I was up at New Balance last week in Lawrence. As is my habit I used it as an opportunity to get some new shoes. I picked up a pair of MT20 Minimus trail shoes.
I have been trying to make the conversion to minimalist/barefoot running this summer just to see if it can potentially help my plantar fasciitis that has been a chronic injury for me for a year now.
First thing I like about these shoes is that they are really cool looking. Bright orange and minimalist with zero heel drop. They are extremely light as well.
When I was trying them on I thought the sizes were off because the 12D I normally take was way too tight. Then the store person informed me that they are designed to be worn without socks. Once I went foot-naked in them they fit much better.
They still felt very tight in the toes. I was worried that they would tear my feet up, especially without the socks.
I wore them for a trail run with Buddy on Sunday morning. The trail we ran was very technical with steep ups and steep downs and bad slants. The shoes performed very well. I did not get any foot problems. It turns out that the ‘tight’ fit is actually more of a design feature than a problem. The shoe conforms to your foot and doesn’t slip at all.
This is a minimalist shoe. There is no heel. There is no cushion. There is a small bit of tread on the Vibram sole that grips the trail well. If you are going to run in this shoe you HAVE to run on your forefoot. It simulates barefoot running without the sensory feedback of the skin against the ground.
You cannot just jump into a shoe like this. You have to get used to running on your toes. It puts a lot of stress on your Achilles and calf muscle.
As a minimal shoe I like the New Balance MT20 Minimus. I’m not sure how far I can run in them; we will have to see as I ramp up my distance.
Another wonderful side benefit of the minimalist shoe is that they are easier to travel with. They tak up less room in your bag and weigh less.
I’m going to keep testing these shoes and see how they work over time. First impressions are two thumbs up.