This update to the 101 lightweight trail racer gets low (4mm heel-to-toe drop) and goes to a natural running last for more forefoot room.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.