Hands-on Gear Review

New Balance Minimus 10v1 Trail - Women's Review

New Balance Minimus 10v1 Trail
Price:  $115 List | $104.95 at Backcountry
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Pros:  Lightweight, fast for sprints and gymnastics movements
Cons:  Lack stability and support for lifting
Bottom line:  If you are a fan of minimalist shoes then you might love this throwback to the original New Balance Minimus.
Editors' Rating:   
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Upper:  Synthetic mesh
Weight (Measured) (One size 6.5 shoe) (Ounces):  6 oz
Heel to toe drop (mm):  4 mm
Manufacturer:   New Balance

Our Verdict

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.



RELATED REVIEW: Best CrossFit Shoes for Women of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Audrey Hammond

Last Updated:
Thursday
February 22, 2018

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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.

Performance Comparison


This lightweight trail running shoe might be your new favorite if you are looking for a minimalist shoe for bodyweight workouts. It's not the best pick for your lifting days  however.
This lightweight trail running shoe might be your new favorite if you are looking for a minimalist shoe for bodyweight workouts. It's not the best pick for your lifting days, however.

Weightlifting


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.

These minimalist shoes did not perform well on our side-by-side testing day for weightlifting. They were just a bit TOO minimal in our search for a general shoe for CrossFit.
These minimalist shoes did not perform well on our side-by-side testing day for weightlifting. They were just a bit TOO minimal in our search for a general shoe for CrossFit.

Running


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.

If you are a fan of running in minimalist shoes  then you might really like the Minimus 10v1 Trail shoe. Be sure not to heel strike though; there is not a lot of cushion for forgiveness!
If you are a fan of running in minimalist shoes, then you might really like the Minimus 10v1 Trail shoe. Be sure not to heel strike though; there is not a lot of cushion for forgiveness!


Sensitivity


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


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.

We wanted more support than the Minimus Trail shoes offered for our lifting movements. When standing up out of the bottom of a squat  it was challenging to keep our weight positioned where we wanted on our feet.
We wanted more support than the Minimus Trail shoes offered for our lifting movements. When standing up out of the bottom of a squat, it was challenging to keep our weight positioned where we wanted on our feet.

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 only took two rope climbs to do a little damage to the Minimus Trail shoes. The friction from the rope on the descent starting peeling this lug off right away in testing.
It only took two rope climbs to do a little damage to the Minimus Trail shoes. The friction from the rope on the descent starting peeling this lug off right away in testing.

Breathability


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.

The super light construction aids in breathability and is also a plus when doing L-hangs and you'd rather not have a heavy shoe on your foot!
The super light construction aids in breathability and is also a plus when doing L-hangs and you'd rather not have a heavy shoe on your foot!

Comfort


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

We didn’t really like jumping and landing in these minimalist shoes. They were just a little too unforgiving on the bottoms of our feet.
We didn’t really like jumping and landing in these minimalist shoes. They were just a little too unforgiving on the bottoms of our feet.


Best Applications


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.

Having a lightweight option in your gym bag is great for days where you are focusing on gymnastics and bodyweight movements. We wouldn’t pick this one as our general CrossFit shoe  however.
Having a lightweight option in your gym bag is great for days where you are focusing on gymnastics and bodyweight movements. We wouldn’t pick this one as our general CrossFit shoe, however.


Value


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.

Conclusion


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

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