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New Balance Minimus 40 - Women's Review

These shoes are great for standing or walking in all day; our testers ranked them highly for running, but did not like them for lifting workouts.
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Price:  $120 List | $109.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Great for all day wear and running
Cons:  Soles too squishy for lifting
Manufacturer:   New Balance
By Audrey Hammond ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 22, 2018
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 8
  • Weightlifting - 20% 5
  • Running - 20% 8
  • Support - 20% 5
  • Sensitivity - 10% 6
  • Protection and Durability - 10% 7
  • Breathability - 10% 8
  • Comfort - 10% 8

The Skinny

Despite being marketed as a multi-tasking cross-training shoe, the New Balance Minimus 40 has the feel of a running shoe. It is a very comfortable running shoe, but not as suitable for weightlifting. The squishy soles do not provide a solid base for lifting and make it equally as hard to judge where your weight is positioned on your feet. Our reviewers did like them for jumping movements such as double unders and box jumps. The Minimus 40 shoes also performed well on rope climbs with no visible damage to the shoe. Despite their comfort, the lack of versatility caused this shoe to score low overall. If you want a comfortable shoe for running and lifting, check out our Best Buy winning Reebok Speed TR.

New Colors
New Balance has confirmed with us that while the color options for this shoe have been updated, no other changes were made. Check out one of the new color schemes in the photo above.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The New Balance Minimus 40 was one of the most comfortable shoes in this review for all day use. If you spend a lot of time standing and walking, you will probably love the shock absorbing sole. This shoe is probably not your best choice for an all-purpose shoe for CrossFit however. It did not have the support we were looking for when it comes to lifting.

Performance Comparison


Our shoe testers loved the feel of the Minimus 40 for running and jumping movements.
Our shoe testers loved the feel of the Minimus 40 for running and jumping movements.

Weightlifting


CrossFit workouts typically involve a weightlifting movement, therefore how shoes perform in this category comprise 20% of their overall ranking. Simply put, the Minimus 40 shoes are just not that great on the lifting platform. They have a soft, squishy feel to them that does not provide a stable base for weightlifting. If you are in the market for a shoe with a comfortable running feel, but still stand up to light weightlifting then go for the Reebok CrossFit Speed. The Minimus 40 did feel better for lifting compared to its other model, the Minimus Trail version.

Running


You will often hear CrossFitters quietly grumble when a running workout pops up for the day, but running is still a common element of CrossFit workouts. Therefore, the running scores are weighted at 20% of the overall score for shoes in this review. The Minimus 40 shoes were some of our highest scoring shoes on our running matrix. Our testers found them to be good at shock absorption and forgiving if you are a bit of a heel striker versus landing on the ball of your foot. The arch support in this shoe was a plus for the longer runs that came up in our daily programming in addition to the shorter sprints that we see most often. We much preferred to run in these over the Nano 7.0. While the Nanos feel stiff and floppy, the Minimus 40s are light and flexible. Our Editors' Choice award-winning NOBULL Trainers were also great for running workouts, but with the added versatility lacking in the Minimus 40 shoes.

Sensitivity


For CrossFit workouts, we are looking for a shoe that allows us to feel or "sense" where our weight is centered. We need to know if our weight is too far forward and needs to shift back on our heels for instance. Close attention was paid to the sensitivity of the shoe on our day of heavy clean and jerks.

The Minimus 40 shoes were some of our lowest ranking regarding sensitivity. The squishy sole that is so great for running is not great at providing feedback during Olympic lifts. The two lifting specific shoes, the NOBULL Lifters, and the Inov-8s, of course, outscored the Minimus 40 for sensitivity. However, a more fitting comparison would be to a similarly designed shoe such as the Reebok Speed TR. Both pairs are similar in weight and feel, however, the Reebok Speed TR was far superior in sensitivity during lifting movements.

Setting up for a clean in the Minimus 40 shoes. It was difficult to feel where our weight was positioned on our feet due to the squishy sole.
Setting up for a clean in the Minimus 40 shoes. It was difficult to feel where our weight was positioned on our feet due to the squishy sole.


Support


Shoe manufacturers must blend different elements to create a supportive shoe for CrossFit. They must take into consideration a firm sole to serve as a solid platform as well as supportive uppers to prevent the foot from sliding around too much during lateral movement.

Standing up out of squats was a little more challenging in the Minimus 40 shoes. They don’t have the support we are looking for in a general shoe for CrossFit.
Standing up out of squats was a little more challenging in the Minimus 40 shoes. They don’t have the support we are looking for in a general shoe for CrossFit.

Once again, the soft sole of the Minimus 40 kept them from scoring higher in the support category. With its lighter upper construction, we could feel a little too much movement of our foot from side to side as we were trying to keep our feet firmly planted onto the floor while standing out of a heavy squat. A better choice when looking for a general shoe for CrossFit with great support is the NOBULL Trainer. However, we did find the Minimus 40 to be a more supportive shoe than its lighter counterpart, the Minimus Trail version.

Protection and Durability


We want shoes that will not fall apart, and we want shoes that will protect our feet. Those are our primary goals when ranking models for protection and durability. Rope climbs and double unders, for instance, are two of the movements where we considered these goals. The Minimus 40 was a solid performer on our day of rope climbs. They did not have any signs of damage unlike their counterpart, the Minimus Trail shoes. We also noticed that our feet did feel protected from the friction of the rope as we came down, letting the rope slide between our feet. However, if you happen to catch a missed double under at your toes you might feel a bit of a sting in the Minimus 40s unlike the protective uppers on the NOBULL Trainers.

There was no noticeable damage on the Minimus 40s after a few rope climbs. Our feet felt protected from the friction of the rope  as well.
There was no noticeable damage on the Minimus 40s after a few rope climbs. Our feet felt protected from the friction of the rope, as well.

Breathability


Most people don't like a sweaty, stuffy shoe. We paid close attention to breathability so we could warn you which shoes might feel too hot in your high-intensity workout. One of our top scoring shoes in breathability is the Minimus 40. They have a woven looking mesh upper that is great for letting in much-appreciated air flow. In this regard, they blew away the Nano 7.0 which is seen far more frequently in the CrossFit world.

Comfort


Shoes must, of course, be comfortable first and foremost. Whether a shoe is comfortable or not is, of course, a subjective measure. Luckily, we had a crew of reviewers to give us their varied opinions. Multiple testers noted that the Minimus 40 shoes are quite comfortable. They are described as a "great shoe for standing and coaching in all day." Part of what makes this shoe so comfortable is the softer sole and the lightweight design. They beat out one of our previous winners the Nike Metcon when it comes to overall comfort. The Metcons feel a little stiff and heavy compared to the Minimus 40 shoes. Our Editors' Choice NOBULL Trainers are the reigning comfort champions in this review.

Part of what makes this shoe so comfortable is the light synthetic mesh upper. They also have a soft  forgiving sole  which feels great for long runs.
Part of what makes this shoe so comfortable is the light synthetic mesh upper. They also have a soft, forgiving sole, which feels great for long runs.

Best Applications


Running and jumping movements are the beast applications for the Minimus 40 shoes. They would be one of the better pick in this review for long runs and high rep box jumps or double unders.

A great shoe for jumping and running  the Minimus 40 is a light and comfortable shoe.
A great shoe for jumping and running, the Minimus 40 is a light and comfortable shoe.

Value


Retailing at $104, the Minimus 40 is a little on the lower end of the price range for this review. Some of the more versatile training shoes for CrossFit are closer to the $130 range. Since the Minimus 40 shoes are not a great choice for lifting, you may want to look at the Reebok Speed for a better value due to its versatility.

Conclusion


If your workout goals include a high volume of running, then you would be quite happy with the New Balance Minimus 40. They were some of our favorites to run int. Unfortunately, these shoes were not good for weightlifting so they did not score well overall as a general shoe for CrossFit.


Audrey Hammond