Spring 2014 Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Photo: Scott Draper | Competitor

New Balance Minimus Zero v2, $110

5.9 oz. (men’s); 4.8 oz. (women’s)

11mm (heel), 11mm (forefoot)

Fit: The Zero v2 fits almost as if it’s been painted on your skin—as snug and secure in the heel and arch/midfoot and slightly more width in the forefoot for the toes to splay.

Feel: Quite simply, this shoe feels barely-there—but in a good way. It’s super-light and exquisitely flexible, but the thin layer of foam and patches of durable outsole rubber offer enough cushioning and protection so that you don’t feel every nook and cranny of the road without sacrificing the unparalleled proprioceptive feeling evident in every stride.

Ride: If any shoe has an enhanced barefoot-sensation to it, it’s this one. Light, flexible and secure, this shoe moves exactly how your foot wants it to move. While the upper provides locked-down support, there’s little inherent stability built into to this—that has to come from your foot. It takes a very strong, efficient and agile runner to run medium and longer distances in this shoe, but it could be an ideal model for shorter runs, faster workouts and drills for some runners.

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