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New Balance Minimus Zero v2: Trail Test

Over the past year, we’ve seen New Balance’s Minimus line shift away from their near-barefoot offerings. The new focus? Shoes that offer a low profile, yet retain a touch of protection from the ground.

The New Balance Zero v2 embodies this change in the Minimus ideology. While the Zero v2’s predecessor, the 00, was about as little shoe as you could get without venturing into ‘it’s just a sock’ territory, New Balance’s latest addition to the line packs more than a little bit underfoot. It really is a different shoe.

And to say that this is a completely different shoe isn’t a bad thing. Combining a fast, lightweight feel with fantastic grip and eye-catching throwback style, we’re excited for this brand new shoe.

Designed around and inspired by the European discipline of fell running, the Zero v2 is built for long days navigating a variety of terrains. A thin midsole provides a little bit of protection from impact without sacrificing ground feel, while a zero drop design keeps you nimble on your feet and encourages an efficient and natural run. The underneath, deep, 6mm lugs grip soft ground and mud with unrelenting tenacity.

The Zero v2’s upper has a definite old-school look to it, and for good reason: it’s modeled after the New Balance RX Terrain, a classic fell running favorite of the late 2000’s. The shoe offers a snug, performance fit, and though the shoe isn’t completely seam free, we experienced minimal irritation while running.

If you’re looking for an aggressive shoe to go tear it up on unforgiving terrain, there’s little reason to look farther than the Zero v2. A combination of grip, low weight, and nimbleness makes the Zero v2 a shoe begging to get unleashed on the trails.

Be sure to check out the New Balance Zero v2 for Men and for Women.

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