The Return of the New Balance MT101 Trail Shoe

I’ve run in a lot of shoes over the past 5 years since starting this blog. Some were memorable, others not so much. And there are a few that rose above the rest and found a special place in my heart. The original Nike Free 3.0. The Brooks Launch. The original Saucony Kinvara and the Grid Type A5. On the trail side, the New Balance MT101 might be the biggest standout for me.

In my NB MT101 review from back in 2011 I wrote the following: “…this is quite possibly one of the most comfortable shoes that I own. In fact, if I had to choose the single shoe that comes closest to being a perfect fit for my foot, this would probably be among the top 3.” I still agree with all of that. The MT101 fit me perfectly, was lightweight, had a soft heel, and a firm forefoot – pretty much everything I look for in a shoe these days. If you took the New Balance 1400v2 and put a trail outsole on it, you’d not be far off from what the MT101 was (and the 1400v2 was one of my favorite shoes last year).

New Balance “updated” the MT101 in the form of the MT110, but the reality is that the 110 was a very different shoe. New last shape, firmer feel, just not the same shoe. And some portion of the MT110’s that were released were built up excessively under the lateral forefoot, leading to a slanted sole that my posterior tibial tendons did not like.

Apparently I’m not the only one who had a fondness for the MT101 as over the past few months I’ve been hearing hushed rumors that it might be returning in 2015. Last week Running Warehouse confirmed these rumors and revealed that the MT101 will indeed be returning next year. The RW blog featured an interview with New Balance project manager Brendan Murray in which they discussed the MT101 v2.

New Balance MT101 v2

New Balance MT101v2 – image via Running Warehouse

In the interview, Murray indicates that one of the major reasons for bringing back the MT101 are “The continuous requests I have been getting via email or even at trail events to bring back the 101. I have never experienced such a following for one particular model before.” Seems the MT101 may be the Brooks Launch of trail shoes.

It sounds like the MT101v2 will be on the same sole as the original (yes!), with the update mainly being a refresh to the upper. Fit should be the same as well (it’s not on the Minimus last like the MT110 was, but I found the fit generous). I’m hoping New Balance will keep the price point low as well – the MT101 was an affordable shoe and I’m hoping it’s successor will be equally accessible in that regard.

The New Balance MT101 v2 is to be released in 2015. For more information, read the full post on the new MT101 on the Running Warehouse blog.

About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.



Comments

  1. Couldn’t agree more, the 101 was the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn on the trail. I actually slipped on a well worn out pair yesterday to do yard work after a year of not using them and was taken aback with how soft and pliable that heel cup is.

  2. A couple of things…

    1.) I asked the guys at RW about price and they said they are hearing around 90 bucks. More than it was “back in the day” but I’ll still gladly pay that. I got crazy miles out of the 101′s.

    2.) I’m anxious to find out if I’m more in love with what I did in these shoes (50 mile PR and first 100k) or if I really loved the shoe as much as I remember loving them.

    I unlike you guys haven’t run a mile in the 101′s for the last few years.

    I do have a feeling they will pass the test of time though.

    Brad

  3. Oh man, I’ve never been so excited about a shoe announcement before. I blew out my last pair in a tragic Tough Mudder ‘accident’ and have missed them ever since.

  4. I’m not a trail runner, and I don’t run in minimal shoes, but this is my go-to walking-around-shoe. Good news.

  5. Perhaps if the drop was around the 6mm mark I’d have another look. The pair I bought were too small so didn’t run in them much, but I could imagine giving them another go in the correct size…

  6. Malcolm Graham says:

    I agree they were comfortable shoes, great fit, roomy toe box and i loved the heel cup; but I found them hopeless as trail shoes – probably OK for gravel/dirt roads but the tread was useless on anything soft or slippery. It would be great if they revamped the tread and gave it a little more depth. I ended up using mine mostly for 5k’s then retired them to casual use (the upper is torn but I still wear them almost daily!)

  7. Anyone know if these came in 4E width?

  8. So happy to read this! The two pairs I own are looking pretty shabby, but I haven’t been happy with any of the newer NB trail shoes in the same line. Can’t wait to get a few pairs when they come out! Thanks for sharing the news, Peter (and thanks to Dave F for leading me to your post!)

  9. The MT101 was THE BEST shoe I’ve ever worn. After buying my first pair, I went back and bought several more before they discontinued them; infact I’m still nursing along my final pair. I’ve run both trail and pavement in them, and worn them as everyday/knock-around shoes after retiring them, used them as a golfing shoe I haven’t been truly happy with a shoe since coming across the 101s

  10. This was a GREAT shoe and I’m glad it’s making a comeback.

    - rovatti

  11. Wonderful news. This was the shoe that really opened the door for me and my dip into more minimal running (and subsequently opening my own business). I remember buying my first pair of them at a Famous Footwear or something. I purchased them because I needed trail shoes and they were $50. Turns out they were so much more. There were also (get ready for some flattery Pete) the shoe that got me to follow this blog. I thought, “Hey this guy likes this shoe as much as I do. He seems smart.”

    Amazing how a shoe has so many memories associated with it. I still have a pair of them in the trunk of my car in case of a trail running emergency.

  12. I had no idea these weren’t available anymore. Very pleased to see they’re back. I’ve been really amazed at how comfortable these shoes have been for me (200 lbs.) running through the CO Front Range.

  13. I am going to cry myself to sleep after reading this post. I still have my original pair of the MT101′s. My wife prays daily that they will fall apart but I keep wearing them for just about everything. Despite their obvious signs of wear, and unseemly odor, they continue to be the best pair of shoes I’ve ever owned. My only regret is that I didn’t buy 10 pairs.

  14. Adam Christians says:

    I liked the 101s but liked the fit of the 100s a little more.

  15. Maryann Ramirez says:

    Very happy! I have 4 pair of the original and am impatiently awaiting the update! The 101 was the BEST trail shoe I ever ran in.

Speak Your Mind

*