We’ve recently published the Wear Tested Top 7 Ranked Minimalist Running Shoes based on the shoes availability nationwide. In the next few weeks, some of the long awaited 2013 minimal shoes will be coming into the market followed by the rest in July or August timeframe. 2013 promises more lightweight cushioned minimal shoes but also some ultra-lightweight and bare-minimal running shoes like Merrell Vapor Glove and Mizuno Wave Universe 5.
Here’s our annual prediction of the top seven minimalist running shoes for 2013 (in alphabetical order) based on early prototypes and test samples we have early access to.
Altra Zero Drop The ONE
Altra The ONE is a revolutionary lightweight racing shoe. Perfect for road running, The ONE is ready for anything – your next 5K or marathon. Featuring a perforated insole and drain holes in the midsole and outsole for quick water discharge, The ONE conquers any weather. The A-Bound midsole allows for maximum responsive energy return while the outsole maps the bones of the foot for a natural flex.
Brooks Pure Drift
The Brooks Pure Drift is the lightest shoe in their collection and is designed to ‘further amps up the runner’s connection with the ground and their body’. This new shoe features a natural fit, light mesh upper, and the ability to configure the shoe from a 4mm offset to a zero offset (zero drop) while maintaining comfort.
Merrell Vapor Glove
Merrell Vapor Glove is Merrell’s most minimal running shoe, with just a 6mm stack height front and back – it doesn’t get more minimal than this! You also get a Vibram rubber outsole, durable mesh upper and external TPU heel support.
Mizuno Wave Universe 5
‘Built to be brilliant’, the Mizuno Wave Universe 5 is the lightest shoe in the wave universe to remove any barriers between you and a brilliant performance. U4ic midsole provides resiliency and a smooth ride at a fraction of the weight of traditional midsoles. The G3 sole has lightweight, superior traction, creating a pure connection to the ground.
New Balance Minimus HI-REZ
New Balance will add to its barefoot-inspired Minimus collection with the introduction of the innovative Minimus HI-REZ road shoe. This shoe is designed for the minimal runner looking for the latest cutting edge product to enhance a hyper-real sensory running experience. The Minimus HI-REZ is made with 42 independent lightweight midsole pods mechanically bonded to a durable yet flexible fabric base that allows the shoe to move and flex in closer unison with the foot. The midsole pods are a high abrasion ground contact EVA which offers a strong balance between durability and shock protection with additional outsole rubber post-applied in areas that need extra resilience and traction. Made with the NB Minimus Zero drop last that eliminates any height difference between the heel and toe, both at 8mm, the shoe encourages a midfoot strike while an enhanced width allows for a natural forefoot splay and yet only weighs in at approximately 4.3 ounces for a men’s size 9.5.
SKORA Running PHASE
SKORA PHASE is constructed using the latest lamination techniques; with a minimal single-layer mesh upper and laminated reflective details. With an asymmetric lacing system, and a unique unibody IBR outsole, PHASE provides barely-there performance and lightweight responsiveness. Zero-drop, 8mm forefoot/heel stack height.
According to VIVOBAREFOOT, with the One, ‘the ground has never felt so close with their thinner than ever sole, enabling you to feel one with the road.’ Thin, PU laminated upper on hex thin mesh to give structure and hold across the midfoot combined with maximum breathability. The outsole is based on their On Road construction and is 3mm thick – ultrathin soft, high abrasion rubber sole and patented, puncture-resistant layer. There is also a removable 3mm insole.
For detailed reviews of minimalist shoes, please visit Minimalist Running Shoes for all running, casual, and fitness shoes that we have Wear Tested.