New Balance Minimus Prevail
While it is also marketed as a cross-training shoe, the thin cushioning and low energy return won’t give you the agility needed to really power through fast and snappy movements such as plyometrics or sprinting. However, if weight training or powerlifting is your main jam, this is one of the best lifting shoes out there on the market that clocks in at a super affordable price point.
Below, I wanted to take a deep dive into all of the features that make the New Balance Minimus Prevail one of the best budget-friendly weight training shoes out there on the market.
Ideal for powerlifting
Asymmetrical heel counter
Very durable Vibram outsole with a tacky finish
Affordable price point
Modest RevLite EVA foam midsole
Low 4 mm drop allows you to drive through all four corners of your feet
Not great for speedy movements
The midsole of this trainer is composed of a thin layer of New Balance’s RevLite EVA foam. While most lifting shoes offer no real cushioning, the RevLIte material provides just a little bit of responsive support. I’m used to lifting in my old reliable Chuck Taylors, and the midsole on the Minimus Prevail feels like my Coververse with a very small layer of cushioning underfoot. The downside of this midsole, however, is that it doesn’t provide a good deal of energy return for high-impact and speedy exercises.
This midsole also boasts a 4 mm drop for a slight lift in the heel. For powerlifting, 4 mm drop hits that sweet spot between support in the heel and maximum ground feel. This midsole material allows lifters to really dig into the ground, and the small lift in the heel and added cushioning in the RevLite EVA midsole helps to really drive up through your feet and offers a good deal of additional support.
The outsole of this design is composed of classic Vibram rubber. What makes Vibram rubber great for powerlifting is that it is insanely strong and supportive, and has higher durability when compared to other lifting shoes. In fact, Vibram is used for many trail running shoes that are built to really take a beating, and this style of outsole translates really well to the weight room floor. It’s strong, durable, and built to lasts for hundreds of hours of training before the rubber starts to show general signs of wear and tear.
One of the things that I love most about the construction of this outsole is that the Vibram rubber boasts a slightly tacky finish. When the mat becomes wet with your blood, sweat, and tears (that’s typically when happens when I’m training for a new PR, at least), the outsole of this shoe won’t lose traction on slick surfaces. The grooved pattern in the rubber also gives you a slight edge with zipping through drop sets and circuit work as well.
When shopping around for weight-lifting shoes, I found that stiff synthetic leather is the norm, and the New Balance Minimus Prevail does things a little differently. While stiff uppers provide a bit of extra stability, they aren’t very breathable. Plus, they lock you into a very specific set of lifts (primarily the big three: bench presses, squats, and deadlifts). The upper of this shoe, however, is composed of a lightweight and breathable mesh that keeps your feet cool and dry, and also helps with agility as well.
While the mesh is great at keeping your feet cool, this design also boasts stability features that help improve drive. What makes this shoe unique is the construction of the ASYM Counter. The heel boasts an asymmetrical design that may look a little unusual, but it serves a very specific purpose. This heel counter is designed to provide extra cushioning on the inside of your ankle and less on the outsole to give you more drive with less overall bulk to the shoe.
The Minimus Prevail is a weightlifting shoe through and through. The low 4 mm drop allows you to really dig into heavy lifts without sacrificing ground feet or support. The ASYM heel counter gives you excellent ankle support for squats and deadlifts, and the strong and supportive outsole helps lifters drive up through their central chain. I would recommend this shoe for all dedicated powerlifters, and it also works well for general weight training as well.
While New Balance classifies this shoe as a versatile cross-training shoe, the build of this design is not great for quick and snappy movements. The RevLite midsole doesn’t offer that bright and snappy energy return you would expect from cross-training shoes, but really shines on the weight rack.
Additionally, this shoe doesn’t have enough flexibility or movement to use for cardio days or running on the treadmill. I would suggest this shoe for those that want to stick to powerlifting or circuit training.
One of the things that I noticed is that this shoe has a limited lockdown. Even after toying with the laces, it’s hard to achieve that tight locked-in feel that you get with most training shoes. If these were running shoes or bonafide cross-training shoes, this would be a real deal-breaker. However, this loose-fitting design can be an advantage when powerlifting. The wide frame and loose fit allow your feet to naturally splay inside of the shoe, and it allows you to really dig into all four corners of your feet to generate a lot of power up through your central chain.
Overall, users find that these shoes run true to size. If you are a size 10 in other New Balance shoes, these shoes should fit you like a glove. Due to the fact that these shoes are designed slightly differently compared to traditional running shoes, I suggest heading to your local shoe store to give them a spin before you buy them. The fit of this shoe is unique and can really help your power lifts, but the fit of this shoe may not be ideal for everyone.
Personally, I love the style of this shoe. It comes in three different color options that include fire engine red, royal blue, and jet black. They all have sharp white accents and white branding along the side of the foot. I also love that they have a low profile and a casual sneaker design.
As the name suggests, these shoes have a minimalist design that doesn’t look big and clunky like some of the other dedicated powerlifting shoes out there on the market. If you want a sleek and modern lifting shoe that keeps things light and easy, the New Balance Minimus Prevail is a great choice.
Dedicated powerlifting shoes don’t come cheap. A good pair of powerlifting shoes can cost just as much as a pair of high-end running shoes, which always made me reluctant to take the plunge. Powerlifting shoes can only be worn on the weight bench, and don’t translate well for other workouts such as Plyometrics or CrossFit.
The Minimus Prevail clocks in at a super affordable price point, and the versatile design allows users to wear them for more speedy sets as well. While they may not be great for quick and snappy movements, they are just flexible enough to get the job done.
Comparisons to Previous Versions
If you want something for weight training or powerlifting the Minimus Prevail is your best bet. It boasts a stiffer midsole and outsole, and slightly lighter than other versions, and boasts unique features (such as an asymmetrical heel collar) that are built for lifting.
While it’s designed more for lifting, it can also be used for cross-training as well, but don’t expect the same level of energy return and responsiveness as similar designs, such as the Nike Metcon. For true powerlifters, the New Balance Minimus Prevail is worth checking out!