The latest New Balance Minimus Zero Trail and Road shoes news comes to us from an article on the NB website. (Thanks to Donald of Running and Rambling for bringing this one to our attention) Senior Designers Drew Nyssen and Chris Wawrousek describe the inspiration and motivation for the design of these forthcoming NB Minimus Zero offerings.
It's redundant for me to continue repeating here what you could easily read via the links in the first paragraph. But, I'll mention a couple of points. What's the Internet without a little redundancy, anyway?
The uppers of these new versions of the Minimus appear to be much more flexible and less confining than the 2011 renditions.This is good, because you might have read here that my primary complaint about the toe box on the NB MT10 is that; although wide and spacious, the curvature of the toe area is somewhat rigid. And, since it doesn't exactly fit the shape of my foot, my little toe still feels squished. Thus, I prefer the enormously flexible upper of a somewhat less spacious Inov-8 f-lite 230 over the MT10.
Also, these NB Minimus Zeros seem more race-appropriate, at least to me. They definitely have a sleeker appearance in comparison to the MT10 or MT20. And, I like that the designers sought to enhance the slipper-like fit while looking to traditional racing flat architecture for a lightweight shoe. I've mentioned before that I don't feel as fast in my MT10s as I do in other shoes. So, I've never felt compelled to race in the Minimus Trails.
But, perhaps those drawbacks of the 2011 Minimus will change with the February/March 2012 release of the NB Minimus Zero Trail and Road line. I'll be anxious to find out for myself.