The release of the New Balance 980 is upon us, and with it we will see the introduction of the company’s new Fresh Foam midsole material, which promises a super soft & pillowy ride, keeping in with the trend of increasing cushioning between you and the road. The 980, which features a flexible, 4mm offset to keep your stride uninhibited, is starting to get some buzz going for it and should be a good option for those who want a plush ride without the look of an oversized midsole. Read more…
The MT10 and WT10 were the original members of New Balance’s Minimus line, introduced in early 2011. This shoe paved the way for the expansion of the Minimus lineup, though the MT10/WT10 has remained unchanged until the release of this second version of the low profile trail shoe.
Not much has changed in this update of the longest standing Minimus offering, so fans of the original MT10/WT10 need not worry. Expect slight changes to improve trail performance and reduce weight.
What to Watch For
- More Outsole Lugs: The addition of lugs to the medial side of the outsole increases traction on a variety of surfaces.
- Increased Comfort: A foam layer built into the upper provides a relaxed fit, while a wrapped heel collar is designed to reduce irritation around the Achilles.
- Lower Weight: New Balance claims a weight of 6.2 oz (Men’s size 9) and 4.9 oz (Women’s size 7), a drop of about an ounce for both.
- Cool Colors: With bright new colorways usually reserved for road shoes, the MT10 v2 / WT10 v2 will certainly stand out on the trail.
Blue/Yellow MT10 v2
Blue/Pink WT10 v2
Not gonna lie, we weren’t the biggest fans of the original MT810 from New Balance. A heavier shoe with a near-excessive amount of protection, this traditionally designed trail model just didn’t really do it for us from a running standpoint. We are pleased to see a complete makeover in the shoe’s first update, and welcome the 810 v2 with open arms (or open feet?). Expect the 810 v2 to be a rugged yet relatively nimble shoe capable of all-terrain performance.
What to Watch For
- Complete Redesign: Nothing from the original 810 has gone untouched in this update. New Balance has reformed the shoe to become a more performance-oriented trail offering.
- Dramatically Reduced Weight: Down from a whopping 13.7 oz in the original, the new 810 v2 checks in at 10.9 oz in a Men’s size 9 and 8.4 oz in a Women’s size 8 according to New Balance.
- Lower Offset: An 8mm heel-to-toe differential will promote running on the toes for a swift and agile trail running experience.
Black/Red MT810 v2
Blue/Yellow WT810 v2
“The MT110 is actually one of the most versatile trail shoes on the road that I’ve seen. I was impressed by the comfort and stability of this shoe on the road and trail. The cushiony lugs provide a nice level of protection. I rarely go sockless, but without socks in the MT110 I didn’t feel a single hotspot.” – Erik
“I really like the fit of the upper. No complaints there. And the midsole seems plenty flexible, but it feels a little too built up on the outside edge of the forefoot. Probably something I would get used to after a few longer runs.” – Joanna
“New Balance stamped the phrase ‘Keep Up’ in the outsole. It’s kinda corny, and anyone behind you would have to be crawling on their hands and knees to see the words on your footprint, but it’s also a fun little detail that tells you the designers put some thought into every aspect of this shoe.” – Matt
- Lower, Flatter: The 4mm offset is flatter than the 9mm offset found in the 101, with the forefoot lowered two millimeters and the heel lowered 7 millimeters.
- New Last: The 110 switches to the wide forefoot of the NL-1 run-specific last, which gives you the room you need for your feet to spread out during midfoot striking.
- Synthetic Mesh Upper: This material breathes well, feels durable, and is easy to wipe clean. Or, if you’re like us, you’ll want to leave them dirty so they look a little more like genuine trail shoes.
- More Flexible Midsole: The midsole gives you some cushioning and protection but doesn’t get in your way (though a few testers noticed a built-up lateral forefoot, which felt a bit awkward at least at first).
- Better Cushion & Traction: Directional lugs from heel to toe on the 110 improve traction on uphill climbs and descents. The outsole is made from sticky rubber that also offers a bit of cushioning.
Every now and then there’s a shoe that has our staffers tossing and turning at nights, waiting in anticipation. We know the signs. The open catalogs on their desks. The methodical checking of blogs and chat rooms for product updates. The tents in front of our receiving dock.
The New Balance MT110 is one of those shoes. Every trail runner in the building was drooling over this shoe. So when we got our first shipment, it took about 16 nanoseconds for the first pair to be out of their box and on someone’s feet.
Turns out, the anticipation was totally warranted. New Balance nailed almost every technical aspect of this shoe. We couldn’t find one tester who was unimpressed with the fit and construction of the upper. It reminds you it’s there just enough without getting in the way. Of course, for the heel strikers on staff, this shoe would take some getting used to on the trails, but midfoot strikers felt right at home right away, with a smooth transition free of the “slap” on ground contact that can occur in a less well-designed shoe.
Apparently we weren’t the only folks eager for the launch of this shoe. The MT/WT110 is selling fast. Check out the Black/Green color of the WT110 (pictured) and the Black/Orange or Titanium color of the MT110.