Home Blog The New Balance MX20V3: My Pick for 2013 Training Sneaker of the Year

The New Balance MX20V3: My Pick for 2013 Training Sneaker of the Year

Written on March 1, 2013 at 5:31 am, by Eric Cressey

Back in 2011, I wrote up a detailed post highlighting my favorite all-around training sneaker – and it turned out to be my most popular post of the year.  That very sneaker – the New Balance Minimus – has since been improved considerably, so I thought I’d use today’s post to highlight those improvements and introduce my favorite training sneaker for 2013, the New Balance MX20V3.  I liked it so much that I wound up in a commercial for it with a few of our professional baseball players at Cressey Performance:

The sneaker is available in several different colors, so be sure to check out both the men’s and women’s options available. Enjoy!

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  • Jeff

    Dang! You go EC. Oh and love the shoe. Will be buying a pair of those.

  • Brad Fisher

    Nice work Eric. Congrats on your commercial success. Shoes look great. Question: I have never read any research or have known anyone who can regain a fallen arch. I know its possible to strengthen the muscles in your foot, but regain an arch?

  • Travis

    I was going to ask you about these. I bought them last week anyway.

    Are they suitable for squatting, or do you still want something with more of a heel?

  • EC–
    I have one leg shorter than the other due to bone loss after a fracture. I struggle finding shoes that allow me to go flat as possible, and still give me lift (3/16) and some ankle support. Thoughts?

  • Nice, Eric!

    If the main purpose is to just wear these while lifting and performing some change of direction drills (Heidens/MB Throws, quick line hops, etc) is there much of a difference b/w the Pro Baseball Limited & the Minimus 20v3? You prefer one over the other?


  • Noah

    My minimus from 2011 are still in great shape after I bought them from your recommendation in 2011. Now I want these but can’t really justify the purchase.

  • Greg

    Must be a mind reader. I’ve been looking at the v3 this week; after the v2 didn’t get great reviews. I’ve been in the v1 for ~2 years now, strictly gym floor, and they are the best workout shoe i’ve owned.

  • Steve

    I agree… Great shoe! Question Eric… in the commercial there is an athlete doing trap bar deads. Where did you get that black trap bar?


  • Ted

    Nicely done.

    Another reason to like New Balance is that they are one of the very few elite shoe manufacturers that provide wide and extra wide widths as a standard offering on their shoe lines.

  • Very true, Ted. And, a lot of them are made in the USA.

  • Hi Steve,

    That was a normal trap bar we bought through Perform Better. Might have just been the lighting.

  • Hi Danny,

    The Pro Baseball Limited and Minimus 20v3 are the same shoe, just in a different color.

  • G. Green,

    Hard to say. I would assume you could fit a lift in there just fine.

  • Travis,

    Depends on the person and the type of squat.

    If you don’t have great ankle mobility, you’ll need a little lift.

    If it’s a hip dominant squat (sitting back), you’ll be fine in these.

    If it’s a quad dominant squat (sitting down), you’ll want some lift.

  • Brad,

    I think it depends on the person. Folks who are born with flat feet aren’t getting them back. There are a lot of people who lose them over time, though, and we have seen folks who’ve regained their arches from the right footwear and training.

  • Garry

    Nice work Eric! Movin on up!

    I picked up a pair of Minimus 10 trail for $60 at Costco last month after my Nike Frees were stolen. In a way, I’m glad it worked out the way it did because these shoes are amazing! Although technicaly a trail runner, these have been phenomenal in the weightroom for everything from Bulgarian splits and deadlifts to box jumps. I have yet to try olympic lifting in them but it can be done. I train at a high performance facility and see a lot of elite athletes doing their Oly lifts in them so it definitely can be done (provided you have sufficient mobility).

    Definitely worth a look!

  • Dave

    I wear those too. Great shoes!

  • Tom

    I love New Balance in general, as I’m wearing the 750 v1 now. But when I tried on some models of the Minimus I found it really didn’t adhere well to my high arch or wide foot.
    Is there maybe a cross training model I should try?

  • rutherford pascal

    I am looking for exercises or movements that i can do daily or three times a week significantly improve my posture. I will anything TRULY works!

  • Mark

    Great looking shoe but every minimalist shoe seems to have a flaw. One I see could be a flaw with this great shoe is the arch area seems to be built up a little which would cause this shoe to lean a little towards a transition shoe. I know that everyone doesn’t have the same preferences as I do but anything that pushes into my arch bothers me and decreases my performance, my arch knows what to do it doesn’t need to be told what to do. Eric I love your site, thanks for your contributions to our field.

  • Reed

    Great Review Eric!

    How are these for running? Not marathon training or anything. Probably less than a mile with some sprint training mixed in?

  • LLN

    Looking for a shoe to wear in the clinic. Would these be a good choice?

  • Jacob

    I know these shoes have a 4mm heal lift, while some other minimalist trainers have 0 heal lift, which is what you get when actually lifting barefoot. Is that an advantage, disadvantage, or would you say it is negligible? Thanks!

  • Brent

    Shoes smell…yuk!!!

  • Meg

    Similar to Brads question. Is is worth it to get these and put an orthotic in them, or does that defeat the purpose? Also, is there a way to determine whether it is pronation is caused by weak muscle or lax joint.

  • Brent,

    This version of the Minimus hasn’t had odor issues in anyone I know.

  • Jacob,

    I’m not the technician on this front, but I’ll see if I can get the product manager on the Minimus to hop on here and field your question.

  • LLN,

    Our stuff wears these around on the floor quite a bit!

  • Meg,

    Really tough one to field over the internet. I’d meet with a qualified physical therapist to have it checked out, and then you can make the decision on footwear together.

  • Reed,

    I know a lot of folks will use these for distance running on trails, but I’m not aware of folks who are doing it on pavement. Tough call.

  • Tom,

    Have you tried the previous models, or the new V3? It is definitely a bit of a different feel – particularly relative to the V2.

  • Bob

    I love the V3. Has a great feel and so far very pleased with the performance. Does great on pavement as well.

  • I have MT20BC2. I real like the feel and fit but could not recommend that model. Both shoes tore within the first month across the top where the toes flex. This appears to be a pattern judging by reviews on Amazon. I hope that’s been fixed on this model.

  • Chris

    I wish they would put the “N” symbol on the medial aspect of the shoe as well. It looks way better from the lateral view than the medial one.

  • Jeremy

    @ Brad Fisher

    google/youtube search the pen/penny exercise to strengthen the arch. i too have a fallen arch and have been messing with this exercise to try and regain a stronger arch position. i think the most important aspect of recover from this has been trying to remain consciously aware of keeping the arch active while walking and standing, and of course any appropriate exercise drills.

  • Dan

    Hi Eric,

    Do you have your athletes deadlift, squat, and lunge in these shoes? I thought you advocated no shoes for the DL and squat. I use Vibrams for all 3 exercises.


  • Dan,

    They’re a great option for folks who want to have the benefits of barefoot training even if they aren’t allowed to go barefoot in their gym. I like these much more than Vibrams for lunge variations.

    FYI, I don’t like going barefoot for some squat variations (quad dominant ones).

  • Dan

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for your response. Why do you prefer shoes over Vibrams for lunge variations?

  • Dan,

    Just a little rough on the big toe.

  • Dan

    Good point. Thanks. I developed big toe pain while doing a lot of 1-mile fast-paced runs and reverse lunges in Vibrams. Switching to forward lunges feels much better on my feet.

    Keep up the awesome work you do. You are helping a lot of people to improve their lives!

  • stephen

    The limited pro baseball style is so freggin cool looking, and then they have ugly ass colors. So sad that they dont have my size in the limited edition colors anymore….

  • Stephen,

    They should be back in stock soon.

  • Darryl

    Awesome shoe, but it’s unfortunate that I can’t get a chance to try them on for size. Shops here don’t stock it. Anyone has any idea how the sizes run versus say a MT10v2? I could try those on for size and the 8.5 2E fits me perfectly.

  • Brian

    Hey Eric, I need to increase my ankle flexibility. I already wear these in the gym but are there benefits to and would you recommend wearing these outside the gym for everyday activities as well.

  • Hi Brian,

    You could definitely wear these outside the gym, too.  Just ease into it so that you aren’t going full days right away, as that could give you some soreness if you aren’t used to it.

  • Lewis


    Just brought these shoes 10.5 2E

    I have flat feet, over pronate and my foot measures 4 inches wide. when i tried them on they felt good until I stood up, my arch collapsed so much i felt like half my foot was hanging off the shoe. Do you recommend these shoes me.

  • Lewis,

    Impossible to say without seeing you in person. If they aren’t comfortable, though, you might need something with more motion control, or an orthotic to wear with them.

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