Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Best Shoe of 2012

I know the year is still young, but I have a candidate for SHOE OF THE YEAR...the New Balance MT110. This could be the BEST TRAIL SHOE EVER. Seriously, it is very good. I need more runs before I throw out all my other shoes, but this sucker has massive potential. Lightweight, 4mm heel-to-toe drop, rock plate, good tread, wide forefoot, snug heel, firm midsole, no extra cushioning or support, regular and wide versions (D or 2E), and reasonable cost (retails for $85). I've been looking for, and dreaming about, a perfect trail ultramarathon shoe...the New Balance MT110 may be the answer to my prayers. I have ten trail ultras planned for this year, including one at the end of January, and this shoe will be with me all the way.

I like the inscription inside the shoe heel: "Tested by the Flatirons of Boulder, CO...Approved by the Flatirons of Boulder, CO." Guess that's a shout out to Anton Krupicka who helped develop and test the prototypes. Well done Tony!

NOTE: I have no financial interest in NB and I paid full price for this shoe...no freebies for me!  More intense testing and reviewing coming soon. I'm excited.

9 comments:

Ragfield said...

I'm having trouble finding info about what's different about these than the MT101 (which I already have). Do you know?

Chris said...

Rob,

The 101 sucks...that's all you need to know. ;-)

The new MT110 is a hybrid between the 101 and the Minimus Trail. Compared to the 101, the 110 has more cushioning, greater tread, wider forefoot, and a new upper. I couldn't wear the 101...this 110 fits very well and my ONLY complaint so far is that it's a little rigid compared to my other "minimalist" shoes--must be the rockplate and firmer midsole. I think the flexibility will improve over time as things get loosened up after 25-50 miles? I'll review the shoe more thoroughly after 50-100 miles.

Here is a history of the shoes development:

http://www.irunfar.com/2012/01/the-making-of-the-new-balance-mt110.html

Brad Williams said...

Chris,

This is what has surprised me the most and I think you'll be able to relate. I have many pairs of shoes. Probably too many. I like different shoes for different trails, distance, etc. This shoe does it all for me. I actually don't have any desire to lace up the minimus (or others) at all. I say this is surprising because I expected to love the 110s for ultra distance stuff or shorter more techy trails but they are perfect for all the above. I did an easy five mile run on a crushed limestone trail the other day and was wearing my minimus and caught myself wishing I had put on the 110s instead. I can't even say, "They're great but..." Literally nothing I'd change about them. Now that might not mean a lot coming from me but when Tony and Eric are running in non modified versions, well, that says somehting.

Take care,
Brad

David said...

$66 from roadrunner sports when using discount code from runblogger.com

The shoe felt great, BUT is a touch small for my feet (I need a 14 1/2) so I had to return them. I have a pair of Merrell Mix Masters now which I'll be testing on a rugged trail race this weekend, and am hoping this 'backup girlfriend' proves itself as worthy for mountain ultras.

Chris said...

David,
That's a good deal from RR Sports. Got mine at Running Warehouse. The MT110 in size 13 with 2E width worked for me (I needed size 14 in the Trail Minimus).

John said...

I'm glad to hear they have more cushioning than the 101. I had a pair that I put 500+ miles on, but I hated just about every step because they didn't have enough cushion to them (plus rocks got in them; I couldn't get any traction on anything, really; they cut into my ankles; etc). I really hope these will be good for trail ultras. I just got (another) pair of Kinvaras in the mail today, but now I wish I had ordered these. I don't get excited about shoes, but I'm excited about these. I'll be looking forward to the more extensive review!

Chris said...

John,

I'm excited too. Need to get rid of my cold so I can do loner trail runs. I'll post a more thorough review when I have more miles on them in a variety of conditions. Tonight will be a short snow/ice run!

SKA Runner said...

The 110's seemed to be a bit stiff, did they loosen up.

*I alternate between racing flats and Hokas . . . it works . . .my feet love me.

Chris said...

The 110s did get better with time, but I never found them incredibly stiff. They will never be super flexible because of the rockplate. The newer 1010s are much stiffer and more cushioned (but they really did get better with time).