new balance 110 – shoe review

 

I purchased the NB trail 110 while vacationing in England.
I had been looking around for a minimal like shoe with slightly more cushioning for my long runs and races. The true minimalist shoes don’t have enough under foot protection for rocky surfaces, most all my ultra runs I’ve suffered more then necessary due to being somewhat of a purist. Well no more. The NB 110 is a solid compromise, offers extra protection while retaining a minimal like 4mm drop and a rock plate that doesn’t stiffen the shoe up noticeably. The lugs offer better traction in muddy conditions, and the plastic like upper although a little unusual seems to be working out so far. They also dry quickly after a wet run.
My normal size US 9 was just slightly too tight, so I went with a larger size. This means I have a half inch extra space in the toes. There is some slight movement on very technical surfaces that can get annoying. I prefer a tight and snug fit, but went with the larger size largely because these are going to be my very long run shoes. Anything over 5 hours and my feet usually start expanding a little. So these shoes will work well as something to “grow into” during a trail ultra. This shoe lacks the width sizes as my other NB, slightly disappointing, I prefer a wider toe box.
I’ve been test driving the NB 110s on the muddy fells of England and put about 30 miles on them so far. Rocks, mud, bogs, rain, asphalt, pretty much every condition around except snow. They performed well, although were a little on the slippery side over wet boulders. The added protection on spiky rocks was welcome on a 3+ hour run in the Lake Distruct.
I’m a little apprehensive about running in these in the full summer heat, I would guess the plastic like material upper could make for sweaty feet pretty quickly. I’ll check it out when I get back to hot humid Tennessee.
The Good
Very reasonable, the price is hard to beat. (This is last years model)
Light weight, near minimal
Good grip on wet mud and most other surfaces.
Dries fast
The Bad
Slippery on wet rocks. I found myself being extra careful on descents.
Some report that the lugs on the midsole wear out quickly, I have the same experience after only a few miles. I find this very odd. I’m not too worried about it yet since it doesn’t seem to matter much so far. As long as the outer sole up front and back stay more or less intact over the next few hundred miles I’ll be happy I think.
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I have a full calendar of races coming up this fall, can’t wait to run them in these.
Cheers