The New Balance Minimus 10v1 Trail is a light and flexible minimalist shoe. Weighing in at 6.3 oz it is the lightest shoe by far in this review. While it is marketed as a trail running shoe, previous versions of the Minimus were quite popular with CrossFitters. Some athletes are still sporting their aging older models. It seems the newer versions have not impressed many CrossFit athletes though. We found this shoe to be uncomfortable and it did not support our feet during lifting movements. Our testers also felt the soles were just a little too minimal even for running, as you can feel a lot of terrain through the soles. While this shoe is not well suited to lifting workouts, its lightweight design is nice for bodyweight movements such as handstand pushups or pull-ups. If you are looking for more of a light running shoe, check out the other New Balance we tested, the New Balance Minimus 40 Trainer. Otherwise, our Editors' Choice winning NOBULL Trainer - Women's is your best bet for an all-around CrossFit shoe.
New Balance Minimus 10v1 Trail - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Lightweight, fast for sprints and gymnastics movements
Cons: Lack stability and support for lifting
Manufacturer: New Balance
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This light and flexible minimalist trail running shoe, the New Balance Minimus 10v1 Trail, was much loved by CrossFitters with the original version of the Minimus years ago. It is an excellent choice for gymnastics movements but lacks the support needed for heavy lifting. For athletes that love the feel of minimalist shoes, this might be an ideal pick for non-heavy lifting days.
Even minimalist shoes were tested under heavy loads in our review. We are searching for a shoe that can perform well in all categories, especially lifting. Granted, New Balance did not design this trail running shoe with lifting in mind. However, you never know where you will find your preferred shoe for CrossFit given the wide range of shoe types to pick from. We gave this shoe our lowest score for weightlifting. It was challenging to keep our balance during heavy lifts due to its lack of support. If you want a lighter shoe that can handle heavier loads, check out our Best Buy winner, the Reebok CrossFit Speed TR.
Running will always come up in CrossFit workouts, so make sure to snag a pair of shoes you can feel comfortable in for at least short runs. If you are an experienced runner and land safely on the balls of your feet, then you might like running in these super light shoes. However, if you are a heel striker, you probably want to stay away from minimalist shoes in general. One improvement over the last version of this shoe that we tested was the support around the arch and midfoot. With the last version, we felt as though there was a large hole under the arch. The band that wraps up the midfoot in the newest version added some much-needed support in the middle of our feet for runs.
When we discuss sensitivity within a CrossFit shoe context, we are typically referring to how well you can tell if your weight is positioned where you want it on your foot. As you move through an Olympic lift, for instance, you need to know if you are balancing your weight where you need to during the movement. It is important to know if you need to lean further back or move your weight forward onto the front of your feet.
With the Minimus 10v1 Trail shoe, they were overly sensitive on the bottoms of our feet for runs. One tester noted that she could feel every stone under her foot. However, on the lifting platform, they were not sensitive regarding being able to sense where our weight was positioned during lifts. In our quest to find a general CrossFit shoe with great sensitivity we much preferred the NOBULL Trainers.
Support is an important consideration in a shoe for CrossFit. We want a shoe that can handle a heavy load. When deadlifting and Olympic lifting, you need a solid platform under your feet. The lack of support with this shoe did not make us feel confident in our heavier lifting testing days. In contrast, the Reebok CrossFit Speed TR is also on the lighter side for a CrossFit shoe but offers much better support on the lifting platform.
Protection and Durability
Nobody wants their brand new shoes for CrossFit to come apart soon after purchasing them. Our goal with the Protection and Durability rating is to help you find a shoe that will not be destroyed by the demands of CrossFit but also protect your feet as well. The thin uppers do not provide much protection during rope climbs or the slice of a jump rope with double unders. We were also disappointed to see that there was damage to the sole of the shoes after only two rope climbs. Shoes must withstand a lot of friction during the descent, and the rope easily peeled a lug right off.
It goes without saying that you don't want a super hot shoe during your high-intensity CrossFit workout. We paid close attention to breathability during our testing, so you know which shoes will help you stay cool. One area where this shoe did impress up was the breathability. While the thin upper construction is a hindrance on rope climbs, it does make for a cooler shoe in the heat of a workout.
Comfort was of course taken into consideration with all our test shoes. While comfort is a subjective measurement, we could see similar trends in all of the input from our reviewers. With regards to the Minimus Trail shoe, our input broke down into two different camps. One of our testers noted that she found this shoe to be comfortable for short periods of time, but she admitted to being a big fan of minimalist shoes in general. However, another tester stated up from that she is not a fan of minimalist shoes, therefore, did not like wearing this shoe at all. So, it seems that if you like minimalist shoes, you will like the feel of this one. Compared to all our other shoes in this review though, it ranked lower on the comfort scale
This is probably not the best pick for a general shoe for CrossFit. It needs a little more support to be able to handle lifting movements. The shoe would do just fine for bodyweight movements such as muscle ups, pull ups, ring dips and handstand pushups for instance.
At the cost of $115, we expected more out of this shoe. As CrossFitters we are looking to avoid purchasing a different shoe for every possible movement we might see on the whiteboard, so we search for one shoe that can do it all. This shoe simply does not work as a multipurpose shoe. For less than the Minimus Trail shoe, the Reebok CrossFit Speed TR will be a much more versatile and comfortable shoe.
Granted, this shoe is not marketed as a general shoe for CrossFit. However, it just didn't perform as well in the areas we were hoping for. If you are an accomplished runner accustomed to minimalist shoes then you might feel differently. However, the lack of support was not acceptable for our workouts that included weightlifting. We were also disappointed to see immediate damage from rope climbs.
— Audrey Hammond