It’s May and Spring is finally upon us.
The snow has melted and the sun is out signalling that Winter has exited stage left and the new season has sprung like an excitable feline.
Now, having spent the bitterly cold winter months gently making the transition from heel striker to a more barefoot running style, sport-Locker.net has been waiting for the moment to leap off the treadmill and hit the sun drenched trails.
As the second generation of the much loved Minimus 10 Trail series, they ticked both of our boxes designed for barefoot style running on the trails. This was meant to be.
They feel incredibly light and very flexible indeed, unlike any running shoe Sport-locker.net has had the privilege of putting under the microscope of a playtest review.
As mentioned above, I am in the process of training myself to run with a more barefoot style due to my previous heel striking being the cause of a very painful knee injury.
What is instantly striking about running in the Minimus 10 V2s is that this conscious effort is no longer required.
With just a 4mm heel drop, there really is very little option but to run barefoot style because to do otherwise would be very uncomfortable indeed and somewhat unnatural.
Having not had the privilege of running in a pair of the original Minimus 10 trails it is impossible to compare the two but the subtle changes certainly make for a comfortable ride.
Having read reviews, the major complaint about the original version was the restricting nature of the forefoot band.
Now, with a name like ‘Minimus’, you might have thought that the original version was as light as it could possibly be but remarkable New Balance have managed to find a new lower fighting weight thanks to a reduction in the use of rubber in the outsole.
This evolution makes for a flexible running experience that, as promised, is very close to being barefoot.
Admittedly the trails trod for the purposes of this review were not in any way extreme in terms of being muddy or mountainous but what challenges the VIBRAM soles were asked to take on they did so with aplomb.
In my limited experience of barefoot running I have regularly encountered some pain in the calf muscles as they are forced to take more of the strain.
Again this allowed me to concentrate on building speed and finish with a flourish on each outing.
Now, owing to my relative inexperience of barefoot running rather than any fault with the shoes, this calf pain did emerge on the following day, proving that there is still work to do in my personal transition.
But, persist I will and in the Minimus 10 V2 Trail it is evident that I have the perfect ally.
Sensibly, New Balance provide a warning to accompany their minimus range. If you are new to barefoot running, do approach with caution and, to echo the warning, make it a gradual process as the new demands on the body are significant and likely to cause injury if not managed appropriately.