A few days ago I put up a first look review of the much anticipated New Balance Minimus Road shoe. Well, the next day the UPS man stopped by again, this time with a box containing Minimus shoe #2, the New Balance Minimus Trail (disclosure – this was a media sample and was provided free of charge). Of the two, this was the one that had me most intrigued since rumors had suggested that it was the more minimal of the two shoes (it is). I wasn’t disappointed. It’s rare for me to find a shoe that nears perfection in Nike Air Max Classic BW Dames almost every way, but my initial gut reaction is that the Minimus Trail comes pretty darned close.Nike Air Max 90 Herren As I did with the Minimus Road, what I’m going to do here is give my very initial thoughts on this shoe – you can expect that more will come as I run more miles in them.First things first, the Minimus Trail is a very good looking shoe. I’m a big fan of shoes that make a bold statement with their appearance, and the orange and black shoe that New Balance sent me certainly does that. The upper of the Minimus Trail is composed mostly of two kinds of mesh, both of which can be clearly distinguished in the images included with this post. The mesh on the toebox and tongue is a bit more padded than the rest, and is softer to the touch. It also absorbed water like a sponge when running through puddles, which felt a bit unusual, though not Nike Air Max Classic BW Hombre uncomfortable. The remaining mesh is more open, and the upper as a whole is thinner and a lot less structured than that of the Minimus Road. Of the shoes Nike Air Max 95 Mujer that I have in my collection, the most similar to the Minimus Trail in terms of upper structure and feel would be the Mizuno Wave Universe, the original Nike Free 3.0, and the Vibram Fivefingers – together, these shoes probably come closest to my ideal in terms of upper design.The interior of the Minimus Trail is also impressive. Like the Minimus Road, there are very few seams, and these shoes beg to be run in sockless. Neither shoe has an insole, and both are lined by very soft fabric that feels great against the foot. The interior of this shoe is fantastic.The Minimus Trail last is also a huge plus – my foot fits snugly in the heel and through Adidas Ultra Boost Damen the midfoot, and then the shoe opens Nike Air Presto Mujer> up to a very wide toebox that is surprisingly flexible. (Update: I’ve developed some issues with the black band across the forefoot in the Minimus Trail being too tight on one side – you can read about my shoe surgery solution here) I actually sense more freedom of toe movement in these shoes than I do even in my Vibrams with their individual toe pockets. The combination of a more anatomically shaped last and a nearly seamless interior makes these shoes incredibly comfortable – I could easily hang out in these shoes all day.One of the most surprising features about the Minimus Trail is that it sports an outsole made by Vibram – yes, the same company that makes the famous Vibram Fivefingers toe shoes. The outsole pattern consists of a series of circular lugs with pits in between, and the entire Nike Air Max Classic BW Mens sole is remarkably flexible (much Nike Air Max 90 Womens moreso than that of the Minimus Road). I measure sole thickness at about 15mm heel and 11mm forefoot (the latter is hard to measure since there are no gaps between the tongue and the rest of the upper to get my calipers through) – the differential is therefore a 4mm drop from heel to toe. This latter spec is bound to be the biggest point of complaint from truly minimalist and barefoot runners (for more on this, read Jason Robillard’s very detailed review of the Minimus Trail), and my hope is that we will see a zero-drop version of the Minimus Trail appear in the next iteration of the shoe. There’s so much to like about this shoe from a minimalist running standpoint, it’s a shame that many minimalist runners will opt to skip out on it because it has a heel lift. Personally, the 4mm heel lift Adidas Superstar Hommedoesn’t bother me, and both this shoe and Adidas Superstar Mujer the Mimimus Road feel flatter than most shoes on my rack. However, if I were New Balance I would consider putting out both a 4mm and a zero drop shoe to cater to both transitioning runners and those who have already gone full time into minimalist shoes like the Vibram Fivefingers.