Get the New Balance WT00 for a near-barefoot running experience without beating the soles of your feet to a pulp on the trail.
In general, it’s nice to be in touch with nature. But maybe you don’t want to be so in touch that you’re pulling splinters, rocks and other debris from the soles of your feet. Crazy, we know. Trail runners looking for a near-barefoot shoe have a flexible, durable option in the Minimus Trail 00.
The weight of this shoe - a bit over 4 oz for men, a bit under 4 oz for women - is pretty darn impressive. The shoes actually weigh less than the box they come in. Take a second to let that sink in. As expected from such low weights, the Minimus Trail 00 provides all the essentials, without anything extra.
The upper material appears highly durable, especially for how thin it is, though it doesn’t feel or look like the highest quality material out there. The trail ain’t no fashion show runway, right? But still, the mesh material didn’t quite feel like it was working with our feet, particularly in the forefoot, where all testers noticed some undesirable crinkling above the toes.
The Minimus Trail 00 sports the most deconstructed mid/outsole we’ve seen on a running shoe. The knobby lugs spaced a bit apart give your foot freedom to move in every imaginable direction, provide a bit of traction, and will keep your skin safe. But don't count on any rock protection - every lump and bump on the trail will be transmitted to the sole of your foot.
The Minimus Trail 00 will give you a little protection from the trail without weighing you down or interrupting the natural way your foot wants to move.
The MT00 gives you a little bit of cushion underfoot thanks to the springy lugs, but basically, your foot is on its own in this shoe.
Comfortable fit on the foot overall, but feels more narrow in midfoot and through the toe box than the WT10.
The traction was good and the feel was fine on dirt and soft trails, but I got beat up any time I stepped on a rock. Although it did not create any problems, the upper puckered oddly across the forefoot when I cinched up the laces.