Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shoe Pre-Review - New Balance MT00

New Balance MT00

Looking for a shoe review? Let me do you one better and give you a PRE-review!

Reading one of THE BEST running blogs out there Runblogger, and saw a preview of a new minimalist running shoe coming out this spring, the New Balance Minimus MT00. Since I am currently running in the MT20 on my easy runs, trying to work my way into them slowly, I figured a shoe pre-review was in order. The MT model of Minimus shoes are the trail versions of the Minimus line. I have not run in the road line, but I've read multiple reviews that say the trail model is the Swiss army knife of the two. My own current review of the NB Minimus shoes I am running is simple - they rock. More info on that below. But the New Balance MT00 looks great in the video.

I also find a lot of credibility in the Runblogger's (Pete Larson) opinions. He is a minimalist runner (running in the lightest, lowest built shoes he can get away with), but he has not taken the whole barefoot running argument hook line and sinker. He prefers to backup his claims with science and not anecdotes. For that I have great respect for his reviews. I've also read his disclosure policy, and assuming he sticks to it, a very ethical review policy.

The New Balance MT00 is NB's move into even more minimalist footwear. The MT20 is already my favorite running shoe. I am even buying another pair just for kicking around in (my current pair is torn up and nasty looking from some trail running and working on my roof) because they are the most comfortable pair of shoes I own. They are also not bad looking, which is saying a lot of for bright orange shoes.

Why am I so excited about the MT00? First, my love for the MT20 is limitless so far. I ran in them on a recent trip to Oregon, and they performed superbly on pavement, muddy trails, packed sand, loose gravel, everything I could throw at them. A lot of those on the same run. Also: the weight. As I am approaching the 2012 racing season with the goal of competing to win a few races, every detail counts. My current trainers, Nike Structure 14 (a WAY overbuilt shoe that I am moving away from), weight in around 11-12 oz. The NB Minimus MT20 that I am running in weight about 8 oz. These new ones weigh 4.4 oz.!!! They will be like slippers!

The MT00 is a step towards "zero drop", or no differential between heel lift and forefoot lift. I don't have the actual specs on it, but the video that is out there (see below) looks zero drop to me. My hope is that the toebox fits like the MT20, where it is shaped like an actual foot and is not tapered like conventional cushioned running shoes., I don't know about you, but my feet don't come to a nice point above the third toe.

Add the fact that I am trying to reduce the amount of money I spend on running shoes ($400-500 per year currently) so I can put that money towards other fitness goals, such as putting a spinning bike in my basement next to the treadmill, and we have a potential winner. My thinking is that running in a shoe with less cushion will mean I will have to replace them less. We'll see - I am kind of a running shoe fetishist and might buy a pair of Brooks Pure Project shoes if I can figure out which model has the best fit. That sounds like another post to me.

I'll keep an eye on this line as it comes out, but again, this shoe pre-review is to put others interested in moving towards more minimal running shoes that New Balance is putting out a great line of shoes and that they are adding to that this spring. I will be pre-ordering a pair, and once those come in I will post a full review after about 50-100 miles on them.

Until them, keep getting out there! Stay warm and thank you for reading!

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