Note about reviews: While we often receive product samples, we do not do so in exchange for reviews, nor do we accept payment for reviews. We review only those products we genuinely enjoy.

The Next Best Thing to Being Barefoot On The Trail

Today, with our concrete jungles, we need to protect our feet. Unfortunately, wearing most stiff shoes puts our feet in an unnatural position with our heels propped above our toes and gives our toes no room to move. For generations, we walked on natural surfaces like shifting sand, slippery ice, knotted roots, and soft pine needles, either barefoot or with minimal material covering our feet. Now we hike through our urban jungles—hard, debris-filled surfaces that have been made almost entirely flat and level. Our feet, in shoes and on smooth concrete, are sort of like our digestion on a crappy diet—they’re starved of the nutritious movement inputs they need for a basic foundation of health. It should be no surprise then that we’re huge fans of barefoot footwear. 

For those looking for a minimalist shoe that still offers comfort and a good amount of protection, the Minimus Trail from New Balance might be just for you. At just under 7oz, the Minimus is lightweight, extremely comfortable, and available for both men and women. With a midsole height of 15mm in the heel and 11mm in the forefoot, it’s a bit thicker than other minimalist footwear. However, with only a 4mm slope from heel to toe it still promotes a flat foot strike, yet possesses enough heel area to protect against the occasional heel strike. The shoe is comfortable enough to wear daily, both on the trail and off, and should definitely be on your list of shoes to try when looking for that modern barefoot experience.