We first reviewed the New Balance Minimus Trail 10v1 (see full review) over 6 years ago! Now New Balance has brought it back in addition to offering their latest version, New Balance Minimus Trail 10v4. New Balance is one of a handful vendors offering Width Sizing and I opted for width 2E as I have wide feet and standard width B for my female wear tester.
We run mostly on loose gravel and non-gnarly trails so either models of Minimus Trail works well. However, the outsole on the Minimus Trail 10v1 may not be aggressive enough for those on gnarly trails and I recommend the Minimus Trail 10v4 for that.
New Balance Minimus 10v4 Trail
The Minimus Trail 10v4 (4mm drop) running shoe is ready for rocks, mud and miles. With a sleek fit, slightly more cushioning and a natural fit and feel, it won’t hold you back as you explore the trails in comfort. With a Vibram outsole, you’ll get the traction and control you need as you cover the most technical terrain. A no-sew overlays on the upper (synthetic mesh) fits like a glove and keeps the weight down so you can take your speed up. Weather, mud, debris.
Barefoot friendly internal construction allows running sockless without hot spots or blisters!
New Balance Minimus 10v1 Trail
Your off-road adventure awaits. The original fit and feel of the Minimus Trail 10 (4mm drop) is back. With an upper made of flexible synthetic/mesh materials and a Vibram outsole with flex grooves, this trail running shoe offers the traction and durability you need to run on rocky trails. A midfoot wrap helps your foot stay in place, while premium performance foam provides lightweight support. For those with wide feet, the midfoot wrap might be a little snug if you are wearing a standard width model – I recommend 2E. Unfortunately, no 4E width available. Again, barefoot friendly internal construction allows running sockless without hot spots or blisters.
10v4 versus 10v1
Personally, I prefer the original Minimus 10v1 Trail for most of my trail running on rolling hills. For higher grade hills, the Minimus 10v4 Trail is preferred. They both fit very well sockless, snug, and comfortable. And weight-wise, they’re almost the same: US 10.5 2E, 8.0oz 10v4 versus 8.2oz 10v1. There is also slightly less cushioning on the original Minimus 10v1 Trail model which I prefer – I like feeling the ground for maximum proprioception!!!
Running sockless, I can feel the uppers for long runs – whether they allow your warm feet to breathe. For warm weather, the Minimus 10v1 Trail is superior in keeping your feet cool. For cold weather, the Minimus 10v4 Trail is superior in keeping your feet warm. Maybe a shoe for Spring/Summer and one for Fall/Winter? Nice to have choices.
Finally, I’m especially happy that minimalist runners have more choices again! More low- or minimal-cushioningg minimalist running shoes. Both models available now at New Balance online and Zappos.com