New Balance Minimus Zero Road

It’s no secret that we love New Balance’s Minimus collection. We even gave a full page to the Minimus Zero Trail in a recent issue of Outside. Why? Because it strikes the delicate balance between trail feel and cushioning. Not surprisingly, the road version won our hearts, too. The upper fits snugly and feels as light as a sock. But because only two-thirds of the outsole is covered in hard rubber (the rest is foamy midsole material), we wondered whether it would hold up for daily use. Three months of testing and some 400 miles later, the Minimus’s close-to-new condition answered that question. Whereas more and more minimalist shoes on the market are using stiffer materials in (what’s left of) the midsole, the Minimus has just enough foam underfoot for the shoe to remain soft and flexible and still protect you from sharp pebbles. Paired with a generous toe box and low-profile good looks—“sleek and fast,” according to one tester—it could be the best minimalist road shoe on the market. 5.9 oz; 0 mm drop


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