New Balance 110v2 Review
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As far as trail running goes, 2014 may be the year that most minimalist runners revert back to cushioning and protection. In anticipation of this trend, New Balance has completely redesigned the popular 110. The New Balance 110v2 sports a full rockplate, fat lugs on the outsole, and RevLite cushioning. Each of these provide for a more comfortable run on rocky terrain. However, to keep the true minimalist runners happy, the 110v2 has a 4mm drop, a lightweight upper without ankle support, and plenty of flexibility. I also feel obligated to mention: Anton Krupicka helped design this shoe.
Specs of the New Balance 110v2
The New Balance 110v2 features an HHR rubber compound outsole for grip on rocky terrain. New Balance has also incorporated REVLite cushioning throughout the full length of the shoe. This is 30% lighter than standard New Balance foams, but just as comfortable.
The rockplate is made with ROCKSTOP technology. I must admit that after a few years running mostly in true minimal shoes, this was a welcome addition to my shoe collection.
The New Balance 110v2 weighs in at 9.5 oz. Given the amount of cushioning included, this is a worthwhile trade-off for what I would still consider a lightweight shoe. The 4mm drop helps to keep this shoe in minimalist territory.
Fit of the New Balance 110v2
The New Balance 110v2 is snug throughout. The first thing I noticed when putting the shoe on was the tightness on the base of my small toe. However, after a couple short runs the shoes broke in and I did not have any issues or hot spots. One thing to keep in mind is that I prefer an oversized toebox, and the 110v2 is more in line with a standard shoe.
I generally wear a size 9.5 or 10. I tested a 10 in the 110v2 and it fit perfectly. Also, I was able to keep the laces slightly loose (once again, personal preference) without any slippage in the heel.
After wearing various minimal New Balance trail models for the last several years, I was surprised at how comfortable the cushioning was in the New Balance 110v2. I have tested this shoe on trail runs of 2+ hours, and my feet have felt great, especially the soles. About two hours after finishing the Steamboat Stinger half-marathon, I realized that I was still wearing the shoes and in no rush to switch into sandals. In my book, that says more about comfort than just about anything.
The real benefit of this shoe; however, is its grip. The HHR rubber can stand its ground against Vibram anyday. I have sprinted down rocky descents without any concern of sliding. Since the shoe has an average sized toebox, you will not get the same feel from what I consider a true minimalist shoe with splayed toes, but this did not affect my running style.
I also found this shoe to be pretty flexible, especially since it has a full rockplate. You can’t fold it up like a ballet slipper (I will admit I recently packed my NB Minimus as I ran out of room in my suitcase), but it offers a necessary amount of give on the trail.
If I had one gripe about the New Balance 110v2, it was the length with which this shoe maintains water. I noticed on several occasions that the shoe stayed wet a little longer than I would have preferred. I guess it can’t be perfect.
If you are looking for a comfortable yet nimble trail runner, the New Balance 110v2 is your shoe. It blends most of everything I love about a minimal shoe with the addition of a rockplate and legitimate rubber lugs on the outsole. And priced at $89.99, this is one of the most reasonable shoes on the market.
For more info on the 110v2 and other New Balance footwear visit www.newbalance.com