New Balance MT110

by RNTRMP. Average Reading Time: about 3 minutes.

I first hear of the New Balance MT110 as a mention on Anton Krupricka’s blog where he stated that the as yet unreleased follow-up to the MT101 was ‘The best trail show I have ever worn’. Now, those familiar with Anton will now that that is not a hollow, marketing-hyped statement. His tinkering and carving up of shoes to suit his own style of running is almost legendary in the trail-running world so to any runner out there looking for a low-to-the-ground, lightweight mountain racing flat those words are optimistic, intriguing even.

I finally get my hands on a pair of MT110 in mid-December. Luckily for me I am a New Balance sample size and I find a pair for sale online from the States. They arrive just in time for my departure for a month of trail running on La Palma island, one of the Canary Islands. The trails on the island are unforgiving, volcanic and steep- perfect to put the MT110 through their paces.

First Impressions.

I open the box, lift out one of the MT110 and, like many do, I give it the little ‘jiggle’ to judge the weight. It feels really light in my hand and in reality they look even svelter than the images I have seen online portray. The synthetic outer material combined with the silky inner sock liner give the shoe a luxurious feel while the EVA midsole and diamond lugged outsole succeed in looking both minimal and rugged. First impressions don’t come much better.

On The Trail.

The immediate comfort of the show amazes me as I put it on. I hit the trail. Running sockless the liner feels fantastic against my foot- like I would imagine expensive silk sheets to feel like. The fit is secure in the heel and midfoot while the wide forefoot means my toes have room to play, this combined with the lightness, adds up to one of the best fitting shoes I have worn. The punched synthetic outer enables good airflow through the shoe as I run and it never feels like my feet are over-heating or sweating as the trail climbs on. The terrain below my feet is bone-dry volcanic rock- sharp and uneven. The MT110 outsole and rock-plate is confidence inspiring- offering gecko-like grip as I climb with a feeling that the diamond-shaped lugs are acting like miniature grappling hooks beneath me on each stride and the plate protecting my foot from the mini mountain ridges below. A flat, flowing section approaches and I increase my pace. The MT110’s low to the ground profile is incredibly stable and its racing roots shine through. I reach the summit, take in the view and turn for the descent.

The trail is steep and uneven so I am cautious as I start down. I soon notice that the MT110 fit and profile makes foot placement very precise and I run faster. My stride stays short but quickens as the trail begins to whizz by. The grip that was so good on the uphill now repeats the trick going downhill to the extent that slipping never enters my mind. I am free to enjoy the beautiful act of running fast on trails and isn’t that what it’s all about?

Final summary.

A month of running everyday has now passed and the upper looks as new as the first run. The outsole is showing some scars from the volcanic rock and the exposed EVA on the sole is smooth now, the terrain having shaved off the soft diamond lugs. This has not affected the highly praised grip and the MT110 has many kilometres left to run. In my opinion New Balance has created a near-perfect shoe for the low and light loving trail runners out there.



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