New Balance bills its forthcoming Minimus Amp (MT1010) as “part of New Balance’s effort to continue to expand its spectrum of minimal offerings,” adding, “The shoe provides a minimal fit and feel, much like that of the [Minimus Trail a/k/a MT] 10, but with more traditional midsole heights and a more supportive upper.”
[Note: We’ve since published a review of the New Balance MT1010.]
I see the New Balance MT1010 as a low-to-the-ground, lightweight – at 7.7 ounces for a US men’s 9, it’s the exact same weight at the MT110 (MT110 review) – trail shoe that’s protective and supportive enough for everyday trail running shoe for those of us who aren’t waifish, who don’t run like a gazelle, and who don’t always run on buffed out, rock-free trails. In other words, it’s a trail running shoe for most of us whether we’re training (20 or) 100 miles per week or running a 100-mile race over rugged terrain.
Protection, Stack Heights, and Midsole Details
The caveat with this shoe, as with any Minimus model, is that if you’re used to running in a traditional drop shoe (10-12mm) or even a shoe with an 8mm drop, you’ll want to transition slowly and carefully to the MT1010 just as you would with any other 4mm (or lower) drop shoe.
The Minimus Amp should appeal to both the traditionally shod runner looking for something lighter and lower as well as the minimalist runner looking for protection on tough terrain. As noted, the Amp has a 4mm, which comes from 10mm forefoot and 14mm heel stack heights. More important for those looking for protection in the long run, the MT1010 has a RockStop rockplate, a feature otherwise lacking from the Minimus line. Based on a quick hands on investigation the rockplate runs to the midfoot and seems more substantial than that of the MT110. All in all, the MT1010 has more meat under feet that the MT110… so it’ll be your call which model better suits your needs.
For the real shoe nerds out there, I’ll note that MT1010 has a REVlite midsole.
The MT1010’s outsole is best done justice with an image, but a few words first. The Vibram outsole is placed in a strategic strike-path pattern meaning it’s found only where you need traction and durability. Otherwise, the midsole or rockplate are exposed.
Like the rest of the Minimus line (and the MT110), the MT1010 is built on New Balance’s natural last (NL-1 or WNL1). As you’d expect, it’s also built for sockless wear and, accordingly, lacks a removable sockliner.
As to the Minimus Amp’s upper materials and construction, it’s more substantial than the rest of the Minimus line and notably different that the MT110. Rather than the MT110’s ovelay-free perforated synthetic leather, the MT1010’s upper is highly breathable monomesh reinforced by strategic overlays particularly as part of a medial (inner) midfoot metatarsal wrap. The MT1010’s tongue is two thin fabric layers that wrap the top of your foot more than being a gusseted tongue.
The MT1010 will be available for men in half sizes from 7-13 as well as in size 14 with widths of D and 2E. The WT1010 will be available for women in half sizes from 5-11 as well as in size 12 with widths of 2A, B, and D. The shoe will hit retail shelves in July 2012 for $105. We’ll have more details for you before then.
Call for Comments
- Are you looking for a more robust minimalist trail runner? A lighter everyday trail runner?
- Do you think you’d up for the MT1010 over New Balance’s other Minimus Trail and MT110 options?
- What are you most excited about in the MT1010?
Bonus Photos with Additional Colorways!