New Balance Minimus Zero: When Ultralight is Too Light

 "Before" Photo Credit New Balance

“Before” Photo Credit New Balance

All in all, the New Balance Minimus Zero Trail Runners have great feel, great style, are lightweight, comfortable and would be the perfect all around fitness shoe if they didn’t fall apart so quickly.

I LOVE the minimalist style of shoes.  Ever since I first slipped a pair of vibram fivefingers on my feet, I’ve never looked back.  I use the heck out of my shoes (to a fault, if you ask my wife) so I need something that holds up while I powerlift, push the Prowler, sprint, jump, trail run, jog the dogs, and walk around Boulder’s 29th Street outdoor mall shopping for new Patagonia gear.



The Zero Trail is part of the Minimus line of shoes from New Balance and comes in Men’s & Women’s versions.  The key features include:

  • Super duper lightweight: 124 g or 4.4oz
  • 0 mm drop from heel to toe
  • No sew welded seams
  • Synthetic/Mesh upper
  • Anti-Microbial treatment
  • Vibram® outsole


When I picked these up for the first time, I could not believe how light they were.  It felt like my socks weighed more than these.  The lightweight and super flexible outer material allows for a really forgiving forefoot width.  Jess has a D-width foot and swears the minimalist shoes are the most comfortable shoe for her, uh, bunions.  Wearing NB Zero trail runners for my first workout was an amazing experience and I was really thinking that these might just be the perfect shoe for what I do.



These shoes never failed to provide the traction, support and response characteristics that I needed throughout their lifetime.  They have successfully completed months of daily CrossFit WODs, miles of trail running and hiking, and have been really comfortable, breathable, and lightweight.

Within a month (just a month!) of wearing these, I did put a large hole right in the top nylon mesh when I accidentally dragged the top of my foot on the pavement while pushing a Prowler.  Within a couple weeks, additional holes began to wear into the flex points on the top and sides of both the right and left shoes.


Also, there is no water-proofness. If there is just a drop of water on the ground and you step on it, your feet will get wet because the sole has gaps in it.  While I realize this is a minimalist barefoot shoe with a drop zero sole, I do feel my Vibram Fivefingers with a similar drop sole could keep my feet more comfortable.

Photo Credit New Balance
Photo Credit New Balance


The zero-drop, minimal sole feels great, lightweight, and comfortable and feels really responsive and stable for workouts with weightlifting and dynamic movements!  If the Minimus Zero Trail was just a little more durable, it would be the perfect all-around shoe for the outdoor enthusiast-runner-Crossfitter.


I’m in the market for a new pair.  Anybody have any recommendations for a new pair of all around workout kicks?



*Detailed specs can be found at New Balance’s website.