New Balance MT1010 Review

The New Balance Minimus Trail (MT10) is known for its sock-like fit, highly flexible sole, and minimal protection from sharp rocks. The New Balance MT1010 (also know as the Minimus Amp) aims to change that with a more generous fit in the forefoot, a much more aggressive lug pattern, a rockplate that provides ample protection, but still maintains the MT10’s ideals of lightweight minimalist trail running. [Note: You can learn additional details about the shoe in our New Balance MT1010 preview.]

New Balance MT1010

The New Balance MT1010.

When you first try on the shoe, you’ll notice much more roomy fit for natural toe splay. I found going a half size smaller worked well for most of my 1-2 hour runs, but I needed my regular 10.5 for ultra distances. The toebox is slightly pointed and features a suede-like toe cap with a few key overlays that provide a durable blister-free fit up front. The midfoot and heel are looser than the MT10, but still provide a good firm fit. Overlays are thin and precise and add to the lightweight feeling of the shoe. A heel counter is included, but it is a very flexible plastic piece that accommodates a variety of foot types.

New Balance MT1010 - upper

The New Balance MT1010’s upper.

Throughout the product development process the Revlite midsole was wear tested at different durometers, and eventually a firmer formula won out. In general, the MT1010 is a bit more cushioned than the original Minimus, but it is far from mushy. Where this shoe shines is in the responsive rockplate and super grippy lugs. The forefoot experience is spot on and gives a solid blend of proprioception, protection, and grip. The added rockplate definitely extends the range of the Minimus Amp for minimalist ultrarunners, but it does not lend any extra features like arch support or extra heel cushion found in other minimalist ultra shoes. In fact, the arch is comprised of three foam lugs that create the barefoot sensation of a “floating arch.” Grip is maximized through 19 lugs with sharp ridges locking in immediately on impact. The spacing between the lugs kicks in two fold in soft terrain, and provides solid grip everywhere from Pacific Northwest mud to Colorado scree to California silt to Appalachian rock fields. All these features come together to give a combination of grip, proprioception, protection, flexibility, and freedom.

New Balance MT1010 - outsole

The New Balance MT1010 outsole. (Note: The production model uses a Vibram outsole.)

The Minimus line is founded on the ideals of low drop, flexibility, and proprioception in a lightweight package. The MT1010 brings these ideals to runners that find themselves on rocky trails with long distance ambitions. The shoe retails for $110 while it weighs in at 7.5 ounces with a 4 mm heel-to-toe drop.

Call for Comments (from Bryon)

Since the MT1010 is already trickling onto the market, we should be able to have lots of feedback from reader. So…

  • What are the New Balance MT1010’s strengths?
  • What are the MT1010’s weaknesses?

[Editor’s Note: The reviewer is a New Balance athlete who we feel was able to provide insight into the development of the shoe as well as an extremely in-depth account of the differences between the MT1010 and the MT10 based on a large amount of actual mileage that other runners have not yet be able to log.]

There are 210 comments

  1. tom

    great shoes! love them. good article.

    one remark though: after a bit less than 5000 m (16500 ft) of "climbing" in them (and some 80 km (50 miles), the inner lugs on the rear of the shoe started to get off. mainly running in pretty rocky terrain, the rockplate did a great job, but the issue with the lugs!? anyone experienced something similar?

          1. Dom

            Stack hights seem like a simple thing to measure, but on well lugged shoes, different measurements can come about. I think the running warehouse measurement might be off the thickest lug and the new balance one off the rock plate. It's 'feels' like it's around 14/18 but that's just a feel.

  2. Justin McMillan

    Thanks for the review. I just got some MT110s on sale for $55. I loved the 101s, but they are not around anymore. I have a question for anyone: why would somebody choose the 1010s over the 110s? Is it just personal preference? Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

    1. HP

      Justin, I think it would mainly be for the bigger stack heights. Gives a more cushioned ride. I love my 110s but switched over to Vertical Ks for that reason.

    2. Bryon Powell

      For the many of us who are neither anatomically gifted nor dedicated to wearing the least amount of shoe possible, the MT1010 offers a wider platform for great stability and, seemingly, more protection. While I've yet to go long in either the MT110 or MT1010, I'd feel much more comfortable attempting an ultra distance run in the MT1010.

    3. Dom

      One thing I wish I'd differentiated more in the article is that the Minimus concept is geared more towards foot strengthening in training, and not such as much a racing platform.

      In training, I enjoy the 1010 a lot because it rides better for me running 60-80% intensity. In racing 80-100% effort, I like the snugger fit of the 110. For me, I use the 1010 much more than the 110 because I have a few thousand miles to run a year in training and just a few hundred to race.

    4. Mariko

      I have worn the 101s for several years now, and when they were discontinued, I tried the 110s. I had to return them because they were too narrow in the midfoot (I guess I have wide feet all over and not just in the toe box area). They are built on different lasts. The 1010s are built on the same last as the 110s (NL-1), I believe. I am ever hopeful, though, that maybe the 1010s will fit my duck feet.

  3. Andy

    There has already been a fair amount of discussion/review over at the original iRF 1010 preview, with some mixed opinions. Others have noted the lugs peeling away, and one of mine has already started after only 30+ miles on moderately rocky terrain.

    The 1010 is very comfy, roomier and softer than the 110, and thankfully doesn't suffer the raised lateral edge that has dogged its cousin's first iteration. Still not sure how they (I) will fare over ultra distance in them but plan to find out in the coming month. No, it's not the perfect shoe, but perhaps the yearning is part of the game …

    1. Dom

      I have to ask what production model you're running in, we did have problems in the orange mesh colorway, and my black/blue production model has been bombproof for 100 miles.

      I think it is one of the more perfect training shoes. I don't have many races that I'd pick it as the best shoe to race in, but it was never intended to be that. The 110v2 will be that ;)

      1. Andy

        Thanks Dom. My first pair is the black/blue, though I have a second pre-ordered pair on the way that I belive is black/red. I'm sure many of us will be trying the 1010 for upcoming ultra-distance races and it will be interesting to see how things play out. As a mid-packer I'm not worried about bombing down the course as much as whether they will provide comfort and snug enough support and traction over the long haul. In the meantime, will eagerly await the 110v2!

  4. dogrunner

    I'm looking forward to the revised 110 (without the high lateral edge), but ordered the 1010 for trails that demand greater underfoot protection. I'll see how these work, but I'm especially interested in how they fit. One thing that NB has over every other shoe I have tried (many!) is real options for wider feet. I think the last is a little funky (at least not shaped like my foot, so maybe it is my feet that are odd-shaped), but the 2EE width of the 110 and especially the 4EE width of the Minimus Zero Trail have given my toes plenty of room. The other attraction for me to the 1010 is that they promise more foot protection but not at the cost of higher weight. We'll see how that goes too. My biggest concern is that they not be too cushy. Cushioned shoes always mess with my knees (I guess I have weak ab/adductors ;) ). This review gives me some hope that the cushioning will not be excessive.

    1. Andy

      I don't think you'll find the cushion excessive, but certainly more than the 1010. I also have put a few miles on a pair of Brooks PureGrits and would say the feel is not entirely different, though the PureGrit is ever-so-slightly cushier and a bit looser, less foot-cradling all around.

    2. Anonymous

      It seems like NB is the only company making trail running shoes for (truly) wide feet. Montrail seems to have stopped a few years ago. It makes online shopping easy, but no stores ever carry wide models in stock for trying on.

    3. fitz

      I'm with you on the last. It's not perfect for me either, but in the wide version I can get by. I like the 110. Interested in this shoe too though as I've peaked out at about 20 miles in them and I have my first 50 this fall and I need a second pair of shoes…. another 110 or these 1010 is my question now.

      To Anonymous's point … I hear what you are saying about trying to find wide options. The Altra last is great for me, but the Lone Peak is too "hefty" for me. It's a gamble buying anything on line, but the only way.

  5. Dom

    Which production run did you get? Pre-production (orange mesh) model had some faulty glue that went out on me too. The factory fixed that problem for the production models for sale now.

    1. Anonymous

      Well, ordernd "normally" in Germany (living in Austria). They are orange/Blue with Orange lugs and a yellow rockplate… thanks for the Information!

  6. Dom

    I've ran in the PureGrit and think these two shoes are going at the minimalist training in different ways. The PureGrit offers a bit thicker cushion 20/16 (8.9oz) to make up for it's lack of a rockplate, and the 1010 feels thinner 14/10 (7.5oz) and more responsive with the rockplate. The PureGrit has a bevel under the arch that gives a little more support on long runs, the 1010 avoids support and gives that "floating arch" feeling with the foam lugs. I think you'll notice a bit more proprioception and grip in the 1010, and a bit more support and cushion in the PureGrit. Still, similar concepts.

  7. Guy C.

    Thanks for the review. I use a more substantial shoe (Cascadia 7), but would like something lighter –but still with enough support– for shorter mountain runs (14-33K), as many of them are here around Mexico City).

    Dominic, would you wear these for the AC 100 if you were to run it again?

    1. Dom

      I definitely train in these on the AC course, but for racing I'd probably go with a 1400 with some trail modifications. Everyone has different opinions on drop, and I think low drop is a huge benefit in training, but not always in competitive racing.

      1. David Henry

        Curious what the "trail modifications" are for the 1400…seems like they need a rock plate to me. I'd swear they aren't any thicker in forefoot stack than the Road Zeros and can't imagine running anything very technical in them. I also have trouble handling the drop in both the 1400 and 890v2. I want to like both those shoes, but something missing for me (maybe a tad soft on trails).

        MT1010s look good and I have some on the way so I'm excited to give them a spin. Mainly racing in MT110s now and training in racing flats (Nike Streak XC and Adidas Hagio) and more recently running some in the Inov-8 Trailrocs. Tons of good options out and/or coming out in the near future!

        1. Dom

          Drop is a highly personal thing with trail runners. You can take the top 5 guys at Western States or North Face and find no consistent trend.

          I think the 1400 and 890v2 aren't the best for technical terrain, but the 1400 does let you open up your stride on things like cruiser singletrack and fireroad and the 890v2 does a stellar job protecting your feet in a tough 100 miler. The 110 is super precise on technical trails but they give up some cushion on exposed fireroads. When it comes down to it, the best feeling is having exactly what you need for the task at hand; nothing lacking and nothing getting in the way.

          1. Dom

            Oh and their is a demmand for a trail 1400, no design work yet. In the meantime I add some rubber on the foam cut-out under the pinky toe, and trim in the heel.

  8. MikeC AK

    The 110 and mt10 are my favorite trail shoes. It looks like the 1010 is a little looser in the heel, hope its not too dramatic.

    My only complaint on the 110 is the tread doesn't stand up to alpine scree abuse, most shoes don't though..

    1. Dom

      I appreciate the lugs on 90% of terrain, but that rare exception is super sharp and wet rocks that are narrow enough to get to the plastic rock plate i.e. alpine scree. Tony's rigorous mountain running demands are going to be seen in the 110v2.

      1. David Henry

        I was hoping the 110v2 was going to head in a more mountain running direction…sounds like it will be a killer shoe and a type of shoe (mountain oriented) I've been longing for a company like New Balance to make.

  9. amg

    These look and sound great, esp. considering NB doesn't stock the 110 in New Zealand. My concern is the space between the lugs. Or is the combination of exposed rockplate and midsole sufficient enough protection? Of course it will depend on terrain I guess. (My normal running trails are generally very hard-packed in summer with lots of volcanic rock, turning pretty muddy in winter.)



    1. Dom

      The 1010 will slice through the mud, but volcanic rock is a tough surface for minimalist shoes. Depends how you run, but it should protect your foot well enough at the very least.

      1. amg

        Sounds good. I like to use my Frees during summer anyway, but they are no good in the winter slop. These are definitely worth a try. Thanks for the review.

    2. Steve T


      Hi, I live in NZ too and had a pair of 110s shipped from Zombie Runner(out of Calif.US).

      They shipped them to my door within 6 days and cost exactly NZ$123, freight included. Have had them out through the Hunua Ranges here in Auckland and they have been great so far. I don't find them too thin although I have been wearing the MT10s for a year or so. I plan to train in and race them at the Tarawera Ultra in March.

      Good Luck


  10. Rob - Alexandria, VA

    Interesting comments about the Pure Grit's lack of traction. I've definitely experienced that over the past few months while running on even well-groomed trail. I'm getting ready to try the MT110 for the groomed stuff and the 1010/Amp on more technical trail. Looking forward to seeing whether NB has dialed a shoe that provides the right balance of minimalism and bombproof protection on technical trail.

  11. Scott

    It's good to hear they widened the toe box some. That was the reason I didn't enjoy the feel of the MT110. Or the plastic-y feel of the upper.

    Lack of stable feeling traction has me passing on these… Lately that foam is appearing in many a midsole. It doesn't , to me, seem to be conducive to traction , especially not laterally. These "bubble pod" outsoles/midsoles that NB keeps using seem to be designed more for the visual composition of the shoe rather than actual functionality of the traction.

    1. Dom

      The spread out bubbles help to keep the shoe more flexible a normal sheet of rubber. The rubber pods have a sawtooth pattern that lock firmly in any terrain on the uphill: if it's soft, the pods sink in down to the rock plate; if it's hard, the rubber teeth lock in.

      The foam pods under the arch are to discourage the use of pronation support. Other models give wedges under the arch to provide support, but the Minimus line is focused on developing the arch. Initially a pronator might feel like there's a hole in the arch, but as they strengthn their foot, they'll find it floats more and the foam pods under the arch aren't even used.

  12. Brian K

    I was dreaming about a Minimus with a rock-plate for these Pa/Ny trails virtually from the first time I took the original MT10's out for more than two hours. Unfortunately it looks like that in addition to giving us the rock-plate, they've also taken away the glove fit and lower stack height that made the MT10 so appealing to me. I haven’t worn the 1010’s yet but it seems like they’ve, more or less, designed it to replace the 110’s. I’d expect the 110 line to be discontinued next year, if it hasn’t been already, assuming they are trying to get all their minimal trail shoes under one moniker (Minimus). I’ll still be buying a pair of 1010’s, but I still think they should take an MT10, stick a forefoot rock-plate in it, stick a sliver more rubber under the heel to maintain the 4mm drop, and call it good.

    1. Dom

      You can definitely expect to see a reinvented perfomance trail/mountain running flat in the 110v2 (already in prototyping). I'd argue that the Nike Free collection hasn't taken away from Nike's racing flats, and New Balance hasn't shrunk their performace trail line with the addition of the Minimus collection.

      Placing a rockplace in an existing model isn't quite as simple as it sounds (you can actually try it on your own with a good saw, some plastic, and shoegoo). The less there is to a shoe, the easier it is to make it fit like a glove. However when you add a rockplate, the forefoot requires some addition/subtraction of rubber and foam to deliver a good forefoot feel.

      The 1010 is designed to help trail runners transfer to minimalist trail running and also give minimus runners more protection. The 1010 was not designed as a racing platform, but it might be the ticket for some runners. (I've seen people finish 50 mile races in the minimus recovery shoe MX10). Hope this helps!

  13. Hone

    Dom- I am currently trying to get in shape for my first 5k and need a shoe that will get me to the finish live in one piece. I only have 5 weeks left on my training schedule before my 2 weeks taper. Will this shoe help me achieve my life long goal to become a runner?

    From the pictures they kinda remind me a bit of the 790s. I loved that shoe. How about a bro deal on pair?

    1. Michael

      Same deal in oz. I get mine from zombie runner or wiggle(uk). Size is normal for the 101's and 10's, although wiggle list uk sizes which is 1/2 smaller than us in NB shoes. I order some brooks online, got the wrong size, and sold them to a mate for a loss of about $40, still saved over $100. Wiggle also ship for free. Try amazon too.

      btw, I called NB australia about a pair of 101's when they were released, and they would special order them for $150 + $100 shipping per pair! yeah right, great service… wonder why we go online!

  14. dogrunner

    Just received my 1010s. Strange thing – I ordered a 10.5EE, the box that just arrived says 10.5EE (US), which is what I ordered, but the shoes inside are labeled 11EE. They are noticeably longer than the MT00s in 10 4E on my feet right now (my favorite casual shoes), which makes sense, but here is the really strange thing. I tried on these behemoth 11s and the fit seems ok. Width is good (4E would be better, but these are good), the length is noticeably long (>1 inch in front of my toes), but they feel ok, walk ok (have not tried running yet) and my forefoot is comfortable. I think maybe because of the shape of the last (the way the lateral side angles on a line from midfoot straight to the big toe, my small toes get cutoff by shorter length sizes, but because these shoes are "extra" long, all my toes have space. Its just that the big toe has lots of extra shoe in front of it. The shoes do not slide around – they lace snugly enough that I don't feel any heel slippage or lateral foot motion, so I'm keeping them and I'll find out tomorrow how they run.

    Other stuff – weight does not feel to bad, proprioceptive feel is good (not as good as the MT00, but there is a reason I like those so much for everyday wear).

    Now, where is that 110v2!! ;)

  15. Andy

    Dom — What do you think about the 1010 for 50 miles of mixed hardpack, gravel, singletrack (not too techy) and a wee bit of road? I'm having trouble picking the right shoe for an upcoming race. I agree the 110 lacks cushion for terrain like this, though I loved them on a very techy/rocky 50m in May. I wore the 1010s today for 4 hours of mixed techy singletrack and some road and they were comfy and had great traction, but they do give up something in snugness and support for racing. Any thoughts? I would even look for a new shoe (e.g., the 1400) if the fit/last were similar to the 110/1010. Thanks.

  16. treage

    If I wear a 10.5 in Nike's, does anyone know if I should buy these 1010's in the same size? Wider or regular width? Never bought New Balance Minimus before and I want to order them online.

  17. Anonymous

    Here's a quick review on the MT1010 I put up. As far as comfort and fit it blows the MT110 away, but the outsole is falling apart after only two runs (20miles) total. [broken link removed]

  18. jymx

    Mud? Went for about 8miles in the mt1010 this weekend of which 1-2miles where fairly muddy. All the fancy separation on the bottom and exposed plate area are magnets for mud. if i had to run 20miles and 4 miles where muddy then this would not be the shoe i choose. ill take it for a longer less muddy run soon and update this comment. otherwise everything else about the shoe is groovy. i ran them wet for at least 5miles not soaked but wet, felt quite comfortable.

    1. Dom

      I think traction separation can work in varrying amounts of mud and not so well in really thick mud/clay. I can remember shoes like the speedcross with huge lugs getting caked and loosing traction. I think certain conditions are impossibly hard for any shoe.

      1. dogrunner

        For clay mud I prefer something like the 110 over the 1010. Lower lugs with less space to jam up. I have now 4 runs in the 1010s (2 x 6 miles, 12 miles, 8 miles) over 3 days on dry dusty / rocky routes and traction has been excellent. But I fear what they would do on mud. Plenty of rock protection, btw. In my thinner soled shoes I have to step lightly on this route. In the 1010s I ignored the surface. But still getting used to the extra weight.

  19. Dom

    The 1010 presents an interesting midpoint between entry into minimalist running and minimalists looking for a little more protection. There's an equation of good proprioception/protection/lightweight performance that shoe companies are trying to crack for the myriad types of runs long distance trail runners do. In this digital age, designers have a lot more access to feedback so keep sounding off what you like and don't like.

    1. dogrunner

      OK, here's a thing ;)

      Generally I like this shoe, but I think there is too much heel! I mean the outrigger sort of projections laterally from the heel that inhibit foot motion. I really feel it in my right knee. I'm sure it is how the shoe relates to my gate peculiarities, but I'm thinking of cutting off the part of the outsole and bumps that are outside the heel and not directly under it. IF it was not for the knee pain I'd be pretty happy with this shoe for rougher trails.

  20. Jason

    I picked up a pair this past weekend. I wear a size 10 in the 110 and was surprised to find that I needed a size 9 in the 1010. Have run them on several short runs on rocky terrain and am truely impressed by the under foot protection. I will be headed out to the Bandera 100k course to train for a smaller race in October (Cactus Rose) and am looking forward to putting these shoes to the test.

    Will post more later.


    1. Andy

      Re. size: I now own two pairs, and the second (red/black) is nearly a 1/2 size snugger (and shorter) than the first (blue/black) despite both being 10.5 D. I've noticed this with some other NB shoes — the quality control and sizing is imperfect.

      1. Michael

        Hi Andy,

        Are they all US stock? UK sizes are a 1/2 larger. I'm a US12, and a UK11.5. Could explain it? Pre-production vs production? I've had about 9 pairs of NB MT X's, purchased from different outlets worldwide and all ran true to size.

        Does anyone else see this variation in size? Could be that everyone notices that the blue ones are larger?

        Reason for the qns is I plan on ordering some this week, but online (not available in AUS yet – if ever)

        1. Andy

          Hey Michael. Yeah, both 10.5 US, one from Running Warehouse and one direct from NB. Both are production, I believe. The difference is subtle, but noticeable. Both are great but the slightly snugger red/black is more to my liking. I now have about 50 miles on them (combined) and really like the shoe. Definitely softer and not as dialed in as the 110 for very technical terrain, but great combo of comfort, traction, and lightweight.

  21. Cliff

    I agree with the comment on NB being one of the only companies out there that have anything to offer folks with wide feet. On that note, I should mention that the toe box of 1010 is not as wide as the MT10, MR10, MR0 and MT110. I may return them because they are a hair too narrow. Typically I can't wear a NB wide shoe because they widen the entire shoe not just the toe box and at that point the mid and rear of the shoe are too big.

  22. monte cervino

    I've heard of the issue that some parts of the shoe's outsole tend to disintegrate very fast, that is after a mere 100 miles or so, has anybody else had to deal with this problem. The reason why I ask is that I certainly won't get a shoe wearing off that quickly.

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    Greetings from Germany

  23. Mike B.

    Shoes that have an outsole that flares out like that hurt my feet. An outsole that is directly under the last with no flaring are much more comfortable.

    Is this flaring supposed to add support? Stability?

    1. Bryon Powell

      I'd say such flaring does both. Was just talking with a manufacturer last week that was redoing all its molds for a forthcoming model as its testers through there needed to be more flare. Personally, I find it useful.

  24. Mike B.

    Thanks Bryon. I thought that might be the purpose. I saw you last weekend in Leadville at the coffee shop after the race. I was going to say hello but you looked pretty swamped.

  25. Rod

    Checked out a few pairs today but havent run in them yet. No question that they fit differently than the 110. I will be a full size down. Just a warning about ordering online based on your previous fit of the 110.

  26. Dom

    The sole issues some others mention are due to early production runs that used a poor adhesion process. I've had those issues in the pre-production models, but the factory cleaned this up and my production pairs have had no issues on rocky terrain.

    IF your pair delaminates prematurely, New Balance has a program with running shops and online retailers to provide a refund for the shoe.

  27. Dom

    Two things:

    Too much of a "flaring" or a "lever arm" on the outer edge can cause excessive pronation if a runner's foot is landing at an canted angle.

    Too little "flaring" can cause supination and even cause a runner to roll and ankle outward.

    If you look at the 101 to the 110, the heel width definitely shrunk as NB designers tried to avoid this lever arm. However, it was a specific design feature for a trail racing flat. So, comparitively for the 1010, it might feel wide because the 1010 is built more for training, and avoiding rolled ankles rather than pursuing a racing design.

    My advice: trim in the flared edges with a kitchen knife if it seems too wide. Go little by little and find what you like. I've done this with the 101 for shorter races like 50k's, but then left it on for 100 milers. Hope this helps!

  28. dogrunner

    Thanks for the additional info Dom. My problem is on the medial side – I land mid/forefoot, then as my heel comes down and the foot pronates a little, the medial heel seems to stop the motion and "plant" the heel and the reaction is my foot rotates outward from the fixed heel. The effect is to twist my knee. At least that is my interpretation of what I see, feel, and what my footprint in the dust looks like. In the MWU or even MT00, my foot tracks straight. In the 1010 it clearly sweeps outward from the forefoot rotating around a fixed heel. Anyway, I'm willing to experiment and eat the cost of the shoe if it doesn't work because otherwise I like the 1010 on rocky trails. I'm also really looking forward to the revised 110 because I prefer a lower stack height (but without the higher lateral edge).

    1. Bryon Powell

      The fact that Dominic is sponsored by New Balance and why I chose to publish his review despite that is clearly stated in the review itself. I believe that his intimate knowledge of the product has been useful in the review itself, in his comments, and in his corrections to me base on my inclusion of information about pre-production versions of the MT1010 that had significant differences than the actual production model.


      1. Chet

        Hi Bryon,

        I kind of jump the gun, and was fare to brash. I did not read the fine/italic print before commenting, totally my fault, I am very sorry. However I still have a issue with a person that is involved in the development process posting reviews to the public. I work in the design of consumer electronics, I can tell you I would be dammed to give a product I worked on anything but a extremely positive review, its just the way it goes, ask anybody in design you tend to get very attached to your products and a lot of times its almost impossible to get over it. I think Dominic's review was a very good one, along with his ongoing comments, it is clear he cares, as all people do that are involved in product evolution. I am just saying from my point of view this is walking a fine line between a unbiased review and a form of third party marketing, but it is your website so you can do what ever you want.

        I think you do a AMAZING job Bryon and I do not mean to rock the boat, just speaking my mind hope you can understand. Keep up the Great work, I really enjoy it!

        Thank you,


        1. dogrunner

          Just another perspective here: as long as we know who is providing the review just let the reader decide what to make of it. There are plenty of other reviewers out there, including some who provide little more than marketing BS. This review did a lot more than that. I also like speaking directly to manufacturers or their reps – when else can I give feedback to someone who might be listening. I'm just one opinion and I don't think my experience reflects everyone, but at least I get a public place (IRF) to express my opinion, and maybe the shoe company notices? That's not a bad thing.

    2. Bryon Powell

      BTW, "Chet" this is the third hyperbolic or inflammatory comment you've made in the past 28 hours and you've done so under two different names. Please act with civility and respect here on iRunFar. Dissenting opinions and criticism are welcome, but there's no need to offer such viewpoints in the manner you're doing. What you're doing is trolling and it's not welcome here.

  29. Chad

    I'm currently running in the Brooks Pure Grit, as well as rotating with the New Balance MT 110. As of a few weeks ago my 110's tore across the toe box ripping the plastic material in the upper. I contacted New Balance explaining that i rotate them with my Brooks and only using them on short runs. I told them they only had about 30 miles on them and they asked me to send them back to them, in which I did. I received a credit to the New Balance website for $85.00 :). I live the fit, comfort and ride of the Pure Grit however I don't enjoy it's terrible traction on wet surfaces or it's lack of rock plate and lack of forefoot protection. I contacted Brooks and the Pure Grit 2 is due out Dec/Jan or late November. I need a shoe for Fall when the leaves start to drop and become slick especially covering slick rocks. I don't feel confident that the Brooks Pure Grit 1 will provide the traction I will need come this Fall. Since I have the credit to the NB store, do you think the MT1010 is comparable at all to the Pure Grit in terms of comfort, fit and ride with added traction and protection. I'm also a 10.5 in the Pure Grit and MT110, would you suggest the same size?



    1. Andy

      Chad – sounds like we are the same person wearing the same size and the same shoes, though I have worn my 110s up to 50 miles. Have now worn nothing but 1010s the past 3 weeks (also size 10.5) and am quite happy. I'd say the fit and feel is somewhere between the 110 and the puregrit, and the traction is great. The 1010 may be a tad shorter in the toe (the purgrits are cut long) and definitely have a better toe bumper. I do see others have said they took a size smaller in the 1010 compared to the 110 (though one person said a size larger!), but that has not been my experience. I've had them out for up to 20 miles on techy terrain and have been very happy. Because of the superior cushion relative to the 110, they also feel OK-to-good for fair stretches on the asphalt.

      1. Chad

        Andy – Thank you for the vote of confidence. Plus the $85 credit makes it even more sweet :). I did enjoy the 110's very much especially for traction and rock protection on my shorter more technical runs. I am glad NB stood behind their product as has Brooks and Saucony for me. NB did say there was a defect in the perf pattern in the toe box which cause the tear in the synthetic upper material. They gave me no hassle even with the shoes being ran on for 4 months and purchasing them not from the NB site. My girlfriend is currently running in the Minimus 10's and is complaining that her feet are hurting from the rocky terrain of our new favorite 12 mile trail. I told her how much I love the PureGrits but she's seen me slip often on slick surfaces and have bruises on my forefoot so she is considering the 1010's as well for the Fall. I will have slight envy of the Blue and Orange colorway she is looking at.

        1. Andy

          For what it's worth, I am the proud owner of 3 pairs of 110s in various stages of decrepitude (includng a pair dating back to last January), but none has ripped since my very first pair on my very first run, which NB promptly replaced with great, friendly service. The 110 uppers are definitely prone to traumatic tearing on rocks or roots but it's not a given. The upper material of the 1010 is quite different, softer, and I believe the 110v2 will be improved in that dept. as well.

  30. Olya

    These shoes are not designed for running downhill. I took them for a test run in the hills today (5hrs, steep trails and steps) and I am very disappointed. All my toes hurt by the end of the run and both big toes turned blue. These shoes maybe ok on flat terrain, but not in the mountains or hills.

    1. Dom

      The 1010 might feel too thin depending on your perspective of what you're used to wearing and expecting in a trail shoe. I should also note that if you have fit issues, the shoe does come in a narrow and wider width.

  31. Mike Behnke

    Hey Dom,

    So if I see the MT 1010 in the orange /red color for sale in a store or on do I need to avoid these due to the problems mentioned before? Also, if I use the MT 10 trail and road zero for 6-11 mile runs on country roads/pavement and the mt 110 for 12-22 mile runs on the above terrain I know I'm going to love the mt 1010. However, does New Balance have something with a low drop but more stack height for when I do road marathons? I need another year probably until I'm good enough to use the road zeros. Thanks much!

    1. Dom

      You won't find the same batch that was pre-released. Those have markings on the collar that distinctly say "NOT FOR RESALE"

      The road marathon shoe you're looking for is probably the MR10, 4mm drop with a bit more cushion beneath the foot. Hope this helps!

  32. Tony

    MT1010: Just finished a trail marathon over a combo of hard packed trails, sand, roots and ruts. Rocks were not prevalent nor were technical obstacles. I made the right choice as I felt they provided me with amount of cushion I enjoy in the Pure Grit (my previous trail shoe), while giving me a better "feel for the trail."

  33. John

    Just finished a 50 miler in the hills of West Virginia. The surfaces consisted of hard packed roads and single tracked trails full of mud, roots, and rocks. I had only wore the mt1010 for an easy 3 mile run prior to the 50 miler. I love this shoe. The shoe was light and nimble. I ran through mud and water and the shoe shed the water and mud quickly. It had good traction and provided excellent protection from sharp rocks. I never experienced any hot spots in the shoe. It was my first 50 miler and my feet felt better than they had after any 50k I had ran. After examining the shoe post-race I saw no wear on the shoe or any parts of the shoe coming off as some others experienced. We'll see how it holds up after a few more miles.

    1. Andy

      Very nice! That's a strong endorsement for the shoe's ability to hold up and run well under various conditions and over (at least) 50 miles. Confirms my shoe choice for VT50m next month. Congrats on your first 50 miler!

  34. Dom

    I did this post voluntarily for the community. Every year there's some great products that are overlooked by runners (i.e 3oz jackets, new energy food, etc.). I think this is something a lot of minimalist runners on irunfar will enjoy, and I wanted to give a technical in depth review for those readers. gives a generic description, and I only meant to add some insight for runners that might be ordering online based on pictures and reviews. I hope this helped!

  35. money B

    is there a difference between the men and women's shoe? i'm only asking because i like one of the women's colors better – the purple w/yellow – but wasn't sure if the shoe was constructed differently depending on the gender. many thanks!

    1. Melanie

      I was wondering the same thing, for the reverse problem! I don't think there is anything different in the construction or materials after looking at both in detail (but I could be wrong, just based on my observations). The difference is the sizing and width. For example, if you are a men's 9, width B, I think you would wear something like a women's 11, width D.

      Speaking of different widths, I see the width chart on the website, but am wondering- where do they widen or narrow the shoe? Throughout the entire length of the show, or only in a specific place? Running shops tend to only carry the "normal" width, so it's difficult to compare and try them on.

  36. Mike

    50 miles so far through roots, rocky terrain, boulders, dry loose trails, loamy trails, hard packed trails, water crossings. No problems with build construction on my pair, I have the black/blue colorway. I went with a half size down from my normal size(9.5 in the 110, 9.0 in the 1010). If I would change anything i'd make the vibram rubber a tad softer as grip on rocky terrain especially boulders was not that stellar. Otherwise, awesome shoe.

  37. Mike

    If you're a 10.5 in the 110 a 10.5 in the 1010 will feel roomier in the toebox. You'd want to size down a half size to get a similar fit to your 10.5 110.

  38. Rich S.

    It's almost September. The snow here in Colorado is coming. Any insight on how these will work in the wet, sloppy, Sept/Oct Colorado snow? I run in Cascadia 7's now (love/hate relationship with them btw) but I'm looking to move towards a lower drop shoe.

  39. Jake C.

    So bummed right now. I just blew out the upper on my 110s and was ecstatic to get my toes in the 1010s. I took them out for a 12 miler this morning and noticed that the lugs on both feet under my big toes are starting to peel away. I see per earlier comments that this was an issue but thought it was resolved. Anyone else still having this trouble?

  40. Jake C

    I had this same problem with mine after 12 miles on pretty rocky terrain. I took them back to the store and got my money back but am gutted because the shoe was very comfortable and just what I'm looking for. I am not sure if I want to try another of the same pair and hope the one I had was just a dud. Anyone else still having the problem with the lugs starting to peel away prematurely?

    1. Andy

      I bought 2 pair in early August — one from Running Warehouse (Red/black) and one direct from NB (blue/black). On the blue ones the front lugs on one shoe started to peel after one run, but have not gone any further. The red ones are still fine after at least 50 rocky/rooty miles. Not sure if the colorway or any other production variable is at play.

    1. Mike Behnke

      I just bought a pair of 1010's and they are awesome. I was in a 10D in the 110 and went with a 9.5 for the 1010. If you have a little extra room in your current shoes I would go down a half size!

    2. Andy

      The 1010 is definitely roomier (and longer) than the 110, but I went with the same size – 10.5D – and have been very happy. Just a different, softer, roomier feel, but no slippage or sliding forward or toe bashing on the descents. Great shoe!

  41. Danna

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

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

  42. Todd Gallagher

    I've had my 1010's for about a month now. Here's my two cents. I wear a 9D in all my other New Balance shoes so ordered a pair of the 1010's in my regular size. The shoe does feel a bit roomier but I don't feel that much of a difference when running. I have no bruising on my toes/toenails and no blisters. The shoe stays on the foot nicely and doesn't slip around and the toe bumper has saved my toes a few times on roots and rocks. I've run a couple of 25 mile runs in them and they have performed very well for me. I live in the Pacific Northwest so there tends to be a lot of roots, rocks and mud, very technical trails and significant climbs/descents. The shoe grips well on most surfaces, although I've yet to find a shoe that doesn't slip at least a little on wet roots. The shoe drains well post stream crossings. I've logged about 100 miles on them and the only breakdown I've noticed is that one of the lugs underneath the left toe section is lifting ever so slightly and it seems to be where the shoe flexes. The sole itself has very little wear. The only thing that I'm curious about and I'd like to know if anyone else has noticed is this. The sole of my left shoe has slight cut downs/indentations between the lugs on the rear section of the shoe but they aren't on the right sole. Anyone else notice this? Just wondering if it's a one off or a production glitch/error. All in all I am very impressed with this shoe, it'll be my go to shoe for distances of up to 50 miles.

  43. Ben

    I noticed the same thing in my 9's. I returned them for 9.5's. But I'm still waiting for the shipment. Hope it fixes it, i hate black toes.

  44. jhnnyk

    I'm loving my 1010's and have about 175 miles on them. Unfortunately when I finished my run I noticed a huge tear on the inside of the shoe above the arch-like reinforcement near the ball of the foot. It's only on one shoe, but I can see the tear starting on the other one too :-(

    I like them enough I was planning on another pair, but I need them to last a bit longer. Now I'm wondering what to do. Should I try them again and hope a new pair lasts longer?

  45. Bill B

    A few comments for those thinking of a purchase. I think this shoe will work well for many people, but there is a reason for the word "minimus" in the name. I logged about 50 miles in them, including one 3 hour effort in rocky terrain, then laced them up for a steep rocky 17 mile trail race (Imogene Pass). At the end of the race, one of the vibram pod covers on a heel was torn away and flapping. Also have some minor heel bruising because I believe the rock plate does not extend the entire length of the shoe. Still, I loved the shoe for the short time I did run in them, but I think this going to depend on the type of trails you enjoy. Just don't think they are going to hold up for any amount of time in rocky terrain. Did same event a year ago in NB 101s and worked better. Should have used my 110s which I love. Figuring this was my poor choice to use a minimus line shoe in such steep rocky terrain at race pace, I left them in Telluride for whomever wanted them rather than contact NB for a new pair or rebate.

  46. STEVE

    I live about 4-5 miles from the nearest trail head. I was wondering is anyone knew how the treads hold up on concrete on the way to the trail?

    1. jhnnyk

      I normally run 100% trails, but bought these shoes while traveling and ran probably 100 miles of pavement on them. The tread definitely showed signs of wear, but held up quite well. I've had none of the pod covers fall off or anything like that.

  47. rms

    Alas, I have a contraindication after starting with the MT1010 on the MAS50 course (very rocky, steep climbs & descents). I'd worn them for only 2 6milers previous, and loved them, 1/2 size down from my MT110, which along with the VerticalK are my shoes lately. Still loved them till 15miles into the race, and was very impressed with how protective the shoes were, then started experiencing metatarsal head pain in both feet… which quickly worsened, and I had to stop at 20miles. Also, one of the vibram pads is peeling off after 3 runs, I'm going to try to RMA this pair.

    I'm not sure what to think now. I'm still impressed with the shoe, no black toenails or other issues, I *love* the upper, just this metatarsal problem. Are my feet weak? Does the shoe design need tweaking? Is the odd distribution of the vibram pads causing an unusual flexing of the forefoot that's irritating the balls of the feet? Dunno

  48. Andrew

    Just had a 50km day followed by a 40km day here in the Drakensberg in South Africa. It was the first time I'd ever worn my 1010s.

    They are great shoe – we had snow, mud, rock, rivers and lots of clumpy off camber grass (it's similar to how I imagine Hardrock being but with less path). Great grip, enough cushioning and zero foot damage. The gusseted tongue is great for keeping stones and grass out of the shoe. They still look pretty much new.

    I think for most people it is a far better shoe than the 110. I find it difficult to run downhill quickly with my 110s as the heel is very narrow so stability is an issue. Also, the 110 lets in a ridiculous amount of mud and stones when running through rivers etc.

    Today after a 90km weekend when my weekly mileage is normally only 30km or so my legs are a little sore but nowhere near what I was dreading.

  49. jhnnyk

    My local running store replaced them for free (thank you Footzone Bend!). But with less than 100 miles on the second pair, the tear in the upper is already starting in the same spot again. :-(

  50. Andrew

    Ooops, looks like I may also have to retract my awesomeness rating.

    Getting little holes on the innier side (medial?) near the ball of my foot just behind the reinforcing there. After only 100km?

    Glad I got them for free.

    Still a very comfortable and "fast" shoe but if the durability is this poor they may be difficult to recommend.

    Is it just me or does NB briong out a new shoe every 5 seconds.

    Surely Salomon's model is better – bring out fewer models and focus on making them more durable?

  51. rms

    Giving this pair another chance, I took the foam cover off a pair of Superfeet Black insoles, leaving just the 3/4 length plastic frame, and this worked quite well, reducing metatarsal pain to a minor annoyance during a rocky 50k run, while not changing the feel of the shoe. However three more vibram pads are tearing off, near the heel of both shoes.

    The sole of the MT1010 needs a major redesign. The 'lily pond' web of vibram pads IMHO is a source of instability in the forefoot, that makes me feel I'm balancing on a dinner plate when landing on one of them. This extra squirminess just slows me down on a technical surface, and I think contributes to metatarsal pain.

    In addition, the 'floating arch' — the triangle of EVA bumps under the instep — is a failure. At purchase these are full-height, but collapse entirely after 20miles or so, completely changing the dynamics of the shoe, and is the main cause of my metatarsalgia, with the instep becoming lower than the outboard perimeter of the shoe. This is quite different than the MT110, where the instep of exposed EVA is flat all the way across: I don't need arch support insoles in the MT110, but they are required for any long run in the MT1010.

    The upper, the rockplate, the shape of the sole, are all wonderful. The out-sole (whatever the proper term is) needs a redesign, mainly to be more side-to-side symmetrical. This I think would reduce squirming in the forefoot and make arch support less dramatically absent.

  52. A ndy

    I've got the same tear at the same spot, as well as lugs peeling away. That's why I've got a second pair just gently used to wear for VT50 this weekend, but I agree the durability factor is an issue. Of course, you can buy 3 pairs of NB for the cost of about 2 pairs (or less) of Salomons.

  53. Andrew

    Agree, most annoying. Think I need to harden up and actually wreck my F Lite 230s, MT 110s and MT1010s properly before searching for the next greatest thing!

    But the 1010s are really cool and with a "normal" upper they'd be ideal – something like the 101 is all that's needed.

  54. Jon

    I really enjoyed these kicks for a couple of weeks. Now, after about 150 miles, I have several holes in the upper and a lug has completely been torn off the bottom while one other lug is just barely hanging on. I'm pretty bummed, durability is what most of us look for in a shoe, and I'm afraid this isn't the one.

    I miss the trusty 101s, I got over 1,000 miles out of a couple of different pairs of those…

  55. andrew

    Hi Dom, Can you give some indication of when the 110v2 is due to be released? I love the v1 and have had several pairs. I think it's almost the perfect shoe when used for what it's designed to do. Cheers

  56. Jason

    I picked up a second pair of these within days to have 2 pairs to rotate through. I prefer the synthetic upper from the 110 better as it feels much more confidence inspiring on downhill and technical sections. After approximately 300 miles of trail running on a variety of surfaces and am really impressed with the fit and rock plate. The additional heel of the 1010 is appreciated on downhills as well. My only complaint with the 1010 would be in the durability department. Have had issues with the lugs coming unglued on both the grey/blue and black/yellow models. The manager at the local NB store had no problem with me returning the grey/blue pair for this issue, despite the obviously trail worn condition of the shoe.

    All in all a great light-weight neutral trail shoe with good protection under foot protection on rocky terrain. I wish this shoe was more durable. Will continue to alternate these with my 110 depending on trail conditions.

    @ Dom: Look forward to seeing you at the Team RWB training camp here in Texas in November.


  57. Andy

    Just put my second pair through the VT50 on Sunday — a really tame course as far as rocks and roots go — and still came away with one shredded upper. Too bad, they only have about 100 miles on them and were supremely comfortable despite the rain and mud, and my feet are perfect and blister free. Traction in the mud was fair to midling. Bottom line: A superbly comfortable shoe but with a very short lifespan.

  58. Jon

    I do want to say that I contacted New Balance today relaying to them the problems I've had with the lugs and they quickly replied offering for me to send the shoe back and get another pair. Really great service, and I am a very grateful runner.

  59. Todd Gallagher

    Like many other folks here, my 1010's are tearing/ wearing out on the medial side near the reinforcement area by the big toe. I've sent them back and awaiting my replacement pair. New Balance was very prompt in getting back to me and asked no questions, just replaced the shoe. Hopefully they will tweak the shoe for 2013 and make the upper more durable. All in all though a great shoe.

  60. Dutch

    Sadly, I have to report the same tearing as others have on the uppers after ~130 miles. At 149 miles, and just days before a 50K I was planning on wearing them in, the shoes tore to the point where I didn't trust them. I took pictures and emailed with New Balance about the "premature wear" issue (as they called it). They were happy to exchange for a new pair. Aside from the tearing and one other issue (sort of upper related) I really like the shoes.

    The other issue is how the upper is attached to the shoe. The upper sort of tucks under and towards the middle of the shoe. This leaves a strange gap/bump feeling right at the tips of your longer toes. The first pair I had I stopped noticing it after ~20-25 miles. The second pair my first run in them was the 50K and that was a poor choice. This bump gave me some exceptional blood blisters on the bottoms of my big and second toes.

    I've really enjoyed the 110's but on anything over 2.5 hours I appreciate the extra cushioning of the 1010's. If I have similar issues with this second pair I won't go with the 1010's again… I'll just continue on my endless quest (my wife thinks I'm developing a problem) to find a good trail shoe with the perfect cushioning and drop – ~20mm cushioning in the forefoot and 4mm drop, if anyone has suggestions. I thought the 1010's would be the pair but, as things stand now, it's not looking that way.

  61. Jason

    I too had issues with the uppers ripping. I wore mine for seven runs for a total of 120 miles and both shoes had 1-2 inch tears where the upper connects to the sole of the shoe. Does anyone out htere know if New Balance is planning on making any changes/adjustments in response to this? I really loved the shoe, but I do not want to invest the money in a second pair knowing that so many other people have had issues with the uppers.

  62. Andrew

    Do you guys think that mine will last a 42km in extreme sand / rock coastal terrain? Doing the Otter African Run next weekend (Anton K is doing it too!) And I have small holes in the usual place on both. Not yet through the inner fabric and not big enough for for a finger to poke through? How quickly do they completely fall apart?

    1. Dutch

      The inner fabric never tore on mine, just the outside. It's possible they would have held up for a long time with just the inner material intact but I wasn't willing to risk having my shoes rip into multiple pieces at some point during a 5-6 hour race. The outside fabric on mine went from fairly minimal (but noticeable) tears to several inch long tears over the course of their final 10 mile run. It's obviously your call but I'd hate to have to finish a race of any distance with no shoes on my feet.

      If Anton K is there maybe you can get him to talk to New Balance about what's up with the 1010's. I think I remember reading on his blog that he was running in the 1010's for a while during his recovery. Probably best to try before the race since you most likely won't be seeing him once the race starts.

    2. Jason

      I second the idea of not chancing the inner lining ripping open. The exterior layer on mine ripped which permitted rocks to get in between the bottoms of my feet and the bed of the shoe, causing blisters. My tears happened pretty quickly as well.

    3. Andy

      Sadly, I agree. My second pair were pristine until the end of a 50m last weekend. I only noticed the huge rip after washing off the tons of mud that had collected — it was probably the only thing holding the upper together!. It's true the sock liner never tore, but I'd hate to be on a rocky course with debris coming in through the hole in the upper. Andrew — definitely check with Tony and let us know. Of course, he can probably change shoes as often as he wants, but not mid-race!

  63. Andrew

    Thanks for all of the advice.

    In a quandry now though – MT110s let in far too much sand, F Lite 230s too minimal and my road shoes will see me on my ass the whole time.

    May have to try to stick the holes together with some kineseotape and contact glue and hope like hell the 1010s can hang in for one last ride!

    If I can chat to Tony I'll mention the durability issue to him – if he's planning on running in his 110s I'd love to know what he does for sand coming through the mesh – I ran 2km on the beach in mine a while back and my toes literally got squashed by the amount of sand that got into the shoe.

  64. Jeremy

    I've recently begun to transition to a more minimal shoe concomitantly with a transition to mid-foot striking (I suffered a pretty intense case of IT-band syndrome during the Canadian Death Race last year that was traced back to heel-striking by my physiotherapist, and have not had any issues since the transition). I've been training in the Brooks Pure Cadence shoe for about 8 months and have no complaints, save sore heels after 2+ hour runs. I'm now looking for a more minimalist trail shoe, but am not interested in the Pure Grit because of its narrower toe box (I need room up there!).

    My question has to do with the function of a shoe like this. For someone with relatively little experience with minimalist shoes (if the Pure Cadence can even be considered minimalist), is this a shoe in which I could expect to run marathon and beyond distances? Or should this shoe be used more for training and a more substantial shoe for longer distances? I recognize that this question is very general, so I'm not looking for such a specific answer.

    1. Andy

      Once you've acclimated and conditioned to a more minimal shoe, this shoe will serve you very well and comfortably up to at least 50m or 100k. I haven't gone more than 50 miles in them but am interested to hear if others have worn them for a full 100 and how they fared.

      1. Anonymous

        There are issues with this shoe and longevity you can see above. It was a great idea and the shoe is wonderful out of the box but my belief is without an outsole covering the entire bottom the vibram pod covers will tear away going fast through rocks. Not an adhesive issue but a design issue. Others have noted the upper tearing with minimal mileage. The NB 110 has none of these problems, a rock plate, and adequate cushioning to run as far as you like. And same weight as the 1010. Don't get sucked in by marketing on the latest greatest.

        1. Andy

          With all respect, IMHO, they are really different shoes and the 1010 does have place in the pantheon of minimal shoes distinct from the 110. I love the 110s also but the fit, feel, and cushioning are quite different. And the 110 uppers do rip easily, though maybe not in the same way as the 1010. Will be interesting to see the 110v2 in January, and the later 1010v2.

  65. Dutch

    I agree with Andy. I love the 110s for anything up to about 2.5 hours. Beyond that and it's nice to have a little more cushioning – which the 1010s offer. While I have had some tearing on the uppers of a pair of 110s it was notably from catching a tree branch during a log crossing. When you have shoes with minimal weight, you're going to have some concessions made to durability, there's simply no way around that and I can accept that sort of risk. The tearing of the 1010s upper, however, was not due to an acute event and was only from the material wearing down over an unacceptably short period of time.

    I think an amazing combination would be the 110s but with the midsole of the 1010s.

    Jeremy, the stack heights and drop of the Pure Cadence and MT1010 are very similar ( does a great job of showing shoes' stack heights and drop if you ever want to compare. I've also found their Shoefitr link to be very accurate in comparing the differences of wear-feel too). I don't think you'd have any issue going from one shoe to the other. I've run up to 40 miles in the 1010s and found them to offer sufficient cushioning and protection. My only concerns with the 1010s are for the durability of the upper.

  66. Andrew

    I agree with the above sentiments.

    I have both 110s and 1010s and they are very different.

    1) Way less cush on the 110 – I eventually fitted cheap thin ish NB insoles in the 110s to make them a but more plush.

    2) The 110 is an awesome shoe but it lets in soo much dirt / sand through the mesh, it is heavier than the 1010 once wet and the heel is very XC flat in that it is narrow. The fit IS awesome on the 110 but you need to be fairly deep into the minimalist koolaid to use them for everything.

    3) Apart from the upper which lasts 150km, the 1010 is the best shoe I've run in. And to be honest, I did the 42 km Otter African Trail Run in my already tearing 1010s and the inner lining held up fine.

    As an aside, google the race and check out the terrain – pretty epic!

    1. Andy

      Yeah, was waiting for your report on your chat with Anton but apparently he was nursing some lower leg nerve issues that flared up and (wisely) decided not to run. Anyplace to see your race report on that epic coastline run? With a CR of 4:20 for 42k it's got to be a tough, though spectacular, course. Congrats on your finish!

  67. Andrew

    Hi Andy

    So bleak Anton couldn't run – it would have been cool to meet him and he would have definitely challenged for the win!

    Check out and search for Jacques Marais photographer's pics. I also see that Sebastien Chaigneau will have a race video on youtube – there's a teaser .

    Incredible course – I have done up to 65km at highish altitude but nothing has bever been as difficult – quads were cramping from before halfway and I only just scraped a finish before the cutoff. I will be back next year with stronger legs as it is the most beautiful, technical, relentless course I have ever done!

    1. Andy

      I saw the website pre-race, and have spent a tiny bit of time in SA and on Table Mountain and surrounding countryside. It is truly exquisite. Sounds like an epic, quad-crushing course — maybe next year! Congrats again!

  68. Andrew

    Hi Max. If you have no other shoes then I guess they would be ok but a bit hard. Try to find some Kinvara 2s somewhere as they will be cheaper than the new Kinvara and have a similar drop but good cushioning. Otherwise, New Balance RC 1400s are cool.

    1. Andy

      Tough question because there are so many choices depending on your running style, experience, preferences, etc. The MT110 and MT1010 are both fabulous trail shoes if you are comfortable and seasoned at wearing a minimalist shoe, but otherwise I would avoid these at least for starters. Same story on the road with the Minimus Road, Zeros etc., and even the 1400s (though they do have a much more substantial drop and some cushioning). Maybe get to a local retailer and test drive a few options?

      1. Fitz

        I say, especially if you are a new runner, start with the minimal styles. I think it'll save you from developing a bunch of bad habits that you'll want to shed eventually. I think you may like the feel better of having "less shoe" and more feeling, I know I do!

  69. Phil

    I love the New Balance MT1010. I just bought a pair and went on my first test run. My initial concern was the downhill on rocky terrain, but they were actually surprisingly cushioned. My feet felt very protected. Previously,I have been running in the Altra Lone Peaks, which is a very hardy shoe, however, they also are a bit on the heavier side. The MT1010 are much much lighter. Although they aren't designed for the road, it felt ok on cement and asphalt. I think I am going to use my NB MT's for trail runs and the LP's for longer mountain runs.

  70. César

    Has anyone had any problems with the MT1010´s upper? Some spanish reviewers and an american reviewer have had the same problems with tearings in the upper. Funnily all of them had the same colorway as the one in this review. One of the reviewers had the problem of the sole almost disintegrating.

    I´d appreciate any comments on durability of the MT1010, as I am searching for something with a wide toebox as in the MT10s but with rock protection and still minimalist!

    1. Andy

      I have two pairs — in two different colorways (red and blue) — and the uppers on both have ripped open completely on the medial side, exposing the sock liner. They started to give way within 100-150 miles and were completely shot by 200 max. I'm still running in both pairs but at this point they are essentially a comfy sock liner attached to a sole, which has held up OK. They are roomy in the toebox, snug enough in the center and rear, and super comfortable with plenty of cushion and support for the minimalist runner for at least 50 miles (the longest I've taken them). I hope v2 has a more durable upper. Hope this is helpful. I do understand that NB is responsive and may send you a replacement pair free of charge if they fall apart.

      1. César

        Andy thanks for the prompt reply!

        do you know or have any info about any possible new version which improves this?

        I think I am going to wait until there is a V2 of these, and they figured out the upper. Unless I find a great sale on them.

        1. Andy

          No, I think it's too early for a V2 — NB usually waits about a year, and these were released in July, I think. I hope the problem is addressed in a V2, and suspect it will be because I think the shoe has been popular, pero, como se dice en Español, "¡Vamos a ver!"

          1. César

            hehehe, así es, vamos a ver que pasa. ;)

            in the meantime I´ll somewhere else for a trail shoe. The MT10 V2 sounds to have a bit more protection than the original, we´ll see.

      1. Andy

        This thread is re the 1010, not the 110 (tough the way NB names their shoes!). Totally agree with you on the exposed midsole on the 110 — it has zero traction on anything wet. And there's also the raised lateral edge that everyone has complained about, which reportedly is fixed in the upcoming V2 (January release?). We'll see if they've addressed the outsole issue.

  71. rms

    I of course meant MT1010, which has a mind-boggling lack of vibram lilypads on the entire instep area. This makes the shoe unstable on technical surfaces, as there is effectively less than a one-inch-wide strip of tread on the very outside of the sole, that behaves completely different than the inside, which has a six-square-inch cavity full of squishy nothingness.

    The gap also exacerbates any pronation issues the wearer might have, and eliminates this shoe as an ultramarathon candidate for me, as I cannot relax while wearing it. Even with superfeet black insoles, odd metatarsal pains surface after 15-20miles.

    It is interesting that you complain about the MT110's outsole but don't even mention the 1010's. I've done several technical terrain marathons & a 50k in the MT110, without ever feeling the need for an insole. This is due partly to the greater stiffness of the 110 sole, but partly because it is side-to-side symmetrical. It's a harsh shoe, in it's lack of cushion, but completely predictable and very precise on technical terrain. The exposed midsole is a non-issue around here — weathered granite, which gives good grip even when wet — even when it wears completely flat, as it wears flat *symmetrically*.

    Contrast this MT110 exposed midsole to that of the MT1010: The 3 'floating arch' midsole pillars compress and shear off to less than half their original height, *but only on one side*. The shoe behaves completely differently after 20miles than it does in-store.

    If I seem so annoyed about this, it's because the rest of the 1010 is stellar: the close-weaved upper — no tearing issues here, and I hope this material and a fully-gusseted tongue appear on the MT110V2 — the wonderful rock plate, the cushioned ride. But the lack of instep tread and the inherent instability of the lilypad design fad negates all those positives. I can only hope that New Balance is not wedded to this outsole design, but have heard no mention of changes to the MT1010 for 2013, in which case I'll be looking elsewhere.

  72. Andrew N

    Very interesting sentiments – almost as if your upper is made of different material to everyone else's? Obviously not the case but my upper is shredded after 200km of seriously technical terrain. I have run in snow, mud, gravel, sand, high mountain rocks and slippery beach rock and the outsole has been awesome for me.

    I cannot understand the obsession with the MT 110 – for me, compared to the MT 1010, there is not enough cush and the heel is too narrow to be stable when tearing downhill.

    Really hope the MT 1010 V2 has an upper like the MT 101 – that's all it needs to be my perfect shoe for 10km to our 90km weekends in the high mountains.

      1. Andy

        :-) for comfort and performance, :-( for durability. Maybe the stitching will be improved: they seem to come apart at the seam on the forefoot on the medial side.

    1. rms

      Well, a closer look at the uppers in mine shows tearing in multiple spots on both shoes, alas. At first I thought they were abrasions similar to those in my peregrines, but these are more…systemic. I'll try spackling with shoe goo, which worked well to repair the multiple peeling lily pads; but yeah, another MT1010 issue to be fixed. I also had the earlier MT101, and as I recall, the outer fabric layer was strong, but with a very loose weave that let in fine gravel, while the inner fabric layer was weak and ripped easily. Also the 101 and the 110 had ungusseted tongues, which is a no-no to me. I'd prefer a finer outer weave to reject gravel immediately, like the present 1010 or the Peregrine, if they can fix the tearing.

      The 110 is not my favorite shoe, btw, for just the reasons you give. I really like the Vertical K: Same weight but with cushion. However, it lacks a rock plate, so I wear them with insoles, the plastic frame of which acts as a rock plate, at least for the rear half of the shoe.

  73. Andrew N

    To give you an idea, the uppers on mine are torn above my toes and on both sides from the ball of the foot throught to the arch. Still comfortable but zero foothold on off camber / downhill. Purely gardening / walking shoes now. I have never caught them on anything it is just the flex points and the stress points that have torn.

  74. Reid

    Specifically referring to the MT1010 – I've gone through two pairs and ended up being fully refunded. Both pairs lasted only 20km (~12miles) before showing significant wear on the soles. The first pair was taken taken on a single trail run, the second pair on two shorter trails. All terrain was a combination of gravel jeep track, rocky clambering and very technical single track. On the first pair a lug in the arch basically ripped off, in the second pair the "foam" between the vibram protected lugs showed tears and even one of the "teeth" of a vibram lug was torn. Its basically this "foam", between the rock plate and the lugs that are the problem. I am trully dissapointed as this is the best pair of trail shoes I've had and I cannot find anything even close to as good in any of the other brands. If they could just come up with a better solution for this I would definitely get another pair but I cant spend that sort of money and get that sort of poor mileage.

  75. Jack

    The durability of the 1010 is abysmal. I'm specifically siting the upper here, where the baggy fit of the shoe promotes a sort of creasing and eventual ripping of the light weight material. I bought these in September for a 50 miler (which, incidentally, they were pretty good for) but by mid-November they were already falling to pieces (I had been rotating them with other shoes, not running in them exclusively). The worst areas are on the medial side bumpers where their welds meets the meshy upper. I agree with Andy's comment that these have basically devolved into a 'comfy sock liner attached to a sole'.

    In addition, the 'floating arch' sole design is a bunch of crap. As with the 110, these things are hyper-pronation devices, and have given me many problems with my post-tibial tendons. Less critical, but still annoying, is the fact that they simply don't feel solid underfoot, but unpredictably lumpy and anything but flat and stable. I don't find that to be a confidence-building attribute of a trail shoe, instability.

    I can't recommend these shoes in good conscience to anyone. They suck.. and not even for very long. I've now got my heart set on a pair of Merrell Mix Master 2s as a replacement for these in this category of shoe.

  76. chrisaj

    I have had no problems with the upper but the lug pads are tearing off after 30 miles of mountain running… Kind of disappointing really. I was running on some difficult terrain but 5 lugs have torn off pads already… not very happy about that.

    1. rms

      No love for the outsole from me, but to be fair, if you catch the peeling lilypads and tears in the upper early, Shoegoo does work well in keeping the shoe functional. With all my complaining, 4 months later I'm still putting them on for 10mi runs. The core of the 1010 is wonderful — Put some lilypads on the instep, NB, and I'll buy them again!

  77. Pantman

    I have used Minimus Trail 10s as my primary road running shoe for a couple of years. They are more substantial than the zero roads and more stable than the road 10s.

    1. César

      Thanks William, sadly I just saw your comment today, since I was in Texas this weekend, and you are right at 27, it is an amazing price to try them and wait for an improved version of the upper and sole…

      I was at the Academy store in El Paso, but they didnt have them in stock, so I guess this is an online only offer.

      I ended up buying the 110s and the mt00 for 80 bucks in total though.

  78. money B

    according to NB, they did not address the stitching on the upper on the current crop of colorways. i had the MT1010GY and the stitching on the inner side of each shoe (along the curved half circle) came undone after less than 3 months. no problems with the outsole – which i love BTW – or with any other part of the shoe. it's my ideal training shoe, but only if it doesn't come apart…

    i thought that because they discontinued the GY and now have the GB colorway that they might have addressed the stitching, but their customer care rep confirmed that it hasn't changed, but at the same time they don't expect it to come undone on any of their shoes.

    1. Jack

      Maybe they've stopped undercutting the arch of this shoe and will have a full, flat, stable platform? Ahh.. what do I care? I've moved on from NB already anyway. Merrell offer a much better line IMO, and their durability seems to be vastly superior.

    2. Andy

      Hadn't until I saw your post. With a full outsole, light weight, and same platform, this would seem like it has the potential to be the perfect 100-mile shoe for those of us who have loved the 110 and/or 1010 for up to 50m. Why haven't we seen or heard anything about it before this?! (BTW – aren't M080s the firecrackers the neighborhood miscreants used to set off in our youth?)

  79. Andrew

    Top Man! I managed to get a pair and they are on my feet now. I think that price may have been a mistake beacause they are back up at $99.99 now. Thanks!!

  80. DStinson

    I bought two pairs at that price! Definitely worth $27.44 considering I only get 4-5 weeks out of them before the uppers tear badly. I bought the 2 pairs before bed, woke up the next morning thinking I should buy more, logged back on to Academy and… they were sold out already. You snooze, you lose. Thanks for the heads up on that price.

  81. Andrew

    I just got a tweet from New Balance UK after asking them if these shoes will be available in the UK any time (they are not at the moment) and they have told me that the MT1010 V2 will be coming out in the Autumn/Winter so it will be interesting to see how they have addressed the concerns people have raised here. This could perhapse suggest that they held off from releasing the V1 in the UK because of the problems that people have had in the US. @Runtothehills1

    1. rms

      I see no mention of a rock plate in the description [broken link to New Balance product page removed], so this may not be a MT1010 replacement for me. Went ahead and ordered another pair of the Vertical K, and am waiting on a Helios review and I guess the Pearl Izumi line.

    2. Andy

      Strange – the NB site lists the shoe as a "hiking/multi-sport" shoe, even though it's 7.8 oz and has a 4 mm drop. Definitely have to wait for reviews on this one, though the fact that it didn't make iRF's Outdoor Retailer review or any other reviews leaves me wondering.

  82. Dr. Payam Larijani

    Have had the MT1010 for about a month and have been using them exclusively on the trails. It is my first minimus shoe and I'm not sure to keep them or not. First of all the positive, I really like the look, design, comfort, water repellent, and great grip on mud, rock, and dirt. They are so light weight that I can barely feel that I'm wearing a shoe. Now for the negative, it is painful to wear for my ankles, achilles tendon, and basically the muscles and tendons all around my feet. I usually go uphill for 45 minutes but at a fast hike/jog pace to warm-up and then run back downhill about 30 minutes to get back to my car. On the downhills, I can really go fast and keep a short gait with these shoes. Surprisingly the hard landings on the decent don't hurt my feet or knees even though there isn't much padding, why I don't know? I have noticed less pain around my feet as the weeks go by, perhaps my ankles, tendons, etc. are getting stronger? I have made an effort to stretch a bit more as well as swim laps to work my ankles in the water. I would like to keep these shoes but am not sure if it is bad for my ankles to be sore? My schedule is Monday, Tuesday, rest on Wednesday, then again go on Thursday, and Friday. by Friday afternoon I really need to rest but by Sunday morning I usually feel fine and look forward to my Monday workout..

    Has anyone had a similar experience getting used to wearing these "low-riders"… minimus shoes?

    I have NB M790's just for daily use and they are super comfortable but not as light as the minimus..

    1. rms

      I like it! The gap under the arch on the outsole was specifically addressed, and hopefully this will extend the distance range of the shoe. I'm still wearing the V1 (and gluing them back together every other run pretty much) for shorter runs.

      1. Robbie-RunTramp

        Yeah it looks pretty solid, the TPU overlays look a little flatter too, more flush with the upper, so it may help with the abrasion at those points. All in all a promising looking shoe.

    2. Andy

      suhh-weet! Too bad we have to wait 5 months.

      BTW – just sent *2* pairs of shredded 1010s back to NB with the promise that they will send 2 new pairs. Like everyone else, I have been gluing them together and still running in them, but decided to contact NB after my newest (3rd) pair opened up with less than 50 miles on them. Maybe if we all keep sending our trashed 1010s back NB will be prompted to release the v2 a bit sooner!

      1. César

        I just saw a video of the new M21010 V2, where they comment the upper has been improved, so I expect them in about a month to hit the stores! =))

  83. rms

    While we wait for July, give the LaSportiva Helios a look: Light, roomy, some cushion, and a rockplate. I've put about 50miles on a pair, and am very pleased. Stiff enough that an arch support insole isn't needed, plenty of room for thick socks and swelling feet in the same 47.5 that was very tight in the Vertical Ks. You might even consider going down a size in the Helios, though I'm happy with a slightly loose fit for longer runs.

  84. Sarah

    I'm returning my 1010s because the upper has torn away from the side of the shoe. The customer service person said they hadn't had any reports about this issue and thought I had a defective pair. They are sending me a new pair (which is really nice of them, thanks New Balance) This makes me wonder though if its a defect in the design.

  85. Dom

    The monomesh has less stretch than the original, and the fit feels a bit different with the heavier sole. 1010v2 review in a couple months?

  86. Rob C.

    Great feedback from everyone here on the 1010. I wanted to chime in with a late addition to the discussion, particularly around the durability of the upper. Like other commenters, I had the toe rip open just above the overlay on the medial side of the shoe after just two runs in them in the Shenandoahs (about 50 miles total).

    Fortunately, I called NB and they're going to replace them at no charge. Hopefully the 1010v2 upper is a bit tougher than the first edition.

  87. Timm

    I am doing the Spartan Ultra Beast in Vermont in September, I need a light weight trail running shoe that works for a neutral runner. I am looking at this shoe as a possible race shoe. So what we are talking about is steep hills, rocky steep paths, of course of course mud. Can you give me your thoughts or maybe you have a better recommendation.

  88. paolo

    Great shoe but the upper mash it is literally vaporizing after 100 miles of EASY trails and beach. Unbelievable for a 100 bucks shoe. Clearly materials are defective here.

    1. Andy

      Mine have typically vaporized in way less than 100 miles. A pair of the brand new 1010 v2s are on their way from NB as we speak, supposedly with better durability. We shall see …

      1. Dutch

        I have ~100 miles on a pair of the v2's and I really like them so far. The uppers seem durable and thus far show no sign of wear – I'm hoping this will continue to be the case.

  89. rms

    The vibram pods started ripping off on my 3rd run with the v2, after about 30 miles. I returned them for a refund and got a pair of the PI M2 (a decent shoe, but clunky compared to the v2). The new upper looked fine to me, but not definitively fixing the highly vulnerable sole pods after the disastrous v1 still has me rolling my eyes in disappointment. I recommend against this shoe if you are taking them on rocky trails. Maybe the v3 will fix the sole design *eyeroll*

    1. Andy

      I think the biggest issue with the NB shoes is quality control. I've had carnage of the upper in every pair (I've probably gone thru at least 5), some of them in the first 30 miles, but the pods have generally stayed put, even on rocky/rooty New England trails. I know many others have had issues with the pods peeling off, and it's so disappointing to hear they have not gotten it right yet.

      For what it's worth, I've been enjoying the LS Helios. It's way more cushy with much less ground feel than the 1010, but definitely not "clunky."

    2. money B

      bummer – i've had two pairs of the MT1010s but haven't had any issue with the pods. i actually love the grippy pods and rock plate combination, but haven't been able to prevent the upper from tearing in the same place as the others after a few months.

      it sounds like they've seemingly solved the problem with the V2 uppers, but the extra ounce of added weight has me thinking…

  90. firwave

    Help! My beloved 1010v2's are hard to impossible to find now. The quest continues to find a similar shoe as it seems the industry is going away from minimal running shoes. Any suggestions to a similar shoe to the 1010's? Need to be minimal cushion, foot shaped wide toe box, low drop, and dry quick. Suggestions?

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