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New Balance MT 1010v2 Trail Running Shoe Review

New Balance MT1010v2New Balance Minimus MT 1010v2 Trail Running Shoe Review

The Good

Meaghan: The New Balance MT 1010v2 is a sweet looking trail shoe! I was pretty thrilled with the fit too. It’s rare that I can find a shoe that isn’t snug in the midfoot. These are nice and wide with a particularly roomy toebox. The seamless mesh felt breathable and the welded overlays offered some extra support in the midfoot. They drained well, and kept out debris and sand better than most shoes I’ve worn through the water. At 6.4 oz, these are the some of the lightest trail shoes I own (Patagonia EVERmore are slightly less, at 6.3oz). I always assume with less weight, comes less cushioning and support; but not in this case. I never felt like I needed any additional protection. The forefoot has a responsive rockplate and the Vibram outsole contains carved out rubber lugs that offer sufficient grip and stability. I tested these on some serious downhills, so I can say with confidence the grip is there.

Thomas: Really loved the first version of this shoe. The only complaint I heard about the predecessor was that it did not hold up well. I rarely get a chance to max a shoes mileage out, so I did not have that problem with the MT 1010. Everything I liked about the first MT 1010 is here in the v2. The shoe feels great on the foot. Snug over the arch and it cups the heel securely. The traction bites into the uphills and does an above adequate job on the downhills. The cushioning is surprisingly comfy for a shoe with “minimus” in the name. I found the shoe soft and flexible an the trails and enough cushioning to handle the occasional mile of road getting to or leaving the trails. The New Balance MT 1010v2 has a rock plate that works and doesn’t weigh the shoe down or make it feel stiff. The shoe despite it’s appearance drains water easily. Why do I say despite it’s appearance? The upper looks less like mesh and more like rip stop material. The advantage is clear. The MT 1010v2 keeps the sand and mud on the outside of the shoe. Crossing sandy streams I came out with only water to expel from the shoe. The trails I run are usually more technical single track. I felt nimble and quick in the MT 1010v2. I even did a trail sprint in them, about 1/10 of a mile as fast as I could run. The MT1010 v2 were perfect for trail speedwork, who knew. These are fun trail shoes.

The Bad

Meaghan: I don’t have many (really any) negative things to say about this shoe. The fit may be too roomy for someone with a narrow foot, but that’s the only real issue I can foresee. I also never took these on runs longer than 5 – 6 miles. They feel durable, but I can’t attest for long distance.

Thomas: Having narrow feet, I synch up the laces to get the proper fit, this causes puckering over the toe box. Standing still in them I thought there would be a lot of sloppiness, however, the puckering did not cause any performance issue, I just don’t like the way that it looks. The laces are also cool looking, but way too long.


Meaghan: I’m not going to lie; I didn’t want to get these shoes dirty. But, of course, I did. I hit just about every terrain – dirt, thick mud, streams, sand, and rocks. They held up extremely well through all of it. New Balance has continued to win me over with their shoes. I could easily recommend the 1010v2 to anyone looking for a new minimalist style trail shoe.

Thomas: These are still my favorite trail shoe at the moment. I would recommend them for more technical trails I might go with a little more shoe if I was running fire roads or packed dirt trails.

Check out Gearist’s review of the New Balance MT1010 v2

From New Balance

Men’s Running – Minimus 1010v2 Trail

241g (8.5oz)


  • 4mm drop: due to variances created during the development and manufacturing processes, all references to 4mm drop are approximate
  • Lightweight cushioned midsole
  • Minimal outsole provides traction only in areas needed
  • Minimus is a whole new approach to footwear, a new place on the spectrum from barefoot running to the traditional maximum-cushioning running shoe. Inspired by Good Form Running and designed to be worn with or without socks. With only a 4mm drop from heel to toe, as little as a third of that of a traditional running shoe, the Minimus collection holds a world of discovery for neutral runners as well as those with gait issues or chronic injury to conquer by learning better form.
  • Synthetic/Mesh upper
NL-1: Natural Last Heel Width - Standard Instep Height - Lower Toe Box Depth - Shallower Forefoot Width - Wider

This last features a 4mm heel-to-toe drop and is designed to mimic the natural shape of the foot, providing a more fitted feel that is similar to a comfortable sock.

*Due to variances created during the development and manufacturing processes, all references to 4mm drop are approximate.

View shoes with the last NL-1  |  Learn more about Shoe Lasts


Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Bruce Noberg says:

    Hi. I actually have the first MT1010, and I hoped you could compare it to the MT101, since it’s available again and I’m considering giving it a try. Any comments on how the cushioning and the ride compare?


    1. Hi Bruce, I don’t think we ever reviewed the MT101. -T

      1. Bruce Noberg says:

        yup, you loved it:
        this was the original version, but supposedly the recent one is nearly identical.

        1. I did love that shoe! Man, that was 5 years ago. The MT1010 I loved even more. The MT1010 is still one of my favorite trail shoes. It is light with good grip and rock protection.

          1. Bruce Noberg says:

            thanks. any sense of which had more cushioning? the 1010 is kind of borderline for me. were you just as comfortable going long in the 1010 as the 101?

          2. tough call both are pretty minimal in the cushioning, the 1010 felt more comfortable.

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