I totally get that minimal shoes aren’t going to be cushy. That’s reserved for my running shoes to cradle my underpronating high-arched feet. I’ve been relying on the New Balance 20v2 shoes for the past 20 months to get me through strength training workouts, and I was thinking that replacing them might be a good idea. Naturally, I turned toward the New Balance 20v3 shoes, which just… are not as good.
First, the fit. I wear a 6.5 in street shoes, a 7.5 in running shoes, and a 7 in athletic shoes. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s the general one. My New Balance 20v2 shoes are a 6.5. They fit fine. So I ordered the New Balance 20v3 in 6.5. Nope, too tight in the toe box. Back it went. The size 7s came, and they were… too big.
Then, there’s the feel. There’s this big bump that I guess is supposed to be arch support, but it’s just uncomfortable. I did not even enjoy trying them on.
Finally, there’s the look. The big toes turn inward, which makes it look like my feet are pigeon-toed. As someone who looks down to make sure her feet are parallel to each other before every squat, I can tell this will throw me off a lot.
So, back to the store they go. I’m really not happy, and now I get to begin the search for the perfect minimal shoe for strength training. And I mean minimal – I just need a little support. I don’t want cushioning or thick soles because I want to feel my heels on the ground.
Oh, New Balance, please bring back the 20v2 design in the next iteration of the shoe!