Hey, I read a lot of reviews that stated this shoe is way too small and narrow for the stated size. Following the advice of the angry reviewers I found online, I ordered a half size over and one size wide (I have wide feet). Sadly when I opened the box the shoe was so big I didn't even need to try it on. I sent the shoes back and ordered my normal size. Based on my experience I think you should buy your normal size. I really hope you get the fit you want and my advice does not guide you in the wrong direction.
So far I have about 9 hours of running in these shoes and I'm very pleased with the shoe for what it is. Typically I only run in the Minimus trail (MT10) but I have a big race on very rocky and technical single track that requires a shoe change. The fit for me is quite good while wearing a "normal" sock, the super thin socks I normally wear let my foot slide around a little, and a thick sock squished my toes up. The heel seems a little loose compared to other new balance shoes (probably my lacing) but I have not had any problems with rubbing. I noticed I had to tie the laces a bit loose or I would have a little pain on the top of my foot at first, this however has gone away and I atribute it to an incredibly stiff sole. While on the subject of fit I did not use the top two lace holes on the shoe so my ankle would not be so constricted and allow it to fit more like the MT10.
Oddly enough the transition form a minimal shoe to a super sturdy trail shoe with a very stiff sole was pretty easy. The biggest advantage was being able to run through rocky sections without having to tip toe around. The rock plate allowed me to really pick up the speed when going downhill and let me relax my eyes away from the trail more often than with the MT10. I thought the agressive sole would be a bit squirmy on hard pack but I never noticed this to be the case. The sealed up tongue was great at keeping debris out of my shoe but like all shoes must stuff slides down your socks or gets in under your ankels. There is plenty of padding around the toes to ease the pain of kicking a rock on accident, plus the front of the shoe seems very resistant to abrasions.
I cannot speak for how most trail shoes feel, I think road shoes are often the best option for trail running it there are no sharp rocks around to bruise your heel on. So in my opinion this shoe is a bit overkill if you are not dealing with rocky terrain. If looks are important to you than this probably isn't the right shoe for you, it's a bit funny looking, i'd say it looks more like a road shoe than trail shoe, but I wouldn't go as far as calling it ugly. Personally I think new balance's other trail shoe are way more goofy looking.
Overall I'm very happy with the performance of this shoe, I do not know how they packed in so many features and only added 3 ounces per shoe over the weight of the super light MT10. I think this shoe is great and I'm confident it will shave 30 minutes off my race compared to running in a minimal shoe.