This is going to be my first review on here. So I thought I would make it be about the most influential piece of equipment I’ve used over the last 5 years. Since this is about running, it is going to be about shoes. In the last 6 months or so, I have been very interested in the minimalist shoe movement that has been going on. My opinion on these shoes was extremely negative. I felt shoes needed structured and support the type of foot that goes in them. Well on a whim I bought some New Balance MT101s because I needed some trail shoes and well they were the cheapest option I could find. I started wearing them and almost instantly my form changed and I was running up on my forefoot and no longer heel striking. It was an interesting experience to say the least and I haven’t really looked back. I am still a work in progress with the new form and my calves hate me at times, but I have notice that my legs feel amazing when I go out to run and they are stronger than ever. So here’s my review of the shoes that changed my entire running life.
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The New Balance MT101 is marketed as an “ultra-lightweight trail racer” but it is so much more. As I am transitioning from a structured support shoe to more minimal shoes, I have found the shoes to be ideal for all of my running needs. I started using them as they were intended, as trail shoes, but quickly found that I was running faster & more efficiently when I put them on. So, not being one for following the rules, I took them out on the pavement. I was pleasantly surprised with how cushioned my feet felt even with so much LESS shoe under them. They are so lightweight (7.8 oz listed at NB website) I’ve even used them as a racing flat for 10k through the city streets. The shoes can do it all.
The fit of these shoes is wonderful. I have a tricky 14 EE size shoe. Even though these shoes are said to be a D width, there is plenty of room in the toe box allowing my feet to spread out unrestricted. This ample space coupled with the minimal heel-toe drop have really helped take my running biomechcanics to the next level.The one fit issue I have had with them is the EVA foam collar around the ankle. It is very abrasive and I have found it promotes blisters rather easily. This is simply remedied by wearing socks that come up over the ankle collar. The other issue I have had with them is that the traction on the soles has worn out a bit quicker than expected. This is probably due to the amount of road miles I have put on them.
Finally (and possibly most importantly) the cost of these shoes is a real bargain. While they are listed at $74.99 at www.newbalance.com, I have found these shoes much cheaper with a simple online search. My first pair I bought for $65 and recently I purchased my second pair of these shoes for $55. The great news about this is that prices will most likely continue to go down as this shoe will be replaced in early 2012 with the MT110. Check out an early review of the MT110 HERE (HT: Runblogger)
These shoes are a triple threat as a trail, training, and racing shoe for a terrific price and I highly recommend them.