Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: This barely-there shoe encourages good running form, and strengthens feet.
Cons: No protection or cushioning.
Best Uses: Trail running, working on trail running form.
The New Balance MT 10 is a true minimalist shoe. With zero “drop” from heel to forefoot—meaning, there’s no difference in height between your heel and your forefoot—it mimics running barefoot more than any other shoe in this review. Cushioning is all-but absent as well, and the combination makes you run light-footed, landing on your mid- to forefoot instead of your heel for an efficient stride. Wearing this shoe is like dipping your foo in rubber and going for a run. The New Balance MT 10 does a great job wrapping around the midfoot and securing the arch of your foot, which feels supportive on the trail while still providing a true minimalist feel. Running in the MT 10 (also called the “Minimus”) is an experience, and runners new to minimalist running shoe ease into wearing shoes like this. Doing too much, too soon can cause strains.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
A Vibram rubber outsole sticks to rocks for great traction on this shoe, and the multi-directional positioning of the lugs give these minimal shoes good purchase on dirt and mud, too.
Made out of lightweight ACTEVA foam, the midsole feels barely there in this shoe. While it does cushion some pounding, the slight nature of this shoe encourages you to place your feet wisely instead of striking heavily on your heels.
While the synthetic/mesh upper and Vibram outsole protect your feet a heck of a lot more than if you were to run barefoot, protection isn't as high on this shoe as it is with other beefier models in this review.
A touch of stability comes from a secure fit that sort of wraps around the midfoot, but otherwise, this shoe lacks stability on purpose, since it's a minimalist shoe.
At 7.5 ounces, this is the lightest weight shoe in the review. Its weight, combined with the breathable mesh upper, makes it feel fast and breezy on the trail.
This shoe ranks high on flexibility, allowing your foot to flex naturally while providing a touch of protection.
— Mark Eller and Lisa Jhung
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: April 20, 2013
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