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Updated on November 21, 2011
Unless you’ve been living (and running) under a rock, you know that minimalism has hit the mainstream. This less-is-more movement will become even more apparent in the spring, when two new styles of New Balance running shoes are added to its low-profile lineup. We got up close and personal with the new kicks at summer Outdoor Retailer 2011.
The first newbie featured in the video above is the MT110, a new lightweight trail shoe that features a 4mm drop from heel to forefoot. Available in January 2012, the 110 isn’t exactly a “barefoot” shoe, but it certainly is a step closer to minimalism—especially when compared to the MT101. It’s built with the intention of trail racing.
We hear that the the NB Minimus 110 series will continue through 2012 though so that both a 4 mm and 0mm drop series will be available. EDIT: The series that will continue through 2012 includes the NB Minimus Zero (0 mm drop) and NB Minimus 10 (4 mm drop). While the 110 (4 mm drop) will also be included, it is not officially part of the NB Minimus collection. And to answer lingering questions on YouTube, the 110 will not feature a Vibram outsole. For those wondering the thickness of its sole, the stack height (midsole + outsole + insert + strobe, etc.) is 15.3 mm in the heel and 11.3 mm in the forefoot.
Another lightweight shoe blooming this spring is the NB Minimus Zero. With a weight of 4.5 ounces, it’s about as light as it gets. It features a 0 mm drop from heel to forefoot, which makes it completely flat. A Vibram outsole features as little rubber as possible and the EVA, which runs 5.2 mm across, is cored out so you can actually see the upper material. Its stack height is 13.5 mm all the way across.
Yes, but how do they compare to the ever-popular Vibram FiveFingers?
“The Vibram FiveFingers have articulated toes that give you a much different feel then having a whole shoe on,” said Bryan Gothie, Senior Product Manager for New Balance. “You are getting more EVA [in the NB Minimus Zero]. Some of the FiveFingers are going to be much lower to the ground. Our positioning has been that we still want a shoe; we want that barefoot experience. This is the most barefoot type of experience we can offer, but at the end of the day, you are still going to want some kind of shoe.”
Gothie recommends the MT110 as a great transition shoe for those looking to test the “barefoot” waters. However, you’ll have to wait a few more months before jumping in.
What do you think of New Balance’s upcoming minimalism additions?