Long Term Review – New Balance MR00

About five months ago, I picked up a pair of New Balance MR00 minimalist running shoes, to replace the NB MT20v1s that I wore out (uppers were fine – rubber sole was completely worn through and falling apart, after several hundred miles – no complaints here). To date I’ve got approximately 400 miles mixed between asphalt, concrete, and crusher-fine paths on them, and they’re still going mostly-strong. They’re true to size, fit like all my other running shoes in the same size, and they have a very wide toebox.

I came to these shoes after wearing out a pair of Vibram Fivefingers KSOs (close to 1000 miles), Merrell Trail Gloves (which died at a disappointing sub-200 miles), NB MT20v1s (which I loved for many, many miles), and as such consider myself reasonably qualified to opine on them.

The first thing I noticed was the comfort, light weight, and flexibility. The smooth, seamless liner is what all shoe companies should strive for, the single-sided tongue saves weight and eliminates a potential source of pressure and hot-spots, and the uppers are supremely breathable. The zero-drop took a little while to get used to again after a year of mostly running in the 4mm-drop MT20s, but after a few weeks I was back up to speed.

It’s not a completely rosy picture though – the soles, while very durable, give you almost no traction if the surface you’re running on is even slightly damp. If it’s raining or has rained recently, you’ll want something else on your feet.

The uppers’ durability leaves something to be desired. It’s starting to tear in a few spots, but I’m hoping I can squeak out a few hundred more miles from them.

I really like the color I chose, for two reasons. First, if you feel fast, you are fast.  The bright, distinctive hi-viz yellow/green makes me feel fast, and I’ve had many great runs in these shoes. The second reason is for safety. I do most of my running before dawn, and the color combined with the retroflective reinforcements make you more visible to drivers.

When (not if) these eventually wear out, I’ll gladly pay full price again to replace them.


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