Need a super lightweight shoe that can handle all terrains? The New Balance 101 may be the perfect choice for you.
Coming in at a mere 9.0 oz in the men’s New Balance MT101 and 8.0 oz for the New Balance WT101, this trail running shoe will feel like an extension of your foot, and allow you to tackle any excursion that you choose.
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New Balance keeps things relatively simple with the 101, and that may be the beauty of this shoe. Weight and space isn’t wasted on stability control, padding, or other advanced innovations. The shoe is geared for runners with neutral pronation, and allows them to slip on the 101 then immediately hit the trail.
The upper is covered in the usual synthetic mesh, as is found in most New Balance products. To defend your feet from the dangers of trail running, the Rock Stop strip covers the forefoot and protects your toes from any rock or tree root you may contact.
New Balance uses their new Sure Lace technology in the shoelaces. These are constructed in a ladder like form and prevent the shoe laces from slipping.
One major complaint with the previous New Balance 100 was heel irritation from a number of runners. New Balance addresses this issue with improved EVA foam in both sides of the heel cup, adding comfort and support to the Achilles region.
Flipping the shoe over, you’ll notice the rugged outsole, constructed with lug nut shaped grip. This configuration allows you to take on any terrain you please, and not lose traction on gravel, ice, or other slick road conditions.
The midsole of the 101’s is composed of the improved Acteva foam. This improvement cuts grams off the weight of the shoe, making it extremely light, yet incredibly versatile.
Is New Balance 101 The Best Running Shoe For Me?
The New Balance 101 is quietly building a very strong fan base, as runners appreciate the resourcefulness of the shoe. It isn’t quite a minimalist shoe, but gets close, with many testers claiming it felt like running on air.
Users found that the NB 101 was quite durable, and held its own on everything from basic dirt trails to even the most technical mountain terrain. They felt the shoe allowed more control over their stride, and made their run both comfortable and fun.
The main criticism of the NB 101 was that it felt too small. New Balance made the adjustment to the heel irritation that was bothering runners in previous models, but this changed the overall feel for some.
Runners who had frustration with the fit found that increasing the normal size by ½ produced a more comfortable ride, and fixed their problem.
If you are leaning towards testing out a more minimalist style shoe, but still want the flexibility to tackle your favorite off road terrain, the NB 101’s should be on your final list.
You may also wish to consider the New Balance 876, which is another impressive New Balance trail running shoe, with a little more cushion than the New Balance 101.
RunPals Rated: New Balance 101
(5.0 out of 5)