New Balance MT110v2 Review

I have received no shortage of feedback in the past, some positive and some negative, about only posting positive gear reviews on iRunFar. While the intention is to share only the shoes and gear which warrant the highest merit, I agree with some of the detractors who feel that maybe perhaps I’ve become too stringent in my choices. So, in publishing this review of the highly anticipated New Balance MT110v2 ($89.99), I hope to provide a well balanced but harsh critique of an update to one of the most lauded shoes in trail running.

Let me provide some background here. I started running in the MT110v2 back in April after seeing the shoe initially at the winter Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Utah. I think the New Balance reps were a little taken back by my continual request to try on the sample size and jog around the New Balance booth despite the shoe being too small. Anyways, I trained extensively in the shoe for a period of time, racking up my own personal feedback, critiques, and biases. You see, the original MT110 has been a shoe that I have a love affair with, and each season I re-consider them for longer ultra races (50 to 100 miles) only to have my dreams sorely bruised like my feet. They’re just not enough shoe for me to log ultra distances in, but I love them for daily training. In all seriousness, I know that when I set out to review a shoe like the MT110v2 I need empirical data, feedback from other runners, and a lot of time spent in the shoe on different terrain.

So, what follows is probably a bit of an obsessed, over-analyzed version of a trail shoe review. There will be cheers, jeers, and criticism that you probably haven’t seen in my past reviews. Remember, I am just one man, two feet, one opinion. My hope is that this review spawns some constructive criticism or praise for both my review and the shoe itself.

New Balance MT110v2

The New Balance MT110v2.

First Impressions

New Balance completely overhauled this newest version of the MT110 for the July 2014 release. Some of these updates made sense: a more durable upper to address some of the fragility of the original MT110, and more forgiving/softer foam cushioning in the form of NB’s Revlite. However, other updates seemed contrary to the intent and heritage of the shoe including changing the last/fit, adding on a bulky outsole, and increasing the weight by about 1.5 ounces. I tried to put my preferences for the original MT110 and MT101 aside and look at the design in and of itself, remembering that feedback was taken from both Anton Krupricka and Dominic Grossman to create a functional all-around mountain-running shoe.

Upper

A lot of runners, including myself, experienced premature ripping of the upper on the original MT110, so in response New Balance really beefed up the MT110v2’s upper. Start with big, wide, welded-on overlays just about everywhere on the shoe. Additionally, these overlays are made of a synthetic-leather material that can really take a beating. Unfortunately, that is the only positive change to the upper.

New Balance MT110v2 - lateral upper

The New Balance MT110v2’s lateral upper.

New Balance decided to change the last on the new version to the popular PL-4 which works great on their road shoes such as the 890, but provides a sloppy fit with a insecure midfoot and a tapered toe box with this shoe. Added to this is an uninspired heel collar, tongue, and lacing configuration which seem to have difficulty staying tied. Forget about the NL-1 Minimus last that legions of runners came to love with a glove like midfoot and heel expanding into a foot-shaped toe box. So, I emailed the design team at New Balance and received some valuable insight:

As we began the planning for updating the trail 110v1 there were two main avenues we needed to take into account: Feedback from our ambassadors like Tony and Dom. And also how this new 110v2 will sit next to the rest of our trail models. It is this last point that is so important in our product creation process, because it really helps us determine if we have a solution for the wide range of trail runners out there. What we found when we did this, was that we had two models that were really the perfect go-to model for high-speed training runs (e.g., tempo) or the trail runners’ race day shoe. These two models were our Minimus Trail 10 and also the Trail 110v1. They were both built on our NL-1 last. As we started to compare the two we realized that the two models had some clear differences – e.g., one was mainly a mesh upper while the other was entirely a synthetic upper, but overall when put on the foot it was very difficult to draw much of a difference. The both were incredibly lightweight, had the same 4mm offset, and, of course, had the same fit: wide forefoot to allow for foot expansion while the midfoot was very fitted and slightly shallow. It was this last characteristic of a more shallow fit that would cause us to hear from certain runners that they had trouble fitting their foot in the shoe due to having a more ‘fuller’ sized foot. 

This is what really helped drive the direction to build the 110v2 on our PL-4 platform. We felt that this new last would allow the trail runner who needed a slightly more generous fit then the current T10 and T110 could offer them. By maintaining the T10 series and bringing the T110v2 on the PL-4 last we felt it now allowed greater ability to address a wider group of trail runners who are looking for that race day shoe or tempo training shoe. Using the PL-4 last – which has a straighter shape addressed the consumers who felt that the NL-1 last that has a curved shape lent to a less stable ride due to the curve while the PL-4 last provided a more stable feel for some.

While I understand the design principals of not trying to duplicate models in the trail shoe line, I don’t remember the last time I saw a runner wearing any of the Minimus models at a trail or ultra race, and the last and fit has always been my personal favorite aspect of the MT110 and MT101.

Midsole

Another really positive change, in my opinion, is the use of Revlite foam in the midsole of the MT110v2. Revlite, most commonly used on New Balance road shoes, is a bit softer than the EVA compound used in past versions of the MT-series, and I feel like it breaks down and compresses much more slowly, yielding a more resilient and durable shoe. New Balance also returned the stack height of the shoe to the original MT101 specs, giving the shoe a more neutral feel. Some trail runners complained that the original MT110 caused some medial rolling during foot strike, and the feel of this version is very neutral.

You can expect the same rock plate and protection in the MT110v2, and combined with the new lugged outsole, this is the most protective incarnation of this shoe.

New Balance MT110v2 - medial

The New Balance MT110v2’s medial upper.

Outsole

Initially, I saw this outsole and I was very happy to see something more heavily lugged. After several runs, I found the outsole to provide a bumpy and intrusive ride on smooth trail and the occasional road, and an insecure feel on technical trail, as well. While the new full-length outsole made of New Balance’s Sticky Rubber does provide some great traction and durability, it is also fairly hard and slippery on wet surfaces. Again, the design team from New Balance’s response:

For both the upper and sole unit there were two key areas we wanted to improve from a durability aspect. The sole unit I mentioned earlier which was to give a full sheet of outsole rubber versus the exposed EVA in the midfoot which the v1 had.  

The idea here was to improve traction but to also use a stickier rubber. While this was accomplished, I do feel like some of the better aspects of the ride of the MT110 were lost due to the bulkiness and heavier weight of this outsole.

New Balance MT110v2 - outsole

The New Balance MT110v2’s outsole.

Overall Impressions

I’ve taken the MT110v2 on virtually every type of terrain I can find, challenging and re-considering my initial feedback about this shoe. However, I’m left with the exact same conclusions I had when I took my first run in the shoe back in April, and they have never become a part of my regular ‘rotation’ during training or racing. While there are some very positive changes to the MT110 heritage including the more durable upper and addition of Revlite EVA foam, the MT110v2 is a rather unfortunate update to an outstanding trail running shoe. The most notable negative change is the last, which worsens the fit of this shoe by causing an insecure feeling on technical trails due to the sloppy midfoot and forward sliding in the shoe on steep downhills.

A couple of months ago, I learned that New Balance will revive the sought after MT101, which will become part of a ‘heritage collection.’ The fact that this shoe will be released, with only minor changes, warms the cockles of my heart.

 Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • Have you worn the MT110v2? What has been your overall impression of the shoe?
  • How about the upper, midsole, or outsole? Do you have any comments about specific areas of the shoe that align with or counter this review?
Tom Caughlan

is iRunFar’s Minimalist Gear Editor. Tom’s passion for trail running and specialty running retail experience shine through in all of his highly technical reviews, which do range outside minimalist shoes.

There are 58 comments

  1. @macandtheboys

    If this is any consolation, I tried them on in a running store yesterday and did a few laps around the floor, and, as one of the legion fans of the mt110 (I think I owned five pairs), I didn't feel like I was wearing the same shoe, not even a ghost of it. It just felt like a rickety trail shoe. One that you wouldn't mistake for a refined minimalist update of a new classic. The new last, for me, someone with a narrow foot, wasn't comfortable. Nothing like the previous last. The lace up didn't really bother me, but the outer was just durable enough to not give it that glove-like fit of the v1. I guess, though, that was NB's trade off.

    If this is any consolation, I immediately tried on a pair of the La Sportiva Anakondas and enjoyed the fit. They fit my narrow feet much like the mt110 v1s and the outsole looked pretty dependable where the mt110s were supple but not so durable. I may jump ship to the Italians until NB figures this shoe out for the v3, which Anton Krupicka has already mentioned is in the works.

    1. @WilliamsRunning

      From what I've heard from New Balance sales reps and those working in running specialty stores there will be no V3. Not only will there be no V3 but the V2 will be very short lived. Once the 101 makes its comeback the 110 is gone for good. Has anyone else heard this?

      1. DominicGrossman

        Sorry to all that were hoping for another fast trail racer, but this 110v2 is not super light, not super heavy, but rather something stable and accommodating for long distance training. I know the number 110 illicit a lightweight, sleek, fast, but this is not meant to be that.

        I think it's the most "ultra" shoe that NB has made, it's very durable and versatile. Tom didn't mention the speed range of this shoe: I can run sub 6 min pace (thanks to the quick toe off due to the pointed toebox) and also grind out late slow miles in a race as well (not something in the previous mt110).

        The upper is not custom fit to my foot, but it does get better as your run more in it. I think of this shoe as a roomier, .5 oz lighter, $25 cheaper PI trail N1, which will work for some people, and not work for others. Runners that like Cascadias, Peregrines, TNF Ultra Guides, might find this shoe to be a great shoe for them.

        Oh, and there will be a 110v3.

        1. @davidhenry114

          I hear you on the 110v2 not representing lightweight, sleek and fast like the v1 was….the biggest issue there is not the actual shoe the 110v2 is, but the expectations that naming it a 110 brought forth. What NB should have done was name it something different and either do a more incremental update to the v1 or not touch it all together. I think that is the crux of the issue not the shoe itself which does offer many things the v1 did not and I am glad NB was willing to produce it (even though it needs some work in the fit department IMO….lots of other shoes out there in the weight category that are as protective and fit better).

  2. Mic_Med

    This is why it's okay to post "non-positive" reviews! I understand iRunFar's thought behind only reviewing the products that are positive in order to provide the reader with known good products, but there's no credibility to it unless we see something that is negative once in a while! I'm actually more interested in this shoe now that you aren't giving it two thumbs up. Thanks for the review

    1. bazzzzzzzzzzzzz

      I'm sure the policy of mostly positing positive reviews is more about not pissing off companies that sponsor the site, which is why most regular running magazine reviews of gear are utterly useless. Although I usually put much more weight on the comments from other users rather than the review itself, and to be fair, iRunFar doesn't censor any criticism in this section.

      1. Bryon of iRunFar

        Actually, Bazzzz…. it IS because we only review a small number of products here. It's the same philosophy I had long BEFORE there were brand supporters of the site. :-) There are so many outstanding products out there, why not highlight our favorites and skip the small number of ho-hum products? A good review here is an endorsement by one of our review team. Even then, I urge reviewers to share what a product is NOT good for.

        Personally, with the generally extremely high quality/design level of trail running gear these days, I tend to find that when I dislike a product, it's because of my personal likes/dislikes (I like lightweight, I don't like 2-in-1 shorts, I like high drop, etc), not because there's anything wrong with a product.

        As for discussion, the more the better. :-) (Save for trolling, flaming, and the like.)

        1. Bryon of iRunFar

          Oh, and I'd add I do try to foster a positive place and a positive community here on iRunFar. Sure, Icould encourage my team to start rabidly ripping apart products, people, the sport, etc. That's what happens on talk radio and it gets listeners. I'm sure the same gets clicks for the websites that have gone in that direction. No thanks. :-D

          1. Andy

            The positive tone reflects the spirit of the trail and the site in general and is, I'm sure, appreciated by all. The exception is when journalistic value and honesty trumps playing nice, as is the case when an overdue, eagerly anticipated v2 of a much loved v1 sorely misses the mark!

        2. ClownRunner

          Um, the only shoes worthy of reviews on this site should be Zero-Drop. That is a no-brainer. So says the runner formerly known as Trail Clown, now known as Clown Runner, former Five-Finger 50-miler, and President of the East Coast Altra Groupies Group. Your personal dislikes have no place on this site…

          1. ClownRunner

            Shoot, I messed up my whole joke….I meant to say…"your personal 'likes' have no place on this site….that's what you get for always trying to be a wise guy… ;)

  3. @Contrerasgj

    This shoe is just horrible on the fit aspect! On first run, 8mi the NB110v2 tore up my small toes. I mean blood all inside shoe, and I couldn't shorten run to get to car. And I know you can say don't go out and just run that far or farther with new shoes, but that's how I go. In the 110v1's I ran 13mi out of box, and Loved them.( I have 6pairs) I loved everything of the 110v1, yeh the outer ripped by big toe, big deal. I have 1k on one pair. I hope New Balance listens and brings back the original 110! Not some crappy version of it. By the way, the NB00v2 is great. Wider toe box, just a little hefty for my liking. 110V1 RIP.

  4. Andy

    A great, fair, and balanced review. Like "Mac" above, I jogged around the local NB store when the shoe first came out in July and that was the first and last I saw of it. My foot — narrow heel and mid foot and a wider forefoot — was a perfect fit for the NL-1 last. Although I love the MR1400s on the road, the last does not work for me on the trail, and even in the store the 110v2 felt narrow up front and sloppy in the rear. Too bad, because I actually managed a techy 50-miler in the original 110s with no problems.

    On the bright side, unlike 2-3 years ago there are now dozens of choices in lightweight trail shoes from different companies. NB no longer has the corner on the market, but they did have a really good thing with the original 110. Ah well …

  5. kzem12345

    "A couple of months ago, I learned that New Balance will revive the sought after MT101, which will become part of a ‘heritage collection.'"

    Now THAT is awesome news. I save the last four pairs of my 101s for 50k and 50m races. Still. I never train in them, because I love them so much I want to race in them and don't want to put the miles on them. The 110s simply don't work for me; the 101s are near-perfection other than the poor traction. And that 101 heel cup: best heel cup ever.

    1. Bryon of iRunFar

      I've got the detailed notes in my car in Bozeman, Montana (and I'm in Courmayeur, Italy), but I can confirm that the MT101 will be relaunched. :-)

      There are some changes to the upper and there /may/ be an update to the midsole material to Revlite, but that's from my fried memory a frantic month after learning the details at last month's Outdoor Retailer show.

      1. benzultra

        Bryon – any chance you will be creating a recap of forthcoming new shoes based on what you saw at OR in SLC this summer? I freaking love those articles.

        1. Bryon of iRunFar

          For sure, Ben… but not until late this month at the earliest. Immediately after OR, I went to Wyoming to run a race, then to Big Sky to scout The Rut course, then off to cover Squamish and UTMB… and so on until after covering The Rut. ;-)

          1. MtUnpaved

            Never mind on the lower comment, I didn't see that you were out here scouting. The Rut should be a great race, I wanted to run it but it fell right between Waldo and Le Grizz, so I'll have to be happy just going down to watch it. Can't wait to see the elite guys/gals duke it out going up Lone Peak!

      2. kzem12345

        Thanks, that's awesome. Things I'd be OK with (but couldn't care either way): change in the foam, improvement of the tread, reduction in the drop, color, etc. Things I would love left the same: light weight, super fast drying, fast "feel," best heel cup EVER, I liked the laces, wide toe box, super comfort, neutral ride, lack of arch support.

        1. Bryon of iRunFar

          I was in Bozeman at 4:30 am on the morning of Wednesday, August 13th… so I'm hoping everyone was done the Ridge Run at that point. ;-) I ran the El Vaquero Loco 50k in Wyoming on the same day as the BRR.

  6. @duenord

    I've been looking forward to reading the IRunFar review of this shoe, and have a pair of 110v2s heading my way. Although this is a negative review of the update, it's important to note that shoe fit is a product of individual differences in foot shape and biomechanics. I ran quite a bit in the 110v1 two years ago, and, despite enjoying the lightweight feel and aggressive tread, found that the medial rolling was too much for my flat arches and caused trouble after a few months. Also, the lack of cushioning left me feeling beat up after long runs on the Superior Hiking Trail here in northern MN. So, I am looking forward to a more neutral feel with more cushioning, though the fit around the midfoot and new outsole are a touch worrisome, but have to see how they work for me.

  7. senelly

    Thank you for this review. Some folks like more (Hokas)… some like less (Five Fingers). I like less.

    The year was 1984. I ran my first sub 3 marathon in laceless and featherweight Nike Air Sock Racers (I dubbed them "screaming yellow zonkers"). Since then I have pursued minimal shoes… right into trail ultras. They may not work for everyone… but they sure do for me.

    Besides my road Five Fingers Classics (no longer made), I have three pair of NB Minimus 10's for the trail, including a laceless version that few liked (but I do). I LOVE these shoes for training. They help me to focus… to stay in the here and now of any run. With them, I tend to run with my whole body. They seem to help me strengthen everything from my toes on up. I have nearly 1000 miles on one pair and they show very little wear. Because they do not provide much insulation from sharp rocks, I won't wear them for any trail run of more than around 30 miles.

  8. benzultra

    I would like to give these shoes a try as I cannot wear the NL-1 last. The extreme (in my eyes) curvature leads to blisters on the tips of toes 2-4 for me. While most seemed to love the MT110s, minus perhaps the upper, it just didn't work for me so this is perhaps a welcome update.

    Great review Tom – I agree that almost all previous iRunFar reviews were overly positive in nature. This is a welcome change.

  9. TomCaughlan

    So, my criticism for the shoe is similar to what Bryon stated before. It doesn't work for me, and I was disappointed about some of the changes as this is a shoe that I really look forward to when it comes out :)
    The other day I gave these shoes to a friend to take out on a run. He has a narrower forefoot and tends to wear very minimal road racing flats on the trail. He returned from a short run and raved about the MT110v2, so there you go. This is a shoe that will work well for some people, just not my foot type. I love that Minimus last.

  10. @davidhenry114

    Here is a post on the 101 re-issue for those interested: http://blog.runningwarehouse.com/rs/chat-with-bre

    RE: 110v2, I'm another one that just couldn't deal with the poor fit of the PL-4 last and for what it is worth, I think the medial rolling in of the 110v1 was more because of specific designs to the shoe (outsole mostly and in the first colorway's case the midsole…they shaved off 1mm on the lateral side when they updated the colors) not because of the last. A wide forefoot is almost always a plus for stability in my experience. This was a big risk for NB to change the last so dramatically and their explanation of the MT10 and 110 being too similar just doesn't suffice for me. The 10 was much less protective and not nearly as racing oriented as the 110 and as someone else already stated the 110 was used much more for ultras than the 10. For me, inov-8's "standard fit" in their F-lites, Trailrocs and now Race Ultra 290 (the Race Ultra 270 coming in spring should be a nice option for those who like the 110v1 but wanted a little more protection) are just as wide a secure as the NL-1 last was with more comfort overall.

  11. Juhooker

    I've been using a pair on a great many 6-10 mile runs, and one 20 mile outing. For my foot, they are pretty much the perfect shoe. My only complaint is that it seems the outsole is wearing down a bit faster than I'd imagine a shoe should, considering it's not being used on pavement.

    I've done a few scrambles and light climbing with them, and I know this is blasphemy, but I liked them better than the original 110…. >_>

    All anecdotes aside, I have to say that I agree with someone else above, in that I think it all boils down to personal foot shape/preference. I just happen to love this shoe :)

    Side note: I wear FITS trail socks, and the shoes fit absolutely perfect all around. When I wear anything else, the shoe does seem to roll very slightly at the rear, but not much.

  12. @Baristing

    On the whole, I don't consider most shoe reviews inherently positive or negative. Ideally, the reviewer describes the characteristics of the shoe, from experience, and the reader can then form an educated opinion on whether they'd like it or not. (This review, and all I've read on this site, do very well in this regard.) Ultimately, whether a shoe works for the one person writing the review isn't terribly important. One just isn't a large enough sample size from which to draw meaningful conclusions. Unless, of course, you're that one person, and the shoe in question is the one you're wearing.

  13. rmsquires

    My issue with the 110v2 is mainly the upper: the low-volume and sharply inward-slanted lateral toebox causes constant rubbing. I'll argue the last shape is not necessary the biggest problem, as the MT00v2 has the same shape but a much larger volume upper, and I enjoy wearing it immensely. I also preferred the MT110v1 approach of putting the rockplate higher up in the stack, as the v2 has the rockplate on the outside and only thinly covered by a fairly hard rubber that doesn't grip well, and with this configuration the entire outsole acts as a vibration sounding-board, and feels quite harsh. Personally a mashup of the MT1010v2 and the MT00v2, or a MT00v2 with a thin rockplate, are what I was hoping for. The MT00v2 is a fantastic trail shoe, with it's wonderfully shock-absorbing and grippy outsole; an ultra-oriented version of that I'd buy for sure.

  14. danger9916

    i'll spill a sip of my beer to the death of my favorite pair of shoes, ever. i'm on pair number three and i have two more fresh ones in boxes. guess i'd better head to ebay and see if i scrounge up more pairs while i wait for NB to stop trying to please everyone and in turn pleasing no one.

  15. benzultra

    I would like to give these shoes a try as I cannot wear the NL-1 last. The extreme (in my eyes) curvature leads to blisters on the tips of toes 2-4 for me. While most seemed to love the MT110s, minus perhaps the upper, it just didn't work for me so this is perhaps a welcome update.

  16. DogrunnerDavid

    Let's just face it – the 110v1 was hugely popular and changing to a more narrow last for the update was just a flat out blunder (seemingly caused by endless corporate over think). Hey sometimes great actors make bad movies; it happens. NB has had a long string of hits so one "flop" was most likely going to come along at some point. A certain crowd out there will like the 110v2, the company will pivot back (based on market demand) and we'll all move on down the trail.

  17. @marcryan27

    Let me start by saying how much I love the MT110, its my go-to trail shoes regardless if I was doing some workout on the trails or just easy long run. I like the fit, the material and everything about the shoes. The longest I run on my MT110 was a 50k race, in my opinion any race longer than that would be too much for my feet. I've had 5 pairs of that shoes. I was a bit reluctant to get the MT110v2, but I got it as soon as it came out. It felt awkward at first but the more I run on it the better it felt. I felt I could run longer than 50k on this shoes, the toe box was roomier and the fit on the mid foot was spot on. I wore this shoes when I run Pikes Peak this year and it felt better. It was light enough to run bait fast on the flat, rolling section of the race and grippy enough for the climbs. In my opinion, it's worthy enough to be a V2 from the previous model. Its is a different shoe but I learned to like it the longer I spend my time running on it. My only dislike was after running 155 miles in less than a month on it, I've manage to ripped a hole on the toe box on both shoes. I was hoping to get at least 200miles on this shoes. I returned the shoes and got myself 980 foam trails, but it doesn't mean I don't like it anymore. I will still get the MT110v2 in the future and still run it till i ripped something again.

  18. rtockstein

    Great review. A little more of a diplomatic review than my ranting review on my blog. Although, I do believe I had one or two positives, so I wasn't bashing the shoe completely. As a long time fan of NB and the 110, I was also disappointed in the v2's divergence from the original model. My main gripes of the v2 align with yours, with the exception of the outsole. I mainly train in Midwestern hardwood forests, where it's often muddy, and so the larger lugs provided much more traction than the original. As for wet rocks, I've not found any trail shoe that can grip a moss laden sandstone boulder like the original 110, and that is solely due to that exposed eva most people weren't happy with.
    So, it goes to show how hard it is to design a shoe that satisfies a large group of people, especially when the shoe is as a specifically-designed shoe as the 110.
    All other things aside, the upper and last really are what ruined the v2 for me. Sloppy midfoot, nnarrow forefoot, doesn't drain as well, and more neutral straight fit.
    I thought it very interesting to see in all of Krupicka's photos on his blog of this year that he was wearing the old version, instead of the v2…. I wonder if he cares much for them?
    I've been running in the terra kiger2 since I don't care for the v2, and I've found this shoe to nearly comparable to the v1 as far as fit and weight goes. Traction needs some improvement, but it's a great shoe overall. It seems to me that it's the shoe that the v2 could have morphed into, with the slight bit of more cushion underfoot and more durable upper. But, it does have a fairly higher arch than the v2, so that's a big difference in feel.
    Glad to see my views on the shoe weren't completely unfounded!

  19. outdoor kinetics

    Great post, I recently reviewed the MT00V2 which shares the last and outsole of the 110V2 and came to exactly the same conclusions about the fit. I'm based in the UK and for me, outsole worked outstandingly well in the conditions we get over here – which is a substantial improvement over the original 110 which was only really usable for a few months a year (just not grippy enough). I loved the original 110 and it seems as though they would have an outstanding product if they were to take the best features of the V1 (fit and feel) and V2 (outsole, midsole and upper) and pull them together for a V3

    Regarding the comparison the NB made between the MT110V1 and MT10, they are possibly similar on paper but the MT10 is way less protective and clearly a shoe for smooth trails and road whereas the 110V1 is like a racing flat for the mountains (albeit at the minimalist end of that spectrum)

  20. wolfrunn

    simple problem: I really loved the original MT110's. I ran with them always and everywhere, roads, trails, snow. They were me. Yesterday I went to buy a new pair… And they only had the new 110v2. It's just NOT the same shoe. I can't find the old one anywhere.
    Can anyone please advise: what – in feel and lightness – is the closest thing to the old MT110, of any brand, that we can find on the market now?!
    thanks very much

    1. @davidhenry114

      Hard to recommend something that would be exactly the same. Closest two shoes I can think of that have similar fit and cushion are inov-8 Trailroc 245 (my preference) which would give you more rock protection and durability than the 110v1 with similar amount of cushion but a tad heavier or Merrell Bare Access Trail which is closer to the weight of the 110 with maybe a bit less rock protection than the 110v1. Nike Kiger 2 is a really sweet shoe as well…quite a bit more cushion than the 110v1, but I've been really digging them for smooth to moderate trail.

    2. rtockstein

      I've done quite a bit of looking into this. The shoes I've found that are a similar match are, in order of closest to least similar: summer 2014 inov8 trailroc 245(?), Salomon s lab ultra (varying years have different drops), and Nike terra kiger 2. I ended up going with the Nike because of the slight bit of more cushion so I can do 50mi+ runs with them.

      1. wolfrunn

        thanks very much for your replies – I'll go and check the Patagonia shoes out tomorrow, and the inov8! I also have to run a 50mile in two weeks, hope the old MT110s will still hold up – or maybe I'll be able to get used to one of these new ones in time. Much appreciated advice!

      2. TomCaughlan

        I also love the Everlong. Nice wide toebox with a solid midfoot and heel fit. I wish there was a bit more traction but it doesn't seem to bother Browning at all.

  21. Skoinas

    I'm just curious, but is Anton even wearing this shoe? All the photos I've seen of him this year he is still running in the original 110's.

    1. rtockstein

      I've only seen one or two pictures of him wearing them. He was rocking the fresh foam 980 trail and some other NB shoe throughout UTMB , I assume because of his shin being frequently injured. He mentioned his plans of changing his race calories to more solid/substantial food instead of just gu and soda due to his stomach meltdown, so that makes me wonder if he's been contemplating his shoe choice a bit as well, in order to heal up that shin.

  22. Nick Jenkins

    Firstly, just want to say great review Tom. Awesome stuff.

    Now on the subject of what AK has on his feet. Clearly he is not to enamored by this shoe – I've personally only seen him wearing them in obvious media shots – in Episode 65 of Talk Ultra: http://talkultra.libsyn.com/episode-65-krupicka-b… (2h 7mins in) Anton says (At 2hour 55mins, and I paraphrase here) that the V1 is his go-to shoe – he has been using a modified version of the 110V1 with a grippier stickier sole and a burlier toe rand. The V2 is only likely to have a 6 month shelf life before making space for the return of the 101. And that he's started having "conversations" with the developers about the 110 V3.

    Reading between the lines, my guess is that New Balance maybe aware that they've got a bit of a flop on their hands with the V2 – It's telling when a shoe is reported to have a 6 month run – sure some people will fit in this shoe, but I think on the whole, everything that people loved about the V1 has gone. Personally I'm yet to try it, and I reckon that it might be the sort of thing I'd probably get on with! I like a precise fit, for me the 110 V1 had this in spades, but the toebox tapered in from the lateral side far too sharply causing rubbing on the little toes, and yes I did size up to get the correct fit. All feet are different.

    I wonder how many of the reviewers who gave less than a thumbs up for this shoe, tried alternate lacing techniques or swapping out the insoles to fine tune the fit? The last of the V1 was sized stupidly small as well, I'd wonder if you need to size up in the V2…

    Personally I do hope that the "conversations" that AK is having with NB generate a V3 in perhaps the way that Outdoor Kinetics described above. That would probably win back the fans. I know that I'm not too bothered about the relaunch of the 101. Anyway. It's just a pair of shoes.

    1. TomCaughlan

      Thanks Nick,
      I originally used this info in the review but I could not find the citation. So, you made me feel…not crazy since I knew I'd hear him state this! Thank you.

  23. Stewart_L

    I live in the UK and when I contacted NB about the MT110v2 availability here, they told me that it won't be coming to the UK at all (although you can still get it online from one retailer I found). The outsole of the v1 is only really suitable in the drier months in the UK but it's still a great shoe. The Inov-8 Roclite 243 is a great, grippier alternative. As someone mentioned above, the Trailroc 245 is probably the closest match overall but for the UK trails I'd recommend the slightly grippier Roclite 243's. The Roclite 243 doesn't have a rock plate but whilst they are not quite as forgiving as the MT110v1 there's not much in it. Fit wise the Inov-8's are very comfortable but not quite as snug as the NB's. Personally, I'd love a grippier MT110v1 but looking at the MT110v2 specs, I think there are better shoes out there. I hope the MT110v3 gets things back on track.

    1. Stewart_L

      Thanks for the info Nick – I did find another online retailer selling them that shipped to the UK but I'm not that inclined to buy them as they are pretty much double what I paid for my MT110v1's and I'm not sure they are worth that compared to other shoes out there now. I have recently bought some MT1010v2's to try as they look like a slightly more protective/cushioned ride than the MT110v1, for the much longer runs – hopefully they will also be better for the UK winter trails. Otherwise it's the Inov-8's for me and will look to the Inov-8 Ultra 270's maybe, again for the 50 milers+

  24. @ChMcCulloch

    I just bought the Merrell Ascend Glove which feels almost exactly the same as the original MT110, which I ran in all the time and loved. Only noticeable difference is zero drop and a bit of arch support. And aesthetically a little less Star Trek! Worth trying if you really liked the original MT110

  25. ggianniny

    I also tried these on in a store- the toe box was so narrow that it was immediately uncomfortable for my forefoot. At the same time, the midfoot felt sloppy and insecure. Definitely one of the worst "updates" I've ever seen… I discovered the original 110 right after they stopped making it and have loved my pair, but they're about dead now. I certainly won't be replacing them with the v2… Does anyone have suggestions for a similar shoe to the v1?

Post Your Thoughts