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. Brian

    Hey all,

    Believe it or not we are just starting to update the Mt 1010 pictured above and I'm curious if there is any interest in going to a zero drop but with some meat, say 14mm of Eva and 5 of rubber. Thoughts?

    -Brian Best of New Balance

    [Edit: Added Brian's credentials for authority.]

    1. Bryon Powell

      If New Balance is going to add a zero-drop MT1010 or are going to substitute a zero-drop version for the current 4mm drop MT1010 PLEASE added an 8 or, better yet, a 10mm drop version of the MT110 or MT1010 for the rest of us. I absolutely love the MT110 and suspect I'll like the MT1010 equally well. However, I can't even manage three runs totaling less than 15 miles in five day without lower leg issues in the MT110 and that's simply due to the low drop.

      I'd say that folks have a great selection of low- to no-drop trail shoes from New Balance at the moment. Please throw the rest of us who like the lighter, more responsive shoes an option, as well. It'd be my pleasure to discuss this more in-depth at any time. You can use the contact form to get in touch. Folks at NB such as Kristin S. and, probably, Bryan G have my info, too.


      1. Sam Winebaum

        Agree with Bryon. Zero not for me either. How about keeping it at 4mm (works fine for me in KInvara, Brooks PureFlow, Hokas) and engineering a way via changeable insoles to increase drop to 8 to 10 mm when desired. Include both insoles: 4mm drop for short and fast and a 4-6 mm boost for longer runs.

  2. Amie Murphy

    hey Shaun,

    I run in the area too..ive seen you run a few times! like the 110? I wear my kinvaras for everything because i cant find a trail shoe i like and want to stay in the 4mm drop zone…

    i tried the peregrin at Regis and they just felt too stiff ( compared to my kinvara) …

    Im excited for the MT1010 they look perfect!

    how flex is the 110?


  3. David Henry

    Brian. I definitely think a 14mm of eva and 5 of rubber for a 19mm stack height would be a great shoe on the minimus last. Something just a tad meatier than the 110, but with a similar fit. I would be fine with zero (I use the Altra models that have similar stack heights, and are zero drop, with great success, but wish they were lighter like this shoe is looking to be) or 4mm (even 6mm is ok), for me over that is overkill and reduces the stability on technical trail.

  4. Ethan

    To throw a contrary opinion out there, yes, I would like to see a zero-drop MT1010, particularly with a fair amount of EVA, which should provide enough form-degeneration protection

  5. David

    As I have been scaling mileage in the MT101s they have been a great shoe. I haven't yet gotten the MT110s. This MT1010 looks like it would give me the advantages of the original minimus trail and the cushion of more of a Hoka. I think my feet would love this and at just over 7oz per shoe I could handle the swing weight that has deterred me from other heavier shoes. I've also been running short distances (to 10 miles) in the minimus trails this winter and really enjoy the advantage of the 4mm drop for my midfoot strike. I have been looking at Montrail to find a more cushioned trail shoe, but would be thrilled to be able to stay with NB for that cushioned style trainer/racer. Thanks Bryon for keeping us in the loop and thanks NB for listening.


  6. Jeff L.

    I'm DYING for a zero-drop trail shoe that offers some protection. I don't want to feel like I'm running on stilts or pillows. But after a rough 50 mile trail run, I admit I need some cushion to soften some of the rocks and roots on the trails. I have a pair NB trail shoes, but even the 4 mm drop is noticeable.

  7. Rob

    I run mostly barefoot but race in the 101 and now the 110 and would love a zero drop 1010. I am eyeballing the 1010 for the Cactus Rose 100 down here in Texas.



  8. Brick

    I have MT10s, MR10s and 101s and like them all.

    The only problem I have is in Australia most trails have some very rocky sections which need more protection.

    I have tried the Hoke Bondi's which are good but feel a bit like I am running on stilts.

    The 1010s look ideal.

    Bring on July and hope I can get a pair online.

    Do you know if they will be selling them in Australia.

  9. Mike B.


    I'm going to Tahoe as well for the 50m in july! I have been using the new

    mt 110's now for about a month with pretty good success. I say pretty good

    because of the lateral underside being built up more than the medial side

    issue. Like many others have said, there's no doubt it's there and I don't notice it running on dirt. I think I'm over it but now that I see this mt 1010

    I will probably be all over those!

  10. Sean

    I have switched from my ultra-supportive ASICS runners (with 12mm heel/toe diff) to the MT101 and I have to say, what an incredible difference. I used to have aches and pains after my runs, but I have eased into the 101's and I was sore only after the first run. The shoe is so comfortable that I am now wearing them whenever I can, and I am going to try to find another pair, just for running in. The people at New Balance really know how to make a great shoe. I am looking forward to trying out both the MT110 and the MT 1010.

  11. Branndon


    Zero drop with real cushioning would be great. I have tight calves and past achilles issues from a twisted ankle and was still able to transition to zero drop Altras in a short period. Now trying anything with heel rise (even 4mm) feels uncomfortable.

  12. Noviant

    Just bought the MT110 on the web based on my experience with a minimus road from last year. What a surprise to discover that the sizing is different. Where 2E is perfect for a minimus road, the MT110 is much narrower ! Now I need to replace it with a 4E fro the same feet!…

  13. Noviant

    Especially with the MT110 being much narrower in 2E than my minimus road from last year ! The 4E is even more critical with the architecture of the MT110 shoe.

  14. lor

    Try the Hokas yourself…you will definately not feel like you are plodding around in them. Amazingly light!! and most people won't try them just because of how they LOOK. i do want to try the MT1010's though, but I am sure most of my long runs will be in my Hokas, that is for sure.

  15. Willy

    I am way late to the party, but I wanted to give some input. the idea of a zero drop version sounds amazing, I just ran the Lake sonoma 50, in the trail zero, love the shoe, worked great, but i destroyed both shoes with massive tears on both shoes. I have spent a lot of time (years) to run in minimal zero drop foot wear, I prefer to run in a zero drop, without the compromise of even 4mm.

  16. John Macklen Sr.

    When I walk in the 110's I feel like my feet are rolling inward but I don't notice it when I run. I have read that the lateral edge is thicker than the medial edge. Will the mt1010 AMP be the same way?

  17. Doug (aka Snurfer)

    Hey Bryon,

    Being that it is mid-June I'm surprised to have been unable to find much on the web about this shoe, re: "The shoe will hit retail shelves in July 2012 for $105. We’ll have more details for you before then"… Any update?


  18. Dave Mount

    I was wondering the same thing. I'm so eager to try a pair that I've had a Google Alert set up for the last months. Not much info so far. Is July still the date?

  19. Nate Sanel

    I just got mine yesterday and did a quick 10 mile trail run in them. Here are my initial thoughts. The fit is slightly looser than the MT110 and the upper is very light and breathable. They still very much run like a minimal shoe, but have considerably more cushioning. I would say they are somewhere between the MT110 and the Brooks Pure Grit as far as that goes. I think people who like the feel of the 110 but want a little more shoe are going to love it.

    1. KenZ


      Do they have the weird build-up on the outside like the MT110 does that many, many people have notedly been annoyed with (including I've seen several comments from people who shave the outside lugs off the forefoot to reduce the over pronation they induce)? Because of that buildup on the 110, I like it a LOT less than the old 101. I'd be interested in the 1010, but not if it keeps this seemingly dysfunctional manufacturing feature.

  20. Nate Sanel

    Ken, when I first put them on I thought I noticed that it was still built up there, but as soon as I took a few strides in them I changed my mind. I'm one of those people who felt it in the 110 but it never bothered me. If this does indeed have the same build up (I really don't think it does), it is very much less than the 110.

    1. KenZ

      Awesome, thanks. This may be one of those shoes that I need to try before I buy (and then buy in the store I try it, of course!).

      At first I didn't think the 110 build up was bad, but I do end up running a lot of roads and mixed road-trail. Then the 110 build up really annoys me. If all you were running was rough, rocky trail… then who cares about any of it, because every step is totally different. Am sure I'm preaching to the converted.

  21. Mike B.

    Believe me I can't wait for these to come out! Got the Tahoe Rim Trail on

    July 21 and know these will be perfect. If Bryon is reading this or anyone

    else please pull some strings with New Balance to bring these to market a.s.a.p.!!!!

  22. Russell

    Ok….WAY late here, but whatever:

    This is the perfect answer for me! Im currently in the mt 110 and use the Saucony Peregrine 2 when my feet ar beat up (24/20, 4mm drop, 10.2 oz), but like many have said they just don't have the FEEL of the 110s….super excited for this shoe, and can't wait….my wife will be stoked too as she like the fit of the 110 , but opted for the brooks pure grit because she wanted more meat.

    Now all you need is a super extreme wet/snow/ soft ground type shoe ah la La Sportiva C-lite but with a 4mm drop….then my quiver could be entirely NB.

    Keep up the good…


  23. Katfish

    The 1010 has hit the shelves in South Africa. I have run in a pair a few times and offer my opinion (bear in mind i am a light (50kg) forefoot runner, who mainly runs on dry rocky trails in cape town.

    I have loved the new balance 101s and the 110s, so i was as keen as everyone else to try the 1010s.

    The 1010 is very different to the 110s, and has reinforced my personal preference for the 110s.

    A few points of comparison:

    1. sizing: i took a women's size 6 in the 101s and 110s, but the 6 in the 1010 was way too big for me. the 5.5 was perfect. however, my male friends have found that the sizing is comparable with their standard size.

    2. cushioning: the 1010 feel 'squishy'. more cushioning than the 110s yes, but for me it has the downside of giving a longer sensation of the terrain, as the sponginess takes the impact, rather than the stunning 'dancer' immediate impact and release feeling i get in my 110s.

    3. upper: i have run through rivers with my 110s and i marvel at how well the water drains out, and my foot remains so snug, never feeling 'loose' in the shoe. i haven't run in the 1010s but the material does not look to me like it would be as forgiving in wet weather.

    4. general feel: my foot just doesn't feel as neatly housed as in the 110s. it feels more like the old fashioned feel i recall, of your foot inside a shoe. whereas the 110s feel like a perfect cast-slipper around my bare foot. i had a bit of burning in places after a 16km run in the 1010s, whereas i my first run in my 110s was in a 20km race, and i came away dazzled by their light, responsive and perfect fit and feel.

    5. grip: less impressive than 110s, specially on slightly slippery rocks.

    Having read other reviews of the 1010, i agree that for those who aren't light, forefoot runners, the 1010 may be the preferred choice, especially for longer distances. for me, the 1010s would be most suited to a basic even jeep track, but for any route that requires great agility and immediate responsiveness, i would always rather have the 110s.

  24. MikeZ

    Just got my MT1010 today in NZ.

    The MT1010 is a very different shoe to MT110 and MT10. It has a stiffer flex but more cushioned underfoot. The upper is far more porous. I ran in the rain today with lots of puddles and it let water in within the first minute of the run. The upside is that it drains very very well which makes the 1010 ideal for trails with lots of river crossing.

    The fit is also more forgiving, which IMHO is due to the upper material. Whereas the MT110 has a plastic like upper, the mesh upper of MT1010 gives a little bit more room for the toes to move. However, even in my size 9 2E width MT1010 (wore size 9D in 110) there is no 'frowsiness' as the mid foot and rear foot fit tighter than the MT110. The more snug rear foot/heel means debris is less likely to get into the shoes.

    The lugs of the MT1010 looked a bit suspicious to me at the start. However, I had no problem running through muddy wet grass and it should hold up well on most track conditions. Have not yet tested it on slippery rock but bear in mind that MT110 used a much softer, stickier rubber which would help with wet rock grip but breaks down all too easily.

    The biggest problem of MT110 has been the intentional higher lateral mid/outsole build up which I believe contributed to my current shin pain caused by tibialis posterior tendon irritation. I was glad to see that MT1010 has a more 'traditional' slant in which the outsole of the heel is slightly lower on the outside than the inside.

    MT1010 is definitely the go-between shoes for 'transitional' runners looking at getting into minimalism. It is also an ultra distance shoes for the already efficient mid/forefoot runner. I don't think MT1010 is a groundbreaking update of anything which New Balance already has on the market but it is going to be the closest one will get to a pair of shoes which can potentially appeal to a wide range of runners.

  25. KenZ

    "The biggest problem of MT110 has been the intentional higher lateral mid/outsole build up "

    I so agree. I loved the 101s. Bought a 110 the first week it came out, ran in it for a week, and it's been in the closet ever since gathering dust. Mainly because I bought up three pairs of 101s to tide me over until something else comes along. Met a guy this weekend who bought up SIX pairs of 101s.

    For that replacement shoe for the 101, it's not the 1010, but I will definitely look at the 1010 as an option for the longer distances. Right now using a Montrail Rogue Fly which I really like, so I'm not sure I want to up the quiver quite yet.

    Thanks for the really good reviews (MikeZ and Katfish); these are very helpful.

    1. MikeZ


      Have you tried Pearl Izumi Peak II ? It slightly stiffer than MT101 but has a seamless upper which makes it far more comfortable to wear barefeet or with thin socks. The heel-toe drop is virtually identical. Peak II is slightly heavier at ~ 9oz but it has reinforcements along the the forefoot upper where 101 is prone to tearing. The grip on PeakII is far more superior with deeper lugs. Definitely the shoes to consider for 101 fans.

      1. KenZ

        Thanks for the suggestion; hadn't even looked at PI. They're on the short list for the next purchase now. Plus, the 101 does have crap for traction, so deeper lugs would be most welcome.

  26. Paul Harmer

    MT1010 -soles failing after 60k

    M1010 soles very disappointing: after just 60km, back stud on one shoe falling off and 2 off the front ones unglued already. On other shoe 3 front orange studs separating from rest of sole.

    Very frustrating as shoes now becoming very comfortable :(

    P Harmer (Cape Town)

      1. Katifsh

        hmm. P Harmer's comment prompted e to check my 1010s (after 100km). was surprised to find that at the front of both shoes, a 'stud' is starting to peel away. i do run partially on rocky terrain, but not the best sign for a model designed for ultras

  27. Andy

    That's disturbing to hear. I unboxed my first pair today with glee and managed a quick loop on mixed terrain. The feel and fit are great (to be expected), but we'll see if they hold up. I do recall my first pair of 110s sustained a tear to the upper in the first week and NB happily exchanged them. But if this is a fatal design flaw in the 1010's outsole that's a different story. Was hoping to get this pair to last at least thru a 50m in late Sept but I'm not optimistic based on this.

  28. Garth

    Warning – Try them on before buying! I went to pick up a pair of MT1010s today and I was shocked to discover how incredibly different the sizing is from the other NB shoes. I just assumed they would fit the same as my 110s or MT10s. I wear MT101, MT10, and MT110 without problems, but with these I pulled the laces all the way closed so that a big pyramid of upper material formed in the front of the show and they were still too loose. It wasn't even close. The width and length were correct and I could not go any smaller in size. It's just the volume in the upper is HUGE and I can't possibly fill it, lol I'm incredibly disappointed because I was looking forward to these and they felt good in the store.

    So I think some people are going to love these shoes, while others will have to continue the search. To cheer myself up, I bought a second pair of 110s which I can now wear down or file off the lateral edge ;-)

  29. Andy

    Garth – I agree the upper/toebox is very soft and roomy. Maybe try running for a few hot hours and see if your feet can swell to fill them!

    I also agree completely with Katfish's 5-point review above. The other thing I would add as a quasi-negative is that although I have yet to take them through any bodies of water (dessicated woodlands here in New England), I've returned from each of my now 5 runs with sopping wet shoes. At first I thought it was just a really humid day (humidity has been very high all week), but the shoes are wet and stay wet for a long while post-run unless placed in the sun to dry.

    And, after only about 30 miles (yes, rocky terrain), one front lug is already starting to peel.

    On the bright side, while lacking that "snug, cast-slipper" feel of the 110, they are super-comfy and lack the stupid lateral edge rise that all three pairs of my 110s suffer from (not resolved by one attempt to shave off lugs). Still unsure about whether the bit of extra stack height and softness will serve well over the longer haul and outweigh the weaknesses. I may start my next 50m next month in the 1010s, but a pair of 110s will be in a drop bag for sure.

  30. Danna

    Has anyone else noticed a prominent seam or ridge under the toes about 1/2" from the front of the shoe? I didn't notice it when trying them on, but after my first 4 miles on trail today I ended up with a blister under my longish 2nd toe from rubbing over the seam on downhills. I checked out my wt110s, wt00s, wt10s and 730s (yeah I'm a fan) and none of them have anything that this noticeable or this far back. I guess its possible to go a 1/2 size up so the toes couldn't reach it, but my super narrow feet tend to slide to the front of any shoe, so that might not work. Just wondering if I got a defective pair or if they're all like this? Can't imagine trying to go without socks. Trying to decide whether to send them back or rig a thin insole over it… bummer either way. At least an insole would help fill some of the extra volume, but I wasn't looking to add to the stack height.

    Ever since I took a box cutter to the lateral lugs on my 110s I've been incredibly happy with them, but I was excited to try the 1010s for ultra distances. At least they have no lateral build up, and with the exception of this toe rubbing issue, they ran like a dream.

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