The Making of the New Balance MT110

For the past few years, New Balance has collaborated heavily with Anton Krupicka and the Skaggs brothers, Kyle and Erik, to develop a lineup of extremely popular minimalist running shoes. The fruits of this collaboration first came to market with the MT100 (review) in 2009. New Balance and its athletes kept moving forward with the incrementally improved MT101 (review) in 2010 and the Minimus product line (Minimus Trail review) in 2011.

Now, at the start of 2012, New Balance is launching the MT110 (here are our technical preview and review), a shoe that both Anton and Erik agree is the best trail shoe they’ve ever run in. I thought you might like to hear the story of their collaboration with New Balance in creating the MT110. To that end, the following article provides both a chronology of the shoe’s development based on emails between the runners and the New Balance development team as well as extensive interviews with Anton Krupicka and Erik Skaggs. (Hint: Click on the links in the preceding sentence to jump to the relevant portion of this article.)

New Balance MT110

New Balance's MT110 (Anton Krupicka colorway)

The Making of the New Balance MT110

To begin, it’s impossible to look at the creation of the MT110 in isolation. The shoe is the result of more than three years of ideas and evolution, both in the product and in the trail-shoe market. This is the shoe that Anton’s wanted all along, but the market for such a light, flexible, low-to-the-ground trail shoe wasn’t there back in 2009. While the MT100 and MT101 were solid shoes, both included concessions to reach a wider market.

By the time of the MT110’s development, Born to Run and the minimalist running movements had caught mainstream attention. Folks were talking about heel-toe drop. They were looking for low-weight, less-structured shoes. They were buying the MT101, Minimus Trail, and their kin in droves.

May 2010
All this meant that Anton could work with New Balance to lower its everyday minimalist trail running shoe line, the MT100 series. When Anton started emailing NB about the MT110 (it was then known as the MT102) in May 2010, he noted, “I think it should definitely try to be something that falls between the 101 and the Minimus.” He continued, “My greatest concern is having a shoe that I’m 100% comfortable racing in on a variety of terrain. Right now, the platform of the 100/101 is too beefy for me and the Minimus is a bit barefooty to be comfortable racing in – a true trail racing flat would be ideal.”

In the same email, Anton discussed the characteristics he’d like for the midsole profile, the outsole, as well as the upper and the way it integrates into the platform. He cited multiple examples of how he’d tweak them and provided an overarching concept he summarized as, “Basically, what I’m talking about is a lower profile 101, but on the [NB] 152 last so that it’s sure to hold the foot well. Also, with the extra rubber of the 100 outsole and a high durometer midsole, we probably wouldn’t even need a rock plate. Or maybe a less burly one. Basically, a race-ready minimalist shoe.”

A week and a half later, Anton came back with another email, the result of which seems apparent in the final MT110. “I know we already have the ‘trail’ Minimus, but I think a ‘trail’ version of the Minimus Road would be pretty much perfect. Keep the blown rubber outsole, but add a bit more aggressive tread and turn up the durometer on the midsole a bit and that would be one sick shoe that I would wear for pretty much anything.”

June 2010
In early June 2010, New Balance responded with a set of characteristics that left Anton saying, “I am totally psyched on this shoe.” He confirmed his support for certain traits (the Minimus Road heights and the barefoot last), dismissed some concerns (no need for medial arch protection), and discussed how some of the modifications for the MT110 were in line with what he was already doing to the MT101 (carving the outsole from the medial arch).

He then went on to provide long discussions regarding the outsole and upper. For the outsole, he voiced his support for changing lug sizes to add durability to certain areas, but didn’t hesitate to share his thought that it would be best to provide great traction by having deeper lugs than found on the 100/101. At this stage, there were two concepts for the upper: Concept 1 was a perforated synthetic upper as seen in the production model with Concept 2 being a more traditional upper. Again, Tony voiced specific concerns and areas of excitement, especially regarding Concept 1.

It’s worth noting that, while Anton had already been involved in developing three trail models for New Balance, his detailed involvement more than a year and a half prior to the release of the MT110 was unusual. Unusual enough for him to thank New Balance for “including [him] so early in the process of building a new shoe.”

November 2010
I’d imagine that few things are as satisfying for a trail running product development team as receiving the emails Anton and Erik sent the day after they received their MT110 prototypes.

Let’s start with Erik: “…. I really like the new lugging on the outsole as it seemed to increase both the traction and the cushioning in the forefoot. The new last also holds the foot and results in a much more controlling feel on fast singletrack. Honestly, I wouldn’t stiffen up the rockplate too much as it feels pretty good with a little more flex. … Also, I like the synthetic upper – it looks sweet.”

A week and a half later, after a marathon-length training run, Erik asked for a pair in his size for the upcoming North Face race. In the same email, he noted he much preferred the perforated synthetic version to a mesh version he tried.

Among Anton’s praising thoughts from the day after receiving MT110 protos:

  • “Holy Sh!t, you guys nailed it. In all honesty, is there ANY way I could get a size 10.5 before The North Face 50 [in a month]. They are awesome in every way.”
  • “The extra lug depth does a ton for both traction and cushion on all surfaces. These things have gecko grip on rock and dig in great on looser, dusty stuff, too.”
  • “The 4mm drop basically feels flat and the color scheme is PERFECT.”
  • “Also, we gotta go for the perforated synthetic upper. It looks crazy and is awesomely effective. I love it.”

However, Anton did provide constructive feedback such as wanting the rockplate stiffened, the tongue slightly reshaped, the upper dropped a bit around the Achilles, and “a little bit bigger piece of rubber on the medial side of the heel. Like have it wrap around slightly in a somewhat horseshoe shape to include those two extra medial-ish lugs that are currently just foam.” Take a look at a pair of MT110 and you’ll see that extra bit of rubber Anton suggested.

February and March 2011
February and March saw AK and ES send a couple short notes to New Balance.

Erik pleaded for replacements for his November protos, noting “In terms of durability, comfort and, most importantly, performance, they are the best shoes I have ever run in. Nice work.”

Anton was already running in the next round of prototypes (the silver and red “Ziggy Stardust” version). He thought this version was “better looking and better performing that the ones we got awhile back,” before writing a few weeks later “[the MT110 is] seriously the all-around best shoe I’ve ever worn.”

May and June 2011
In late May and early June 2011, emails from Erik and Anton confirmed that the MT110 had hit the mark.

Erik gushed, “Well, simply put, the 110 is the best trail shoe I have ever worn. Excellent hold of the foot on technical terrain, great ground feel/cushion with the triangular lug outsole and the upper dries insanely fast with the non-absorbing synthetic upper, which allows the shoe to gain limited water weight after multiple stream crossings. Just a really good shoe.”

While Erik was not as voluminous in his feedback to NB over the previous year as Anton was, he felt he was heard and appreciated it. “As always, the New Balance design team was really receptive to any suggestions or concerns that I had with early prototypes of the 110 and I think this dynamic relationship often results in the conception of a great product.” As a shoe store employee and sponsored athlete, it was telling that he again asked for additional 110 protos.

Anton’s first note speaks of an athlete who appreciates his equipment. “In all honesty, the 110 is my favorite shoe of all time. The first pair of the 110s I got were sample size 9.5 (compared to my usual 10.5), but I liked it so much that I would tape all of my toes every single morning with duct tape just so that I could cram my feet into them and run in them every day without getting blisters. And, then, I would never send them back to you guys because I wanted to keep running in them.”

Like Erik, this note from May 2011 was also a chance for Anton to reflect on his collaboration with New Balance. “Basically, I see the 110 as the culmination of working closely with the design team for the past three years, first starting with the 100. When I first got the samples of the Minimus last and, eventually, the first prototypes a couple of years ago, I was super excited about some day using that last and those concepts – 4mm drop, snug fitting but with a broad forefoot – in a shoe with more protection and traction so that it would be a viable mountain-racing tool. The 110 is absolutely that shoe.”

He continued, “Because we’ve had so much back-and-forth and one-on-one discussions about shoes with the 100/101 and Minimus over the past three years, I think you guys really picked up on what I wanted in a shoe and the first prototype that I saw of the 110 was already very close to the perfect shoe I’ve had in mind the last couple years. With a few tweaks here and there since then, there is really hardly anything that I would change about it (possibly a slightly different lug configuration and rubber compound, but really, that’s it).”

Finally, Anton wrote, “Maybe the ultimate expression of how pleased I am with the shoe is that I make literally zero modifications to a fresh pair of 110s out of the box.  That shows me just how far we’ve come since the years of the 790 when I would get a new pair and spend 20-30 minutes cutting all kinds of stuff off them with my kitchen knife.  The 110 has everything I need–but not a stitch or a gram more–for running as quickly and efficiently and confidently as I possibly can over all kinds of variable mountain terrain.”

Both Anton and Erik positively responded to an inquiry about how long it took to break in the 110. Erik put it succinctly, “I would say the estimated break-in time is about as long as it takes you to take them out of the box and lace ’em up.”

The final email to which I’ve been privy was sent by Anton. He again confirmed that he thinks the 110 is “the best shoe out here”… but concluded “of course, there can always be improvements…” That is, the MT110 that’s just hit retailers’ shelves and your feet is not the end of the story for New Balance and its trail athletes.

Interview with Anton Krupicka

iRunFar: Anton, you’ve had input on a bunch of shoes for New Balance from the MT100 to the Minimus Trail. Do you see these as a series of discreet projects or a continuum where you go from A into B into C?

Anton Krupicka: We started out with the 100 three or four years ago.  That was the first foray into making a shoe to my and Kyle Skaggs’ specifications. At the time, we were pushing for something quite a bit more minimal than the 100 even, but Born to Run hadn’t come out yet and so the consumer market wasn’t quite there for that kind of shoe. So the 100 was sort of a minimal shoe, but pretty quickly after that came out the folks at New Balance realized that there would be a market for a barefoot simulation type shoe and that’s when the whole Minimus project came into being.

I think of it being two discrete things: the Minimus project and the 100 series. The Minimus being more about the barefoot/running-natural experience and the 100 series, I think of as more of a trail-racing flat. Having said that, the 110 is built on the same last as the Minimus shoes are. Obviously, that’s a big part of the shoe, so there’s been a marriage of the two lines at this point. I think initially they were two discrete projects.

iRF: You and Kyle Skaggs both wanted something more minimal to start with. Could you see something like the 110 when you were first talking with New Balance about the MT100?

Krupicka: Oh yeah. What the 110 is is much more what I had in mind for the shoe, but it just takes a while to get there because I was new to the whole process of designing and developing shoes and, obviously, it was a new direction for the outdoor team at New Balance. So it took a while to get to where I wanted the shoe to be. It took the third iteration, really. Part of that was also that there was the perception that there wasn’t quite the market yet back in 2008-2009 for a shoe like this. So New Balance was trying to be a little more careful by preserving the 10mm drop you saw in the 100 and keeping that more substantial platform.

iRF: Do you think you could have articulated the MT110 at that point? Or, through working with New Balance for a few years, have you grown more able to articulate or think up what you want out of a shoe?

Krupicka: A lot of it comes from becoming familiar with the kinds of materials that are available, the terminology, the actual production process in terms of bonding different materials, the different properties of different materials, like breathability, so it’s an overall familiarity with every aspect that goes into building a shoe. I still bump up against material limitations. Like right now I ‘d really like to find something like a sticky rubber that’s still semi-durable. You know there are always tweaks.

I think I’ve always been a big shoe geek and tuned into what I want on my foot so I think even three to four years ago I would have been able to articulate pretty much exactly what I wanted in a shoe, but it was a matter of all the development that’s required to come up with a completely new shoe. The 790 existed before I came to New Balance and the 110 is such a different shoe from the 790 that it’s crazy.

iRF: In the development of the 110, you were still talking about aspects of the 790 as a reference.

Krupicka: The 790 is the shoe that initially attracted Kyle and I to New Balance. At the time, it was really the only minimal racer of any kind on the market. It was 7 ounces or so and fairly low to the ground. I think it had a 10mm drop on it. But it wasn’t … Kyle and I run lots of miles and on pretty gnarly terrain and that shoe just wasn’t ready for that kind of stuff. We were blowing through those shoes pretty quickly. So that was definitely a goal of ours to make the shoe durable while still retaining its racing-flat qualities.

iRF: When you started development for the MT102 (update to the 101), what were you hoping to get out of the shoe? What was your vision for what the shoe was going to do for you? The Minimus Project was well on its way back in May 2010.

Krupicka: The MT110 is the update to the MT101. Across the board, New Balance started using a different numbering system. I had just started running in the 101 back in May 2010 and I liked it a lot. When we worked on the 100, we wanted a really simple lightweight upper and we got that. Then we realized two things. One, we came up with this really innovative heel counter/heel collar with the EVA wrap and that seemed really cool because it was kind of collapsible and it wasn’t a stiff heel counter. But for me, at least, and I think for a lot of other people, it ended up being irritating to the Achilles tendon and the heel. That was in the 101, so in the 110 I was looking to eliminate that.

Two, we had that super thin, lightweight upper in the 100 and it really negatively affected the performance of the shoe in my opinion, especially on technical terrain. It was frowzy; it didn’t hold the foot well at all because you still had a pretty substantial platform on the shoe. That was rectified a little bit in the 101. We put in some extra overlays and I thought that really helped, but the fit still wasn’t quite dialed in and that heel collar/counter was still there and that was a big source of irritation for me. So there was a lot of stuff on the upper I wanted to work on.

Then the platform, I guess the 101 was supposed to have a 10mm drop but if felt more like about 8mm to me. That was still too high, as I wanted to be a little lower to the ground in the heel for stability purposes and to keep a more natural footstrike. I think 4mm is about perfect because I think you need a little extra cush on steep downhills or late in 100 milers and that sort of thing.

I wasn’t very happy with the outsole on the 101 either. We ended up using this pretty high durometer outsole that was pretty slick, especially on rock or wet rock. The lugs weren’t nearly substantial enough for what I like to do, which is a lot of off-trail tech-y stuff.  So as you can see, it’s a lot of things. The 110 is a completely different shoe.

iRF: What kind of run do you have this in mind for? Is it supposed to be a 100-mile racing flat and an everyday training shoe?

Krupicka: My philosophy with footwear is, if you’re going to race a 100 miles in it, you should be able to train in it every day, too, because a 100 miles is a long time on your feet. I basically race and train in one shoe for ultras, because ultras are so demanding that that shoe should work in training, as well.

I wanted to build an as-close-to-perfect-as-possible, mountain-running shoe.  Something that would be versatile, but would be as comfortable as possible on hard-packed trail as it would be on tundra-type stuff or scrambling on rocks and that sort of thing. That’s really tough to do. It’s really tough to have that versatility in a shoe. The 110 gets about as close as you can to that sort of versatility. In terms of a 100-mile racing flat, it might be just a touch thin still for someone like myself who’s looking to go as fast as possible for 100 miles. But that’s another trial and error type thing. On a course like Rocky Raccoon it was totally fine, but my buddy Joe [Grant] wore them for Hardrock last year and Hardrock is about as gnarly as it gets, so you’ll probably feel a few more rocks. This year [at Hardrock], I’ll probably switch out at Grouse [aid station]; I’ll probably put on a fresh pair.

iRF: You’re not going to go with one pair [at Hardrock] like Kyle [Skaggs] did?

Krupicka: Yeah, he only wore one pair, he went with the 790s. The funny thing about that is they were a custom pair. We had the durometer cranked way high in the midsole of that shoe, so it was actually pretty protective. Kyle didn’t care about the outsole lugging as much as I do, so the 790 outsole was really minimal. There was hardly any lugging going on there. He just didn’t really care. He’d ripped off the lugs by the time the race was over. *laughing*

iRF: How do you find the 110s perform on the road?

Krupicka: The 110 is the first trail shoe I’d be comfortable doing a track workout in. It’s really responsive and low to the ground and fast. The lugs, while they’re pretty aggressive, they’re not too high so you don’t get the tippy, mushy feeling that you get from [some other heavily-lugged trail shoes]. They are aggressive enough that you get pretty solid traction on the trails. So I really like them on the road.

iRF: In the emails I read on the 110, it seems like you had input on the ideation, the key features, the inspiration of elements, the feedback for initial concepts from Brian [Gothie, the product manager], as well as the feedback on a few rounds of prototypes. Can you walk me through the broad steps you were involved in with development?

Krupicka: February or March of 2010 was the first time I saw any CAD drawings of the update. That was when we were still calling it the 102. There are a number of designers, Brian Gothie and Steve Norton were two of the guys working on it. They would send me a CAD drawing. They were talking about a soccer boot being an inspiration. That’s why we had the full synthetic leather upper laser-perfed. I’d take the CAD drawing like this is where the shoe is right now and I’d just make a huge list in a long email and send it back to those guys so they could go over it. So, before we start putting it together, we can start tweaking it more to what I’d like to see in the shoe, which is really nice. Then a prototype comes out.

The first prototype I got was in November 2010, well actually at OR last year we were looking at plaster molds of the platform and that’s just super helpful. Obviously, you have no idea how it’s going to work, but at least you can see what it might look like, what we’re working on. I had a really extensive conversation with Brian Gothie and Chris Wawrousek. Then, in November, I finally got a prototype and in the beginning they were trying to decide if they should go with this fairly radical upper design of the perfed full synthetic leather upper like a soccer boot model or should they stick with the standard mesh with synthetic leather overlays. So they sent one of each and I fell in love with the synthetic leather upper right from the start for two reasons. One, it holds the foot super well. There’s none of that lateral action that goes on with the 100. Two, it’s just super bombproof; it just never wears out. I’ve put 500-600 miles on the 110 and it just doesn’t go anywhere. It’s just a really solid shoe. I’ve had issues with that in the past where I blow out the uppers on shoes way before the midsole or outsole is gone and that’s super frustrating. This shoe is the opposite in that the upper lasts longer than the midsole or outsole. So that’s where that was.

From there, there were just a lot of other tweaks. The outsole is a little different to begin with. We decided to wrap the heel outsole rubber a little more. We ended up beefing up the lateral outsole lugs because that’s where I really destroy shoes with kind of a midfoot/forefoot strike.

iRF: You were talking about how all the other forefoot and midfoot lugs were scooped.

Krupicka: That was specifically because they looked at my wear pattern on other shoes and felt that was a high wear area for my gait pattern. We probably traded back 3-4 more iterations of the prototype before it got to where it pretty much is now just tweaking little things here and there. We changed the overlay through the arch that ended up being different than the original one, not the overlay but the perforation through there. It just goes back and forth. They make little cosmetic changes but the more structural, meat-of-the-shoe aspects had to pass my fitting first, or at least it seems like it. I’m super happy with the way it turned out.

iRF: Along that prototyping phase were there any steps backwards?

Krupicka: Not really. Once there’s a change made it’s usually more of a tweak than anything so you’re not doing anything huge to the shoe. But here’s an example of that.

The very first prototypes we had one with the mesh and synthetic overlays and one [fully] synthetic leather. The first one had a tongue that was synthetic leather and we ended up making the tongue with standard mesh like you have on any other shoe because for some reason having the tongue also be synthetic leather doubled the price of the upper. I’m not sure why. But then, performance-wise, it wasn’t as breathable and it also kind of bunched a bit because of your foot shape and the curves through there. It was tougher to dial it in. But that’s always been kind of an issue.

We had a different internal liner, as well. There was kind of a mesh liner in there, because we wanted to make it be able to be worn sockless. I think we kind of had a fuzzier liner to begin with, but then I realized these shoes were taking days to dry out after a single run. So we changed the liner, perfed the liner, which made it breathe a lot better and the tongue was mesh, no longer [synthetic] leather, and that helped a lot with the breathability of the shoe. So we reverted from a full leather upper to a mesh tongue instead.

iRF: When did you start becoming aware of or being told about the cost of different aspects of a shoe?

Krupicka: The first time that came to my attention was the first time Kyle and I began getting custom tweaks to the 790. That pair that [Kyle] wore at Hardrock – actually, they made three pairs for each of us – I remember Bryan Gothie saying if they went to market with this shoe it would be $300 shoe, because they used some fancy hydrophobic liner material that was designed to be worn barefoot, drain a lot better, and not soak up water. That’s really important in a race like Hardrock. That was the first time I was like, “Really?”

It’s funny because different materials can cost way more when it doesn’t seem like its performance benefits are at all tangible even. It’s so crazy to me that New Balance can still make a shoe like the 100 series at $75-80 when almost every other shoe on the market is over $100. I don’t know what the difference is there, but…

iRF: Did your involvement with the 110 differ significantly from your involvement with the 100 series or the Minimus Trail?

Krupicka: Not really. I guess with the 110 it was particularly gratifying because it was the culmination of three years of work. You can think of the 100, 101, and the 110 as three separate shoes but for me it’s been this… okay, we put out the 101 and we’re already thinking about the 110, what didn’t we get right in 101. It’s kind of just been this long project for me.

With the Minimus, it was pretty much the same but the objective was different. The objective there was a barefoot simulation shoe that (a) was semi-protective and you could actually wear it on trails for someone who is not comfortable in the FiveFingers, and (b) is a bit more responsible so we should be offering a little more cush in the heel, a 4mm drop instead of a 0mm drop right away. So we wanted to look for that middle ground from a shoe like the 100 or the Peregrine and the FiveFingers. So it was just a much different objective. So for the 100, 101, 110, I was always thinking about an everyday trainer/racer type shoe and here it was more like a training tool, a supplemental shoe.

iRF: In some MT110 developmental emails, you mentioned the 110 was the best shoe you’ve ever worn. Did you feel that same way about the 100, 101, and the Minimus?

Krupicka: No, the 110 is by far the shoe I’ve been most happy with the end product. I guess the 100 and 101 I always had a few things I wished I could improve upon. The 110 is definitely the most perfectly realized shoe in my mind that we’ve come up with yet. The Minimus is different because I don’t think of it like an everyday trail running/mountain running shoe, it’s more of a training tool. When I’m running a lot, I’m wearing it almost every day, but I don’t take it on a long mountain run. So the 110 is definitely different in that respect, I’m really happy with it.

iRF: Would you still say today that the 110 is the best shoe you’ve ever worn?

Krupicka: Yeah, for sure.

iRF: I thought it was entertaining that you were taping your feet to fit in the 9.5 sample size.

Krupicka: Yeah, that was crazy. I was taping each of my toes with duct tape every morning.

iRF: Were you anxiously awaiting a properly sized pair of the previous shoes or is this something special with the 110? Were you asking, “Can you get me a pair of 10.5?” before The North Face Challenge.

Krupicka: I was just so excited about this shoe that I was willing to wear the sample size. I did a 50-mile long run in the 9.5’s with my toes taped and I was ready to do that last year for TNF Challenge because I really liked the shoe. It was just a whole other level of performance than even the 101, which I’d been happy with. I wore the 101 during Western States 100 last year and was super happy with the way it worked, but the 110 I just liked way more.

iRF: As of last May you weren’t modifying the 110’s, is that still the case where you just put them on out of the box and go?

Krupicka: Oh yeah, there’s nothing to tweak on them. All my tweaks were designed into them so there’s nothing to cut off, nothing extra. You’ve seen the shoe, there’s not a lot extra going on with it. It’s perfect. Going even so far as to not put rubber on the midfoot – it’s pretty huge.

iRF: It’s very unique of New Balance to expose that midfoot area and accept that there’s going to be some wear and tear there, but from a performance perspective allow you to make that change.

Krupicka: I guess I just convinced them to go for it. I don’t use that part of my foot a lot and it cuts a lot of weight from the shoe. The rubber’s the heaviest part of the shoe, so if you reduce that you’re going to reduce the weight a lot.

iRF: Is there a difference in performance between the prototypes you start testing and the production models?

Krupicka: No, absolutely not. They’re really good. I was happy with the production models because they fit right.

iRF: Per your email with New Balance, you’re looking to improve the outsole some, are there any other areas you’re looking to improve?

Krupicka: Mainly the outsole, the durability, the traction, which comes with the durability. The more durable it is, the longer the traction stays good on the shoe. I want a little more spacing between lugs maybe so it sheds mud better and bites better on loose off-trail stuff.

iRF: How much satisfaction do you get from putting on a pair of shoes that you don’t have to modify and you were such a part of?

Krupicka: It’s very satisfying to see a concept and a project through to fruition especially since it’s that one piece of gear that’s pretty essential. I really get geeked out on it, so it’s very satisfying.

iRF: Is it the same thing when someone writes a great review of a shoe you worked on or someone comes up to you at a race and says, “I really love the Minimus Trail!”

Krupicka: Yeah, absolutely, because products or shoes are a common thread through the running community, it’s a nice way to impact the community as a whole. I also try to do that through blog posts and giving talks and, hopefully, inspiring people and motivating people. Product development is definitely a way you can shape someone’s experience out on the trail so hopefully it’s for the good.

iRF: Can you explain why you like having a 4mm drop for an everyday trainer or a 100-mile racing shoe?

Krupicka: A 0mm drop shoe feels really good on, too, like the Minimus series with the double zeros. I think it’s weird how people say, “Oh that shoe that only has 4-6mm drop is not as protective as 10-12mm drop.” The ratio has nothing to do with the protection unless you are crashing down on your heels, I suppose, you’re not going to have as much cushion on the heel as you would otherwise.

If you’re at all worried about the drop, you’re probably concerned with the way your foot is functioning and you’re probably considering yourself with a midfoot strike so the heel cushioning probably isn’t that big of a deal. But having said that, late in a 100-mile race you can get tired, obviously, for about the last 20 miles or so, your form breaks down. So it’s nice to have that [4mm]… to keep the training wheels on a little bit with those couple extra millimeters. So if your foot plant is moving back a little on the foot, you’ll have that cushion there.

It seems like having that touch of extra drop also makes the shoe more dynamic. It seems more responsive for some reason. I don’t know if it’s just that there’s more material underfoot or what, but it’s nice, too.

iRF:  Just to confirm, you’re wearing straight off-the-shelf 110’s? It isn’t some special New Balance just- for-Tony shoe?

Krupicka: Yes. Off the shelf and out of the box. It’s probably the first shoe since I started running ultras that that’s the case that I don’t do anything to it.

iRF:  Can you define the word “frowzy” for me?

Krupicka: The lack of structural stability in the upper. That’s an Erik Skaggs term. Especially when you’re running downhill on technical, off-camber stuff where your foot is shifting slightly off the platform. The shoe just isn’t holding your foot on the platform, then it’s “frowzy.”

Interview with Erik Skaggs

iRunFar: Erik, when did you become a New Balance Outdoor Ambassador?

Erik Skaggs: I’ve officially been a New Balance Ambassador for three years now.

iRF: Before that, were you unofficially in the New Balance family since your brother, Kyle, was an ambassador?

Skaggs: Yeah, I was kinda unofficially there.

iRF: You’re familiar with the whole process from the MT100 and even before that, right?

Skaggs: Yeah, exactly.

iRF: When did you become involved in the development process?

Skaggs: It started when Tony [Krupicka] and Kyle were first running for New Balance. They were both running in the 790 and that changed into the 100. I definitely started helping develop with the 100 and, then, into the 101 which, obviously, eventually evolved into the 110, so it’s been a few years as far as the evolution of the shoe.

iRF: Do you see your involvement with New Balance as a series of discrete projects developing shoes or has it been an ongoing process along a continuum?

Skaggs: I think it’s ongoing, because they’re always asking for input as far as where the shoe is going. As far as companies go, they’re really receptive to ideas we have as far as actually seeing those ideas come to fruition in the shoe, so it’s really nice.

iRF: When you started working with New Balance on the 100, could you see something like the 110?

Skaggs: No, it evolved from one shoe to the next and the improvements you could make to it. The 100 and 101 are pretty similar as far as the shoe. The 110 is quite a big jump from the 101, obviously. It’s quite a bit different, although I think it’s a huge improvement. I don’t think it’s something they had in mind. I think it evolved continuously.

iRF: It takes a vocabulary and an acute eye to suggest improvements to a shoe design. Were you always a shoe geek or did you become more informed as you were in this process?

Skaggs: I definitely became more informed on the shoe vernacular as I started working more with New Balance. You don’t have a lot of gear in running. The one piece that’s pretty important, obviously, is the shoe, so it’s definitely something you pay attention to. As far as actually speaking specifically about aspects of the shoes being able to give them input, my thought process definitely changed quite a bit the past couple years.

iRF: When you started to get involved in the 110, what role did you see that shoe filling?

Skaggs: I wanted a little more in the forefoot than the 101. Thought the forefoot was more rigid in the 101. They changed that up significantly. The 110 is such a different shoe that I think it’s hard to compare the two. It’s on a different last. The outsole is completely different. It’s very different.

Some of the things I was looking for were a little more in the forefoot, not necessarily protection, but maybe I wanted it to be a touch softer, which they were able to accomplish with the lug pattern and the foam they used, which is really nice because not only do you get more cushioning, you also get much better traction.

iRF: When you were saying the 100 was rigid, you were talking about the rockplate and durometer rather than flexibility.

Skaggs: Exactly.

iRF: What sort of runs were you hoping to end up being able to do in this shoe? Were you thinking about 100ks? Were you thinking of an everyday training shoe?

Skaggs: I like to wear what I’m going to run every day in is also what I like to race in, because, sometimes, especially in longer races, when you train in one shoe and then switch to another one you can put strain on different muscle groups.

This shoe, I can wear it every day, day in and day out, and be just fine. I think the drop is just about right. It’s not totally flat. I like having a little bit; I like my foot to be a little slanted. It’s still great for a midfoot or forefoot strike, which is what it was engineered for. There’s enough traction and protection there that you can wear it. I think you can easily wear this up to the 100-mile distance, for sure. There’s definitely more shoe there than the 101.

iRF: It’s interesting to hear you say you like the 4mm drop, as Tony said he likes the 4 mm drop specifically for the 100-mile distance. With your longest race to date being a 100k, do you think that’s a sweet spot?

Skaggs: I think a little bit of drop isn’t a bad thing. The MT110 feels a pretty flat. I think having that little bit of drop – 4 to 5mm – is pretty ideal.

iRF: Can you walk us through the steps of you collaborating with New Balance on the 110?

Skaggs: I didn’t see as much of the concept of this shoe. I saw a few early design pictures and they looked really good, but it’s so hard. A shoe can look good in a picture, but you’ve got to have it in your hand and on your feet to check it out and see what you think.

The biggest part of the process started when we got those first samples and were able to take them out and see how they performed. It was really good right away.

We got a couple samples. One didn’t have the synthetic upper we went with. It was more of a standard mesh upper, but the synthetic upper holds the foot really well, it doesn’t hold water, so that was really nice. It really conforms to the foot. That’s were the process really started.

iRF:  It doesn’t seem to be a process were New Balance starts down one path and you’re just tweaking it one way or the other. They presented two very different paths.

Skaggs: Yeah, we could have gone either way, but I think both of us decided pretty quickly that we really liked that synthetic upper.

iRF: What are some of the specific recommendations you made as these prototypes were coming off the line?

Skaggs: I didn’t have a whole bunch of suggestions.

They raised the lug height on the lateral side of the forefoot. We brought that down a touch on the outside lateral edge because it was built up a little more than the ones I have now. I think that felt weird when I was running and now it lays down better.

We added more breathability to the upper by adding more perforations.

There weren’t a many changes off that first sample. It came to me as a pretty good shoe initially. It was nice to not have many objections.

iRF: How does that compare to the suggestions for the 101?

Skaggs: I had a lot more suggestions between the 100 and 101. As a response, they increased the number of overlays to hold the foot onto the platform better. They also lowered the foam heel counter that could rub on the Achilles. I had much less to say with what they could do to the 110 prototypes.

iRF: Seeing this final product, are there any features of this shoe that you can say are your own that maybe Tony and Kyle weren’t pushing for?

Skaggs: *laughs* I think we push for a lot of the same things.

I was really excited with the midsole and outsole. The rubber is a little bit softer, which makes it a lot stickier, and the diamond lug shape pattern just seems to work really well on anything from rocky terrain to loose, decomposed granite, which is a lot of what I run on around here, even to roads. The shoe transitions really well to pavement and most people are running at least a little road to get to the trails.

iRF: In reading the development emails, throughout the process you were saying this is the best trail shoe you’ve ever worn. Were you saying that when you go the first MT100 and MT101?

Skaggs: I didn’t think I said that was the best shoe I’d ever worn. This one just fit my foot a lot better. That new last holds your foot down, it doesn’t move over the platform, which is sometimes what I had a problem with in the 100 and the 101. It’s a very snug fit between the upper and the Minimus last.

Ideally, you want a shoe that you’re not really thinking about when you’re running – you’re just cruising – and they nailed it with this thing. You’re not thinking about your feet too much, which is nice.

iRF: Is this still the best shoe you’ve ever run in?

Skaggs: I work in a running store, so, obviously, I get to try on lots of different shoes. I don’t get to run in all of them, but in terms of initial fit and the little running I do in those shoes, the 110 is by far the best trail shoe I’ve ever worn and it’s better than 99% of the road shoes, even road flats, which are meant to fit pretty snug and feel pretty good. I think it excels in lots of varying terrain, which is pretty unique as far as a trail shoe goes.

iRF: Throughout the process, you seem to have been eager to get additional pairs of the 110 whether it was to get your proper size for The North Face 50 or after having beaten up your early protos by last summer. You surely have a ton of shoes, do you often find yourself asking New Balance for more samples?

Skaggs: I always want more shoes as I’m always putting a lot of miles on them. It’s a great fitting shoe. I don’t want to run in anything else if I can avoid it.

iRF: How do you find the shoes to wear?

Skaggs: Outsole-wise, I think a lot of that is dependent on where you’re running. I know Tony and I are running on pretty different terrain. Around Ashland, the trails are mostly decomposed granite, so they’re not super abrasive. On that, the wear’s not bad at all. I’m not the best person about keeping track of mileage on my shoes, but when I’m running a lot of miles, I don’t rotate shoes, I just run straight through a pair and these seem to hold up really well.

I had one case where I jammed my foot straight into a stick and it put a hole in that synthetic upper. I continued to run another 150 miles in that shoe and the hole didn’t get any bigger.

iRF: Are the 110s straight off the production line? Do you modify them at all?

Skaggs: Mine are straight off the line. I don’t have any specific modifications from New Balance or myself. Just out of the box, lace them up, ready to go.

iRF: How much do you enjoy slipping on a pair of shoes you were involved in and end up being the best trail shoe you’ve ever worn?

Skaggs: It’s a pretty good feeling to know that you helped in some way to bring about a shoe that just fits and performs really well. Going back to the fact that in running you don’t have a lot of gear, which is why it’s a nice pursuit – it’s simple. You just need a pair of shoes and shorts for the most part and you can go and have a good time. Being part of producing something that’s simple but very effective for cruising around on the trails is nice.

iRF: So the silver and red colorway of your model of the 110 is quite distinct, did you have any role in choosing those colors?

Skaggs: Yeah, Brian Gothie gave us a couple color options. I don’t remember my other color options, but I thought the silver and red was the best choice there.

iRF:  I think people call it the Ziggy Stardust.

Skaggs: That’s good. I like that!

iRF: In talking with Tony, he was talking about how the uppers of the MT100s were flimsy, but he used a word he attributed to you – frowzy. What is frowzy?

Skaggs: Frowzy is just kind of sloppy. That’s probably the best way to describe it.

iRF: Where would you put the MT110 on the frowzy scale?

Skaggs: The MT110 is a zero to a one on the frowzy scale – not much frowziness. Low frowziness.

iRF: Is there anything that stood out in the development of the 110?

Skaggs: Not anything in particular. It’s just nice working with a company that really does listen. I’ve definitely been around shoe companies that don’t listen as much to ambassador or athlete insight. It’s pretty refreshing to actually see that insight come about in a fairly quick process. The turn around in shoe design can take a long time. It’s always pretty quick with New Balance, which is nice.

iRF: You have this great shoe in the 110 that’s just coming out, so the next development cycle is starting. What are you telling New Balance to work on for 2013?

Skaggs: That’s a really good question. I’ve just been enjoying this shoe so much that I’m not sure I have too many huge recommendations as of yet. They might change something up or, I don’t know, at this point I wouldn’t change a whole bunch on this shoe really. It just feels really good. It fits well. It runs well. It’s durable. It’s a nice combination of traction and it’s really light, but it doesn’t beat my feet up.

iRF: Have you ever found yourself, whether it was when your brother was more involved or, now, with you and Tony on the lead, disagreeing on certain aspects?

Skaggs: Yeah, I’m the one who’s always pushing for a little more forefoot cushioning. I think Tony kind of likes the higher lug on the lateral edge because his strike pattern comes in on that side and then rolls in so it gave him a little more traction there or a good feel. He likes a very minimal feel.

I’m always the one pushing for a just a little bit more in the forefoot. I’m definitely a midfoot to forefoot striker and I like a little bit more under my forefoot than Tony does. Other than that, we don’t disagree too much.

iRF: Do you think that both you and Tony got what you wanted in the 110?

Skaggs: Yeah, that outsole pattern, you’re not gaining any weight, but those lugs are a little softer and a little bigger, so the lugs themselves act like shock absorbers so it gives you a little bit more cushioning… and a world of difference in traction.

iRF: What kind of races have you run in the 110?

Skaggs: I’ve run everything from 5k trail races up to 50k in the 110. That’s a pretty big range of racing and they’ve been great all the way through there. I’ve used them in straight mountain-running stuff, really technical fast downhill running.

iRF: Where will we see you in your 110’s next year?

Skaggs: I’m finishing up a Masters degree in teaching so I’ll be pretty busy until then. I do think I’ll get out and run Chuckanut 50k again. I haven’t had a really great race there yet and I’d like to have a good one one of these days. Beyond that, I’m not quite sure. I’m looking at maybe White River 50-mile mid-summer and see where it goes from there.

New Balance MT110 Giveaway [CONTEST OVER!]

Now that you’ve heard about Anton and Erik’s input into the development of the New Balance MT110, you may want to try a pair. Well, five lucky iRunFar readers will get to run in the MT110/WT110 courtesy of New Balance.

[The contest has ended] To enter, leave a comment on iRunFar.com itself with your name and where you live. (Email subscribers, you must go to iRunFar.com and leave a comment there to enter. Simply replying neither leaves a comment on iRunFar nor enters you in the contest.) PLEASE include your email when filling out the comment form so we can contact you if you win. Your email is private (it is not displayed) and will not be used for any other purpose. The contest ends at 11:59 p.m. MST on Wednesday, January 18.

If you’ve got a blog or website, please consider sharing this contest with your readers. (Might I also suggest you consider adding iRunFar to your blogroll or linking to it in your sidebar.) You can also easily share this contest (or any other iRunFar article) with others by clicking the Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and email buttons below. The final button allows you to share an iRunFar story via a multitude of other means, including Digg and Stumbleupon.

The Winners

  • Jared Bybee, Provo, Utah
  • James Hong, Penang, Malaysia
  • Charles Moman, Seymor, Indiana
  • Robin S, Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Wilson Martinez, Union City, California

Call For Comments

I’ve received a ton of great information from New Balance regarding the MT110’s development. I’ve also spoken at length with both Anton Krupicka and Erik Skaggs on the subject. Please ask away. I’ll do my best to make substantive comments accessible amidst all the contest entries.

There are 1,062 comments

  1. Tim

    Great article Bryon. Cool to see the history and input into the making of the shoe. Can't wait to try a pair on the forested trails here in Central Ohio.

  2. David

    Nice article Bryon. Good news the hear about the MT 110's performance on the road. After reading about the development process I'm happy to pay $85 for these shoes.

    David in Ashburn, VA

  3. Dave

    Very interesting read. I live in Bryn Mawr, PA, near your old stomping grounds. I need a good off road shoe for those crazy Mt. Penn races Ron Horn puts on in Reading, so put my name in the hat!

  4. Jake Lopez

    Just leave a comment?! And enter to win shoezlez?! Well, alright, say I from Ventura, CA. I do like the idea of a little more forefoot cush, and something between a Peregrine and VFF (well, I run in Trail Gloves also actually) sounds good if that's the case. =]

    Well, also, a little shout out to Anton; I knew he was okay when he posted a clip of Animal Collective (in like Poland) on his blog. Well done.

  5. Torsten

    It#s so cool

    Reading and being a little part of the development of the new NB. :-)

    It seems to be trial and error but hi-tec-engineering too.

    And I know for sure how difficult it is to find THE ONE and ONLY SHOE, especially in TRAILRUNNING

    Greetz Torsten

  6. Kuba Krause

    Thanks for great insight of the subject.

    I've been running in Minimus trail and simply love it. If there was a chance to try on MT110, I would swim across the Atlantic ocean right away from Poland where I live.

    Kuba Krause

    Poznan, Poland

    (yep, the country in Europe)

  7. Blake

    I went for my first run in the MT110s on Sunday. The new lug pattern works so much better on east coast (wet, rocky, leaf covered) trails than the 101s.

  8. Blair Mann

    Cool article Bryon. A friend of mine just tried out a pair and said they are fantastic. The grippiest shoe he has ever used on the trails and he has tried a lot of shoes. I would love to have a pair, hope you draw my name ;) I am in Atlantic Canada (NB).

  9. Jason Devine

    Whoa, I don't know who is more excited to put those things on, my left foot or my right. "Me." "No me." "I said ME first." "Thats the only thing your first in, ya slow poke. I am more excited!" – Argument brewing between my feet about the MT 110s. Let's settle this in Shelby North Carolina.

  10. Matthew Walker

    Awesome. Always have been a fan of NB. Also really dug the interview with Anton. Makes me want to run more.

    Hagerstown, Maryland

  11. Tarzan

    Dude-this is great news! I love New Balance Trail shoes and can not wait to scoop up a pair or 5 of these….great article and always great to see real runners being able to develop a shoe that works and also functions in the world of trail running. You guys rock! Good Work Bryon!

  12. Vanessa Groff

    My first light weight shoe was the MT100, but the 101's for some reason were too wide. I was very excited to hear about this shoe but in the interim I started running in Brooks True Grit…..I would LOVE…do you hear me LOVE to try out this shoe!!!

    Vanessa Groff

    Alton,IL

  13. Shelly L

    So glad to see the shoe manufacturers are reaching out for advice on the development of running shoes. Thanks for representing us Anton & Erik!

    Thank you Bryon for the giveaway and great blog!

    Shelly L.

    Mechanicsburg, PA

  14. Bob

    Looks like just the in between shoe I have been looking for. Hopefully the sticky rubber is as good as Anton thinks since we have lots of red clay down in Georgia.

    Bob

    Woodstock, GA

  15. Fawn Simpson

    I love that NB actually listened to real runners to re-shape the 110. I think there is a lot to be said also for the runners willing to take the time to test out and provide feedback for the protoypes. Great job on the article.

  16. Nathan Cockrell

    The 101 has been my favorite for the last year and I've been waiting for the 110 for some time now. Can't wait to actually put them on my feet.

    Nathan

    New York, NY

  17. Deana Hoffman

    As a total shoe geek and lover of the NB WT101s, the story of the development process of the 110s is really exciting to read! Thanks!
    Deana Hoffman, Eau Claire, WI

  18. Andy Kennedy

    I'm a long time New Balance runner. I put as many of the runners that i train in them as possible. I love the minimus trail shoes and have worn and raced in them through their progress. I'm looking forward to the most recent edition!

    Andy Kennedy
    Multisport Fitness, LLC

  19. Jake

    Thanks for the research and the story. We runners tend to care about the process and the journey at least as much as the end result and destination, right?

    Longmont, CO

  20. Spencer V

    These honestly look like, from what I've seen and the heard, the perfect mountain running shoe. I would like a little less weight, just since I think almost 8 ounces is a little heavy in my opinion, but what can you do.

    Spencer

    Spokane, Washington

  21. Ralph

    Bryon: Thanks for the interviews into the development of the 110s with AK and ES. Great insight from two great runners and their interface with NB. Enter me in the contest as my MT10s with 400 miles are ready for upgrade.

    Melrose, MA

  22. Tim W.

    Great article!! MT110 will be at the top of my list for my next pair of trail shoes. Looking forward to meeting Anton this evening in Charlotte, NC, and hear him talk more about the 110s.

    Tim W. – Charlotte, NC

  23. Jonathan d'Auge

    I cannot wait to run in these shoes. I live in Louisiana so there are no mountain terrains but there is plenty of woodland trails and I love my mt20.

    Jonathan d'Augereau
    Abbeville, Louisiana

  24. Dave A.

    Super stoked to get my feet into a pair of these. I've ran and raced in both the MT100s and MT101s. My 101s are torn to shreds from this past weekends 50k, not too happy about having to toss them in the gargbage. Hopefully, the new models durability is a bit better!

  25. Christopher Wiley

    The New Balance trail shoes seem like the ultimate trail shoes. I have been wanting them for the last year. Now I have got to do something about that as I have at least 2 trail races I am going to do this year. Would be nice to win a pair of the shoes Anton designed!

    Lewisville, TX

  26. Jason Reed- Bay City

    I have been running for the last 1 1/2 years in the MT101 and Minimus Trail 10. I have been waiting for this shoe to come out and plan on running plenty of ultras in the years to come while sporting these new shoes. Cant wait!

  27. Jeff Hainlen

    Excellent piece on the development of the shoes, the interviews were extremely enlightening. Great words on the process from both the guys as well as some training tips hidden in there that I'll be incorporating into my first 100 training. I've been running in the Minimus for several months and love them, but I can definitely see the need for a slightly enhanced shoe for the longer distances, after 30-40 miles it can be a little trying. Can't wait to give them a look when they hit the stores!

    Jeff

    Bloomington, MN

    1. Bryon Powell

      Brett, I"m assuming this will be buried in a couple seconds, but I'm leading another PC visitor on a run tomorrow afternoon. Something in the 8-12 miler range. Contact me if you're interested.

  28. Adrian

    When the Minimus line came out it was kind of marketed as though that was the show that Anton wanted and would be doing his training in whereas it now looks more like it was a reaction to the popularity of fivefingers. I actually just got a pair of trail minimus and really like them, but wouldn't want to race or do anything too long in them. Because I like the minimus I think I'd like these too.

    I'd love to see a comparison between these and the Killian Salomons that are being released soon.

  29. Oscar

    It is really worrh reading theough the long post to see how NB has taken into account all the feedback from such good trail runners as Anton and Eric. I am jealous I cannot wear any of those shoes as I am size 15 and they are only up to size 14. I got yesterday a pair of mix masters which I hope will be my killer trail shoe, but would be much glantonrun in a pair of the new NB. Congrats for the good work

  30. Levente Dorogi

    Hi Lads,

    That is the kind of insider article that I wanted to hear. Great story, and a lot of work. I am preparing for one of the toughest races here in Europe, cannot wait to get a hand on them 110s. I was a bit worried about the slight side shifting of the sole what you can read in reviews, but I think it is not going to be an issue. Well done for the creation of this shoes, have been looking for this for many years.

    Nice, France

    Levente Dorogi

  31. Edward O'Reilly

    These shoes sound sweet! Just wish they were being released before the HK100 so I could race in them. Can't wait to get my mits on them.

  32. Donna B.

    Can't wait to try a pair of these. Felt same that 100;s are a bit beefy and actually rolled an ankle in them so the 110's caught my attention early. Thanks!!

  33. Kirby Russell

    Ran my first 100 mile race in November {Pinhoti} in MT101's never changing shoes once & didnt have any foot problems.Cant wait to run my 2nd 100 miler in the MT110's.Size 10 please !!! Knoxville,TN.

  34. Bryan Hojnacki

    Bryan Hojnacki

    Harrisburg, NC

    I can't wait to give these a try. Anton is giving a talk in Charlotte tonight. I hope the NB rep has some samples to try.

    Just tried the Pure project shoes and like what I feel. I have learned to wait for the next thing before making decisions. If I didn't Id have more shoes than my wife.

  35. Jon

    Looks like a great update. Training for my first 50 miler in May. Would love to rock a pair of these for the big day.

    Jon K

    Oakville, ON, Canada

  36. Kim Landrum

    Thank you for providing such a thorough and detailed account of the evolution of the 110. As an athlete I appreciate the story behind the story and the true collaboration. Best!

  37. Ed R

    Great article Bryon. Thanks for all the hard work you put into irunfar… it's a great resource for the ultra community. Now I'm heading out into the snow for my morning run!

    Ed R.

    Boulder, CO

  38. Marc Thomson

    These shoes sound like quite an improvement over the previous models. It's good to see a shoe company so responsive to the input of its customers. I'm looking forward to winning a pair for my first 50k. :)

    Marc Thomson

    Phoenix, Arizona

  39. Doug Welch

    Great article! I loved reading everything that went into the development of this shoe! I can't wait to get my hands on a pair! #shoenerd

    Doug Welch

    Shrewsbury, MA

  40. Jay Murphy

    I hope I am one of the lucky ones to win a pair of these shoes. I tried the mt101's and loved them, but they were to narrow for me. I have been looking forward to the mt110 since I heard about them.

    Jay Murphy

    Overland Park, KS

  41. Cole C.

    Love the article! The Minimus has been one of my trail favorites up to the 25mi mark but the 110 appears to be the shoe that will replace my Minimus and handle the ultra (for me). Anton and NB get it!

  42. jcazz

    Interesting interviews -thanks. My WT100's are circling the drain -These look like the perfect shoe for my first 100 miler, the Viaduct 100 in July. Women's 9.5 or men's 7.5/8.

    Julie Caswell

    Raymond, Maine

  43. Steve K

    As always I love your reviews; I love my Minimus Trails but sometimes need something more substantial, so would love to rock a pair of these as well.

    Steve K.

    Phoenixville, PA

  44. Chris Price

    Definitely excited to try these out since I loved the 101's. I did find them (101's) to be lacking a little cushion for longer runs, especially on long hard downhill sections. I'm hoping the 110's will be better here. If not, they'll be a great shorter distance racing shoe and training shoe.

    I'm definitely looking forward to the MT1010's!

    I like my new Brooks Pure Grit, but they are a bit "frowzy."

  45. Jorge

    The only problem I had with the MT101s is the tip of the shoe would start peeling off, I would like to know if this has been addressed or circumvented on the new MT110.

    Thanks for the great article irunfar.

    Jorge

    Round Rock, TX

  46. Joel

    @Jorge – Absolutely, the toe design is very different this time around.

    I'd love to see more content like this in future, Bryon!

    Joel

    Austin, TX

  47. Curt

    I've been nearly exclusive with using Salomon trailshoes for the past 10 years. I've been reading so much about this new New Balance that I can't help but want to check them out for myself.

    Curt Krieger

    Mason City, Iowa

  48. Sarah

    All I run is trails and have been looking for a shoe like this for years! Can't wait to try it! Do you ever foresee a waterproof/goretex version?

  49. pat

    Ah, this article is really dorky and really, really excellent! Thank you!

    I hope I win a pair of these shoes, because otherwise: I am positive we won't be getting these here in Chile anytime soon.

    thanks again, bryon and irunfar!

    -Patrick T.

    Talca, Chile

  50. Christine Weber

    Those guys are amazing and I enjoy reading their experience and what they think if the product. Thanks for posting this article and I'd LOVE to try a pair!

  51. Zachary Branigan

    Zak Branigan

    Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Bryon…I've been following a good long time and I have already added you to my blogroll on http://www.averageblog.org. I actually interviewed Tony K. earlier this week and we mentioned briefly the MT110 development process. Thanks for this excellent post! I also mentioned your blog in my David Riddle interview.

    Zak

  52. Rusty

    I've got a pair of the MT101s that are my everyday all purpose shoes. I've run road races and trail races in them. I've even worn them to work. They are THE most comfortable shoes I own. I can't wait to get into a pair of the MT110s. Great work NB and great article Byron.

  53. Shawn

    Thanks. It was very interesting to see some of the behind the scenes process for making these shoes. I'm looking forward to giving them a shot.
    Leesburg, VA

  54. Anthony Brantley

    Great article, these shoes have been on my radar. After reading the article I look forward to trying them out.

    New Balance has really been putting out great shoes recently. I tried the 890 recently. It is my new go to shoe, replacing my Nike Peg's, which I've wore for years.

    AB

    Orangevale Ca.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Anthony, I'm a big fan of the NB 890, as well. I'm a longtime Asics 2XX0 series runner (all the way back to the 2040), but now use the 890 for a majority of my road runs… and some of my trail runs, too.

  55. Kate Kacs

    great article and interviews- huge insight into the makings of a shoe. after reading this, i'd be interested in trying a pair for myself, though i have avoided the minimal shoe as much as possible

    Pittsburgh, Pa

  56. David Fausel

    Wow great article Bryon! I have been doing some research on this line and was hunting for more info on the 110s just a few weeks ago.

    Would love to add a pair of these to the arsenal.

    Boynton Beach FL

  57. Lauren W

    Fantastic information, as always. I have a well worn pair of Minimuses (Minimi?) which I love because of the ground feel and grip. I feel like the shoes upgrade the dexterity of my feet when I'm climbing all around.

  58. Brett Kinggard

    Hey guys, Great article.

    I love to read about the development of running shoes from the field testing point of view. So many times when trying on shoes I get the feeling that someone with a lab coat and a degree from MIT put together this shoe and not someone who actually runs in them. Thanks for the reassurance of actual runner feedback.

    Will there be other colors in the future for this shoe? I was always wanting different colors with the MT101, ran through 2 pairs.

    Thanks,

    Brett

    Olive Branch, MS

  59. Dean Georgaris

    Bryon,

    Wow.

    What a fascinating piece. And what a delicate balance the process of making a shoe that you can then turn around and produce and sell for a respectable price really is. It is great to get a glimpse (more than a glimpse – actual emails) as to how the back and forth actually works between athlete and designer. Especially with a product like the 110, where it is asked to be a light shoe that can get you across 100 mile events of greatly variable terrain. When I think of what we really ask a shoe like this to do, the fact that I can get them for well less than 100 dollars is pretty amazing.

    I think that e-mail from Tony to New Balance which said essentially: "holy sh!t, you nailed it," says a lot. It is great to hear such enthusiasm from one of the sport's best.

    And it great to read a story like this on irunfar. Kudos!

  60. Dave Cockman

    Dave Cockman

    Apex, NC

    I run almost exclusively in the MR10. I'd love to get a pair of the MT11os and try them out. I'm hoping to see Anton tomorrow night in Chapel Hill, NC. I'll discuss them with him when I see him.

    Thanks for a great website. I love your articles.

  61. Nate McBride

    I got my 110's last Friday from Roadrunner and put them on right away for a 5 miler with no socks…they felt so awesome. My 101's have been relegated to walking around shoes now. Have worn the 110's for about 45 miles since Friday and though I have the usual new low shoe calf soreness, my feet feel like they are running in slippers.

  62. Kawus Nouri

    Great article. I've had my eyes on the MT110 for quite a while. Unfortunately it will not be available in here in Denmark so I would be super happy if could win a pair.

    Odense, Denmark

  63. Steve

    I am very excited about this shoe! The 101 has been great, but the lack of traction has been killing me. I'm wondering how they will do under a larger runners weight?

  64. Ben Swieringa

    I completed my first 50k ever at the Yankee Springs Winter Challenge in Michigan last Saturday. Awesome race! I like that the 101s are lightweight and the upper doesn't hold water. It looks ideal for future ultra races.

    Ben S.

    Holland, Michigan

  65. Scott Toll

    Awesome to learn about the athlete's involvement with R&D on the MT110. The trickle down of technology to the consumer makes for a win/win situation for NB, as well as the elite athletes and recreational runner.

    Scott T.

    Ashland, OR

  66. Dan Sims

    I loved the European version of the MT101. They even coped with a few long fell races in the UK, but after many miles they're beginning to fall apart. I have run in them almost every day for over a year so I can't complain!

    I'm really looking forward to getting a pair of 110s, when they finally arrive in the UK. I hope it's not too long!!!

  67. hodie

    Interesting story but why are the NB trail shoes (minimus last year, 110 this year) released in the spring? I'm sure many would really like to have decent trail shoes when the first snow comes, not in the middle of the season where people have already gotten a different shoe.

    hodie

    Boulder, CO

  68. Andrew Brautigam

    Sharing this on Facebook – super stoked for the new shoes. These would be so fast in Fredonia, NY, that I would practically be a blur.

  69. Bryon Powell

    Hodie, most trail shoes (with the notable exception of waterproof-membrane or cold weather shoes) are released for the shoe companies' spring/summer season, which generally means a release in the January 1 to March 1 range.

  70. David M. Wilson

    Solid article, great job getting insights from the people who actually use (and love) the product. It’s better for everyone this way. Can’t wait to feel the gecko grip!

    David

    Columbus, OH

  71. Jared Friesen

    Sounds like a great show and a lot of work that went into it. I will have to add this to my list of trail shoes to try out as I am still trying to find the best shoe for me, thanks Bryon!

    Jared

    Anchorage, AK

  72. Anthony Molina

    Nice article Bryon, I like how you ask if the shoes they use are straight off the shelf? I know a lot of athletes get special made and praise them and that's how they suck the everyday person to buy there product. Then you find yourself very disappointed.

    Anthony Molina Sr.

    West Sacramento, CA

  73. Coleen Voeks

    Great read! It's so cool to see how much input those guys have… yay to New Balance for REALLY listening!

    Coleen

    Kansas City, KS

  74. Daniel

    Thanks for the excellent article Bryon. I'm always impressed with the precision and amount of detail that the pro athletes use to describe their equipment and what they need (whether it's Kilian on the Sense or Tony and Kyle with NB). It inspires me to put some more thought into my shoes and what I expect of them.

    Daniel

    Santiago, Chile

  75. Brad Koenig

    Great article, Bryon! Please put my name into the hat for one of those shoes. I'd love to give them a try. Happy trails!

    Brad Koenig

    Cherry Hill, NJ

  76. Me02

    After wearing out my first pair of 101's early this summer, I decided I liked them enough to replace them with another pair. Those wore out at just the right for NB, coinciding with the release of the 110. Definitely want to try these out.

    Paul

    Decatur, IL

  77. Mark Mckennett

    My name is Mark Mckennett and I live in Germantown Maryland. I thought the Article and Interviews were awesome. I can't wait to try out a pair of the 110's.

  78. Andrew Jones

    I live in grapevine, tx. I bought the trail minimus the day they came out in March and have run in they ever since. Best shoe I have ever worn. I can't even imagine what they could do to perfect the shoe but I am excited to see.

  79. Brandon

    I just bought a pair of 101's (literally worn them twice) because I couldn't wait for the 110's and after reading this I don't even want to run in the 101's I want to try the 110's bad.

    Thanks Bryon

    Brandon

    Eatonville, Washington

  80. Josh

    Very cool to hear what goes into making such a sweet shoe! I have some beat MT100s and would love to try the 110s!

    Josh

    Flagstaff, AZ

  81. Nyoman

    MT101 has been my favorite shoes, run in it on trail, road, tracks, and even wear it to office :). Three pairs so far.

    If MT110 solves the tiny little issue with shiny, slippery surface, then it might just be the perfect one! Been planning to order a pair, but if I can get it here from irunfar, it'll be a most welcome birthday gift.

    Nyoman,

    Singapore

  82. ScottTomKretz

    You never cease to amaze me, Bryon. Great stuff here – the writing, I mean. Now, maybe the shoe will be just as good.

    Scott Thomas Kretzmann

    Alamosa, Colo.

  83. Matthew

    I would love if NB would make the full line of products available in Europe. In Italy its hard to get anything.

    Matt Lynch

    Alba Italy

  84. Nathan Bridges

    Thanks for the great detail and insight into the 110 development. I love running in the Minimus Trail and can't wait to try the 110's out, that is if I can convince my wife of another shoe purchase.

    Nathan Bridges

    Wilmore, KY

  85. Tom Wilsher

    Really want a pair of these – any ideas when they are released in the UK?

    Tom

    London, UK

    If I win and you only ship in US, my Dad lives in Lon Beach, CA!

    Keep the articles coming, they keep me busy at work! ;-)

  86. Mike

    I'm psyched beyond words for this shoe. I've got two pairs of 101's that are still fresh in my closet, trail race next Saturday, and after reading this, I think I'll bench them if I can find a 110 in my size. I haven't had any problems with the 101's, they've performed great through two 50's and a trail marathon, but who wouldn't want less frousiness?

    Mike Vance

    Charlotte, NC

  87. tim conrad

    I am so happy that a shoe company takes a different approach when coming up with a design for us runners….Thank you NB for getting the advice from runners not the bottom line…..

    Left my home address but right now doing a tour in Afghanistan…..

    timconrad67@yahoo.com

  88. James

    I just started running in the MT101 shoes and I've really liked the feel and rock plate protection vs other minimal shoes. I have experienced some difficulty with traction on loose trails so I'll be excited to try out the new lug design that got such positive reviews.

  89. James

    I just started running in the MT101 shoes and I’ve really liked the feel and rock plate protection vs other minimal shoes. I have experienced some difficulty with traction on loose trails so I’ll be excited to try out the new lug design that got such positive reviews.

    James

    Las Vegas, NV

  90. Nicholas Wied

    Hey Bryon, this article was incredible! I enjoy all the shoe reviews you construct, whether the particular product would work for me or not. The method of constructing this review/interview is amazing. This article allows others to really grasp an understanding of the difference between the upcoming shoe and its predecessors, which in my very humble opinion allows an individual to really discern whether this shoe will work for them before they purchase it. Thank you so much for all of the effort you put into your site, acting as not only a great source of info for all runners, but as a champion for ultra running!

    Nicholas Wied

    Wauwatosa, WI

    Thanks!!!

  91. Mike Papageorge

    Great article, its very cool to see this kind of hands on development happening, it must be so rewarding when they get back a pair of shoes that hit all the marks…

    Mike Papageorge

    Alicante, Spain (a place – country? – where you cannot buy NB's minimal line!)

  92. Kay Allen

    Seattle, WA

    I've been holding off on replacing my well worn and trail battered NB101s for the 110 launch, excited that it looks like the wait will be well worth it.

  93. Jeff M

    Jeff Miller, Corpus Christi…GREAT article Bryon! recently i commented on your blog regarding the interplay between my "minimal" style road shoes and my beefy trail shoes and some attributable Achilles problems (self diagnosed). based on your article's quotes from Anton regarding the "4mm drop basically feels flat" and Anton wanting "the upper dropped a bit around the Achilles"…i think this shoe is the answer. further, with the Rocky Raccoon 100m coming up in February, Anton's quote seems to suggest this is my shoe of choice in Feb 2012…"On a course like Rocky Raccoon it was totally fine…"

  94. Ef Romero

    Glad there is a departure from the Vibram outsole on these shoes. While I love my VFFs and Merrell Trail Gloves, the rubber just does not perform well on wet, rocky surfaces.

    DFW, TX

  95. Vern Eastley

    I love my Trail Gloves, but I'm totally stoked to try the 110's. There are so many great choices now.

    Bryon–Thanks for putting so much time into this awesome article!

    Vern Eastley

    Sandpoint, Idaho

  96. briderdt

    Great article and interviews. I'm just getting involved in the wear-test and feedback process, and really like seeing the progression on a project that's gotten to full-production. I found the wide version of the Minimus Road to be a FAR better fit than the standard, and I don't have wide feet! Would love to try out the 110's.

    David, Puyallup, WA

  97. Jonathan

    It's interesting seeing the underbelly of New Balance's product development. Between Anton's analytical approach and NB's receptive staff, sounds like a good match. I trust Kurpicka's analysis enough to have purchased the 100's. My only sticking point are the color schemes, as the old German goes, a good dog can't be a bad color.

  98. Steve Pero

    Hi Bryon….Tony and Erik have convinced me enough to give them a go. I've been a faithful LaSportiva Crosslite wearer the past few years, but have been convinced enough to buy and try a pair of these. Of course a free pair would be nice, too ;-)

  99. Nils

    Found it !!! In the quest to find that 'just right' shoe I tried and then stuffed 17 pairs of shoes into the closet – just in the last 2 1/2 years. So glad the search is over, and that I received my pair MT110 before sales to Germany appear to have been banned for most stores… Wouldn't mind a spare pair; they are just brilliant. That was a great read, thanks for that !

  100. Mark

    I really wanted to love the MT 101s, but the upper didn't fit my foot (my toes kept crashing into the toe box). I'm hopeful that the new Minimus-inspired last on the MT 110 will solve that problem.

    -Vancouver, Wash.

  101. Hugh Davis

    Great article, Love New Balance. The 110 sound great – can't wait to try some on our trails near West Linn, Oregon. I currently run in the MT10 just a tad too light when the trail gets technical/debris filled .

  102. Anthony Rodger

    Hi there Bryon,

    I've read your book and have now completed my first 'ultra' as of October last year and am entered into a 50 km trail run in south Africa, where I live now, in March. So far so good, and building my way up slowly but surely to longer distances. I've been following the whole debate on heel drop for some time now and made myself a pair of huaraches after reading BTR last year. However, like an idiot I did too much too soon in them and promptly injured myself. Back to the drawing board, at least until I read your review on the peregrine sauconys and in fact those were the shoes I bought and then wore in my first 7 hr 54 trail marathon (the otter trail in south Africa). Bingo, absolutely perfect shoes. The 4mm heel drop seems to work for me and I note with interest Anton's comment that toward the end of a long run when form starts to drop off, it's good to have that little extra to help out. Thats my opinion now, spot on, and for that reason I'm going to try the new balance shoe, even if you don't give me a pair for free! Incidentally, check out my survival training website. This year we're adding adventure racers and ultra trail runners to our training itinerary.

    Regards,

    Anthony

  103. Vojta

    Its hard to find MT101 in US14 in Europe, dealer in Cz end in size 13, it will be great to try new MT110 this way. Beacause its hard to have a bigfoot here in good old Europe.

    Thanks

    Vojta

  104. JimW

    Great history of the evolution of my favorite line of shoes – road and trail. Really looking forward to hitting the trails in a pair of 110's. I have basically been holding off on new shoes until these are out.

  105. Jeanni Wheeler

    Great write-up, very cool to see the depth of the feedback to put this shoe together. I'm excited to try these shoes! Thanks for sharing.

    Jeanni

    Salt Lake City, UT

  106. Jame Falk

    Hi,

    Just got the new 110 here in Boulder (and might I add I love the "tested in the flatirons" stamp in the heel of the shoe, as well as "Keep Up" written backwards on the outsole). The grip is substantially improved over the 101s, though unfortunately the change in fit means my admittedly oddly-shaped feet don't fit as well as they did in the 101s. That said, I've only run 10 miles in them and haven't truly broken them in.

    Thanks for the article. It's rare to see the where the shoes I wear come from, and very cool.

    Thanks again!

    Jamie Falk

    Boulder, CO

  107. Erik Bahnsen

    Looking forward to trying these shoes. I ran in the MT101 first half of lasyt year. Then I switched to Merrel Trail Glove because I got tired of taping my feet to run in the MT101. Trail Glove causes too much pain running over pointy rocks. I have said numerous times I wish I could combine Trail Glove and MT101. This sounds like it might be the shoe.

    Erik

  108. Mike Siltman

    looking forward to giving this new design a whirl, had to quit using the first generation shoe due to the back of the shoe digging into my ankle but I loved running the trails in those shoes.

  109. Andy

    I've run a lot of miles in my first Minimus, which has been a great shoe. Really looking forward to running in these, especially with so many long races coming up!

  110. Dogpaddle

    Loved the 101's, but they only lasted for 250 miles before they blew out. Would love to try the 110's.

    Reid

    Prince George, BC

    Canada

  111. Sergei

    I have been running in 101s for a couple of years and love them (except for a few miles I have to run on pavement to get to trails). Very excited about 110 based on everything I've read over the last few months. Sounds like they'll be an even greater pleasure to run in.

  112. jeason

    thanks for the article! ive been a big fan of the 100s, 101s, and minimus. it has been great to see the evolution of this shoe and benefit from tony and eriks input. ive always been picky about my shoes and its been great to see the same issues ive had addressed. ive been anxiously awaiting this shoe and hope to be sporting it at hardrock this year. peace and much love!

    jeason

    carbondale, colorado

  113. Ian Scott

    Great stuff Bryon, thank you for interviewing Tony and Erik… it's awesome getting some behind the scenes info from those two.

    All the best,

    Ian Scott

    Englewood, CO

  114. Chris Dillard

    Excellent to see the process from concept to prototype to completed version. Thanks for sharing.

    Chris Dillard

    Greenville, SC

  115. Jason

    When someone who trains on the same trails as you do everyday designs a shoe you have to try it.

    Jason

    Boulder, CO

    Tested and approved by the Flatirons

  116. BigMike

    Looks like a great shoe, I can't wait to try them. I've been very happy with the 100's and 101's so I'm sure the improvements will keep coming.

  117. Morris Pelzel

    Really looking forward to trying these. I'm currently running in Saucony Kinvara 2's but am transitioning to more trail and less road, so the MT110's sound perfect. Thanks for the interviews and the contest.

    Morris Pelzel

    Ferdinand, IN

  118. JC Callans

    I have watched Erik and his Ziggy Stardusters flying around the mountains for what feels like forever! Can't wait to take a flight myself. Top notch reporting Bryon!

    JC Callans

    Ashland, OR

  119. Dylan

    It is great to see a company that is actively working with some of the best athletes in the sport to develop a product sector, based on real world input, that was virtually unheard of a few years ago. The first products weren't bad, but based on subsequent iterations and after reading this review, it sounds like things have just gotten even better!

  120. Jonathan Burbey

    Jon Burbey

    Eagan, MN

    Great article. I have never read anything like this before and had no idea what the process for creating a shoe was.

  121. Aaron Harrell

    Been looking forward to this she for a long time. Thanks for taking the time to talk about the history of the shoe. It is fun to hear from the runners who helped develop it.

  122. Andy D

    Great info, awesome to see a company actually take input from it's athletes to make the best product possible.

    Andy

    Chippewa falls, Wi

  123. Max

    I needed to return my first MT101 because of some mesh problems. Hope those one will be more robust because I liked my 101 so much.

    Nice interviews and articles. Thanks Bryon!

  124. Rich Becker

    Very interesting to read how the company listens to the athletes feedback. Are the other shoe companies like this or is New Balance the exception?

    Rich

    Los Angeles,CA

  125. boisean

    Good to hear the comments that it could be used up to the 100 milers even! I've been skeptical of the more minimal shoes not being 'enough shoe' for the longer distances (50mi and on up). I might have to see for myself, as I've had a lot of post run soreness in Montrail Rogue Racers, but in all fairness, there was a helluva lot of wicked downhill, rocky pounding on a 3hr run, and they are 'not much shoe.'

  126. Matt Williams

    Had an absolute blast blowing out a pair of MT101s. They're all duct taped together now, but they're still super comfy to slip on and just kick around in.

    Interested to see how the 110s turned out.

    Matt Williams

    Fruit Heights, UT

  127. Daniel Lee

    Daniel

    Bozeman, MT

    I've been following the birth of this shoe on Anton's blog and iRF since I first saw a youtube video of Anton carving up the heel of his 100's. Now that I moved to Bozeman I can't wait to take this shoe up onto the Bridger Ridge!

  128. Christopher Whelchel

    Awesome! Being a self proclaimed shoe geek myself, it's really cool to hear all the little details and learn more about the lingo. Who knew so much went into shoe design??

    I'd love to try a pair and as always, thanks for everything you do Bryon. You work is most appreciated in the tail running community.

    Christopher

    Austin, Texas

  129. Leard

    Great read! These shoes sound like they answer my complaints about both the MT100 and MT10 (both of which I really like alot none the less). Thanks for the story (and the contest)!

  130. Aaron Hines

    Very exciting to see the impact barefoot running is having on the shoe market! Sounds like another great product!

    Fredericksburg, VA

  131. Tina

    Great to see you finished your 8,000+ word article, and what a treat it is to find that it about the very shoe that I've been waiting for almost a year to get! Awesome interviews with both Tony and Erik.

    I'm running in my first (ever) race on January 21st, a challenging 20 mile trail of 13 miles up to the summit, and then a steep 4 miles that even the seasoned ultra runners are saying is killer. I've ran this course twice in training and each time that steep section has my feet in my Montrail Rouge Racers doing the "frowzy" dance. By the time I get to the sweet easy single tract on the last few miles, my feet are so shifted around in the shoe, I have to stop and re-lace them… loosing time on the easiest part! I NEED the New Balance MT110!!!

    Tina Hamilton

    Fruitland, ID

  132. Ben R

    I got out in my new pair on Saturday :) Ran a fairly steep and rocky seven miles. Shoes felt great–really stable (they were stiffer than I thought they'd be in the forefoot, but I was really pleased with that stiffness once I was on the trail), light and fast. I find the grip very impressive (felt confident on sheets of icy hard-packed snow). Definitely my new favorites.

    Nice writeup!

  133. Warren R.

    Awesome article. I really like the predecessors to this shoe so I am excited to get my feet in a pair.

    Warren Realrider

    Norman, OK

  134. matt

    I've only ever run in vffs but I've considering trying something more traditional so I'd love to be winning a pair of these. thanks for the great work Byron

    matt. uk

  135. Stewart G

    I have worn the 2011 version of the Minimus Trail trail shoe all summer. It's a fantastic shoe, my go-to show for most trail runs, and even for some road runs. I wore it on vacation in Europe, and frequently wore it to go shopping or running other errands around town. I will definitely get a 2012 pair! Thanks for the great review!

  136. Derek

    I'm super excited about this shoe! I currently own MT101s and absolutely love them. I'm running my first ultra (50k) in May and want to run in the new MT110s. And I LOVE the black/orange ones…sharp looking shoe. Great job NB (for making the shoe) and irunfar (for writing an amazing article)!

    Derek – Savoy, IL

  137. Dan Moore

    I'm debating between this and the Saucony Peregrine as my next pair of shoes. If you guys give me a pair, I guess that will make the decision for me.

    Dan Moore

    St. George, UT

  138. Joshua Witte

    Cool article! I am currently loving my Montrial Rogue Racers at the moment, but I started running in New Balance shoes, and the MT110 looks like one I'd love to try.

    Joshua Witte

    Flower Mound TX

  139. Daniel Naylor

    Sounds incredible. Just finished wear-testing the MT610 and it was the first time I seriously considered converting from my old trusty Brooks Cascadias. These MT110's sound even better.

    Daniel Naylor

    Stanford, CA

  140. mike

    HI Bryon,

    Once again your hard work is appreciated, thanks.

    The MT110s look awesome, it can be tough to get hold of some of the newer NB shoes here in the UK though!

    Cheers

    Mike

    UK

  141. CJ

    I've been interested in these from the moment I first heard Anton begin talking about them quite awhile back. I think these might be great for my Pike's Peak Ascent in August.

    CJ

  142. Marc Pauly

    After running in my NB100 trail running shoes for 3 years and hundreds of trail running miles it's time for a new pair. I have never had a pair of trail running shoes longer than a year. I have run in my NB100's in Xterra tri's, adventure races and many trails. Great job!

  143. Brian Bradley

    – I appreciate the extensive research and am eager to try these shoes on the trail. Well done Bryon.

    Brian Bradley

    Minneapolis MN.

  144. Thomas Wagner

    …hard to get these here in Europe, Austria, but
    Loved the 101s (both the US and the Europe versions). Would love to run in these! In July there is the Irontrail first time (201km straight and ~11500 pos elevation change) that would make a real test trail for these shoes ;-)

  145. Keith Remington

    Great article on what looks like a great pair of shoes. Would love the chance at winning a pair. I live in Littleton, Co. Thanks.

  146. Nicolas Silva

    Just did 53mi at ATY in MT101s and my feet have been hurting/chronic peroneus longus tendonitis. Would love to see the differences/work put into the MT110's. Plus the orange and blue colors are perfect for my place of study, UTEP. ;) Thanks for the great post/contest!

    Nicolas D. Silva El Paso, TX ndsilva@miners.utep.edu.

  147. JC

    I have been watching Erik and his Ziggy Stardusters flying over the mountains for what feels like forever. Can't wait to take a test flight.

    Great report, Bryon!

    JC Callans

    Ashland, OR

  148. Steve

    I like that Tony pointed out that the design of this shoe started BEFORE Born to Run was published. The minimalist bandwagon is still trying to catch up to Tony…and never will. Bryon, I know you are a fan of a beefy heel cushion…what do you think about this shoe? Will you ever change your tune on the minimalist revolution?

    1. Bryon Powell

      Actually, I've quite liked many a minimalist shoe although not quite down to the minimalist level. To be honest, I picked up two extra pairs of the MT101 before I got the MT110 arrived. I enjoyed the MT101's minimalist feel a great deal, but was uncertain about the low drop of the MT110. I LOVE running in the MT110, but the fact remains if I run even 15 miles in them spread across three runs in five days, the low drop acutely aggravates my lower leg issues. Once it's spring, I'll surely run in the MT110 an increasing amount. Maybe I'll get up to a 20 miler and 30-35 miles per week in them this year, but that'd be aggressive enough. I'm happy mixing in lower drop and more minimalist shoe as a tool, but I'll take my "beefy heel cushion" for the long hauls.

  149. Norm Stephen

    Can't wait. I love my 101s and was about to buy 2 more but after reading this I am going to wait for the 110s.

    Norm Stephen

    Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada

  150. Michael F.

    I loved the MT100s, but I didn't really like the 101s for running. I actually use the 101s more for hiking and backpacking and such now. Would love to try out the 110s to see what they have improved.

    Thanks for doing this!

  151. Sara F

    IRunFar.com does a great job of helping readers (including relative newbies, like me) run well, safely, far and in interesting places. Thanks for all your good work!

    Please put me in the hopper for the NB MT110s. Thanks!

    Sara

    New York City

  152. Ben Chan

    Great interviews and insight into the design process. Wish more shoe companies would be this open about their process. Loved the 101, looking forward to the 110.

  153. Nrmrvrk

    Wow that's a lot of information. I'm hopeful about the shoe given Tony and Erik's glowing praise. Totally hoping for a wider toe box than the 101. That was the only downside for me in that shoe.

    Jason Nemecek

    Gig Harbor, WA

  154. Mike Place

    I cannot wait to get my feet in a pair of these. I've been super-stoked about them ever since I saw some random guy flying up a trail in Millcreek Canyon wearing a pair duing last year's Outdoor Retailer show.

    Mike Place

    Salt Lake City, Utah

  155. David Cramer

    Bryan

    Excellent article!!! I liked the timeframe format, it allows us to appreciate all the thought and discovery (R&D) that goes into the making of a great shoe.

    Excellent job,

    David

  156. YouYou

    Spring is coming – and I would most defenitly welcome it by wearing some very nice and new trail shoes!

    Take care

    Jurgen, Montreal, Canadan

  157. Austin Shenefield

    Great article, very informative. I'm even more excited to get my hands on a pair of these now. Thanks!

    Austin Shenefield
    Livermore, CA

  158. Robert B

    Great write-up! I have the MT101's and absolutely love them. Needless to say I couldn't wait to get my feet into the MT110's. So I found the first online option for ordering.

    They arrived and…I was completely disappointed. For two reasons – 1) they were much too tight in the forefoot area (not my experience at all with the MT101's) 2) it felt as the medial side of the shoe was higher than the lateral side which resulted in a feeling that my foot was turning in with each step.

    I considered returning them and also ordered a pair of MT10's to see which I would prefer.

    Today I found a forefront lacing technique that allows full expansion in the forefoot area. Applying this technique completely changed the feel of the shoe. I haven't run in them yet but plan to tonight. I am hopeful that I will love them every bit as much as my MT101's.

  159. John Macklen Sr.

    My name is John Macklen Sr., I live in Short Gap WV. and I would like to be entered in the New Balance MT110 giveaway. I have had 4 pairs of the NB 790, 1 pair of the NB 100 and the NB101, also I run in the NB Minimus. I am very much looking forward to the new MT110. My email is: macklen99@gmail.com

    Thanks,

    John Macklen Sr.

  160. Scott

    great article; I love NB Minimus shoes; they have helped me this past year in having new PR's in each race I have entered. Changing the way I run!

  161. Vermonter

    So glad I discovered this site last summer. Everything I ever wanted to know I can find here. The info detailed in this article is amazing. Of course I'd love a pair! Thanks for being awesome Irunfar.com

    Mike Tegart

    White River Junction, VT

  162. Cheryl

    Wow! Who knew it took so long to design a shoe.I would definitely love to try a pair. I've always worn NB for street running but have always used other brands for the trail. It sounds like the shoe for me!

    Cheryl

    Austin, TX

  163. Kristina

    I just ran an Xterra trail race in my New Balance 101's and loved them! I just bought them when the 110 came out. Now I am desperate to try the 110!

  164. Matt C

    Interesting story of the shoes development and great to see manufacturers working closely with athlete's instead of just handing out free shoes. I'd like a free pair though!

    Manchester UK

  165. Stew

    Count me in! I wear the Merrel Trail Gloves now for trails but have been awaiting these. On roads i run in the Minimus Road MR 10 and love them so I am super excited about the arrival of these.

    Stew B

    Sammamish, WA

  166. Darren Mooney

    Am on my 3rd pair of 101s & love them. Just like putting on a pair of slippers & look forward to getting a pair of these

    Darren

    Mitcham

    Vic. Australia

  167. Carmelo

    Great article! I am a huge Anton Fan !!!

    Living in the land “DOWNUNDER” I usually have to wait an entire season before I can get my hands on the great products that come out of the USA.

    Three months ago I purchased a pair of the MT10’s at the only exclusive New Balance Concept Store in Melbourne and have not stopped wearing them.

    To have a pair of the latest MT110’s on my feet would be the envy of all my trail blazer mates.

    Carmelo Failla

    Melbourne, Australia (Downunder)

  168. Ian Patton

    Nice article. Really nice to see a company so responsive to their athletes. I will be trying a pair of these out for sure! Thanks for the great blog Bryon.

  169. Magnus Andersson

    I´ve run both in the 101´s and Minimus shoes over the last year and I´m also very excited to try these new ones out!

    Magnus Andersson

    Berlin, Germany

  170. Mariko

    I have been running exclusively in the 100s and 101s and am looking forward to trying the 110s! Woohoo! Thanks for hosting the giveaway.

    Mariko in Portland, OR

  171. Chris corn

    Wooo!! I would love a pair of 110s. They look amazing. These are not in the shops here in Australia. I would be the coolest runner (still not the fastest) on the trails.

  172. SteveB

    Picked-up a pair of the 110's and it's a nice shoe. I don't know if it's the "greatest" trail shoe I have ever run in but it doesn't suck. Personally I see it as under 50K shoe for me based on my biomechanics and running style. Not enough shoe for me for 50-100. Only wish I had AK's gait. Will rotate it with my PI's (XC's), Saucony (Peregrine), and Montrails (Masochist & Rogue Racer).

  173. Scott Muggleton

    I'm a big fan of P.I.'s Peak series, especially the Peak IIs; but I'm excited to try the MT110s!!! Great article, Bryon. I appreciate everyone letting us common folk, who are also gear whores, in on the process!!

  174. Steve Seibering

    Appreciate all this info., and as well as Ty Draney's review of the MT110 you posted a while back.

    Any of you have information about an apparent greater thickness in the lateral (outside) side of the sole vs. the medial (inside) part of the sole of the MT110. This has been noted by both Pete Larson and Jason Robillard:
    http://www.runblogger.com/2011/12/merrell-mix-mas… (look near the bottom of the posting)
    http://barefootrunninguniversity.com/2011/12/09/n

    Would love to win a pair!

    Steve Seiberling

    Chapel Hill, NC

    1. Bryon Powell

      The article addresses this point.

      Anton noted, "We ended up beefing up the lateral outsole lugs because that’s where I really destroy shoes with kind of a midfoot/forefoot strike."

      Erik noted, "They raised the lug height on the lateral side of the forefoot. We brought that down a touch on the outside lateral edge because it was built up a little more than the ones I have now. I think that felt weird when I was running and now it lays down better."

  175. Jesse Trevino

    Thanks for a great article on the evolution of an awesome shoe. As I transition in between marathon training seasons, trail running has now become one of my favorite pass times. Fingers crossed for a free pair!

    Jesse Trevino

    Chicago, IL

  176. Phil Uecker

    I loved the 100 the day they came out. I then also wore out (700+miles) a pair of the 101's although I have to admit I liked the original better.

    These 110's look like they improved the right things again. I'm in.

    Phil Uecker

    Covington, TX

    size 10.5 Widths now, too? Great!

  177. Liz Sanchez

    Great article – I've been very curious about the development of this shoe since I heard about it, and of course would love to give it a go!

    Liz S.

    Denver, Co

  178. Patrick C

    Cant wait to see tony back in action in these new shoes. It is refreshing to see a company taking really good feedback and applying it.

  179. Jason Allen

    Bryon thanks for the great article on the mt110's. I purchased a pair of mt101's about 3 months ago and I have loved them so much that I have told everybody at work that it is a must have trail racer, and I've put tons of training hours in them and have not been dissapointed at all! Utah has lots of different terrain and I've tested them on many trails, a must have shoe for all efficient runners! I would love to try a pair of 110's, but very happy with the 101's.

  180. PJ Bertemes

    Great, informative discussion. The fact that runners had so much input in the design process and runner love the final product make me want to try this shoe. Shoes are a big investment for most of us runners – I need to know they will work for me.

  181. Jack N

    I've been looking forward to these! Hope to use them for some ultras and off-road triathlons in 2012. Thanks for the contest!

    Jack N.

    Washington, DC

  182. Matus

    Wow. I am not done with the article yet and I am already very excited and curious about the shoe. Because of the praise from Tony and Eric I am absolutely willing to run in a shoe with a heel drop :)

    Thanks for the article! Don't worry, I'll finish reading it tomorrow.

  183. Tim

    I like the 101s although they are a bit too narrow for my foot, making it hard to use much. I heard the 110s come in wider widths, so I would love to give them a try.

    Tim

    Sydney, Australia.

  184. Blair

    I have to say this is the shoe I have been looking forward too for a long time. Thankfully, the wait won't be too much longer. hah hah.

    Albany, NY

  185. Timmy P

    Really excited to get a pair of these! I'm moving from a Cascadia to a more minimal shoe and these sound perfect.

    You guys have great articles and iRunFar is my go to site for gear reviews.

    Tim P.

    Bozeman, MT

  186. Heath S

    I've been doing a lot of miles in MT 101s, and have loved the feel of them…hands down my favorite trail shoe yet. I can't wait to slip on a pair of the 110s…hopefully they'll be a little more comfortable than the 101s to wear without socks.

    Heath S.

    Newport News, VA

  187. Glenn S.

    My Mountain Masochists are about shot. I've been thinking about the Saucony Peregrines, but would love to give the MT110 a shot. I'm curious if the lugs would hold up better than on the MM.

    Glenn S.

    Bozeman, MT

  188. Marty L

    I had the first WT100s. Seems trail shoes are becoming like windsurfing sails, specific shoes for specific trails. I learned when there was one board, one sail.

    Makes it hard to have an all around favorite shoe, although it sounds like they've found it. I loved Bryon's comment a while back about not getting caught up in "shoulds", but what works for each individual. I, for one, would live to try the best shoe ever!!

  189. Chris McCartney

    Seems to me that working closely with such well-known trail racers is probably a good PR/marketing move on NB's part. It will hopefully produce a better shoe as well (a good overall move on NB's part).

    Chris McCartney

    Charlottesville, VA

  190. Mike Heath

    Thanks Bryon, you've been posting some really interesting interviews lately to help keep things interesting through the winter.

    Mike Heath

    Edmonton, Alberta

  191. Jesse

    Awesome article guys! I love the MT101 and did the Bandera 100k in those this year…and that was pretty gnarley! So I'm gonna def have to check out the 110s now. Leadville is next this year for me and maybe Ill use these 110s!!

    I work overseas in BFE, Iraq…so most of my training is done on a treadmill/stairmaster…borinG! But it gets the job done.

    Cheers, Jesse

    BFE, Iraq

  192. tim

    Great in depth piece here Bryon!! Awesome way to dissect something that soooo many people are obviously quite interested in. This has to be a record for responses…. so cool to see. Keep it up!

  193. Matt

    I am super excited about these! I've been running in Merrel Trail Gloves for a while, but want something more beefy yet still kind to the forefoot for longer distances and more gnarly trails. It looks like these will do the trick perfectly. Before switching to minimalist running, I was a staunch supporter of NB, and it looks like I'll be "coming home again" with these. Props to all involved, and sign me up for the contest, please.

    Matt Mitchell

    St. Paul, MN

  194. Wyatt Hornsby

    This was a great article and a solid contribution to ultrarunning lore. Good work, Byron!

    I would love to try these new MT110s. At 6'2", 167 lbs., I might be a tad big for such shoes, but I'll try them and write a review on my blog.

    Good stuff!

    Wyatt

  195. Leon

    Can't wait to give these a go. Love the 101's…a perfect fit…but have been blowing through the sidewalls at the instep. Great stuff, Bryon!

    Leon Lutz

    Manheim, PA

  196. Zudnik

    Great article Bryon. Seeing all the back and forth really helps understand how they arrived at this design. I can't wait to pick mine up. They'll get plenty of use that's for sure.

  197. Phil

    How does the wide version fit? Is it wider in the forefoot? These "natural lasts" are an improvement, but are still narrow across the forefoot for those of us with wider feet. Wider versions sometimes fit too wide in the heel and midfoot, leaving us with a "frowzy" ride on the downhills.

  198. KeVin christenson

    Thanks New Balance for a great new shoe. Thanks "I Run Far" for an awesome website. Loving living in northern Minnesota!!

  199. Javier Pita

    Nice article describing the making of the MT 110. I hope to get the pair I ordered before my ultra in Avalon this Saturday. If it wasn't for New Balance Minimum I would probably still be wearing heavy trainers but after being introduced to the MR 100 and getting a PR in my 5K I was convinced with the product line. My next pair of New Balance was the MT 101 which I found to be real good and I was satisfied enough to use it on a trail marathon. But now that im running an ultra I wanted the cushioning of the road with the traction for the trail. I found it while going to the screening of Unbreakable and getting to meet Anton in person and see the 110 on display. Right there and then without even trying the shoe I wanted them. Especially when I knew it was a hybrid of the MT101 with the MR 100. I also liked the look. I really can't wait to get them especially after reading this article.

  200. Joe

    I live in northern California. Started running with lower profile shoes to get more stability and less ankle rolling. Would love to try these shoes

  201. Dan Wilkins

    Thanks for this article and your earlier review. Ran my last race in the road minimus and loved the shoe but wished it had a couple tweaks for the trail…looks like my wish has been granted! Would like the 110's for 2012 Leadville…

    Dan Wilkins

    Atlanta, GA

  202. Eric

    Interesting that Krupicka describes the shoe as a Minimus Road for the trails. That's exactly what I hoped for. But for some reason the fits seems very different. My MT110s are much tighter that the MRs in the same size. Disappointing, but maybe it will get better as they break in.

    Eric Jeppsen

    American Fork, UT

  203. Ben

    Soo pumped to give these a try

    mine will arrive tomorrow!! (runningwarehouse has them in stock)

    I'm currently loving the mt101's for anything on the trail. Even wearing them for some road races even though my legs are trashed afterwards.

    My minimus trails are great for long trail runs, but not quite enough for racing on rocky trails.

    Hoping these 110s will be great for both roads and trails. Planning on using them for the chilly cheeks this weekend.

  204. Nate

    Please enter me in for the MT110 giveaway. Love my MT101's and 790's before that. Looking forward to trying this latest generation.

  205. Lynette

    I have loved the 100s and 101s. My only issue is the non-aggressive tread for the steep sandstone downhills in the Boise foothills. The tread (and according to the Krupicka/Skaggs dialogue) looks (sounds) great. I would love to give these a spin :)

    Pick me, pick me, please

    Boise, Idaho

  206. Craig Shannon

    Great article and awesome to see what all goes into this. Would love to win a pair, I too am over in Boise and would love them for the foothills.

  207. Justin McMillan

    Bryon, thanks for the article. I love reading about all this stuff, as I am a fairly newbie runner looking to run my first 100M in May. I love the previous version of these shoes, and they are the only thing I run in.

    Boulder, CO

  208. Steve Dernlan

    I thoroughly enjoyed this recounting of the MT110 development. I've been a fan of AK for awhile and I have eagerly anticipated training and racing in the 110.

  209. MikeZ

    already running in a pair of 110, best shoes ever. Agree with the frowzy-o-meter, zero sliding of foot on cambered technical terrain.

    Auckland, New Zealand.

  210. Ethan L.

    Working my way through my second pair of the 110's … and am gonna need some slick looking new ones for racing this winter and spring

    San Luis Obispo, CA

  211. Cory Swanson

    Please please pick me. A nice shiny new pair of 110's would be spiffy. I promise I will get them muddy….. Men's size 8.5 please.
    You guys rock!

  212. Sune Rafn

    Would kill to try this shoe. And since i'm not that lucky that i live in a contry that get New Balance that quick i have to wait like a million year to try it. Denmark suck at getting new running shoes on sale.

    Hope that IRunFar's contest are open for people outside US :)

  213. Willy Onate

    Thanks for a great story behind a super pair of trail running kicks! I could use a pair for my first western states!!! ;D

    size 9-wide!!!

    Sacramento, California

  214. Nang Pham

    Running in Hoka's right now. But I like trying different shoes. Got a pair of, VFF's, Luna Sandals, Brooks Cascadia, Brooks ASR.

    Thanks for the great articles. Congrats to Dave Mackey also , Go Hoka!

    Seaside, CA

  215. Thomas

    Really nice interview, thanks for the effort.

    Running in MT101s in frosty, wet Sweden. Great shoe, but too hard outsole for those slick, wet tree roots, rocks and evil patches of ice.

    The 110s looks nice… ;-)

    Thomas

    Stockholm, Sweden

  216. TB

    Super work Bryon! Can't believe I read the whole thing (alot of geeky shoe stuff), but I did! It's amazing how interesting the construction of a shoe can be. The passion of these athletes is truly inspiring. And I must say that I gotta hand it to NB for putting so much into a shoe (working w/ athletes) and pricing the shoe so affordably.

  217. Matt

    Hi Bryon,

    Great article! Love all the back-and-forth between individuals like Tony. Would love to try these on sugar sands of central Fla.

  218. Mike K

    I've been struggling to find a low drop show that has excellent traction on wet rocks, and fits me well. Hopefully these will fit the bill.

    Hamden, CT

  219. Brenton Day

    Just got my initial pair of 110's on Friday evening, and have put in about 35 miles on them on 3 different types of terrain, from gravelly limestone to rolling dirt to hilly, rooty trails. And, I must say I have to agree with Anton & Eric. These are the best trail shoes I've run in. I've got multiple pair of Minimus as well as a pair of 101's, and these 110's are the perfect marriage between the 2 styles. As much as I like the Minimus, they are not for every terrain type and I find myself thinking about my footstrike and where I need to place my foot, especially late in a race. The 101's provided more protection, but frowsy would be a good word to describe them. These 110's allow me to just plow ahead without thinking and know I don't have to worry about my footfall, or what my foot will land on. The lugs are a huge improvement over both the Minimus and 101's.

    Well done article, Bryon.

  220. Joe Berg

    This was a fantastic post. Knowing how much much work these guys put into creating this shoe, right in line with their experience and beliefs was amazing. Kudos to NB for listening and taking the risk to put this "perfect" shoe to market. Thanks for your commitment to passing along this knowledge.

  221. Panos from Greece

    panos

    GREECE

    I am dreaming of wining a pair of the MT110 and also be lucky in the UTMB 2012 draw.

    THE PERFECT COUPLE.

    If the miracle happens, i swear i will run the whole UTMB in this pair.

  222. MilesMusclesMom

    it's been interesting following the growth of New Balance and the direction they are taking. I would love to try a pair of these especially as I add more and more trail miles to my training!!

    Thanks for hosting

  223. Dean Ouellette

    Awesome shoes, looking forward to getting my hands on a new pair if not here then this spring. My daughter (11) and I both LOVE the NB minimalist shoes. If i win I will also do a full review with video on my site! Thanks for having the opportunity.

  224. Jean Sica-Lieber

    I'm 58 and am just returning to running after 4 years and am planning my 5K strategies. I would LOVE a New Balance MT110. I over pronate and have never been a natural athelete, but since I turned 50 I've taken lessons and participated in sailing, downhill skiing and more. I am not esp great at anything, but I have fun and I can could use all the help I can get. These new running sneakers sound like just the ticket for me right now!

    -Rochester, New York

  225. Sergio Minder

    Can't wait to run the finnish forests, swiss alps and icelandic volcanoes in the mt110!

    Great article, as usual.

    Sergio, Tampere, Finland, Europe

  226. Niels Oomkes

    I have closely followed the progression over the past few years. And like many, I have slowly been going down in Heel Toe Drop. Many of the 8mm shoes I have don't still feel to much like the old 12mm'ers. 4mm may be the perfect solution.

    Thanks so much NB for the progressive thinking, and the ultra communtiy for being so involved.

    I am racing with Anton this weekend, and I would have to assume he'll be wearing these :-)

    Cheers,

    Niels

  227. Russell Flemming

    I currently wear the MT 100's and find them wonderful tough and light. My size 11 feet are now demanding the MT 110s, after I read them your article. I will make them happy and satisfy their demands. Thank you New Balance for the new MT's and IRF for the great review!

  228. Mark Ryan

    Bryon, I am loving where this site is going, love how you're growing it and your social media coverage of the major races is barnone the best.

    Mark Ryan

    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

  229. the other "geof

    I know more than a few folks that have been wanting a pair of these new kicks. Will share the contest on Facebook Bryon!

    Saying hello to you all from snowy Crystal Lake, IL,

    Geoff Moffat.

  230. James Hong

    Great article and contest! Hello all the way from Penang island, Malaysia.

    Maybe I can win a pair of these and wear them to climb Mount Kinabalu in July :)

    James Hong

    Penang, Malaysia

  231. Levi

    Very thorough. It was a pleasure to read. Anton seemed to address all the concerns I had with the minimus trail. I think the only improvement that they could make is to make it a truly zero drop shoe.

  232. Ian Patton

    I realize that I didn't say where I'm from in my last comment – hate to be out of the running for those shoes on a technicality – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Nice place to visit or live if you like running trails! Thanks again.

    – Ian Patton

  233. Ted

    Definately something you could work up and sell to another publication! Or, maybe a documentary? I'd love a pair. Ted Zenzinger, Arvada, CO.

  234. Robin

    I have been a fan of Anton's for many years now and have even had a chance to run by him (in the opposite direction) on the Leadville Trail. I have worn New Balance road shoes for the past 10 or more years but am definitely a minimilist when it comes to my trail shoes. I would love to have the opportunity to try out a pair of the MT110's for the trail and for my 2012 Leadville training.

    Thank you from Tulsa, OK!!!

  235. Rob

    Would love to see a similar shoe but with a bit more cushioning. Interesting that Anton said the deeper lugs led to greater cushioning. May have to look into these more.

    Rob

    Gorham, NH

  236. Brandon Baker

    Such a story for such a low profile shoe- I've had 2 pairs of 101's and really like them- however, i am scared to run them in the gnarliest terrain my area has to offer- The Presidential Range of the White Mountains- For those hills i loove the La Sportiva rubber- can the 110's hold up?? I'll have to give them a shot!

  237. Phil Hodge

    Anton, thanks for all the great info you got your hands on about these shoes. Just adds to all the great stuff you provide on irunfar – keep it up!

    thanks again,

    Phil

    Co.Down, Ireland

  238. Mario Villemure

    Thanks Bryon, great story !

    Currently own the MT-101 … one of my favorite trail shoe.

    Would certainly love to try the MT-110 !

    Mario

    St-Mathieu-du-Parc, QC

  239. Joel Wright

    Yes, I want to win a pair! And I live in Cedar Hills, Utah.

    I am intrigued that the debate has basically moved now to if a trail running shoe should have a 0 mm drop or a 4 mm drop. That is where the real debate is now.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Pendulums swing. It'll be interesting to see if some of the main body of the ultra field (i.e., folks not as efficient as Anton, Erik, Kilian, et al.) start swinging back to 6 or 8 or 10 mm for racing 50 or 100 miles. I mean if those pinnacle guys need/want a little something at the end of the 100 what about the rest of us. :-)

  240. Eric Nordgren

    Awesome article. I liked the 101s pretty well, but felt the same way about the sole on slick terrain that Anton does. Winter finally hit here in Duluth, MN and the 110's sound like just the thing to keep me moving on the icy trails.

  241. keith pape

    i've been running for over 20 years and started in high school cross country, but haven't really run off road since then. suddenly in the last year or so – i really have the bug for it – especially in the 50k and 100k ultras i keep hearing about and this article didn't help! i can't wait to start exploring the trails in my running this year!

  242. Doug Goodwin

    After listening to Anton at the movie premiere of Unbreakable in Colorado Springs, I was really impressed with his insight and passion he puts into his running. I would love to try a pair of the 110's!

    D. Goodwin

    Colorado Springs, CO.

  243. Dominic

    I get flak from kobe bryant haters for the AK colorway looking "too Black Mamba-ish". Honestly, if it helps me win 6 NBA titles/6 major mountain 100's, I'll take it.. Knock on wood I don't get 6 irnoic things while wearing them, like 6 snakebites, or 6 broken bones or something..

  244. shane meridith

    I already have 3 runs in on my 110s and they have surpassed the 100's, yes 100 not 101 as my all-time favorite. I want another pair!

  245. Andy bedard

    101 was the best trail shoe ever … Now excited for the 110… Thinking this is even better. Love new balance and what you are doing in the trail shoe arena. Top notch. When I do run roads:( I run in the 1400s – best road shoe ever as well. Keep doing what you are doing…new balance.

    Andy Bedard.

    Arvada, Colorado