New Balance Minimus

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Overall, the build of the road-oriented Minimus, which is the model I tested, is simple and unique. It has a lightweight upper, no insole, and a strange outsole made of grippy, almost-treadless rubber. But the sole’s hexagonal honeycomb grips great on wet and dry pavement.

New Balance Minimus, women’s road-running version

One gripe: New Balance pitches the Minimus as “almost 50% lighter than traditional lightweight shoes.” This is not correct. My shoes weighed 9.9 ounces (men’s size 12), and a women’s pair we received for testing was 8 ounces on our scale (in size 10). While light, this is hardly half the weight of similar shoes.

But the Minimus shoes feel light on the feet. They are comfortable and seem well-built. Thumbs up so far. More opinions to come as I lace up and run this month in the “minimal” Minimus shoes.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of