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November 11, 2011

A Brighter (And Lighter, And More Comfortable) Geometry: New Balance Minimus 2012 Uppers

From the time the updated New Balance Minimus was first announced, much of the focus was on the revised platform. Instead of the 4mm heel-toe drop of the 2011 version, the 2012 Minimus will have a pure zero-drop platform – news that was met with much rejoicing from minimalist fans. (Random Monty Python-nerd link.)

However, the forthcoming shoe is more than just a low-rider version of its predecessor. There are top-to-bottom improvements based on user feedback and lessons learned from the initial Minimus trail and road models, as the latest installment of New Balance’s slow-boil marketing campaign demonstrates.

New Balance Minimus road upper

In the newest addition to the New Balance Minimus Zero website, Senior Designers Drew Nyssen and Chris Wawrousek explain the process of improving the comfort of the original Minimus line – which was already pretty great – while simultaneously decreasing the overall weight and maintaining the high-performance fit. There are also a handful of high-res photos to whet your appetite for the new models, which are scheduled for release in February.

Multiple colors of Minimus trail uppers

Among all the shoes I’ve tested this year, the New Balance Minimus trail version undoubtedly had the most comfortable upper – so if the company finds some way to improve upon that aspect, I’ll be duly impressed. Combine that with the flattened platform and the revamped outsoles, and the Minimus is very high on the list of shoes I’m looking forward to testing in 2012.

Translucent upper material

The new website content just went live this morning; check it out here for a longer glimpse of what’s to come, and I’ll continue to post updates as the company passes them along.

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Zak 11/11/11, 6:12 AM  

I've seen them in person. Unfortunately the trail version, in my opinion, is worse. The upper material is like a ripstop nylon. Not comfy, doesn't seem very flexible/soft/breathable...but very light. The new Road Zero is fantastic, however. The tongue design is like the Green Silence and the material is similar as well.

JimDog 11/11/11, 6:35 AM  

I'm currently testing the 2012 NB MT20v2 Extremes model. I do like them, but I won't comment until I've had them for more time (only had them for a week so far).

Gydle 11/11/11, 11:42 AM  

I Love Love Love Love my New Balance Minimus trail. If I weren't already married I'd marry them. The only thing is a teeny little issue with the top of my pinkie toe on the left foot. I've read in other places that I'm not the only one who has this problem, so I bet NB is trying to improve it. From the pix it looks like they've done away with the band across the top of the toes...

RD Jim 11/12/11, 10:30 AM  

A very timely update Don. I had my first snow (more like slush) run yesterday. Though I love my Softstar Runamoc SMOOTHs in most conditions, the trail bottoms just don't cut it in the snow. I like the hightop full leather coverage though so I'm in the market for a winter shoe with some grip and an upper suitable for snow & wet conditions. I'm looking at the NB Minimus trail shoes but the mesh upper is a downer. Looks like the new NBs won't change that for me. Anyone got a suggestion?

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