The outsole of this minimalist running shoe is engineered to carry you over rough terrain without the bulk of a typical trail-running sneaker. The entire outsole is covered with Vibram
rubber, which is a material designed to deliver excellent traction over a wide range of surfaces. Vibram rubber is also abrasion-resistant which aids in the shoes’ durability. The outsole does not have any “openings” that peek through to the midsole, unlike its predecessor, the 10v1. The length of the outsole features low-profile multidirectional
triangular treads that have some texture to them. These treads are placed on the sneaker in such a way so as to allow you to grip the ground easily as you ascend or descend the trail.
The New Balance Minimus 10v4 has more stack height added to its midsole compared to the previous 10v1 model. The “4” in the shoes’ name refers to its drop, so as you can surmise, this sneaker has 3mm more cushion in its midsole compared to its predecessor. This midsole is made up of RevLite foam which is an extremely lightweight material with high rebound and comfort. This innovative foam is said to be just as durable and responsive as foams that are 30% heavier. That means that the foam in this sneaker is able to deliver a lightweight and responsive ride without sacrificing cushioning underfoot. Another feature of this shoes’ midsole is at the antimicrobial
coating that is placed on the footbed which will help to prevent odor-causing bacteria from forming.
New Balance revamped the upper of the Minimus 10 line when they designed the 10v4. Unlike the 10v1 minimal trail running shoe, this sneaker features a no-sew construction on the upper. This construction cuts down on the weight of the sneaker and helps to prevent any irritation
or blistering on your feet that may be caused by sewn seams. The upper is made up of a synthetic mesh which is both lightweight and breathable. The tongue of the 10v4 is referred to as a “burrito tongue
” because it is attached to the inside of the sneaker, at the medial side. This integrated tongue allows the sneaker to wrap around your foot better for a more secure fit. Running from the midfoot to the heel of this sneaker, you will find a saddle that also helps to secure your foot and support it within the sneaker. The lacing system is attached to this saddle so as you tighten the laces, you also secure the shoe to your foot better. The inside of the 10v4 is lined with a soft material that allows for a comfortable feel, even if you run without socks.
Even though the 10v4 might seem like it would be heavier than the 10v1 thanks to the higher stack height, it is actually a couple of ounces lighter. A mens’ size 11 weighs in at a mere 8.0 ounces.
Because the upper of this shoe is made out of a lightweight mesh material without tons of unnecessary layers or seams, it is highly breathable. The toe box of the 10v4 features several perforations in the mesh that also aid in great ventilation
found in this sneaker. The fact that the inside of the shoe is also coated with an antimicrobial substance will help to eliminate the forming of odor-causing bacteria as well, so these shoes will help your feet stay cool, dry, and less stinky. It should be noted, however, that one particular reviewer said these particular sneakers are a little less breathable than the 10v1’s, but not by much.
A large number of consumers agreed that the 10v4 is a very comfortable minimalist trail shoe. Of course, if you are not used to minimalist running shoes, you might feel like these don’t have a whole lot of cushioning comfort in them. However, if you are used to running on trails in minimalist shoes, you may think these shoes have plenty of cushion. Unlike its 10v1 predecessor, the 10v4 features more underfoot cushioning through RevLite foam. This cushioning is still pretty minimal but takes it out of the “barefoot” trail shoe
category and moves it into the “minimalist” trail shoe category. This means that you will still have a great deal of ground feel but not as much as if it was a barefoot trail shoe. Many minimalist trail runners actually liked that about this sneaker and said it is comfortable to wear on a variety of trails. The no-sew upper is also a comfortable feature on this sneaker because it means you’ll have less chance of foot irritation. This is important especially in minimalist sneakers because quite often minimalist runners run without socks on. The soft inner lining was also hailed as very comfortable by several consumers.
The styling of this sneaker is another great feature that it offers. Many users have commented on how great the shoe looks on foot and although it is designed to carry you nimbly over the trail, some have even said that it can easily be worn as a casual sneaker thanks to its design. Its low-profile silhouette
features pops of brighter colors on a more subdued main color found on the upper and resembles the look of other typical running shoes.
The outsole of the 10v4 is extremely durable thanks to the use of Vibram rubber. New Balance wanted to make sure this sneaker was able to withstand the harsh underfoot conditions
that a trail may offer. Vibram rubber was developed to be a very durable rubber so you won’t have to worry too much about wear and tear of the outsole and the sneaker should be able to hold up for a long time. The outsole also helps to protect the RevLite foam found in the midsole from breaking down easily. The lightweight upper is also fairly durable when it comes to a minimalist sneaker.
As a minimalist trail shoe, the 10v4 is not going to protect your feet from aggressive terrain
. However, it will definitely protect your feet from some harsh underfoot conditions on mild to moderate trails. The Vibram rubber found on the outsole will help to protect you from sharp and jagged underfoot terrain. The multidirectional treads found on the outsole will help protect you from slipping while ascending or descending as well. Because New Balance included more RevLite foam cushioning than some of its previous minimalist trail shoes, your feet will feel more comfortable and protected than in barefoot trail shoes.
RevLite foam makes up this sneakers’ midsole and this will aid in the responsiveness level of the shoe. Unlike barefoot running shoes, this minimalist trail sneaker features more cushioning to absorb some shock and help give you a little bit of springy
propulsion forward. With that said, don’t expect a ton of pillowy response because this is not meant to be a highly cushioned sneaker.
This minimalist trail shoe is engineered to fit like a sock with its construction and soft inner lining. The burrito tongue design helps the sneaker to wrap around your foot snugly and keeps it in place within the foot chamber. The heel cup at the rear of the shoe will help to support your heel in within the shoe as well. The mesh that makes up the upper will easily form to your foot and aids in comfortable support. The overall fit of this sneaker is meant to prevent any negative space within the shoe which will help prevent you from getting blisters and irritation.
Obviously, this minimalist trail shoe is designed to be worn on the trail. However, because it does not boast an aggressive lug system or ankle support, they should not be worn while traversing through highly technical terrain. The 10v4 is ideally suited for light to moderate well-groomed trails. Many users have commented on how well these shoes do on loose trails and on soft surfaces. Some have also said that the New Balance Minimus 10v4 is the perfect shoe to tackle obstacle courses.
Typically, specialty sneakers tend to hit the wallet a little harder than non-specialty shoes. Because the 10v4 is designed to perform specifically as a minimalist trail shoe, it is more expensive than some other sneakers. However, at $115, this sneaker is still considered to be a great value for the high-quality sneaker that you get for the price.
Vibram rubber was originally engineered to tackle such terrains as those found on K2 which means that the rubber itself is made to deliver excellent traction. The multidirectional triangular treads found on the shoes’ outsole are designed to help you grip a variety of trail terrains while ascending and descending. The treads feature a texture that helps them to grip easily. Several consumers have said that the traction of these shoes is even great on soft surfaces such as sand and mud.
Because there isn’t a whole lot of material making up these sneakers, they are very flexible. The lightweight design of the entire shoe allows it to move and flex with your foot. Minimalist running shoes are flexible by nature, and these are no exception.
Minimalist running shoes are definitely not shoes that are designed to deliver a great amount of stability. In fact, if you aren’t used to wearing barefoot or minimalist running sneakers, it’s best to work up to wearing them on a long run so you don’t injure yourself. The 10v4 is designed to fit like a sock and does not include any stabilizing features other than the support offered through the snug fit and cushioned midsole.
The “4” in the sneaker’s name refers to drop found in the shoe. The heel stack on the 10v4 is 19mm and the toe stack is 15mm, giving this sneaker a 4mm drop. This makes the shoe more of a minimalist trail shoe as opposed to a barefoot trail shoe.
- No-sew lightweight and breathable upper prevents irritation
- Vibram outsole designed to deliver an exceptional amount of traction and durable grip
- RevLite foam cushioning found at the midsole delivers more comfort and response than other minimalist trail shoes
- Antimicrobial coating on the inside of the sneaker prevents odor-causing bacteria from forming
The New Balance Minimus 10v4 is obviously a sneaker designed for a specific purpose. If you are in the market for a minimal trail running shoe and want one that offers a little more comfort and support than a zero-drop shoe, then this shoe is an excellent option. The 10v4 is a great update to the 10v1 because it is lighter weight and a little more durable on the outsole. The no-sew upper is a great update as well and makes the comfort of this shoe more sock-like than its predecessor. As stated previously, minimalist running sneaker, perhaps even more so because it is a trail shoe, should be worn by those who are used to running in extremely-low drop sneakers. If you are just getting into minimalistic running, then work into it slowly. These are a great place to start because they offer more cushion than some other minimalistic trails shoes. In the end, these sneakers are made of high-quality materials and are designed to deliver a comfortable and grippy minimalistic ride on the trail.