New Balance Minimus Amp (MT1010) Preview

New Balance bills its forthcoming Minimus Amp (MT1010) as “part of New Balance’s effort to continue to expand its spectrum of minimal offerings,” adding, “The shoe provides a minimal fit and feel, much like that of the [Minimus Trail a/k/a MT] 10, but with more traditional midsole heights and a more supportive upper.”

[Note: We’ve since published a review of the New Balance MT1010.]

I see the New Balance MT1010 as a low-to-the-ground, lightweight – at 7.7 ounces for a US men’s 9, it’s the exact same weight at the MT110 (MT110 review) – trail shoe that’s protective and supportive enough for everyday trail running shoe for those of us who aren’t waifish, who don’t run like a gazelle, and who don’t always run on buffed out, rock-free trails. In other words, it’s a trail running shoe for most of us whether we’re training (20 or) 100 miles per week or running a 100-mile race over rugged terrain.

New Balance Minumus Amp MT1010

The New Balance Minumus Amp (MT1010)

Protection, Stack Heights, and Midsole Details
The caveat with this shoe, as with any Minimus model, is that if you’re used to running in a traditional drop shoe (10-12mm) or even a shoe with an 8mm drop, you’ll want to transition slowly and carefully to the MT1010 just as you would with any other 4mm (or lower) drop shoe.

The Minimus Amp should appeal to both the traditionally shod runner looking for something lighter and lower as well as the minimalist runner looking for protection on tough terrain. As noted, the Amp has a 4mm, which comes from 10mm forefoot and 14mm heel stack heights. More important for those looking for protection in the long run, the MT1010 has a RockStop rockplate, a feature otherwise lacking from the Minimus line. Based on a quick hands on investigation the rockplate runs to the midfoot and seems more substantial than that of the MT110. All in all, the MT1010 has more meat under feet that the MT110… so it’ll be your call which model better suits your needs.

For the real shoe nerds out there, I’ll note that MT1010 has a REVlite midsole.

New Balance Minumus Amp MT1010 - medial upper

The MT1010’s outsole is best done justice with an image, but a few words first. The Vibram outsole is placed in a strategic strike-path pattern meaning it’s found only where you need traction and durability. Otherwise, the midsole or rockplate are exposed.

New Balance Minumus Amp MT1010 - outsole

The MT1010’s outsole.


New Balance Minumus Amp MT1010 laces

The laces and tongue on the Minimus Amp.

Like the rest of the Minimus line (and the MT110), the MT1010 is built on New Balance’s natural last (NL-1 or WNL1). As you’d expect, it’s also built for sockless wear and, accordingly, lacks a removable sockliner.

As to the Minimus Amp’s upper materials and construction, it’s more substantial than the rest of the Minimus line and notably different that the MT110. Rather than the MT110’s ovelay-free perforated synthetic leather, the MT1010’s upper is highly breathable monomesh reinforced by strategic overlays particularly as part of a medial (inner) midfoot metatarsal wrap. The MT1010’s tongue is two thin fabric layers that wrap the top of your foot more than being a gusseted tongue.

The MT1010 will be available for men in half sizes from 7-13 as well as in size 14 with widths of D and 2E. The WT1010 will be available for women in half sizes from 5-11 as well as in size 12 with widths of 2A, B, and D. The shoe will hit retail shelves in July 2012 for $105. We’ll have more details for you before then.

Call for Comments

  • Are you looking for a more robust minimalist trail runner? A lighter everyday trail runner?
  • Do you think you’d up for the MT1010 over New Balance’s other Minimus Trail and MT110 options?
  • What are you most excited about in the MT1010?

Bonus Photos with Additional Colorways!

New Balance Minumus Amp MT1010 - orange

The Minumus Amp in orange.

New Balance Minumus Amp MT1010 - orange medial upper

The medial side of the orange Minimus Amp.

New Balance Minumus Amp MT1010

More MT1010 colorways.

New Balance Minumus Amp MT1010

Even more Minimus Amp colorways.

There are 125 comments

  1. Dan

    hey bryon you said "Based on a quick hands on investigation the rockplate runs to the midfoot and seems more substantial than that of the MT110. All in all, the MT1010 has more meat under feet that the MT1010… so it’ll be your call which model better suits your needs." but the 110 has a midsole of 19mm and 15mm vs 14mm and 10mm for the MT1010 so the 110 sounds like the more substantial trail shoe.

    also the outsole looks best suited for buffed out, rock-free trails. not my kind of running.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Dan, More height doesn't necessarily mean more substance – part of the difference is the tall lugs of the MT110 vs the lower laying lugs of the MT1010. The MT1010 definitely seems more substantial in hand.

  2. hillbh88

    It's like they made a different color scheme and patterned area to denote the spot where I have blown out my last 3 pairs of 110's. I think I'm going to have to snag a pair of the 110's first and see how they run

  3. Adrian

    Right on, I love the range of options we're getting out there. I had some good runs on my NB Minimus Trails this year but when the foam got crushed the protection dropped to nil and they got pulled from the trails. (As as aside, the broken-in MT00s make a good road shoe.)

    For 2012 I'm looking at the 110s for a couple ultras and see how they perform. If they don't work well, there are a lot of competitors. So much different than just a few years ago.

  4. David

    Looks interesting. I'm glad to hear about the rock plate but the tread hardly looks grippy enough to be a trail shoe. Also, the heel cup looks interesting. I'm thinking this is the offspring of the Hoka and MT10.

  5. Sam Winebaum

    In almost all respects MT 1010 looks like a "for trail improved" Brooks PureFlow. Weight, drop, and especially the heel design and pods on the outer edges of the outsole/midsole. It doesn't seem to have the filled in area to the outer edge of the mid foot which I suspect is what really keeps me on my midfoot in combination with the heel. I really like the outer sole. I think it will have effective grip on most all surfaces except mud. The PureFlow is a road shoe with minimal out sole profile. I wonder how MT 1010 will feel on hard surfaces and even pavement. I bet pretty darn good.

    1. Matt Smith

      Isn't the Brooks PureGrit the "for trail improved Brooks PureFlow"? Seems like the 8oz near-neutral trail trainer is getting a lot of play these days…

      1. Sam Winebaum

        Matt-while I have not tried the PureGrit reading the reviews and seeing pictures it seems to me that this MT 1010 is closer in design to the PureFlow than the PureFlow is to the PureGrit on a number of levels…All the Pure shoes with the exception of the split toe and inverted heels have after that have different uppers (different fit) and outsole/midsole designs.

    1. Bryon Powell

      That's a bit of an overstatement. If I recall correctly, the MT110 will be available in 4E and this will initially be launch with an additional wide model… unlike the vast majority of trail shoes.

      1. Bill

        Have been told by NB and running warehouse that mt110 will only go up to 2E. Not an overstatement. Look at the new minimal and neutral shoes that they've released in a 4E???

  6. Andy

    Also thought it bears some resemblance to the Brooks Pure line and might be a direct competitor with the Grit, though weighing in at about an ounce less.

    I share the concerns about the outsole: Are those huge spaces showing orange actually exposed midsole? I've loved the Minimus, but here in rock-strewn New England the exposure between the lugs has been an issue and, based on the photos, looks even worse with the 1010.

    1. Sam Winebaum

      What is interesting is that the True Grit does not have the outrigger pods and has a full outsole. I have not tried the PureGrit but love the PureFlow on the road. The few times I have taken them on trails I found them mushy and unstable for me. I bet the rock plate and the fact the outsole pods are connected will help with stability on the MT1010. Agree with you Andy about the spaces and New England. I have found that anytime the outsole is made of pods there can be early wear and de lamination at the edges of the pods. I do see that the pods are connected in groups so that may help mitigate wear. I run in New England and Utah. The MT 1010 should be excellent for the smooth (relative to New England) trails in UT not so sure in New England.

  7. David

    So awesome to have all these 4mm drop options coming out. (see also Merrell Mix Master). They are either realizing that (most) true minimalist runners need more protection for long distance on rugged trails (compared to VFF or flimsy stuff good < 20 miles) or they are trying to draw in the Cascadia crowd. Probably both. The 110 looks to provide better ground feel, so I'll try that first and see if protection is adequate past 20 miles on rocky stuff.

    1. Andy

      True – thanks for the reminder. And the PureGrit doesn't actually have a rock plate either, but plenty of protection with a full outsole. The only shoe with a rock plate I've worn is the Cascadia, a great shoe but in no way minimalist. Very excited about both the 110 and now the 1010.

  8. Alex

    I guess I'm waifish then, although I don't think I run like a gazelle, since that looks way to cushy for my liking. If I can run 50 in the Saucony Hattori, I imagine the 110 will be enough for anything. But I am glad to see those served who would like more.

    1. KenZ


      How was the Hattori? I've enjoyed the Kinvaras a lot, but it feels a bit too much for me. On the other hand, the Harrori seems awfully minimal for 50 miles! Was your 50 on road, smooth trails or what? For trails, I'm New Balance all the way (101, and now waiting for my 110s). But roads the best (for me) so far has been the Kinvara. Just looking for a little less shoe.

  9. Jeremy

    That shoe looks solid for the low weight and seems like it fills a big gap in the NB shoe line (the gap where most runners run). I do think a few angled blade/lugs for sidehilling and canted trails are necessary. Would like to see a bit more drop than 4mm, but it's better than 0 drop. I need to start a counter-culture website bucking this rear-lower leg destroying fad. I think I'll call it….

    "Big Stack Differential Afficionado."

    Our motto…"I like big drops and I can not lie"

      1. Mike Place

        Awesome. Thanks, Bryon. Sounds like I'd better hurry up and ruin my current pair of 101s. I know just the thing to do it, too. [Heads out the door, bound for Mount Aire.]

  10. Mark

    Thanks for the great preview, Bryon. These look like great shoes!

    Still, with all the variations out there, it's getting harder to keep them all straight. It would be extremely helpful if somebody put together a list that ranked trail shoes from minimalist to tank. Is that something you might be able to do? It would be so great if you did.

      1. Bryon Powell

        I get what you guys are saying, but I've no desire to get this info for all trail shoes. I don't feel like hearing it from X Company or Y Company's fan boy that I've not included certain products. On top of that, there's the subjectivity in things like minimalism, protection, and traction. The subjectivity would be present even if one person rated all of them. Maybe this could happen someday, but I'd rather go very in-depth on a few top models than spend time worrying about 60 or 70 models… and that's likely excluding the plethora of tiny barefoot/minimalist companies.

        1. KenZ

          If people were motivated, one could start a wikipedia page for trail shoe specs, and "the people" could keep track. Bryon's point of the fanboy (and fangirl) factor would be interesting in editing a wiki site though.

  11. slickrock joe

    I'm testing a pair and really like the feel and ride, but I must have ramped up to fast into the low drop heel, because I have a bit of the posterior tibial tendon pain and lots of calf soreness. Is this typical for this kind of shoe, and how long before I adapt, if ever? I like the lower shoes because I'm always tweaking my ankles.

    1. Ethan

      These symptoms are typical of the transition to a lower-drop shoe — soreness is to be expected, the tendon pain is a bit more worrisome and suggests you should cut back a bit. Not that you can generalize, but it can take anywhere from 3 months to 1 year + to adapt.

  12. Craig Thom

    Currently running in Nike Lunarfly2 road and trail shoes that give good support for flat feet with a 10mm heel-to-toe drop which works well on long trail runs and see how I go with low-heel-to toe drop 3mm Inov-8 X-Talon 190 before the release of Salomon S-Lab Sense. Injury is the biggest issue for me with a lower toe drop before selecting a shoe to wear for The North Face 100. The New Balance Minumus Amp with a 4mm drop looks like a good shoe to test in the bush.

  13. Nate Sanel

    I've been running in a pair of the MT110's since August. I ran the first 70 miles of Leadville in them and found the fit to be perfect. I mean perfect. This was the first time I had ever run a 100 with no blisters and that was a Godsend. I had to change out of them because of the lack of cushioning at that point in the race. To me the 110 is just about perfect up to the 50 mile or so point. I have around 400 miles on them and they have zero tears and the tread is holding up excellent. They are extremely well built. For the Bartram 100 2 weeks ago I wore the MT110's for the first 50 miles, but then changed into a pair of the Brooks Pure Grits. The cushioning felt instantly better on the bottom of my feet, but the uppers are not even close to the perfect fit and feel of the NB's. I was thinking about how awesome it would be to have a pair of shoes with the MT110 upper and Puregrit lower. Looks like NB was already on top of it. I am very excited to see the Amps! If they fit like the 110's they will be my 100 mile shoe.

  14. Toe

    Slightly corn-fused, are both the MT110 and 1010 built on the NL-1 last?

    "Like the rest of the Minimus line (and the MT110), the MT1010 is built on New Balance’s natural last (NL-1 or WNL1). Unlike the soon-to-come MT110 (MT110 review). As you’d expect, it’s also built for sockless wear and, accordingly, lacks a removable sockliner."

    1. Bryon Powell

      Toe, The second sentence is just a bit of bad proofreading re an unfinished thought… that I can't remember the conclusion to. Anyway, both the MT110 and MT1010 are built on the NL-1 and WNL-1 (women's) lasts.

  15. Todd Gallagher

    Just wondering if the outsole is in fact made by Vibram as I don't see their oh so familiar yellow "Vibram" on every peice of rubber on said outsole? Thanks for posting this review, and all the hard work you do on irunfar!!!! You rock!

  16. Dan H

    Will be interested to hear reviews on the cushioning difference between the mt110 and mt1010. To me these shoes really seem to overlap each other just by looking at the specs. The podded sole being the only real difference I can see. Can't help thinking the pods protruding from the side will screw with the natural landing and pronation of the foot though.

    Final thought: Why is NB putting rock plates on the shoes that already have more cushion and leaving them off the shoes with less cushion (MT10, MT00)? Rather than creating a shoe that's the same as the MT110, I'd like to see something with the cushion of the MT110, but without the rock plate, so it will have more forefoot flexibility. This would actually fill an empty niche in their product line. The disadvantage of an inflexible forefoot is that it can lead to achilles tendonitis. For that reason, I can't run more than a couple miles in the MT110.

  17. Bryan Hojo


    My thoughts exactly. The Hoka meet the Minimus. I've watched peoply plod around in the Hokas for 24 hours. Just can't see running in moon shoes.

    However this looks like it takes out some of the bulk. Can't wait to try them. I hope they have widened the toe box. I went with the Trail Gloves over the MT10. All around better fit.

    We get a sneak peak at this in January NB is touring Anton around, I hope they bring enough samples to try on.

  18. Bryon Powell


    It's all about money in a quite reasonable way. Here's a very rudimentary sketch. It costs money to make additional molds for each size a company will offer in, say, 4E. I've no idea the population of 4E runners, but I'm guessing it's very small. If additional companies start making 4E shoes or the same company offer even more models in 4E then that small costumer pool is even more widely spread making it even harder to recover the costs on each 4E model. If there was a bigger demand companies would make more models of very wide shoes.

    I see three options for an expansion of the number of very wide trail running shoe models out there:

    (1) Get more wide-footed folks running the trails;

    (2) Buy more wide-sized trail shoes; or

    (3) Be willing to pay a premium.

    1. Andy

      Here in the east we are looking at least til mid-Jan or Feb, and most online suppliers (e.g., Zombie) say it'll be some weeks. I was jonesin' so bad I called Eclipse and, lo and behold, a pair is en route as we speak. iRunFar comes thru again. Thanks Darren, and Bryon!

  19. Art

    ok shoes are great, and maybe even necessary for most of us. but it seems the discussion topics of late are composed entirely of shoes and elite racing.

    How about a bit more diversity.

    Training Techniques



    Pacers v.s. No Pacers

    Trekking Poles v.s. No Trekking Poles

    More self planned stuff in the spirit of R2R2R

    How to do a Grand Slam

    How to win an Ultra Lottery

    the topics are endless . . .

    1. Bryon Powell

      Hi Art,
      FYI, the editorial schedule for iRunFar is as it comes. As of late, I've received a number of time sensitive stories regarding shoes which followed on the heals of attending one of the most competitive ultras of the year. There'll be a slow news season during the late winter and spring that more evergreen stories will pop up. If you'd like to see iRunFar publish five days a week such that there's room for such instructional pieces at the same time as the time-sensitive shoe/elite pieces, please feel free to make a donation so that I can hire other writers and/or a copy editor… there's only so much I can do.


      Ps. Thanks for the suggestions. Next time, however, I'd ask that you consider sending them to me directly via the contact form found on iRunFar.

      1. Art

        sorry Bryon.

        will be more direct/discreet next time.

        and yes I know you are a small staff and very busy.

        its just that my closet is already filled with 30 pairs of shoes :-)

  20. slickrock joe

    Thanks, I guess I shouldn't be thinking about SP50 in June in these. So I better read up more to find something to replace my old Montrail Streak.

  21. brian best

    Hi Todd,

    These samples were not finished prototypes. The final production versions will be vibram with the vibram badge on the bottom instead of the new balance flying NB.

  22. Joel

    Comparing these to the Hokas is rather absurd. There is no similarity between those tall trail monsters and these lithe, low to the ground shoes.

  23. slickrock joe

    My old Montrail Streaks are done – I could wear them forever, a couple Squaw Peak 50's, but wore them our quickly. The NB MT1010 feels great but too aggressive drop change for me and have developed tendon pain. The Altra LonePeak feels too aggressive as well. My weak ankles seem to do better in neutral and lower riding shoe. I'm 140lb, mid-pack runner but love to trail run the Wasatch and slickrock. I need a shoe for my 50 in June. Any advice? Thanks

  24. Jeremy

    Less than the Kinvara? Less than 7 oz? Too much shoe? Too much shoe for ultramarathons in the mountains?

    I would really like to know what is driving this? Are people getting much faster in these flats- training in them day in and day out? Or, is it a health thing? Are people having better luck with staying uninjured in flats? Or, is it just the Kool-aid marketing fad book thing?

    I guess I will be a believer when someone can put on a Jurek/Roes-like streak of dominance and stay in good health wearing flats. Is anyone winning mountain 50's and 100's in these things? Seriously, I want to know. Every top caliber runner I can think of is training/racing in more substantial shoes.

    1. KenZ

      Since I made the Kinvara comment, I'll throw in a response. The Kinvara is definitely not used (by me) as a trail shoe: it's a road runner, up to about 50m. And I do love it; on my second pair. I think it's so personal that it's hard to really tell what is better/worse.

      However, it is certainly true that there are two places where it is worst to carry weight: your feet and your hands (were we biking, it'd be the rims). An ounce off the shoes is worth a lot more efficiency-wise than an ounce off the pack. Yeah, I get it… it's only an ounce, but that's a lot when it's on your feet doing what they're doing.

      And yes, after getting in the MT101s, which are simply awesome (to me), the Kinvara's DO feel like a bit too much. Now, for my last 100, I used the Montrail Mtn Massochist, which is in no way, shape, or form a minimalist shoe. And I love that shoe too. And I wear it for really rough, wet, rocky, off-trail conditions as well. But there's a feeling of putting on the 101 that just _feels_ better, long before I take my first step out the door.

      Like most people on here, I've got a lot of shoes I rotate, and that rotation depends on road or trail, smooth or rough, short/med/or long, wet or dry, and how my legs feel that day. But all that said, _feel_ when I run is the top issue, and time and time again when I'm pulling a pair of shoes out of my quiver for the day, I find myself reaching for the lighter, less substantial ones time and time again, at least for runs under 30 miles. Not because I'm concerned about weight, but because I LOVE how they run. Love it. 20 trail miles (not too rough terrain) in the Mtn Massochist vs the MT101? 101 wins for me every time.

      OK, so that's me. I do think your questions are very valid though. There does seem to be a bit of an obsession regarding minimalism, and we can all probably point to one book as to what started the drive. That's not blame, just noting it. As for whether flats or more substantial shoes are "better" and the injury component, I don't think there are enough trail racers out there to be able to draw any statistically significant conclusions. Too many factors, too few people. Someone gets injured… is it the shoes, or did they not do enough core/hip stability work, or did they just have a bad day? Only in road racing/marathons do I think you have enough people to study. The top runners there seem to use flats. Does that translate to trails? To 50s? To 100s? I don't think anyone can draw that conclusion.

      Sorry for the long comment, but I think your point is valid and well taken. Might be better to move the discussion to the discussion boards so it doesn't get lost here.

  25. Brant

    I agree with both comments. I personally run in the MT101s and I love the shoe. It is comfortable was well as supportive for me. Now Mind you I don't run in hard core mountains i.e. Leadville or racing pertaining to that. I live down in Texas where it is mostly flat but I still get out to the "Hill Country" here in Austin for to enjoy the trails out there. Regarding the flats it is all preference I guess. I went to flat on the roads before I started trail running and I just never went back. I just happen to favor one over the other. But I am truly looking forward to the new MT1010.


  26. Shaun Pope

    I have tried the mt110's and their ability to run the valley hills of Ohio. Its a wonderful racing shoe but is meant for the neutral runner if to be worn as an everyday training shoe. After trying on the mt1010's at Vertical Runner, my hometown trail running store, I instantly noticed the increased amount of support it gave to a over-pronator like myself. If you love the minimus 4mm drop series by NB, then look to get the same great medial support and protection by the mt1010. The other incredible thing about this shoe is its ability to flex at the forefoot, due to the design of the rock plate and the "amp" designed Mid/outsole…. A major improvement from the 101's inability to flex.

    In conclusion…. Can't WAIT!!!


  27. Stefan

    This was also my first thought: a cheap looking version of the PureFlow. My second thought: what's the point in 4mm differential? Why not zero drop?

  28. Andy

    Having just taken my new 110s for their first spin on the local rocky New England singletrack, I am pleased to say that they certainly provide more protection than the Minimus but without that soft, flexible feel we love so. I liked them a lot but could really feel the rock plate without much extra padding, and wonder how my feet will fair in them on the long haul. Guess you can't have cake and eat it too, but perhaps the 1010 will be the best of both worlds. Looking foward to summer!

  29. Chris G.

    I WAS lusting over the 110's but we have a new leader in the race to be my first ultra shoe for Tahoe in July.

    Chris – San Diego, CA

  30. Ryan Holler

    Stack heights

    MT1010: 14 mm heel / 10 mm forefoot

    MT110: 19 mm heel / 15 mm forefoot

    Bryon, this doesn't make sense if the 1010 is supposed to be a more substantial shoe… unless the 1010 it has a removable insole that isn't counting toward the overall stack heights. ???

    Also, your sentence, "All in all, the MT1010 has more meat under feet that the MT1010… so it’ll be your call which model better suits your needs," could potentially answer my question, but it appears to have a typo, saying "MT1010" both times. Which is which?

    Thanks for your otherwise stellar reviews!

    1. Bryon Powell

      Hey Ryan,
      Thanks for pointing out the typo. I've corrected it to read that the MT1010 is meatier underfoot that the MT110.

      Stack height doesn't necessarily reflect substance. The MT110 had tall lugs, which leads to a tall stack height. The MT1010 feels like it has a much more substantial rockplate than that of the MT110. Trust me, when you get a chance to hold (or wear) both models, you'll agree that there's more to the MT1010.

  31. Brian

    Thicknesses for both are….

    7/11 Eva (6mm rubber) mt110
    10/14 Eva (5mm rubber) mt 1010

    If you're interested in the stack heights just tack on 2/3mm for strobel material.

    The rock plates are both the same thickness/durometer, however the rock plate on the mt1010 extends a bit further back on the lateral side to add a bit more protection for the trail runner just getting into more minimal product.

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