber which should mean great durability.  Only time will tell how durable this shoe will be but I am very optimistic.  This shoe isn't the most flexible or has the best ground feel of the minimal shoes on the market but it is above average in all aspects.  The Minimus Zero Road is also extremely light weight.  My 10.5 weigh only 6.4 oz.  This makes them one of the lightest shoes in my collection.  

As you can tell, my overall impressions of this shoe are very positive.  I am yet to find any real weaknesses in this shoe.  I do wish the shoe was a bit more "foot" shaped but this shoe will be available in widths so that should help those of us with wider feet. 

This shoe reminds me a lot of a racing flat but a racing flat that is zero drop and a wider toe box.  With that said I really think this shoe could be used for all distances.  I plan on using it for my next 5k and it has quickly become a contender for my next marathon.  That is how truly versatile I think this shoe is.  After I put some more miles in this shoe I will post my additional thoughts but you should really consider picking this shoe up when it releases early next year. 

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