New Balance Minimus Trail
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THE SELL: A running shoe for barefoot (and wannabe barefoot) trail runners. THE TEST: Even a few of our staunchest skeptics of minimalist shoes were swayed by the feel and performance. “It was like running bare without shredding your feet” was a common refrain. “I did 11 miles in these shoes by accident,” said one. “I was having too much fun to stop.” With almost no midsole and a thin, tacky Vibram outsole, the Minimus let us feel every shape in the trail, for good and bad: all testers reported unparalleled agility (the slipperlike upper fits so well, it feels poured on), though one reported minor rock bruises. THE VERDICT: The best barefoot-inspired trail runner to date, due mostly to fit and flexibility. As with all minimalist shoes, ease into them slowly. 7.5 oz.