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Would you wear running shoes that came with a warning?

New Balance Minimus for women in pink
New Balance Minimus for women in pink

My new pair of New Balance cross-trainers came with something other than that sweet new-running-shoe smell—a giant warning stating that if I ran in them, I could hurt myself.

The Minimus is New Balance’s play at capturing some of  Vibram‘s marketshare. As the minimalist running trend shows no signs of slowing down, New Balance decided to pare down the heel padding and do away with most of the footbed, resulting in a shoe that weighs just 6.3 ounces. Still, they’re far more substantial than whisper-thin Vibrams.

To determine whether I should I risk it or save my Minimus for safer excursions, like to my meditation class, I asked trainer Lacey Stone, for her no-holds-barred advice about these ambivalently marketed running shoes.

Here’s what she said:

“I think these shoes are a little hokey, but that being said New Balance prides itself on being an incredibly trustworthy brand. I like the revolutionary idea of the shoe ‘bringing barefoot-caliber performance to your gym and circuit workouts while still providing the protection and versatility of more traditional trainers.’

Stone continues, “Like any training shoe, it’s important that you take the time to break them in before going buck wild. I think it’s great that New Balance warns you of this, not a lot of sneaker companies do.”