Adding Minimalist Shoes into the Running Rotation

What follows is a post sponsored by New Balance. Full disclosure: New Balance is a former client of mine, but this post is through Glam. This may be a sponsored post, but all of my feelings are 150% genuine – I truly love the company and its products.

In the months leading up to the Marine Corps Marathon, I ran at least 80% of my runs in stability shoes and maybe 20% of my runs in lightweight or minimal shoes. After learning about the benefits of barefoot and minimalist running, I was interested in trying out some lightweight shoes myself but wasn’t going to try to make a switch while marathon training.

(Please note: PLEASE be careful when trying out barefoot/minimalist running shoes. They take some getting used to. You can learn more about Minimus shoes and minimal running here. )

After the marathon, I started running in New Balance 1400s, a lightweight shoe. I started out wearing these lighter shoes just for speedwork, but by the end of my D.C. Half training, I was also wearing them for my long runs, too.
New Balance Minimus 10v2

We were given our choice of several NB shoes for this review, and I decided to go for the Minimus 10v2 Road. Made with a Vibram sole, the shoe provides support where your feet need it the most (see the blue on the sole below.)

Its 4mm drop (difference in height between heel and forefoot) keeps your feet connected with the sole and close to the ground.

Also, they’re gorgeous. Do you see how, on the left, the tongue is not separate from the rest of the shoe? This burrito-wrapping offers extra support to your feet. The meshy material of the shoes is also incredibly breathable; I accidentally had to hop through a little creek yesterday on my run (#whencitygirlsgotojerseyandgetlostonatrail) and they were mostly dry by the time I got home 15 minutes later.

I also tried them out today when I took out my new heart rate monitor to find out my maximum heart rate (more on that later) and took ’em for a spin around my high school’s track, and I swear, I felt like I had wings on my feet.

Size-wise, it’s worth noting that these run a bit big. I’m usually a 9.5 in regular shoes and a 10.5 in other New Balance running shoes. I requested these in a 10.5, too, and they’re a little big.

I think it’s safe to say these beauts will make it into my regular running shoe rotation, especially for speedwork, short races and short runs.

Have you ever tried minimalist running shoes? Do you wear different shoes for different types of runs? (I never did until I got the freebie ones, and I don’t think you have to at all, but I have started loving lighter shoes for faster workouts.)

New Balance has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance is currently the only athletic shoe company that manufactures footwear in the U.S. with 25% of our U.S. footwear shipments produced at five New England facilities. To learn more about how New Balance Makes Excellent Happen, visit

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by New Balance via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of New Balance.

12 comments on “Adding Minimalist Shoes into the Running Rotation

  1. Lindsay

    Can I just say that I so appreciate your up front disclosures about sponsorships and products that you get for free. Makes me trust your opinions even more!

  2. Holly @ Running & Baking Oh My!

    I have been running in some Mizuno shoes that I believe are more minimalist than the Asics I run in. I am interested in how a minimalist shoe would affect my lower back. I really love the look of the New Balance shoe, I will have to talk to my Chiropractor and see what he thinks. Great review and I agree about your being upfront, it does make your posts more authentic!

  3. Zenaida Arroyo

    I agree with Lindsay thanks for being so honest. Unfortunately too many blogs are being sponsored by so many companies that it is difficult to know to trust them.

    I run in Brooks PureConnect. I think those are minimalist?

  4. Nichole

    Would love to hear more about how you are transitioning to more minimal shoes. I know it is something to be done slowly and am always interested to hear personal experiences as to how they’ve transitioned. I haven’t taken the plunge yet, as I’ve had some nagging PF that I’ve been told could be made worse if I switch, or could be made better. So far, staying in a neutral shoe.

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Nichole: I’m definitely still transitioning and don’t know if I’ll ever run exclusively in minimalist shoes. After my last marathon, I started with lighter-weight shoes (NB 1400s) but with a fairly standard heel-toe drop and ran in those for some of my shorter runs during the week as I got used to them.

      My calves were definitely a bit sore as I got used to them, and it probably took around 4-6 weeks until I wore them most of the time and then my stability shoes felt like rocks on my feet.

  5. Vicky

    I’ve had to stop running, but I loved my Nike Free shoes. I was a real heel striker, and using them and adjusting my stride to strike mid-foot made a huge difference in how I felt after a run. It was a hard transition to adjust to that sort of “forward leaning” posture, though. I had to stop visualizing myself falling on my face!

  6. Lindsey

    Interesting shoes– will definitely check them out.
    But HUGE, driving my brain crazy question for you: are you at all familiar with a quote that I swore I saw on your site, but must have been elsewhere, or else my Google-fu is killing me. It was (I think) from an ad (Nike? Reebok), and the writer said they’d torn it out and kept it. It said something about: I was not born a runner. No one looked at me as a child and thought, she will run. But I know that the only way to become a marathoner is to run one.
    Something like this?? Any ideas?? Almost all of the running blogs I’ve visited I visit through you, so I’m hopeful. Fingers quadruple crossed.

  7. Logan @ Mountains and Miles

    I really enjoy minimalist shoes and have been wearing them for the past four years. The first two years I spent switching between the Vibram Five Fingers, Merrel Gloves and the New Balance Trail Minimus Zero. I love, love, LOVED, them all, but unfortunately really struggled with horrible blisters in all of them. I randomly came across a pair of Brooks PureFlows (4mm drop) and have never looked back! I also own a pair of PureGrit2s for trails and I love them even more!

    I agree with the slow transition, a lot of people start out way too fast/far with their minimalist shoes and their body makes them pay for it later. I think I had an easier transition because I naturally run on my toes, which is usually the biggest change people make when switching to minimalist.

  8. Melissa

    I LOVE New Balance! Definitely my favorite shoe! I’ve been wanting to try the Minimus ones for a while but haven’t had a chance. Maybe that needs to move higher on my list!


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