SIG Sauer Academy

Have You Considered New Balance Minimus?

Since the Army has banned the wear of athletic footwear that feature, “five separate, individual compartments for the toes,” a lot of folks have been looking for alternatives. Even Vibram, makers of the Five Fingers brand, knew that their shoes weren’t for everyone and developed a more more traditional alternative sole for New Balance and Merrel. While I haven’t had a chance to try out the Merrel models yet, I have had a pair of the New Balance Minimus Trail 10 running shoe since January. They run true to size and are comfortable. I generally run them without socks and they are well ventilated so guys running in areas with lots of sand or loose dirt keep that in mind. They are super lightweight and weigh about half as much as a traditional running shoe.

Tactical Distributors has the New Balance line in stock including both Men and Women’s style of the Trail running, Cross training (crossfit shoe), Wellness/Walking shoe and the Running shoe. They offer offering free overnight shipping on all NB Minimus shoes. Use promo code “FREEOVNSHIP” to receive the offer. As an added bonus, there is a 10% discount for military members.

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10 Responses to “Have You Considered New Balance Minimus?”

  1. Johnny B says:

    I’ve run in these and in the Merrells. These are true to size, the Merrells are a bit small. I’ve only run the “Trail Glove”, on and off road, but both shoes are really nice if you’re into the ‘barefoot’ thing. I run mostly in lightweight boots, but shake it up once in a while.

  2. Anon says:

    NB shoes may be light and attractive but they don’t last for long. I have never worn my NB shoes for two seasons, ever. I buy them for the looks only…

  3. Administrator says:


    In general or the new Minimus? Also, plenty of runners will tell you to regularly replace your running shoes anyway. Personally, I have never been good about this and keep a pair until they are falling apart, but most hard core runners say you should rotate shoes and replace regularly.

    Any thoughts from the crowd on this?


  4. Rob says:

    I’m really loving my Minimus Trail Gloves. My only complaint (and it’s a minor one shared with most other shoes) is how tough it is to get fine sand out of the mesh panels along the toes. They do take a bit of getting used to, even when transitioning from other “barefoot” style shoes, but even with that they’ve rapidly become my favorite trail shoe.

  5. Brock says:

    I used to change my shoes out every 6 – 9 months and it always felt like I was getting scammed. Since I switched to a mid/forefoot running gait and I’m using minimal shoes I think that you just get new shoes when you destroy the old ones.

    I have Five Fingers and the MT-10. I like them both but I’m finding that running in the New Balance shoes is way more comfortable – the little nubs on the bottom make enough of a difference for me to really notice it.

  6. Enki says:

    Here’s hoping the OTB group will leverage the Minimus design for a 4-6″ high, fast & light boot.

  7. Mateo says:

    Barring shoddy stitching, punctures, tears, etc., if a shoe uses an EVA midsole for cushioning like the Minimus does then the cushioning is going to be gone before the rest of the shoe wears out. The cushioning is via gas bubbles in the EVA that leach out gradually when not worn (so if you buy a pair of unworn shoes with an EVA midsole which have been stored for a couple of years a lot of the cushioning is already gone) and more quickly when worn (some of the bubbles are expelled from the midsole with each footstrike). It’s pretty common to hear figures of between 300–500 miles for the use life of a newly manufactured EVA-cushioned running shoe. I don’t know whether any studies failing to reject those numbers have been done.

  8. Jeanette K. says:

    With the minimalist trend just starting to kick in, there will definitely be more alternatives to come. I wonder if Vibram will make a version without the individual digits… With how popular the FiveFingers are, I’m surprised nobody has made a barefoot-type shoe specifically for the military.

    • Administrator says:

      Jeanette, the Vibram soles produced for both Merrell and New Balance were their response to the call for shoes without individual toes. I saw the entire Spring 12 line from Fivefingers and they were all individual toe designs.

      I believe Inov8 may be working on something specifically for mil users based on some rumors.

  9. ohiossg says:

    I wear these all the times and bought them before the five finger ban. I use them in afghanistan at my cop. they work fine on the treadmill. I use them for long distance (70-80 miles per week). They are easy to pack, and I take them anytime I happen to get to a bigger FOB where I can run outside. True to size, well ventilated. If you’re deployed then you know we have gravel everywhere…they suck on gravel…but they are minimalist, so you reap what you sow.