The release of the next generation of New Balance Minimus minimalist shoes — the "Minimus Zeros," so called for being the first "zero-drop" or same sole thickness at the heel as at the ball of the foot — is imminent. And while we did a major round-up review of the Road and Trail Zeros a little while back, one exciting aspect of these next generation shoes from New Balance is that both the Road and Trail Zeros are being produced in wide versions.
A quick re-cap on the Minimus Zero Road (MR00)
Tim recently covered the NB Minimus Road Zeros in Wide (2E) vs. Regular (D) noting that the key difference in the two shoes is that the upper is more roomy in the 2E wides but that the foam and Vibram rubber sole is exactly the same. In other words, the 2E Minimus Zero Roads are wider on top but no wider on bottom.
This latter design quality (flaw?) is to the chagrin of many, myself included, and I don't even have particularly wide feet. As another BirthdayShoes blogger (Philip) pointed out in the Road Zeros in Wides comments, the Road Zero soles aren't flat all the way to the edges. Unfortunately, this design quality can be irritating to a wide foot that effectively pushes at these raised sidewalls. To help you visualize the Road Zero sole's raised sidewalls, here is a rendition of what the cross-section of the sole at the forefoot would (based on how it feels, anyway) look like:
This exaggerates the discrepancy, but you get the idea. It's a subtle lift on the outermost sides that my feet notice and find a little annoying. It's not a dealbreaker, it's just a nuisance (and seems unnecessary).
But what of the NB Minimus Trail Zero in wide — and not just wide, but 4E wide — does it deliver on the widened goods? Is the sole actually larger/wider? Does it have that annoying lip on the edges? For more detailed answers and some actual photos (and additional ways to win a pair on their release), follow me after the jump!Full story »