At the beginning of this year, I replaced my venerable Puma H Streets with a pair of New Balance Minimus Hi-Rez shoes. The weight of the Hi-Rez shoes was amazing, even when compared to the already light H Streets. The sole was made up of these rubberized pods that were glued onto the bottom of the shoe. I was curious to see how durable the shoe would be. My H Streets always developed a hole along the outer edge of the shoes due to excessive supination when running. Sadly, my fears were confirmed when I saw holes forming in the Hi-Rez shoes after less than 100 miles. As with my H Streets, I tried using gaffer tape to cover the holes over the next 100 miles of running. In the meantime, I also started looking for a new pair of shoes. I came across the New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail shoe at the local Sports Basement. The 10v2 has a Vibram sole which provides more durability over the Hi-Rez.
There’s this band that runs along the top of the shoe which presses against the top of my right foot, and I had to adjust the lacing pattern on the both shoes to alleviate the top pressure.
So far, I’ve run over 230 miles with the 10v2 and the soles are holding up for now. The wear pattern is there, but no holes have formed as of yet. I figure I’ll be able to get another 100 to 150 miles out of these shoes before I need to replace them.
The 10v2′s proved their worth on my recent self-supported marathon. Had I worn my hole-infested Puma or Hi-Rez shoes, I would have had to turn around at the first sight of the dirt and gravel trail at Mile 7. While there were a handful of times when I would land awkwardly on a rock and feel a twinge of pain, the 10v2 sole otherwise handled the terrain well.
The Hi-Rez does not appear to have been a very popular shoe, as I have seen it well discounted from its original asking price of $119.99. New Balance’s own website sells it for $69.99, and I’ve seen the price as low as $39.99 to $52.99 at other online stores. Even at the lower price, I would recommend the Hi-Rez, primarily because of its poor durability. The verdict is still out for the New Balance Minimus 10v2. So far, I’m generally pleased with it, but not so much that I would buy another pair when this one is ready to be retired.
Anyone have suggestions on a good pair of minimalist running shoes that I should try out next?