Review: New Balance Minimus Trail V2

It’s been a long time since I went for a run – six weeks and three days, to be precise. That was when I went to my local parkrun and actually ran the whole five k without stopping. Yay me. Although, even though I ran it without stopping to walk, it was still slower than when I’ve run/walked it but I was so pleased I hadn’t walked any of it, it motivated me to start running regularly again. Well, that motivation didn’t last long, did it?

Still, I went for a run on Tuesday to try out my new New Balance Minimus Trail shoes I’d been sent.



They’re not the prettiest shoes on the planet (unless you like plain shoes, then they’ll be right up your street (or should that be trail?)) but they do have a gorgeous pinky/orange spiky sole; it’s a shame they’re going to be covered with mud. Given my opinion on shoes centres mostly around what colour they are, if you want the technical bit, here’s what New Balance have to say about them:

”With a 0mm drop, the Zero Trail V2 allows you to feel the path beneath your feet and when combined with an aggressive outsole, the result is a durable trail shoe which allows you to connect with the path feeling confident and secure with every step.

An innovative REVlite midsole provides premium responsiveness and durability at a 30% lighter weight than other foams with comparable performance. The REVlite is consistent with the old school design elements of the Zero Trail v2 but is combined with a super aggressive 7mm lug outsole, giving maximum traction for off road activities and putting more between your foot and the ground.

The sticky rubber outsole is durable and tacky creating greater traction on slick surfaces, perfect for running on those dewy mornings or scrambling over wet rocks. Added toe protection and heel support provide extra protection for those ragged runs!”

I went off to do a bit of the Greensand Way and it didn’t take long to get covered in mud. I didn’t slip over, so the spiky soles must have been doing their job properly. They don’t feel like trail shoes when they’re on – trail shoes I’ve had in the past have felt heavy and solid but these are light and comfy. The tread is so deep on them though, I’m going to need a hoof pick to dig the mud out.

If you’re after some light trail shoes, and like your shoes to be almost as plain as a Rich Tea biscuit (but with a pretty sole), I can recommend the New Balance Minimus Trail V2.

Hoka Mafate women’s trail shoes: Review

I was asked if I’d like to try some new trail shoes and, as I’d recently been pondering buying a new pair due to my other pairs currently being caked in mud and still in the plastic bag they were put in when we moved house nearly a year ago, I thought hurrah, that’ll save me cleaning my other ones, and so I said ok then, ta.

A big blue box arrived for me on Saturday. I opened the big blue box and inside were THE MOST HIDEOUS SHOES EVER. Nothing that ugly has been near my feet since my mum used to make me wear sensible Clarks shoes for school circa 1979.



Still, they’re marginally less repulsive not actually that bad looking once they’re on.


I was a bit scared of bumping into the postman when I was taking my Garmin outside to get a signal, although why I think the postman would laugh at me, I don’t know, as he’s about 65, has a shock of mad frizzy grey hair, and permanently orange legs in shorts that he wears all year round and so if anyone’s going to be doing any laughing, it’s going to be me at him, not him at me in my, um, lime green platform trainers.

After charging my phone that had been drained because of Shaun playing Angry Birds on it all night, I’m ready to go.

The Hoka Mafate’s have a high instep and they squeak on the wooden floor. I’m not sure about this at all but I venture outside and start to run. I immediately don’t care what they look like, as they’re amazingly light and cushiony and comfy and bouncy and it feels like I’m springing along effortlessly. They’re magic!

I run up to where the new sheep are and stop to take their photo.


As I continue down the trail, another runner approaches and I wonder if he’s jealous of my magic shoes and I decide he probably is and he also probably thinks I’m hardcore but then I remember he just saw me stop to take photos of sheep and so he actually probably thinks I’m just a girly wimp in bright green shoes.

I get to the end of the trail and cross the road to go into the cow field. I’m not sure how magic my magic shoes are and if they’ll stop me from slipping off the wet stile as I clamber over it but I manage to get over without falling off and I get into the field but I can’t see any cows, just lots and lots of cow pats and I wonder if my magic shoes will stop me skidding on a cow pat and I decide I don’t want my magic shoes covered in cow poo, and so I dodge all the cow pats and then over on the other side of the field I see cows.


There are cows in that photo, honest.

I get to the end of the field and it’s fenced off and I don’t know how to get any further and so I turn round and go back the way I came and try not to fall off the slippery stile and then I’m back down the trail and there’s a couple walking a couple of dogs which aren’t evil countryside devil dogs but nice happy friendly spaniels or something and the couple say ‘morning’ and I say ‘morning’ back and then I see the poodle man with his poodle and he also says ‘morning’ and I think it’s a nice change to have people saying ‘morning’ and having nice friendly happy dogs and not stupid evil countryside devil dogs and I get back to the road and I see the orange postie and for once he actually sees me running as usually I manage to go past him when I’m on a walking bit (but let’s face it, I do a lot of walking bits) and then I get to two feet of the front door and slip on a paving stone and maybe my magic shoes are only good for trails, grass, mud and puddles and not paving stones or wooden floors and I get in and my magic shoes are muddy


but my socks are nice and clean and dry(ish)


but I’m not sure even the Hoka Mafate’s with their magical properties are going to keep me dry at Grim.

The technical bits:

Through Rocker, Lower Ramp Angle (4mm) and the Ultra Light Weight sole and upper, we reproduce the conditions a barefoot runner will experience when running on grass or sand.

The Oversize frame (mid-sole) with 2.5cm elastic trave will absorb any hard obstacle your foot may hit, and once compressed the featherweight-density eva (-30%) will spring back under your metatarsals for acceleration.

With 50% more surface area in contact with the ground, and a mid-sole that allows the foot to recess into it by almost 2.5cm, the shoes provides protection, stability and pronation control unmatched in universal or support running shoes.

Hoka One One website

Distance: 2.23 miles
Time: slow
Pace: slow
New pairs of hideous bright green platform trail shoes: 1
Pairs of trail shoes that prove you shouldn’t judge a shoe by its appearance: 1
Phones needing charging due to boyfriends draining the battery by playing Angry Birds: 1
Fields with sheep: 1
Fields with cows: 1
Nice happy friendly dogs: 2
Stupid countryside evil devil dogs: 0