New Balance 915 Running Shoe Review
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New for Spring 2011, New Balance introduces the 915 to its trail running shoe line. The New Balance 915 is a low profile stability trail running shoe that is an excellent performer whether you’re running fire roads or rocky, rutty, technical terrain. I’ve been testing the 915’s over the past few months on pretty much every surface you can think of and I couldn’t find a whole lot this shoe could not handle.
The New Balance 915 is in the stability category for trail shoes as it comes with New Balances Stabilicore zone that offers a little stiffer posting than a traditional trail running shoe. And while it is considered a stability trail runner, I didn’t find it to be all that stiff and I am a neutral to mild stability runner.
If you like the feeling of a low cut running shoe, the 915 is just that. The heal cup stays pretty low on your ankle, giving your foot a good sense of the terrain. The New Balance 915 is plenty breathable as the shoe is made of primarily a mesh outer, so on warm spring and summer runs, you will get plenty of ventilation when you need it most. The one downside to having a shoe that has so much mesh is that you get a lot of smaller dirt particles in your shoe while running loose dirt trails. The tread system on the New Balance 915 gets the job done on pretty much all surfaces. As with most new trail running shoes these days, the 915 has a traction system that helps for uphill running on the forefoot and a reverse pattern on the heal to keep you in control on the downhills.
To keep rocks from penetrating through the midsole, New Balance uses a reinforced plastic plate that worked very well on rocky technical trails. It was rare when I would feel sharp objects and rocks while out on my runs. The one thing I would add for rock protection is a beefier toe guard. What is currently in use is a synthetic leather and a fabric that doesn’t offer much protection. The toe box fits fairly normal, not too narrow and not too wide in my opinion. I consider the overall comfort of the New Balance 915 to be good to excellent as the shoe comes with an Ortholite foot bed that offers exceptional padding and also helps the shoe from getting to smelly.
Overall, the New Balance 915 is a good performer if you are looking for a trail running shoe with a little added stability. For more information on the 915 and other New Balance footwear, please visit www.nebalance.com or www.amazon.com/newbalance.
Men’s – 12.5oz.
Women’s 9.1 oz.
I found the 915s to feel less like a trail shoe and more like a road shoe, yet they delivered the necessary traction and performance that you need for running on trails. I liked the low profile feel and the glove like fit that they provided. The tongue of the shoe is shaped so that it really seals out rocks, dust, water, etc by dipping into the body of the shoe on both sides; plus it isn’t overly bulking.
NB calls these stability trail shoes. However, like AGR I am a neutral and found these shoes to not over correct and felt comfy while hopping-skipping-jumping on the trail. Another major bonus, the laces! I don’t think I ever had to stop and retie my laces while out on the trail because of NBs unique lace design.