Our NB Minimus line offers an invigorating, award-winning, closer-to-barefoot experience with a dramatically lower heel-to-midfoot drop than traditional running shoes. In March 2012, at running stores across the country, we will extend the much talked-about NB Minimus line with the arrival of NB Minimus Zero – new road, trail and wellness shoes that continue to deliver that minimal, light and right experience, but with a 0mm heel-to-midfoot drop. This is a feature that many of the most vocal members of the NewBalance.com community, many of them experienced natural runners, have asked about. We asked New Balance SBU Manager for Performance Running and Outdoor, Katherine Petrecca, who introduced us to NB Minimus the first time around, to help us get up to speed on what we can expect.
1. Minimal means many things.
“From the start, we envisioned creating a range of “minimal” within the collection in order to satisfy the interests and needs of a broad spectrum of runners. The response to our original 10 series product (4mm drop) has been terrific, but we know that there are many runners who are intensely interested in zero drop products. There are good reasons why a runner might prefer one style over the other – and we ultimately want to support them both and more.”
2. ‘Zero’ refers to more than just the size of the drop.
“We define our NB Minimus collection by 3 measures: weight, stack height and the heel-to-toe drop. Those are the levers that we can pull to create different levels of minimal product. In addition to the reduced drop, NB Minimus Zero products also feature lower stack heights and weights than the 10 series – 6.4 oz for NB Minimus Zero Road and 4.4 oz for NB Minimus Zero Trail.”
3. Zero wouldn’t have been possible without the first round of NB Minimus product.
“We definitely learned a lot in the process of making the first NB Minimus product. I don’t think we’ve ever done more prototype rounds on a shoe than the MT10!”
4. We’ve had too many ideas to fit into just one model.
“We had some ideas for the 10 series that we weren’t able to execute at the time. You’ll begin to see those on the NB Minimus Zero product. One example is the coring of the midsole on the Zero that greatly reduces weight and provides amazing flexibility. In fact, we had an idea for the original product that we are still working on for the third evolution of NB Minimus in 2013.”
5. These shoes are going to make you work for it.
“The NB Minimus Zero series product is for runners who are looking to go even more minimal – more ground feel, more independent foot movement, less weight. The Trail Zero is particularly minimal. It will really force the runner to pay attention to how they are running because the shoe won’t be doing any of the work for them.”
6. You’re going to want to come prepared.
“We would recommend the NB Minimus Zeros to runners who are already experienced with minimal trainers. NB Minimus Zero would be a big departure for people who are running in traditional shoes – even more so than our current line. The zero drop is only part of the minimal equation that runners should note. We have significantly reduced the amount of foam and rubber underfoot.”
7. Zero drop is going to be an adjustment for a lot of people.
“Transition times vary per person, but it’s important that even experienced minimal runners make transitions cautiously. Incorporate more minimal products slowly into your running schedule and be hyper-aware of what you are feeling in your feet, ankles and calves. We also highly recommend employing Good Form Running techniques while using minimal shoes.”
8. NB Minimus is inspiring updates in other running shoes.
“In general, we’ve found that runners are increasingly interested in more neutral platforms. We have taken this thinking into other areas of our running product line and have expanded our use of non-traditional off-sets. In Spring 2012, we’ll launch 2 key performance updates that will move from a 12mm to an 8mm drop.”
9. And even in some places that don’t have anything to do with running.
“You’ll definitely see that influence in other products…you’ve already seen it with NB Minimus Life and NB Minimus Training.”