Honestly, the New Balance MT101 is probably my most cushioned shoe besides the Nike Free Run+. These have been my go to technical trail shoes, making up for the lack of cushion and protection in the MT10 and the Merrell Sonic Glove as well. When it comes to rocky and quick changing terrain the MT101 has been my choice. I wore them to my Army physical training every morning prior to getting the VIVOBAREFOOT Neo near the end of November last year.
Overall this shoe is not as minimal as I like so I have recently started looking for a new technical trail shoe. I recently purchased the Merrell Mix Master, so we’ll see how that compares as I get more miles on them.
According to my run log, I have put 218 miles on them. I have run in them on asphalt, concrete, and all sorts of trails. Originally, I started running all of my trail runs with the New Balance Minimus Trail (MT10). One issue with the MT10 is that they have no protection in the sole making them painful to run in on gravel or any sort of really rough small rocks. After doing some research I decided on the MT101, because I wanted the rock plate that it offers. The shoe is tough even through some of the worst trails that I ran in Fort Lewis, WA. The shoe has about a 10mm drop, which is more than I like. This was the main reason I have been looking for a technical trail shoe with less of a drop. However, the raised heel helped me during Army formation runs because we usually at a 160 steps per minute cadence, which really puts a lot of pressure on the knees and other joints and bones if you don’t have some sort of a cushion in the heel.
New Balance only released two colors schemes, Black and Dark Green. The look is very simple and not very flashy except for the silver N. Compared the new MT110, which in the red and silver is very flashy, the MT101 looks like a trail shoe. It is a very comfortable shoe to wear. I added the lock laces to make putting on the shoe much faster and I have had no issues with my feet slipping around in the shoe. I wouldn’t suggest running in these without socks. Other runners have had an issue with the heel, because it is not cushioned well and has been one of the main things changed in the new MT110.
I would like to address several complaints of the shoe reported by other runners: 1) the heel of the shoe cuts up their heels and sometimes causes blisters; 2) the shoe lets in a lot of debris; and 3) small rocks often get stuck in the small black dots of the shoe’s sole. For the first, I have to agree that the heel is not as padded as most runners would want; it is rather firm. However, I have yet to have an issue with it giving my heels blisters, rashes, or anything of the sort. I also confirm the second complaint; the shoe does let in a little bit more debris than I would like (i.e. sand and really small rocks. This is because of the shoe’s mesh outer layer. It doesn’t do a good job keeping out sand as I’ve come to find out here in the washes of Augusta, GA. All it takes is for you to accidentally drag your foot once through the sand and it quickly allows the sand to sink in. Lastly, I disagree with the third complaint; the small black dots in the sole of my shoes have had nothing stuck in them like some other reviewers have said.
- Heel-Toe Drop:10mm
- Weight: 7.5oz
- Stack height: Heel (19,6mm), Toe (9.7mm)
Overall the MT101 was one of my favorite pairs of shoes and it will be very hard to replace. I was very displeased with the newer version, the MT110, so I will have to go with a different company or wait till New Balance comes out with another lightweight technical trail shoe. I may be lucky because the MT1010 is supposed to hit shelves sometime later this year.
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