serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

New Balance 101 Men's Minimalist Trail Running Shoes

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Average Rating  

7 reviews

Shoe Type: TRAIL (Minimalist)

MSRP: $99 +

added on 8/24/10 by Chris Barber

Product Description
The New Balance 101 minimalist trail running shoes have the same exact sole as their father. Weird. Just like the 100s, "The heel of the shoe is made up of cut outs for rear traction. This really helped when I was over some sandy and rocky terrain as I was able to push off better. The midsole tread looks like someone took an ice cream scooper and scooped out pieces of the sole. My guess is that this is to reduce the weight of the shoe, as well as increase flexibility and breathability. You won't be getting any dirt, mud, or rocks caught in these cylinder shaped holes. The front tread is made up of some smaller ice cream scoops but mostly squares around triangles which lend for good traction while still giving you ample feeling of the trail." Honestly, who quotes thyself? I do I guess. The midsole is very flexible which allows the shoe to bend like your foot does, giving you the minimalist feel. However, the soles are tough enough (are you tough enough NKOTB?) that I've run on all types of gnarly terrain in these babies and the bottom of my feet haven't hurt yet. This son understood what his father meant when he said to make sure to always have protection.

The biggest difference in the New Balance 101 is the shape of the front of the shoe. The protection strip in the front is made of a sturdier plastic and covers more area than the MT100s did. An upgrade for sure. The toe area also seems to be wider than than the New Balance Trail 100s too. I really like this difference because it gives my toes more freedom to move around while I run, allowing the shoe to harness the benefits of minimalist running.

There is less cushioning in the New Balance 101s than the 100s, but you won't notice it when you run. They're minimalist trail running shoes, so if you looking for cushioning then you should check out a pair of cushioned trail running shoes, not these running shoes. There is an area for your foot to rest if you have high arches, but the NB 101 minimalists don't have any arch support. It's about time you stopped supporting your arches, they're well over 18 now.

The upper is a synthetic mesh which keeps the New Balance 101 Minimalist Trail Running shoes dry and breathable. I ran these straight through a couple of creeks and they were dry in a matter of steps; as you can see from my picture to the right! They also have New Balance's Sure Lace technology but let's get serious, did shoe laces really need new technology to keep them from becoming untied? I have my own Sure Lace technology, it's called double knotting. There is more fabric on the lip of the tongue (make sense?) than the New Balance MT 100s which is nice because it keeps the ultra-lightweight tongue from getting stuck down your shoe.



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Guest on 9/1/11
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
Review: The shoes fits like no other shoe I have ever tried, perfect. I run very steep/rocky/sandy terrain no issues. My only gripe is the wear of the shoe. In 4 months I have a little over 300 miles and the bottom front area has become smooth, so it's slippery now on steep decent or climbs. The other areas are fine not worn. I also have thread seams uppers toe area separating. I'm not sure why this is as the Vibram is known to last. Maybe it's my running style just not sure, but I'm very disappointed with the wear factor in my case. I have read other reviews and they seem to not have any wear issues. I wonder if they have any guarantees options.

Recommended for: trail runners maybe less agressive than my style

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Guest on 8/15/11
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
Review: Really like the uber lightess, and feel of the terrain these shoes give. The 101's make you want to run longer , faster and farther. I have logged over 200 miles of rocky, sharp, rough desert running in these shoes. Last week I had a sharp rock poke a hole completely thru the sole " in one of the foam filled holes in bottom" Only reason shoe did not get a rating of 5 from me. Will fill the hole with shoe gu and keep on quietly running thru the desert.

Recommended for: Anyone that likes to run like a ninja, like me!

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Jeff M on 2/9/11
4 out of 4 readers found this useful
Review: Fantastic shoe. I have a medium-wide fore-foot, and this shoe fits me perfectly. It's light and allows my foot to naturally engage the surface, so that the feeling is not unlike running in my Vibram Five Fingers. I'd say the only difference is that the VFF's have zero padding, and the 101's are a little bit more forgiving, which is great for trail running, I think.

I run almost exclusively on road and treadmills, and absolutely love this shoe - can't say enough good things about it.

If you do not run with a mid-foot striking stride, these do not have enough heel padding, in my opinion - these shoes are minimalist and require a mid or fore foot strike (chi running).

Recommended for: Anyone who has a mid or fore-foot running stride.

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Swifter on 1/27/11
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
Review: I run with these shoes on both the trail and the road. I like the grip on the road, especially on downhills. I'm not sure what it is about the little holes in the bottom, but they seem to work. This is the only shoe I run in and I run about 40% trails. It's my first minimalist running shoe too.

Recommended for: New to minimalist trail running or running in general

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Guest on 11/15/10
3 out of 3 readers found this useful
Review: The shoe fits like a glove. Out of the box I put them to the test and it was a religious experience. The show is comfortable yet so light it feels like its not evern there. It is supportave enough that on higly techinal trails it dampend the rock and terrain.

Recommended for: Everyone who wants to be a better runner

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Chris Barber on 8/24/10
7 out of 7 readers found this useful
Review: I really like the fit and feel of New Balance's minimalist trail running shoes. They give me the feel of barefoot without being barefoot!

Recommended for: Trail Runners who want to begin minimalist running

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