The New Balance Minimus Hi-Rez is a treat for runners that crave ground feel. Want the closest to barefoot experience possible? This is your shoe.
When it comes to a near barefoot running experience, there are certain things to look for in a shoe: a low-to-the-ground design with lots of ground feel, excellent flexibility, and as little weight as possible. The New Balance Minimus Hi-Rez nails these criteria, and is a terrific option for someone seeking a natural run.
The big story on this shoe is its innovative sole, comprised of independent foam pods attached to a thin layer of fabric. This design offers extreme flexibility. Don’t expect much cushioning from the low profile pods – the ride is incredibly firm, offering only the slightest underfoot protection compared to going barefoot.
Our testers were big fans of the upper. A stretchy mesh is supported by flexible welded overlays, resulting in an adaptive fit that conforms to the shape of the foot nicely. A burrito wrap design easily allows for adjustment of the midfoot volume, and breathability was never an issue, even in warmer conditions.
New Balance considers the Hi-Rez a tool for improving running mechanics, not as an everyday shoe, and we have to agree. Though experienced minimalists will undoubtedly be able to take on high mileage training in the shoe, for the rest of us, the Hi-Rez is better suited as a shoe for shorter, form-focused runs and for times we just want to get in touch with the road.
“I’m a big fan of this upper – it conforms around the profile of the foot and delivers a snug and assuring fit.”
“The Hi-Rez is super flexible – the kind of shoe you can roll up and put in your pocket if you wanted to. It definitely allows your foot to do all the work.”
“This shoe offers a lot of ground feel. You’ll want to watch out for any rocks or debris on the road. You’re going to notice anything you step on.”