New Balance MR1 Minimus Hi-Rez – Review

New Balance MR1

New Balance MR1

Introducing a revolutionary new shoe from one of the most popular running focused brands; New Balance. It is called the Minimus Hi-Rez, although it’s official model name is the MR1 (or WR1 for ladies). It’s an entirely new concept within the barefoot category, the Hi-Rez sole unit is named as such due to amount of feedback and feel it offers from the ground. New Balance liken the experience to the difference between a standard definition TV and a HD TV; with a normal running sole offering the fuzzy less distinct feel (standard definition), whilst the Hi-Rez sole offers a crisp, clear feel (high resolution). It’s a nice analogy, however it’s the patent pending design that has allowed them to achieve this, that really impresses; New Balance decided to bond individual injection-moulded blown rubber hexagons directly to the underside of the upper.

Hi-Rez sole
The Hi-Rez sole close up.

This allows the shoe incredible flexibility as the sole can adapt completely to any underfoot shape and produces an exceptionally lightweight product (we weighed a UK size 9.5 and they came in at 113 grams per shoe!).

New Balance have really buried their flag in the barefoot scene with this model, only a small handful of shoes can claim such flexibility and feel; however in my opinion none offer the relative value that this shoe offers; the shoe comes in at £85.00. I say “relative” as you are still paying more for less, but as with most lightweight concepts this is the norm!

The MR1 can literally be folded up and stuffed into a pocket!

The upper is a beautiful synergy of a lightweight double-layer mesh and thermal-bonded polymer overlays, which has been given the technology tag “Phantom fit” as found in many of their core running models; however this version of the phantom fit is definitely specific to this lightweight barefoot shoe; the striking Orange/White combo lets others know that you are wearing something that is seriously focused on performance.

All in all the New Balance Minimus Hi-Rez is a serious barefoot shoe that will make the perfect accompaniment to your footwear line-up, if you are looking to use barefoot running to develop your lower limb strength in order to boost performance or reduce injuries. It will also suit those trying to develop their gait into more of a mid-foot strike as their is no differential in midsole height; as there is no midsole!

As with all barefoot products, careful use is advised. Always increase your use of such products at a slow incremental rate and if you have any doubts or want more advice please don’t hesitate to contact us by email or phone us on 02392 698285.

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