As I’m sure you know by now… those of us who roam the WGUB hallways have a deep-down love for all things outdoors. We like to dress well… we love to camp in style… and we care very much about what we put on our feet! I’ve written often about what to wear for the lounging around and casual wear (ummm… hello! Sanuk!!!), and now I have a real stand-out for those of you who care about foot comfort while out in the rough-and-tumble wild. Ok… maybe not thaaat wild, mostly for a little off-roading action.
Introducing the New Balance MT101 TrailRunner ($75). To say this is a great all-around lightweight shoe is like calling the iPhone 4 a “nifty device”. This shoe is nothing less than badass! Let’s talk about weight… I have NEVER felt a running shoe as light as the MT101. The New Balance site says “EVA foam on the upper provides visual contrast and supports and cushions the Achilles; it does the same with the ankle as the EVA extends to the shoe collar” and “ACTEVA™ Midsole cushions and resists compression set – 12% lighter than standard foam“… but I think they’re lying and it’s more than likely made out of clouds and cotton candy, while being held together with angel kisses. I’m not joking… when I picked up the box I thought I got jacked. Of course, once I opened it up I saw them present and accounted for.
Let’s get to the sole… you seriously wouldn’t think a shoe this light and comfortable would be reinforced with serious forefoot protection…. but then again, you’re not the geniuses behind New Balance either are you? They snapped their little elves into line and made them work their mad cobbler magic with this pair. Described by NB as their patented “Rock Stop® embedded into forefoot provides protection from sharp rocks and debris”… these little monsters are intense. I purposely found the most jacked, pain in the ass, bone-crushing rocks around and the MT101 simply glided over them like I was running across soft, supple breasts. ok, that last visual was a little weird… but it works so get off my back.
About the top of the shoe… one cool thing the MT101 didn’t do when putting all this tech and comfort into the mix is forego style! They look comfortable and pretty slick. Hell…. these look good enough for casual around-town wear too! But hey… that’s what pictures are for, you be the judge (below). When they designed the top cover instead of going with some crazy boot style or hard-shell upper, they decided to make it breathable (smart!). They decided to go with their synthetic mesh upper. Not made for running in the extreme cold… but hella great when you want something that can breathe! (You get a good sense of the mesh with light shining through in the pic below):
My final word… if you are looking for an incredibly light pair of shoes that will go the distance and keep you safe from the jacked edge of the world, while keeping your style points intact. Then the New Balance MT101 TrailRunner is all you’ll need. (click on any of the below pics for a larger view)