Second Wind

Second Wind
"Run With Purpose!"

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Balance introducing 4 new Minimalist shoes

This Winter and spring, New Balance will be releasing 4 new running shoes to cater to the minimalist market.

As many of you know, New Balance introduced a couple of "minimalist" shoes prior to this (with between 4mm and 10mm heel-to-toe drops, stability, support, and cushioning) that I was not a huge fan of...

That said, I WAS glad that New Balance was making the effort and they were moving in the right direction - a direction that I hoped would lead them to where they are now heading:

In January they will be releasing the MT110 trail running shoe.  This is their 3rd rendition of this shoe, and what appears to be the best one.  The shoe is lighter, closer to the ground, more flexible, but does still have a 4mm drop - I don't find a 4mm drop to be huge, but at the same time, I've never understood if you're willing to go to a 4mm (as a manufacturer), why wouldn't you just go to a zero?

Well, in March New Balance is introducing its first line of true Zero-Drop shoes (yay!).
They'll come in 3 versions and be available in men's and women's (in each)

The first is the MR/WR 00 "Road" designated shoe.  This shoe is a zero drop, even less padding, more flexible, no signs of support (yet to be seen), and even lighter (6.4oz or so)

Next up is the MT/WT 00 "Trail" designated shoe.  Same as the road with a zero drop, seemingly no padding, and the lightest of all weighing in at 4.4oz.

Now, my question is this:  typically, when companies make trail and road shoes is because trail runners (at least in their belief) require more stability, more cushioning, more protection, etc. and road runners (since they're running on flat pavement) don't need much at all.  But in this case, it appears that the trail shoe has less padding than the road shoe, and the trail shoe weighs less than the road shoe... I'm curious as to how/why that is?

Regardless, it's ALWAYS great to see more companies introducing zero-drop shoes, and bravo to NB for (even though many may feel they didn't get their minimalist shoes exactly right the first time) listening to the runners and their own product testers and truly designing a better shoe each time around.  I am thrilled at their progress and looking forward to these new additions - and looking forward to hopefully trying them out myself

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