Gear Review: New Balance MT101

Boulder Running Company

New Balance MT101

Boulder Running Company has introduced a new version of their trail racing flat, the NB Minimus MT10 (or WT10 for the ladies). It’s a low-profile, ultra-lightweight trail racer, designed for the neutral gait and features puncture-resistant toe material and ROCK STOP® in the forefoot to protect your feet from debris on the trail.

I moved to Colorado Springs in 2009 to discover that it is a Mecca of trail running. After living in New York City for 12 years, and running on pavement day after day, trails seemed like a fun change of pace. And once my body began to adapt to trail running, it has become a staple in my triathlon training regiment. Flash forward to November of 2010, and as often as I run on trails, it has not been until this month that I have found a trail shoe to run in that meets most of my requirements. The shoe: New Balance’s MT101.

A little background on the types of shoes I prefer to run in:

  1. 1. They have to be neutral.
  2. 2. They have to be light weight.
  3. 3. I prefer a roomy toe box.
ROCK STOP®

ROCK STOP® in the forefoot to protect your feet from debris on the trail.

And new to this list, after running on trails in shoes that are generally made to be run in during road races, it occurred to me that having a sole on the shoe that didn’t let little rocks through the bottoms (through wholes meant to keep your feet cool and dry) would be helpful (ya, I’m a little slow on the uptake sometimes). The MT101 has what New Balance calls a “ROCK STOP® in the forefoot to protect your feet from debris on the trail.” It’s basically a piece of plastic under the sole. It does a great job of keeping your foot protected from sharp rocks and various plants with thorns on them. I once had a stiff blade of grass penetrate the sole of my road running flats. It even broke through the skin on the bottom of my foot! So far, the ROCK STOP® has been great at keeping my feets protects.

My MT101's

My MT101's with about 60 miles on them

So, after a couple of weeks of trail running in the MT101 (roughly 60 miles), I’m happy to report that the MT101 pretty much meets all of my requirements. I really like these shoes. If you are going to be doing any trail running, I would recommend these for racing, and, if you are like me, and like to run in minimal-type shoes, they are great for everyday trail running too!

If you are an avid trail runner, you might also be interested in the NB Minimus MT10 (or WT10 for the ladies), which is due out in March 2011. I popped into the Boulder Running Company last week the day the New Balance rep was there. He had with him demo versions of the the Minimus shoes. They looked awesome! I will be trying these out as soon as I can get my paws on ’em. Stay tuned for that gear review.