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on May 8, 2012
I wouldn't wear these running or outdoors. Most of the sole is EVA foam and wouldn't hold up for an extended period. These are made for indoor cross-training use, not running. I own many pair of NB Minimus shoes and you can't go wrong.

- great fit
- plenty of room in the toe box
- 4mm drop is great
- just the right amount of cushioning
- best without socks as they have an internal liner

- Don't like the EVA sole. Will not hold up outdoors if you intend to run or walk in them
- Don't like the padded heel cup
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on March 2, 2012
"Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall started a new generation of minimalist running shoes. Maybe the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico are onto something. They can run thousands of miles without injuries with nothing more than thin maccasins while the modern runners have top of the line space age shoes and are constantly injuring themselves. I say "new generation" since the idea is nothing new. The 70s Adidas and Puma both made very light running shoes and of course Nike came around and changed everything. I went with the cross trainers for a gym shoe that I could also run in. They work well on an indoor track. The soles are very smooth so I can tell right away they may not be good for trail running. I have been using them for three weeks now and here is what I have to say.
The Good:
1. They are small and light. I can easily fit them in my back pack.
2. The EEs fit perfect on my flat feet. As for the size issue that you have seen in other reviews, keep in mind that they are sized for wear without socks. As for me, I have no choice but to wear socks (my feet will get real smelly) so I went up a half size.
3. The thin soles provide no mechanical leverage advantage. What this simply means is that when I am doing certain gym exercises such as calf risers, I actually have to work those calf muscles more to achieve the same lift. Thats a good thing. I can feel all those calf muscles firing away, especially on the bottom stretch.
4. With almost zero toe to heal rise I can feel my lower thigh and VMO muscles firing. This I never experienced before.
The Bad:
1. With the thin soles I feel everthing. While on the elliptical machine, the tread ribs first feel like an irritant and after awhile it starts to hurt. I am getting use to it now. Same is true with the spinning bike.
2. Slippery when wet. Cross trainers are a sacrifice. You can run in them, you can shoot hoops in them but you can do better in sport specific shoes. But for a day at the gym they are perfect.
As for now I highly recommend these shoes. Will the minimalist idea be just a fad? I don't think so. There are web sites out there already dispelling the idea. I feel better already wearing these shoes. If you are looking for something that you plan to wear mostly outdoors I would look into the MT20 trail shoes or the MR10 running shoes.
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on April 25, 2013
I really like these shoes so I would like to try and make a good long review about them. First of all, I got these pair of shoes with the intention of dancing with them. I do hip hop and bboying. With that in mind, let's move on!

I want a pair of light running shoes but most running shoes have thicker soles for cushioning and such. But then I ran across these trainers and they look like the ones I've been looking for. Light weight, not much sole padding, perfect. With shoe sizes, I could fit from 8-9 depending on the brand. But my true size is 26cm which is a size 8.5 per amazon size chart (and I did go to a shoe store to ask about my shoe size.. that's after buying these pair already though..uhm, you'll see why I bothered mentioning this..) and I've always known that my feet are wider than normal so I need at least an E or 2E.

I bought the Chinese red color, size 8 2E for these pair and I got them in a fashionable time based on the shipping method I chose (I chose the free shipping.. however long that was.. it took about a week to come to my door steps). I put them on and they feel perfect fit on my feet! They weren't tight because they are nice and wide.. and my toes were perfectly touching the point end of the shoes.. I thought I could settle with it since I still need to break into the shoes and thought they would loosen up a little bit more.. so I just kept the shoes.

Since they are a minimalist shoes I wanted to try them out for a jog and walk first to see how they feel, these are my first minimalist shoes soo. They felt fine at first.. but then after a while they get tighter. I realize that after more research (I'm a noobie about buying running shoes and all soo.. ) Feet gets swollen after activities that involves the use of legs, traveling, such.. so it was recommended that people were to buy at least a half to a full size bigger than their sizes so that their feet have room to swell. Well I didn't know that before and now I know sooo.. The shoes were already worn so I can't return them.. so I decided to just deal with it. I figure I could just use them strictly for dancing, then carry a different pair of shoes to change into after my classes or sessions.
They also feel a lot better if I don't wear socks with them since the extra lining of socks takes space. So what I share with this information is that the sizes I think run perfect.. So if I had gotten an 8.5 then I would be very very very happy about it. 8 works just as fine but then I am forced to wear them without socks, but then again other review says that the shoes are supposed to be wore without socks because the shoes have some lining inside already.. I'm not expert on that but I agree they feel better.

My heels do get sore afterwards but that's just because I'm not used to the minimalist design.. I like it a lot though. I think I'm going to start buying only minimalist shoes from now on!

One of the review complains about the tip of the toe sole coming apart after a week of using them. I had the same problem. Just after the first dance class I noticed that the left shoe sole tip of the shoe from the toe is pulling off a little bit already.. and now (after the second week of using the shoes, about 4 1 hour classes) the right shoe's sole is starting to peel off as well. A lot worse. But I figured because I'm using the shoes for dancing and not for it's intended purpose.. which is I think mainly for indoor gyms, weight lifting, light running and such, the reason why it's not holding up as much as it's supposed to. So I don't know how much I could complain about the durability about it.. but hopefully they can still hold up for more than a few months of use..

But yeah I love dancing in these shoes and I am seriously debating on getting another pair but this time, maybe a pair of size 8.5.
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on March 26, 2013
Ordered this shoe a half size up (wear 10.5, ordered 11) and wide. I use these shoes for the gym and running.
At the gym these shoes are perfect. Flat and minimal profile, partnered with a non-compressible sole means that these shoes are perfect for lifting (e.g. Deadlifts, squats, etc). The Chinese red ones are good looking too which means that they fit right into the gym without standing out like some other brightly colored training shoes I see all the time.
For running I use these to run 5-6mile runs at a time. These shoes were tough to get used to at first; I suffered from pain in my calves and shins, but then again I was 35lbs heavier then. Overtime however I got used to running in these. I always use socks, at the gym and while running because the only time I didn't resulted in stinky shoes (my feet's fault, not the shoes'). I love the feeling of the earth now, and using a mid-foot strike in these is second nature now. Feels so good.
As far as durability and build goes these shoes were made to last. 5 months later and the only sign of wear on these shoes are the dirt on the outside and smoothing of the soles. That's it. The stitching is top notch, it hasn't given out even the slightest. These are solid.
As far as over comfort goes, these shoes are truly minimal. Almost no padding, except a little at the back of the ankle. However, this is the idea when replicating barefoot running.

Highly recommend these. Five stars for: style, durability/build, minimal/barefoot emulation.

Four stars for comfort. I feel New Balance could have used softer, more molding materials, but maybe they didn't want to compromise durability.
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on April 24, 2012
I'm going to review these even though I've only worn them for a couple runs. That's because, even if they don't work out for me, it will be because I'm not naturally supposed to run barefoot/minimal, which is no fault of the shoes.

But I hope I am, because I like it much better. After having two runs in these new shoes, it automatically forced me to stop heel striking and to land approximately mid-foot to front-foot. I say "forced," but it really seems more like that's how I naturally would be inclined to run without any nudging from higher heeled shoes. Already my calves are aching, and I'm definitely going to take this slowly, but running feels vastly better, looser, more efficient. Today I ran in my other "current traditional" running shoes (NB M860s) which have a much larger drop, probably like 12mm versus the 4mm of these, and running felt endlessly clunkier, like that is not the way I'm supposed to be running. Only time will tell if my legs can stand it and if this is really true, but I hope it is.

As other reviewers said, order half a size larger--or at least it worked for me. I've worn New Balance forever and 10.5 has always worked for me so I was hesitant to heed the other reviewers, but with these the 11 seems the perfect fit. It feels like a 10.5 would be too tight and an 11.5 a little too large.

Also, get the freakin' orange, it's awesome. Or the bright blue, that looks pretty sweet as well. It sounds silly but I love that I have a colorful choice of running shoes.
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on February 15, 2013
Got these to supplement my Inov-8 195's because they were starting to wear and I didn't want to spend $120 again.

They run a little small, I ordered a 1/2 size up from my Inov-8's and they fit perfectly so keep that in mind. The toe box has plenty of room and the heel is a little tighter than my other shoes and the mid-sole tightens up a bit more than the Inov-8's.

So far these are just as comfortable as my other shoes but they still feel very much "minimal". I tend to have a heavy heal-strike when running and these have been keeping me conscious of that, definitely wouldn't start running long distances in these if you aren't used to a minimalist shoe.

I've only been wearing these for 2-3 weeks but they are holding up fine in my workouts which is more than I expected for the price. I crossfit 4-5 days/week and when I do any longer distance running or rope climbs I wear my Inov-8's because they definitely have a tougher outer sole. I'm still skeptical about how the soles on these are going to hold up when running longer distance, they just feel kind of soft.

This is my first pair of New Balance Minimalist shoes and I'm happy with them, I would recommend these.
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on January 23, 2013
I purchased these shoes to be a strictly gym-only shoe. Was looking for something that would help me improve balance (minimal support), be lightweight, but still give some shock absorption for treadmill/elliptical training.

These shoes are very comfortable from a tread/shoe opening standpoint. I was impressed that even without socks they don't rub anywhere (nice low padded collar). They are also easy to toss in the washing machine, so in general met my needs well.

The 3 stars comes from the fact that they fit very differently from other NB shoes. I religiously purchase NB due to having wide feet and my experience with NB in the past is that they are very consistent and well made in widths. Their last few lines of "fashion forward" shoes have seen that size consistency (and sometimes the quality) drop. Unfortunately, these shoes are a great example. While the right shoe fits nicely (although snugly), the left show has a more acute outside angle in the toe box making them rub against my left toes if I wear socks with them. I've never had this problem with NB (or any other shoes) in the past. Seems to be a manufacturing defect or just poor quality design. I purchased the 11 2E, if you have wide feet, I'd suggest going up a half size just to be sure.
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on December 17, 2011
If you're serious about Crossfit, then you should have a shoe specifically for Crossfit. This is that shoe. Very light, very durable. I have used them 3-4 times per week since purchasing, and they have held up perfectly. More lateral support than you will find in other minimalist shoes, but not a lot overall. They give instant support/reaction for Olympic style lifting, which puts more strain on the calf. My calves were sore at first because I used to lift in running shoes that were built for cushioning. I don't get sore anymore, so my calves must've strengthened. I love the murdered out all black look for social gatherings, but I wouldn't recommend a lot of walking in them. Overall a great gym shoe, and can also work its way into your rotation for social gatherings for medium to short standing/walking.
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on January 3, 2013
I love these shoes and I recommend them all the time. If you're new to no/minimal lift shoes I would caution you to avoid over-wearing them at first as you will be sorry. I'm used to them now (these are my second pair) and I've worn them for days at a time without trouble but at first any amount of wearing beyond a workout would really give me some pain in my Achilles and calves. Outside of just becoming acclimated the only thing I would like to see improved upon is the toe area. I do a lot of push-ups, burpees, lunges and other activities that get me on my tippie toes and there's not much protection for your big toe in this shoe. If you come down hard it's almost like kicking the floor barefoot. Not a big deal, but if they could improve on that I would be in favor of it. I love this shoe and you will too.
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on November 6, 2012
I purchased the MX20 Minimus Training shoes for the express purpose of doing Crossfit at an affiliate. First let me say without a sock these shoes fit absolutely true to NB size. I wear the 9 2E for reference. So first off I got the red ones. The shoes generated a lot of positive comments and envious glances when I unveiled them.

The very first thing I did in these shoes was run a 400m warm up. I was SHOCKED at how comfortable they are. For having virtually no sole I found no discomfort running on concrete - one word of warning, if you are used to regular running shoes stretch your calves and hamstrings a little bit extra. :-)

The real strength of these shoes comes in the insane lifting we do. In dead-lifting, squatting, jerks, snatches, etc I have a much better sense of the floor and what my feet are doing, I don't feel pitched forward as I do with standard running shoes and my feet don't hurt like they do when I go barefoot.

This is a great shoe for CrossFit or general circuit training. I would not reccommend these for long distance running.
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