New Balance Minimus TR Review | Only Good for Narrow Feet? (2022)

The New Balance Minimus TR is designed to be a zero-drop training shoe with a “minimalist” feel. As a fan of New Balance cross-training shoes, I was excited to put the Minimus TR to the test.

The New Balance Minimus TR is an interesting training shoe, and much like the Minimus TR BOA, this shoe has potential. I think for narrow feet and those who love zero-drop training shoes, the Minimus TR will be a good training shoe.

However, I’ve been pretty letdown by the New Balance Minimus TR. It falls short compared to other top-performing cross-training shoes, and its sizing is all over the place, which I’ll expand on below.

In my New Balance Minimus TR review, I’ll cover a variety of topics to help you decide if this shoe is a good fit for your needs.

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Contents

  1. Who Should Invest In the New Balance Minimus TR?
  2. New Balance Minimus TR Pros
  3. New Balance Minimus TR Cons
  4. Performance
  5. New Balance Minimus TR Sizing
  6. Price Breakdown
  7. Construction Details

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Looking into new cross-training shoes? Try my cross-training shoe finder. This calculator suggests my three top picks for your individual training needs.

Who Should Invest In the New Balance Minimus TR?

The New Balance Minimus TR is a training shoe that will resonate with a very specific type of athlete and lifter. As opposed to being a training shoe that is more universal with its application, the Minimus TR strikes me as a specific and somewhat polarizing model.

For example, if you like zero-drop training shoes (trainers with 0mm heel-to-toe drops), the New Balance Minimus TR could be a good option to explore. Most training shoes will have heel-to-toe drops that range from 4-8mm, so a zero-drop ask provides a specific fit.

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Additionally, this shoe has a pretty narrow fit to it, so I think athletes who enjoy narrow-fitting training shoes will enjoy this model. In this context, the New Balance Minimus TR performs well for lifting and cross-training.

That being said, I don’t think the New Balance Minimus TR is a training shoe that will work for most. Their too narrow, and this shoe’s durability could be better. For a $129.99 USD price point, you could find stronger training shoes.

New Balance Minimus TR

$129.99

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3.4

Stability

4.2

Versatility

3.3

(Video) New Balance Minimus TR Review

Durability

3.4

Best For

  • Lifters/Athletes With Narrow Feet
  • Cross-Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Zero-Drop Training Shoe Lovers

Falls Short

  • For Neutral/Wide Feet
  • For CrossFit
  • For Long-Term Durability

New Balance Minimus TR Pros

Over the course of my testing with the New Balance Minimus TR, I’ve found a few pros and things to enjoy with this model.

  1. Good Training Shoe Option for Narrow Feet
  2. Decent Shoe for “Minimalist” Training Shoe Lovers
  3. Decent Performance for Lifting and Cross-Training

The first thing to like about the New Balance Minimus TR is that it’s a viable training shoe option for athletes with narrow feet. If you constantly feel like you’re swimming in your training shoes, then the Minimus TR could be worth exploring.

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This model’s sizing is both its best and worst attribute. I think this shoe will fit like a glove for those with narrower feet and normal arches. However, for everyone else, I think this shoe will be pretty uncomfortable and limiting.

The second aspect to like about the New Balance Minimus TR is that it does a good job delivering a “minimalist” feel when training. This shoe provides a good level of ground feedback when jumping, lifting, and doing multi-directional exercises.

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I personally like rotating in training shoes that have thicker midsoles with minimalist trainers and barefoot shoes to give my feet exposure to different environments. Plus, I’ll rotate shoes per the task at hand by choosing models that allow me to perform my best.

The Minimus TR has been a good option for delivering a more minimal feel for the training sessions where I found more ground feedback. The midsole and stack height in this model sit relatively lower than other training shoes.

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The final thing to like about the New Balance Minimus TR is that I did enjoy this shoe’s performance for lifting and some of my cross-training sessions. After about a week, this model’s upper broke in, making it more bearable for my neutral width foot.

I enjoyed the performance of the Minimus TR when doing athletic-style training sessions where I was lifting heavier and blending in plyometrics. The outsole provides a nice level of traction, and the low-profile design gives this shoe a sock-like fit.

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I also enjoyed the midsole’s stability and versatility for different exercises. For example, the forefoot is responsive enough to give you a little comfort and bounce when doing jump rope while also giving you enough stability to tackle heavier squats and deadlifts.

New Balance Minimus TR Cons

With the New Balance Minimus TR, I see its application and specificity for some athletes making it a good shoe. However, I found a few cons with this shoe worth noting before investing in them.

  1. Sizing Will Likely Not Be Great for Most Athletes
  2. Durability Can Lack Long-Term

My first knock and biggest concern with this shoe for other athletes is its sizing and fit. This shoe is uncomfortably narrow, and I think the toe box and midfoot in this model could be problematic for a wide range of athletes.

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For context, I have a neutral-width foot that airs on the side of being narrow with a relatively normal arch. This shoe’s midfoot medial outsole wrap somewhat jams into my arch, and it’s almost unwearable for sessions longer than 90-minutes.

(Video) Barefoot vs minimal running shoe analysis review - Vibram FiveFingers, New Balance Minimus, MV2

If you have wide feet or flat feet, I would say forget about the New Balance Minimus TR and look into models that will fit you better. It’s a shame this shoe’s fit is so polarizing because there’s a lot of potential with this shoe’s performance in the gym.

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The second drawback with the New Balance Minimus TR is that its durability could use a buff. For example, there are features on this shoe that almost feel like afterthoughts when it comes to their purpose and how they promote durability.

The midfoot outsole wrap doesn’t do the best job at resisting breakdown from rope climbs, and the upper could be a little more abrasion resistant. I had issues with the New Balance Minimus TR BOA’s durability with these same features, so I could see the Minimus TR being similar.

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Honestly, I don’t feel confident recommending this shoe for CrossFit despite it having CrossFit-focused features. Additionally, for outdoor workouts, this shoe could also be hit or miss depending on if you’re encountering abrasion on the upper.

Performance

To break down and discuss the performance of the New Balance Minimus TR, I’ll talk about how this shoe performs in different training contexts. More specifically, I’ll discuss this shoe’s performance for lifting, versatile training, short runs, and daily wear.

That way, if you’re considering this shoe for your training needs, you can cross-reference how this model performs in various training contexts.

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Testing the New Balance Minimus TR for Lifting

For lifting, I’ve enjoyed the performance of the New Balance Minimus TR for the most part. When it comes to stability, this shoe should work for a variety of loads, and I don’t think you’ll experience a ton of midsole compression training heavier in this model.

I like the low-to-the-ground feeling that you get with the Minimus TR when doing different exercises. The lack of a high stack height also makes this shoe good for things like deadlifts and other pulling exercises.

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Additionally, I like the articulation that you get with the Minimus TR’s sole. If you like having a shoe that bends and moves well with the foot when lifting and doing more dynamic exercises, I think you’ll enjoy the performance of the Minimus TR.

My main complaint with the Minimus TR’s performance for lifting has to do with its size and fit. The toe box and midfoot are so narrow that the lack of ability to splay the toes gets pretty frustrating and can make this shoe uncomfortable.

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For CrossFit, I’d pass on the Minimus TR. Its durability isn’t the strongest, and if you’re going to pay $129.99 USD for a training shoe, then you should look into models that will give you more bang for your buck.

The midfoot wrap can be problematic for rope climbs, and the plastic clip on the heel lacks rigidity for high-volume handstand push-ups. This model has potential for CrossFit applications, but in its current form — it’s not the best CrossFit shoe.

Testing the New Balance Minimus TR for Versatile Training

For versatile training, I have a love-hate relationship with the New Balance Minimus TR. When doing things like plyometrics and HIIT workouts, I like when shoes give me a nice level of ground feedback and traction.

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In this context, the Minimus TR does a good job, and I never had slip issues when doing things like sled pushes on turf and was able to feel the ground well when jumping and doing explosive training.

I also like the sock-like fit with the Minimus TR when doing things like skater strides, box jumps, and lateral jumps. It feels similar to a cleat, which I know is a required taste, so if you’re similar with your fit preferences here, then I could see you also liking this model.

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The mesh upper is also a pro with this shoe when it comes to versatile training. This model had a good level of breathability and airflow in warmer settings, and I often opt to train sockless in his shoe.

Again though, and similar to my lifting analysis, it’s not that the Minimus TR can’t perform for versatile training, it’s the fact that the sizing and fit can be quite a turn-off if your foot’s anatomy doesn’t align with this shoe.

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Testing the New Balance Minimus TR for Short Runs and Daily Wear

For short runs, I’d suggest passing on the New Balance Minimus TR. This is not going to be the training shoe that can double as a lifting and running hybrid, at least comfortably. You could maybe get away with double a mile or two in this model, but again, comfort could be a miss.

For sprints, this model is okay, and it will work if you have sprints programmed one day in a hybrid-style workout, but it wouldn’t be my go-to training shoe for regularly programmed sprint-focused training. I would take a model like the Inov-8 F-Lite G G 295 in this context.

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In the context of daily wear, I’d also suggest passing on the New Balance Minimus TR. If you have a narrow foot, then you may find these comfortable for all-day wear, but I found them pretty offputting when logging around 5k steps in them.

The snugness of their fit and low in-step were both knocks against this shoe for all-day comfort. Plus, I would prefer more width in my shoes when standing and walking to promote more foot movement and mobility.

New Balance Minimus TR Sizing

For the New Balance Minimus TR, most lifters and athletes will want to size up at least a half size in this model. The length runs true but airs on the side of being short, and the width is narrow for this model.

I think if you have narrow feet, then you could maybe get away with sizing true to size. However, for neutral-width feet, size up a half size and go up a full size if you want to play it safe.

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If you have wide feet or flat feet, you’ll want to look into other training shoes. The midfoot in the Minimus TR will likely feel super uncomfortable for your feet.

(Video) Best Shoes For Crossfit 2022 - Top 10 Best Crossfit Shoes

  • New Balance Minimus TR Sizing Thought: Size up a half size.

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For this model specifically, I’d also suggest looking at New Balance’s product page also to gain more insights into the Minimus TR’s sizing. Since this shoe is pretty polarizing with its fit, I think more insights will be better for this model.

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the New Balance Minimus TR, drop a comment below.

Price Breakdown

For the New Balance Minimus TR, you can expect to pay $129.99 USD. Honestly, I don’t think this shoe is worth that price point, especially when you compare it to other training shoes with similar price points.

My issue with this shoe’s price is I personally have a tough time identifying why this model should be worth the same as something like a Nike Metcon 8 and Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2. These are both shoes with relatively similar price points that outperform the Minimus TR.

Plus, there are other budget-friendly cross-training shoes that cost less and have similar performances as the Minimus TR if you’re interested in saving money.

New Balance Minimus TR

$129.99

Best For

  • Lifters/Athletes With Narrow Feet
  • Cross-Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Zero-Drop Training Shoe Lovers

Falls Short

  • For Neutral/Wide Feet
  • For CrossFit
  • For Long-Term Durability
(Video) New Balance Minimus MX20 Review

Construction Details

Below are some of the key construction details to note about the New Balance Minimus TR. I hope New Balance reworks this shoe’s construction for the next iteration because there are a few areas that could use improvement.

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  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Weight:
  • Removable Insole: This model doesn’t come with an insole.
  • Medium-Density Foam Midsole
  • Full Rubber Outsole
  • Mesh Upper With No Seams
  • TPU Heel Clip
  • Midfoot Outsole Wraps for Rope Climbs
  • 7 Core Eyelets With an 8th for Lace-Lock

If you have additional construction questions about the New Balance Minimus TR, drop a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:

Are the New Balance Minimus TR true to size?

A:

The New Balance Minimus TR should fit true to size for those with narrow feet. If you have neutral feet, size up a half to full size, and if you have wide feet, skip this model entirely.

Q:

Are the New Balance Minimus TR good for CrossFit?

A:

If you're primarily doing CrossFit workouts, you'll want to skip the New Balance Minimus TR. This model has construction features for CrossFit, but its durability isn't there for the avid CrossFit athlete.

Q:

Can you lift in the New Balance Minimus TR?

A:

The New Balance Minimus TR can be a good training shoe for lifting if you like zero-drop models. This model's stability is pretty good for heavy training. My main issue with this shoe for lifting is the lacking width in the forefoot and midfoot.

Takeaway Thoughts

The New Balance Minimus TR has some unique construction features that could make it a good training shoe for a particular type of athlete. For example, if you have narrow feet and love zero-drop training shoes, you’ll likely enjoy the Minimus TR.

That being said, the extreme narrowness of this model and its lagging durability make it a tough shoe for me to recommend to the masses. It’s a bummer because this shoe has potential.

However, there are clear areas where it’s lacking, especially for the cross-training and CrossFit-focused athletes and lifters.

If you have additional questions about the New Balance Minimus TR, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

That Fit Friend is a site that is supported by myself (Jake Boly) and its readers. If you purchase products through affiliates links on this site, then I may receive a small commission on the sale. These commissions help keep the lights on here at That Fit Friend so I can continue to create content and they help me purchase new models to review!

(Video) New Balance Minimus 40 Training Shoe Review

FAQs

Are New Balance Minimus good for lifting? ›

The Minimus Prevail have all the features we like in CrossFit training shoes. They are low drop (4mm), they have great traction, they are comfortable and breathable – and they are great for lifting weights.

Are New Balance Minimus zero drop? ›

The Minimus TR has a zero drop from heel-to-toe, and while the stack height is undisclosed by New Balance, it is thin enough to allow decent proprioception and provide a low-to-ground balance.

What is a zero-drop shoe? ›

Zero-drop running shoes are minimal "barefoot" running shoes that have minimal to no cushioning and leave the feet laying directly flat on a level surface of the shoe.

Does New Balance make water shoes? ›

Make a big splash with these girl's New Balance Aqua Drift water shoes. Designed with a lightweight open mesh upper to deliver breathability and quick drying abilities, this water shoe is made with a flexible and super cushioned sole design that helps deliver comfort to every play session.

Does Asics make a zero-drop shoe? ›

Asics just launched the MetaRide, the first in a line of shoes designed to make you a better long-distance runner. It's a 30mm-thick, zero-drop, remarkably stiff shoe with a rocker shape that's designed to guide your ankle through the motion of your stride.

What is the best heel-to-toe drop for walking? ›

A heel-to-toe-drop is the difference in cushioning under your heels vs. under your toes. Lobkova says that the best walking sneakers have a 4-8mm heel-to-toe drop, which places less stress on the Achilles tendon and allows for more efficient transfer of energy through heel-lift and toe-off in the walking cycle.

Can Zero Drop shoes cause heel pain? ›

Zero-drop shoes as such are not bad for the Achilles tendon; it's about how you use them. Like we've mentioned earlier, these shoes can cause Achilles pain when you transition to them too quickly from using shoes with a bit of a raised heel, and the tendon has to work in a range where it has never had to before.

Is it good to run in zero drop shoes? ›

They strengthen your feet: Studies have shown that zero drop shoes increase your foot's strength as it does not rely on the artificial support of a modern shoe. This increased strength can improve alignment, stability, stamina, and help ward off injuries.

Is New Balance suede waterproof? ›

Founded in Boston nearly a century ago, New Balance has long been known for real-deal running shoes with graphic appeal. Designed with a waterproof GORE-TEX® suede upper, the 574 sneaker has a cool retro vibe with a special cushy sole that offers extra support.

Does Nike make water shoes? ›

Nike Air Zoom AO sneakers

When it comes to water sports (or just a casual hike) best to be prepared. These Nike kicks come kitted out with thick rubber soles for maximum grip on rocks, dirt, boat decks, and wherever else your journeys take you.

Is New Balance 550 waterproof? ›

manager Luke Matthews gives us a first look at the “Cordura Pack,” which consists of three outdoorsy colorways of the New Balance 550, each constructed with durable, water-resistant Cordura fabric, along with furry suede and breathable mesh.

Is 10mm drop a lot? ›

If you're only at the beginning of your running adventure, this is not something to obsess about. The go-to heel drop is considered to be 10mm. There's no science to back this, it's just the most common heel drop when it comes to standard running shoes.

What is considered low heel drop? ›

A low heel drop in shoes means the heel part of the shoe is at the same level or less than 8 mm than the ball part of the shoe. The opposite is true when there is a high heel lift in the rear foot of the shoes, when one compares it to the front part of the shoes. Most shoes manufactured today have a high heel drop.

What are the pros and cons of zero drop running shoes? ›

Pros: Completely natural and neutral. Zero drop shoes are great for going back to basics, keeping weight low, and working on correcting your form. Cons: Zero drop is going to put a lot of pressure on your tendons and muscles in the lower leg.

Does heel toe drop matter? ›

The lower the heel-toe drop, the more it will encourage striking the ground with the middle or front of the foot first. A midfoot strike may have a lower overall impact than a heel strike, but where that stress is created is also important to understand.

Why do shoes have a drop? ›

The drop primarily affects how your foot strikes the ground. A traditional running shoe usually has a heel drop of about 10mm and up. It offers lots of cushion in the heel and promotes landing first on the heel as the foot moves through its motion.

Do Altra shoes run big or small? ›

In terms of sizing, we find that all the Altra models run a bit small. Our best recommendation is to order at least a half size up from your conventional running shoes. For example, if you normally wear a women's US size 9 running shoe, you'll want to go with at least a women's US size 9.5 in Altra shoes.

Videos

1. Fireside Chats Ep.1 - Foot Gear
(Sergeant Fit)
2. 🔥 Best Cross Training Shoes with Arch Support in 2022 ☑️ TOP 5 ☑️
(The Living Guide)
3. Crossfit Shoes
(sitegonebad)
4. New Balance Minimus Shoes and Transitioning Footwear post-quarantine
(Obsessed with Barefoot Shoes)
5. Under Armour Charged Ultimate TR Review - Functional Fitness/Training Shoes
(As Many Reviews As Possible)
6. Best Training Shoes for Crossfit and Functional Training 2020 - Mona Radio - Ep 9
(The Mona Gym)

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