Best For: Experienced minimalist runners seeking a road-specific shoe for high mileage training, or 10K to half-marathon runners looking to go fast and light on race day.
Security (of fit): New Balance sticks with the burrito-wrap upper of the original Minimus Road, but this year’s version has a noticeable improvement in stability thanks to medial side overlays that hold the foot more securely. The foot felt well connected to the midsole at all times in our testing.
Stability (on impact): High density Vibram rubber on the outsole provides all the traction you need for road or track running. The low and flat platform of the Minimus Zero provides a very stable impact even on irregular surfaces, and the toe box allows enough foot splay for enhanced natural stability. Crossover stability is minimal, as testers found some slipping on gravel roads and trails.
Smoothness (flexibility): Like its predecessor, the v2 Minimus Zero road is highly flexible from heel to forefoot, allowing natural movement of the foot in all directions. The 19mm stack height and lightweight RevLite midsole material provide a nice combination of ground feel and responsiveness.
Comfort: New Balance has comfort dialed in with its Minimus line, and the v2 Zero road is no exception. All interior surfaces are plush against bare skin, and the thin padding around the collar creates high comfort with minimal bulk. The wide toe box prevents chafing or hot spots, and ventilation and drying were both highly effective in testing.
Speed and agility: Everything about this shoe is built for speed. New Balance managed to carve even more weight away from the previous Minimus Zero, improved the fit to keep it locked in place around your foot, while maintaining just enough protection and support to hammer out a PR pace. If you’re not running as fast as you like, you definitely can’t blame the shoes.