New Balance MT110 Preview

New Balance has had a string of hits with lightweight and minimalist trail shoes. From the MT100 to the MT101 and, most recently, the Minimus Trail. In January 2012, New Balance will release the MT110/WT110 ($85), its follow up to the popular MT101 that will include a number of features from NB’s Minimus line. We thought you’d like some preliminary info on the MT110.

[Here’s our full MT110 review as well as our in-depth Making of the MT110 article with Anton Krupicka and Erik Skaggs interviews. We highly recommend reading all three pieces.]

New Balance MT110

The New Balance MT110 (men's).

Minimalist Construction

With the MT110, New Balance has brought minimalist principles to its flagship line of lightweight trail shoes. First off, the MT110 will be made on the company’s natural running last, which debuted in this year’s Minimus line. The natural running last encourages a mid-foot strike while featuring a wide forefoot for natural toe splay. Second, New Balance has dropped the heel-toe drop from the MT101’s 10mm to a mere 4mm in the MT110. The shoes have a stack height 19mm at the heel and 15mm at the toe. In addition, both the men’s MT110 and women’s WT110 will be available in wide sizes from the outset! So while this is not a “barefoot shoe,” it’s sure to please many a minimalist shoe fan.

At least on the spec sheets, at 7.7 ounces for a US men’s 9, the MT110 are slightly heavier than the MT101’s 7.5 ounces. Still, that’s quite light for a “lightweight trail racer” that many folks will undoubtedly wear as an everyday trainer.

The MT110 features a two-piece upper. There’s a lightweight, synthetic, laser cut outer layer for support and a soft interior lining. The heel counter has been “redesigned,” which, considering the minimal counter on the MT101, could actually mean that one’s been added. Moving further away from the heel chafing issues of the MT100, the interior lining has been brought up and over the top of the heel for comfort. The tongue will essentially be the same as found in the MT101.

New Balance WT110

The New Balance WT110 (women's version).

Additional Construction Details

  • As with the Minimus line, the insole will be non-removable.
  • There’s a full forefoot rockplate albeit a thin one.
  • The outsole only has rubber applied to high wear areas as found with athlete testing of the MT101.
New Balance MT110 WT110 outsole

The New Balance WT110's outsole

Additional Notes
We’ve seen the MT110 out at the Hardrock 100 where a competitor wore them for the entire race as well as at another race this summer. Since full reviews will be going up so soon, we feel comfortable sharing that the MT110 held up well although, unsurprisingly, they may have been “a little thin” for 100 miles over incredibly difficult terrain.

New Balance MT110

The New Balance MT110 after completing the Hardrock 100.

Call for Comments
What do you think of the forthcoming New Balance MT110?

There are 130 comments

  1. Adam

    I bought these 5 days before my first 100 mile race and wore them the entire time. Didn't have one issue with the shoe or with my feet.

  2. Steve T

    I too noticed the lateral side build up but it is an intentional design feature as that is where Anton was chewing out his prototypes (the lateral forefoot).

    Those commenting here regarding IT and posterior tendon injuries probably have underlying issues such as weak feet and medial glutes that are not able to help stabilise the foot and leg through the gait cycle to stop the knee from tracking medially.

    I have found doing exercises to specifically strengthen these areas has allowed me to wear these comfortably without a problem. Once on the trails the lateral to medial slope is not an issue anyways.

    On another note, I have just purchased and eagerly awailt Byron's Relentless Forward Progress. Can't wait.

  3. steve n

    Did someone mention a newer version. what changes would be made, i think more cushion will be added. making it more suitable for a broader range of people.

    Did i dream this or not!

    1. Andy

      NB will replace them free. I ripped my first pair in fewer miles, but have had later pairs hold up for 100s of miles. Unlike the 1010, in which the upper dissolves reliably after 100 miles.

      Ben – How do the Salomons fit? Do they have the natural last and roomy toebox of the 110 and 1010 or are they narrower? Can't find them locally and am reluctant to order. Thanks.

      1. Ben Luedke

        I wear a 10.5, 2E in width with New Balance. Wear either an 11 or 11.5 in Salomons. They are more narrow than NB, but they really wrap around the foot vs. just go across. Hug your foot, but they're not annoying, and the toe box is roomy enough for my feet provided I wear VERY thin socks. If you order them through Running Warehouse and don't like 'em, they can be returned easily.

        1. Andy

          Thanks. Funny — I was just "sizing" them on the Running Warehouse website. And the Sense is on sale, now only $150 and change! Maybe I'll take a chance — still searching for the perfect 100m shoe.

      2. Trailrunner 76

        I did email them and sent them a picture. I received a return email asking for my info last Friday. I didn't hear anything back yet. Waiting.

  4. Trailrunner76

    Ben, I had two pairs of XTWings and a pair of the speed cross 3. I am interested in trying the Sense Mantra, but my size is out of stock here and on RW.

  5. alfredo

    compre varios tenis para entrenar para mi segundo ultra en el desierto de laguna salada, unos salomon speedcross, unos scott aztec 2 y los NB110, y sin miedo a equivocarme son los que mejor se acomodan a mi pie, no corro minimalista siempre pero la ventaja por la cual correré con ellos mi ultra es porque son los únicos que sentí que se van haciendo amplios conforme corro y así no aprietan mi pie después de 50 kms !
    muy buenos tenis ! probablemente compre otro par

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