Friday, September 16, 2011

NB Road Minimus

In a previous post, I detailed the Shoes I Run in.  Several hundred miles later, however, both the 790T and Green Silence have been retired.  I took the 790T on my trip to China, and subsequently left them there before returning to the US.  With all the souvenirs I found, I had to make room in my suitcase somehow.  The Green Silence were thoroughly washed with the hose, to remove miles and miles of road dust, and are now my dog walking shoes when I volunteer at the Town Lake Animal Center.
NB Road Minimus
I am currently alternating between the NB101T (a lightweight, racing trail shoe) and the NB Minimus, designed for the road.  The Minimus is NB's most recent attempt at a lightweight, fast, minimal shoe.  As a pretty loyal NB customer, I appreciate their efforts to design more minimal shoes, and therefore felt the need to test it out myself, despite the whopping $100 price tag, which I felt was excessive.  Fortunately, I received a Groupon gift of $50 for a specialty running store, which I used it towards the purchase of the Minimus.  These shoes now have just under 70 miles on them, which is enough to give a review.

I like the weight and feel of the shoe.  The materials are very comfortable and the shoe is very light.  Of course, I have been wearing lighter weight shoes for quite awhile now, so a normal shoe would feel clunky to me.  The Minimus goes a step further than many of NB's previous models, weighing under 8.2 oz.  The sole of the shoe has minimal nubbing, which I thought could cause traction issues.  I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that running on wet grass or trail (for shorter periods) was no problem at all.  I have yet to run on wet pavement with these shoes, mostly because we have been without rain for so long in TX :(  My first few runs in these shoes left my feet a little sore, which I think was a result of having even less cushioning than the 101T or 790Ts.  I also noticed tenderness/hot spots on my big toes when I first ran in them.  Recent runs have not presented any problems and I intend to race an upcoming half marathon in these shoes.  While the shoes come in a variety of colors, the mostly white model that I selected (pictured above) shoes a lot of dirt, so even though I have only run 70 miles in these shoes, they already look very dirty.  I cannot say how well the materials hold up, but I intend to try to take these shoes beyond 500 miles, and will follow up then.

Overall, I enjoy the NB Minimus.  It is a fast, lightweight shoe that is very comfortable and requires almost no transition if you have previously run in something like the Brooks Green Silence of other NB models (790, 101).  However, with a $100 price tag, I am disappointed that it is not more affordable.  Unfortunately, with increasing demand for lightweight, minimal shoes (which should use less materials to manufacture), shoe companies are recognizing they can charge more and more.  While I would be happy to purchase another pair, I intend to look for a deal to reduce that overall cost.

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