New Balance Minimus Trail v3

8.2
8.2 score
Runnerclick score (8.2)/10

Our overall Runnerclick score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter
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Editor rating: 7.9 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
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New Balance Minimus Trail v3 Review Facts

If you have been an avid fan of the previous New Balance Minimus Trail,  then you will certainly love this shoe. With its low stack height and low drop, you are sure to go fast in these shoes.  These shoes are a perfect blend of breathability and support.  The most important aspects of this shoe are how lightweight and flexible they are. For those wishing to opt for something more minimalist, these shoes offer a great alternative. The Minimus Trail v3 is perfect for rugged trails, but reviewers stated they had some success on roads as well.  The shoe was originally designed for speed but it also delivers arch support.

The Minimus Trail is such a popular line, New Balance decided to bring back the first version, the v1.  However, don’t overlook this third iteration.  It’s a solid trail shoe for those looking for excellent ground feel, light weight,  and flexibility. Keep reading to find out more about the Minimus Trail v3.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • A versatile design allowing for use on both roads and trails
  • Amazing grip
  • Great flexibility
  • Quick-drying
  • Comfortable cushioning
  • Lightweight and fast
Cons
  • Some users complained the outsole started wearing away on tougher terrains
  • Some felt the forefoot area was a bit narrow
  • When the heel is flexed, a gap appears in the mouth of the shoe, allowinng debris to enter the shoe
  • No underfoot protection
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 2 hours analyzing a total of 179 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • According to a majority of reviewers, New Balance Minimus Trail v3s are a good option for a variety of trail activities including running, hiking, and mountain biking.
  • Some reviewers like these shoes for some activities off-trail, too. People have used them for disc golf and weight lifting.
  • These are minimalist shoes, but they provide adequate protection from rocks and roots.
  • Overall, the fit is lightweight and comfortable.
  • With the correct size, the toe box is wide and long enough for natural toe splay. Although the look of the curve is a bit unique, it creates natural a natural shape for feet.
  • The midfoot has a nice, snug fit.
  • These can be worn comfortably with or without socks.
  • With socks, these shoes can keep your feet comfortably warm in cooler weather.
  • The tread has good grip. There are no reports of slipping on trails, grass, or wet surfaces.
  • The material of the upper and the outsole are durable.
  • Many buyers are pleased with the colors.
  • The shape fits narrow feet especially well.
  • Unlike some earlier New Balance models, the Minimus Trail v3s are available in some wide sizes in both mens and womens.
  • The seamless upper design is comfortable and flexible.
  • The padding is adequate for a minimal shoe, but it still allows for good ground connection.
  • One reviewer noted being able to machine wash his pair of Minimus Trail v3s with no problem.
  • The lacing system and flexible upper allow wearers to customize the fit as needed.
  • These work well for mid and forefoot strikers.
Negative
  • As a minimal running shoe, these will take some time to get used to. Changing to this style of shoe requires some time to prevent discomfort or injury.
  • Several reviewers noted issues in sizing. While most claim the v3s run small compared to previous versions, a few buyers say they run large.
  • These shoes have minimal support and padding so they are not good for people who prefer cushion and arch support from the insole.
  • Several buyers had trouble with ordering these shoes online. The common complaint was colors not matching what was advertised online. Checking the return policy or buying in person can avoid these issues.
  • Among negative reviewers, there are some complaints of heel rub. For some it was minimal, but it was worse for others.
  • There are reports of the tread separating from the sole within a few months.
  • Although rare, there are a couple of complaints of rub on the toes. This may be due to incorrect sizing, but it made the shoes unwearable.
  • These shoes are not ideal for heel strikers.
  • As minimal trail runners, these are not recommended for technical trails.
  • A few buyers noted that they prefer the earlier versions of NB Minimus Trails.
  • Due to the shape of the toe box and heel, finding the correct width for average to wide feet may require trying them on.
  • These are not recommended for road running.
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 179 reviews we found in total, 21% were negative, and 79% were positive.
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Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

This shoe has a Vibram rubber outsole which provides improved traction to the shoes. The solid traction from the outsole allows you to run comfortably even wet surfaces. The biggest change to the Minimus Trail v3 from its previous iteration is the multidirectional, semi-aggressive lugs on the outsole. They are longer and there are more of them, allowing for a better grip on the ground whether you are running a highly technical trail or a buffed out trail. Some reviewers did mention they used the shoe on roads with success; however, the multidirectional lugs make this shoe best for trails.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

This shoe makes use of deconstructed ACTEVA midsole which is known for its feathery-light cushioning and flexibility. This makes the shoe light and responsive. The midsole also features anti-odor property. Unlike many low drop and minimalistic shoes, this shoe has a good amount of arch support. However, this shoe overall is for the neutral runner. Runners needing support for pronation issues are encouraged to look elsewhere.

Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper portion of the shoe is made of a light weight, flexible and breathable seamless mesh. Since it is seamless, there is a reduced chance of blisters and chafing. According to some users, though, the upper mesh is a bit tight. The upper also features no-sew overlays which provide support to the upper portion of the shoe. For protecting runners from having bruised toes, the shoe touts a TPU which sits right atop the shoe’s toe box.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Minimus Trail v3 is an extremely lightweight shoe. These shoes have a weight of 7.2 oz. for men and 5.8 oz. for women. These shoes keep you fast on your feet, making them great for racing. Regardless of its weight, the shoe still provides all the necessary features of a great trail running shoe.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

This shoe features a mesh upper which maximizes the breathability of the shoe. The mesh itself is super light and allows for good ventilation. The synthetic overlays are minimal, allowing some support with taking away from breathability. Another great feature is that the shoe is quick drying in the event it becomes wet. Because these shoes are so breathable, they wouldn't do well particularly well in cold weather.

Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

These are a minimalistic shoe, so if you are looking for a ton of cushioning, look elsewhere. The simple midsole offers some cushioning and support, but not too much. However, it is still comfortable. The excellent breathability adds to the overall comfort of the shoe as well. The biggest comfort feature is the ability to wear the shoes without any socks. Some reviewers did state that blistered formed when wearing these shoes without socks. Also, some reviewers felt the shoe was a bit too narrow in the toe box area.
Style
Style

Style

From an aesthetic standpoint, reviewers stated that overall this shoe has improved from its previous iteration. The laces are shorter and can be tied better which is both functional and gives the shoe a better, sleeker appearance. However, according to some reviewers, the stitching done with different color accents on shoes seems unappealing. Since this shoe has been discontinued, finding different color options might be difficult.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Reviewers stated that they were happy with the durability of the Vibram outsole. There were a few issues with the outsole wearing on technical terrain, but overall, runners seemed pleased with how long lasting the outsole was. The TPU on the toe also adds another layer of durability, not only protecting feet but the front of the upper from tearing from trail debris. The deconstructed ACTEVA midsole is also very durable, and hold up over time. For a minimalistic shoe, the Minimus Trail v3 holds up very well.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The strongest protection feature would be the durable Vibram outsole, which will help protect your underfoot from rough terrain. However, in order to keep this shoe light and flexible, there is no rock plate in this shoe. The TPU toe cap protects your toes from any obstacles you may encounter. The lugs also help keep you on your feet regardless of how difficult the terrain is. There is some cushioning in the midsole, which also protects the underfoot. However, in order to stay light and flexible, minimalistic shoes do not come with a with such features as a rock plate. However, these shoes will provide the protection the runner needs while on the trail while still offering a lightweight, barefoot-like ride.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

This is a very responsive shoe thanks to the minimal, effective deconstructed ACTEVA foam in the midsole as well as the flexible mesh upper. The low drop also gives a great ground feel, which is especially important for runners who prefer the barefoot-like feel. The overall weight of the shoe keeps runners light and nimble on the trail. The lugs on the outsole are longer and there are more on them in this version of the Minimus than the previous one, which works well with the overall responsive, allowing runners to grip technical trails more efficiently.
Support
Support

Support

Usually, minimalist shoes do not score that high on the support front, and these shoes do still cater to the neutral runner. These shoes, however, do provide good arch support without being excessive. The overlays provide structure and support to the top of the foot. The well-fitting mesh upper is flexible but wraps nicely around the foot. The laces also work well in keeping the foot stable and secure. However, if you suffer from pronation issues, these might not be the shoes for you.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

These are trail running shoes. You can use them off road and on mountains. The shoe features numerous lugs that enhance its grip on all types of terrain. Though you can do some road running in these shoes, it is not recommended. Running on pavement and road will cause the lugs to wear out prematurely. To get the best life out of your shoes, we recommend that they stay on the terrain they were designed for.
Price
Price

Price

The Minimus Trail v3 is a reasonably priced shoes, especially compared to other trail running shoes. The quality and durability you get make it well worth the investment. Originally, these shoes went for $115, but since these shoes are discontinued, you can find them at a lower price. However, it is hard to snag a pair. If you do in fact find a pair in your size, make sure you grab it before its too late!
Traction
Traction

Traction

Traction refers to the way the shoe, specifically the outsole, grasps the terrain. Thanks to the numerous multidirectional lugs located on the outsole, the Minimus Trail v3 provides excellent traction on a variety of trail, even on rough, technical terrain. The outsole is made of Vibram rubber, which offers additional traction. The Vibram rubber is sticky and allows runners to traverse slick and rocky terrain.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The Minimus Trail v3 is a light, flexible shoe. They are so flexible, you can roll them up. The upper is a super light, flexible weight mesh that moves with your foot. The midsole is very thin, allowing for natural foot movement. As a minimalistic shoe, the Minimus Trail v3 does a great job of giving the runner a flexible, barefoot-like ride.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Most minimalistic shoes do not offer a ton of support and stability. However, the Minimus Trail v3 does a great job of providing just enough support and stability to allow for a natural but stable ride. The midsole offers good arch support. The laces and upper provide a secure fit. The traction of the outsole keeps runners stable. If you are looking for some support, but don't want to lose that barefoot feeling, these shoes are worth checking out.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Minimus Trail v3 shoe features a 4mm drop. This definitely classifies it as a minimalistic shoe. Runners who are used to a higher drop should be careful and slowly transitioning to the lower drop.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• Lightweight
• 3mm drop
• Antimicrobial treatment on insoles
• Vibram outsole
• Deconstructed ACTEVA foam midsole
• TPU toe cap
• Multidirectional lugs
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

If you have been a fan of the previous versions, then you will not be disappointed in the Minimus Trail v3. The updates have not been drastic, but the changes made were welcomed. There are more lugs on the outsole and the overall style of the shoe got an update, which for the most part, was well received. The traction is even better than the previous version, allowing you to take on a variety of surfaces. The shoes are very lightweight, flexible, and surprisingly, supportive, especially for a minimalistic shoe. Reviewers did have issues with the narrow fit, especially in the forefoot area and some runners had issues with blistering when wearing the shoes without socks.

Since the release of the v3, New Balance has not only put out a fourth version but rereleased the popular original Minimus Trail shoe. However, overall, the Minimus Trail v3 is a solid trail running shoe, worthy of being a part of any trail runner's rotation.