Best in Test: Minimal Shoes

Tried-and-tested minimal trainers best suited to picking up the pace

PRODUCT

TOPO ST-2

MARKS OUT OF 10

COMFORT: 8 / PERFORMANCE: 9 / RESPONSIVENESS: 9

best in test minimal shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRODUCT

NEWTON MV3

MARKS OUT OF 10

COMFORT: 7 / PERFORMANCE: 7 / RESPONSIVENESS: 7

Newton mv3

At under 200g, the Mv3 is a light and fast trainer. Newton’s trademark ‘pop’ wedge on the outsole aims to encourage a mid-to-forefoot strike and the toe box is appropriately wide for the forefoot action, while the upper is breathable without feeling flimsy.

£85.45, runnerinn.com


PRODUCT

MERRELL VAPOR GLOVE 3

MARKS OUT OF 10

COMFORT: 8 / PERFORMANCE: 8 / RESPONSIVENESS: 9

Merrell Vapor Glove 3

This barefoot running shoe feels incredibly compact and fits snuggly without being too tight. The Vibram sole gives a great amount of ground-feel and the elastic laces are a nice feature, too. The Vapor Glove 3 weighs in at a feather-light 172g.

£90, merrell.com/uk


PRODUCT

VIBRAM FIVEFINGERS KMD SPORT

MARKS OUT OF 10

COMFORT: 7 / PERFORMANCE: 7 / RESPONSIVENESS: 7

Vibram FiveFingers KMD Sport

The barely-there KMD Sport is as flexible as a contortionist and flat as a Norfolk A-road. Realistically, only a small proportion of runners will be able to rack up the miles in these. As a barefoot training aid, however, the KMD Sport is worth a punt.

£89.99, suttonrunner.com


PRODUCT

ON CLOUDFLASH

MARKS OUT OF 10

COMFORT: 8 / PERFORMANCE: 8 / RESPONSIVENESS: 8

On Cloudflash

This is On’s stripped-back racing flat: a responsive and lightweight racer that speed demons will love. The shoe has a very minimal midsole; cushioning comes from the 14 Cloud ‘pods’ which also work to transfer energy, and the upper is made of a very lightweight and breathable mesh.

It’s great for short sessions and up to 10K, but you’ll have to be an efficient runner to go longer in the Cloudflash.

£160, on-running.com/en-gb


PRODUCT

NEW BALANCE MINIMUS 40

MARKS OUT OF 10

COMFORT: 9 / PERFORMANCE: 8 / RESPONSIVENESS: 8

New Balance Minimus 40

Distinctive to look at, this cross-trainer shoe is designed to be used for gym work, CrossFit and short runs. The sole is on the minimal side, but the shoe feels very responsive during gym work. Your tester found the stand-out thing, though, to be how comfortable the Minimus 40 feels, aided by the inner heel cushioning and supported fit.

A great doubling-up option for gym workouts and shorter runs.

£90, newbalance.co.uk

Men's Running

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