More New Balance Minimus MT 10OB2 (10v2) photos and videos are at the bottom of this article.
The ultimate trail running shoes are in my opinion, the New Balance Minimus MT 10OB2 series. I bought these in Thailand, they are also known as the MT 10v2 series in the USA and came out in 2013 there.
I first saw the Minimus in a sports store in Thailand in a mall late last year. I thought they were Chinese rip-offs of real New Balance shoes. I picked them up, almost laughing out loud at how light they were! How flexible (flimsy)! I thought – what junk!
Then I saw a couple runners online wearing them on some technical trail. WTF!?? Were the ones I saw real? I hauled-butt back up to the store, logging another 100 mile drive, but I had to know – were these the real deal? If they were real and that light and flexible, they’d be ideal for my feet.
I got there and immediately tried a pair on – sure they’d be too tight for my wide forefoot. Nope – a perfect fit. I couldn’t believe it. They felt strange, but I walked around with both shoes on my feet in the store for five minutes. Finally I pulled the trigger and bought the last pair they had – my perfect size – 10.5 EE, and they were on sale for around $100 USD.
I went home and got online to find more. I searched all over. I couldn’t find anyone to deliver to Thailand. Then finally a friend in Thailand went back to the USA and I bought 2 pair online and had them shipped to his house there. He brought them back for me to Bangkok.
I wore them to run on the grass at the park for a couple weeks before I tried running up and down the steep mountain near my home in Southern Thailand. They felt great on the grass. I was able to land flat and a bit with the forefoot striking first and that felt great. Over those couple of weeks I noticed my feet were hurting less than they usually did. My arches didn’t cramp as much as they did with other shoes.
When I ran up the mountain for the first time they felt great. After the run I noticed some achilles pain in both heels, but more on the left. I added a bit of stretching to my repertoire and ran on the flat some more before starting up the mountain again.
On the mountain, no pain since. These shoes are absolutely perfect for this technical mountain trail which contains patches of sand, packed clay, smooth and flat rocks around 20 inches around on average, root covered path, and leaves. The grip with these shoes is perfect. Not too grippy that they stick me to something, like the roots. They don’t grab the roots at all. They are flexible enough that I feel the surface I’m running on, but most of the time that is just soft dirt and sand. When I do bound across rocks or roots I feel them just enough. Not painful at all unless I come down hard on one foot on a very sharp rock, which I’ve only done once in 30 runs now.
The Minimus is very lightweight – like 30 sheets of paper if you’re holding one. They are great when wet, with or without socks my feet didn’t slip inside them at all. It’s always over 90°F when I run, and they stay cool enough that they aren’t the cause of my feet sweating. As long as I wear socks, they stay very dry, and most of my socks stay dry during my fast 80 minute runs up and down the mountain.
- Very lightweight shoes.
- Very minimal – flexible and the ground can be felt underfoot.
- Airy and cool, ideal in hot environments.
- Socks are completely unnecessary.
- Perfect grip for Thailand jungle terrain.
- The Minimus MT 10OB2 dry out quickly after wet
- Some other reviewers of this shoe said feet slipped in them. I never had that happen.
- Some didn’t like the lacing system. I loved it.
- Some didn’t like the round shoelaces… I’d have to agree. I’d prefer soft flat ones.
- The heel is fitted for the heel and achilles. I got blisters a few times, then OK.
- They are very hard to find unless you are in the USA and have the right sized feet
New Balance Minimus MT 10OB2 (MT 10v2) Specifications:
Type: Trail running, specifically technical trail with smooth rocks & roots. Not good for concrete.
Construction: Vibram sole; Acteva mid-sole
Extra: Anti-microbial treatment (anti-fungus).
Weight: 6.2 ounces
Vertical Heel Drop: 4mm from heel to forefoot
Men’s Sizes: 7 – 14 D and 2E
Women’s Sizes: 5 – 12 B and D
Men’s Colors: Black; black and orange; black with lime green; solid yellow; blue and green; black and yellow.
Women’s Colors: Silver and purple; grey and blue; blue and pink; blue and black.
2014 Price: $100 – 130.
Oh, I almost forgot… my 75 year old stair climbing buddy bought one of my pairs of Minimus because he loved them so much. Now I definitely need to buy more!
Anton Krupicka’s New Balance Minimus Video – he talks about the minimalist ideal and what it means to him. He is wearing a version of the Minimus Trail that looks very similar to the shoes reviewed here.