New Balance Minimus MR10 Review

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New Balance Minimus MR10

Barefoot running seems to be the craze these days and with so many runners flocking to the idea, New Balance decided with their running background that they would put in their two cents, or two shoes…   In Spring 2011, New Balance Introduces the Mimimus line that has caught the eyes of many wanting to give minimal/barefoot running a try.

Do you find yourself in the category of wanting to try minimal/barefoot running?  I personally think that the majority of runners can benefit from the minimal running movement. Running once or twice a week allows your feet to build up muscles that have most likely been non-existent for the majority runners as traditional running shoes don’t allow your foot as much flex, therefor not allowing the foot develop as much muscle.

One of the big differentiators in this shoe versus a standard running shoe is the heal to forefoot drop.  In the New Balance Minimus MR10, the drop goes from 11 mm in the heal to 7 mm in the toe.  This is a drop difference of 4mm.  The standard drop in most running shoes is 12mm from heal to toe. What does this all mean?  The beefed up foam in the heal usually encourages heal to toe running which is not the most efficient way to run.  The more efficient way to run is to strike on your midfoot and then transition and spring off your toe.  On a longer distance run, this is harder to do as your legs begin to get fatigued and its easy to fall back into the heal to toe foot strike movement.

New Balance Minimus versus Traditional New Balance Running Shoe

All shoes in the New Balance Minimus line are under 8.2 oz. for men and and women.  This is far less than a traditional running shoe that typically weighs an average of 12 oz. One of the ways in which the Minimus line cuts weight is by removing the footbed liner.  I haven’t found there to be much of a difference as far as cushioning and comfort goes though.  The toe box in the Minimus MR10 is a little wider which allows your toes to naturally splay a little wider than the standard running shoe.  I tested out a size 12.5 and found the shoe to fit a little long, so I suggest trying the shoes on before making a purchase.

I’ve been running in these shoes for a few months now and although I am not completely switching over to the New Balance Minimus MR10, they do end up in the mix of running shoes I wear during any given week.  In the end, I think New Balance has taken a step in the right direction for those interested in minimalist running, So if you are looking to transition to or give minimalist running a try, I would highly suggest taking a look at the New Balance Minimus line.

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About Kevin Fonger

If there's an activity or sport, I'll generally try it at least once. My main activities include running, hiking, skiing, cycling, camping, backpacking, and pretty much anything else you can think of. I love writing product reviews as I like helping people find the right gear so they will enjoy their activity that much more.


  1. Hello again!
    I have been using the new Minimus as a race shoe for those local 5 km races and as a trainer for speed workouts. Like the AGR, I haven’t completely switched over to running barefoot or minimalist everyday, yet I am incorporating it into my training routine.
    The first time I put the NB Minimus Road WR10 I felt like I was stepping back in time to the days of racing flats back in high school. The Minimus WR10 is even comfy when worn without socks, another reminder of days long ago.
    The Minimus WR10, like the other Minimus shoes has a heel-toe drop of 4mm. Per the designers, they kept a slight drop to broaden the options for individuals just getting into the minimalist movement without out going completely free. There is some descent cushioning in the forefoot-midfoot region, but don’t worry it doesn’t weigh too much. The first day after running in these, I had some sore muscles which signifies that these shoes really do allow you to re-engage smaller muscles.
    I have emailed NB to get the exact weight of the Minimus WR10, but I am guessing somewhere around 7 oz for my size 9.5s. The WR10’s come in this bright white package, not quite as fun as the men’s model, but I guess I can deal. Excited to see how the market responds to these three new shoes from NB.

  2. I tried the MR10 today at my local running store. I have been using the Nike free for the last 10 months. I can tell you this shoe is not for everybody. There is no real feel with this shoe. Also it seems a bit stiff. I opted for the trail shoe. I was hoping this was going to be a transition shoe from the free but found that is not the case. But this is just my opinion and I am by far not a shoe guru. And yes I ran a few miles in the trail shoe and found it to my liking.

  3. I’ve been running on the MR 10s for about a week. Moving to the Minimus road shoe was worth the wait! I’d put over 600 miles on my NB 101’s pending the release. The MR 10s provide a nice comfort level while definately promoting the front/mid-foot strike. The shoes are light as a feather. The NB tread pattern provides great grip and provides some cushioning. The wide toe box provides ample room for the toes to splay out. The shoes are more in line with Nike Frees than with the newly released Minimus MT 10s (I’ve put nearly 150 miles on my MT 10s over the past four weeks). The MT 10s feel and perform very much like the Vibram five fingers. I do wish the MT 10 kept the steel plate incorporated into the NB 100 and 101 models. The Vibram bottoms on the MT 10s have areas that allow sharp stones and rocks to really be felt (what many true barefoot runners may want, but tough when running Ultras on rocky courses). I find the heel of the new MR 10 to be much more comfortable than the MT 10s. Both New Balance models (in my opinion) run small. I normally wear size 12, but went with the 13s in the Minimus models.

    All-in-all, both are great shoes. While they have the same 4 mm toe to heal drop, that’s where the similarities end. The MR 10s provide comfort on concrete while the MT 10s provide great feel on the trails (just not rocky trails . . . ouch!). New Balance has winners in both models . . . great job!

  4. I noticed today during a speed workout today that my feet became very hot and started burning on the balls of my feet and I was wondering if this was natural for this shoe.

  5. That can happen from time to time in any running shoe, especially in speed workouts. What type of speed workouts were you doing?

    How long have you been running in these shoes? Transitioning to a minimalist running shoe takes time and you will experience some akes and pains along the way as you are using muscles that haven’t been used as much in the past.

  6. I have been reading many reviews about the MR10. I have flat feet and I am worried the shoe won’t work for me. Any ideas?

  7. I was looking into trying these shoes but I’ll pass. I just remembered when I bought my last pair of converse. That old school, flat chuck taylor design had my flat feet burning!
    I’ll stick with the well cushioned styles by NB. Thank you!

  8. I’ve had my MT10s for about 200 miles now and I have run into two problems that have me thinking about switching to the MR10s.

    The first is that the right inner sole has started to come apart. The second is that twice when going longer miles, I have developed huge blisters on the ball of my fooot. I’m switching from mostly grass/mud/rocky trails to concrete and asphalt in preparation for a marathon.

    Some additional information: I have bad knees and the write-ups on minimalist running suggested that I will do better with a minimal shoe than with the big motion-contol shoes. The other is that I weigh 280 pounds (and descending), so whatever I do is going to need to be strong. I’ve been overall happy with the MT10s in this regard. Even at my starting weight about 30 pounds ago I could handle walking on rocks with no problem, but running is a bit more of a challenge.

  9. I typically run between 3-6 miles on flat pavement, a few small hills mixed in.

    Aside from running in the new GO Run minimal shoes by Skechers, I find these to be a nice glide.

    I’m a fan of lightweight, breathable, roomy, (almost) neutral last positioning, rocker bottom designs.

    I’m still in the transition out of big, bulky running shoes and the more I correct my gait aspects the more I go into minimal mid to forefoot designs..

    Love it.

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