New Balance MTE101GH (the green ones!)
There are two things I don’t like about these shoes, but other than that they are fantastic. Firstly the name. Why oh why do they give names like this to shoes? It’s like trying to refer to your car by its registration number. Hey ho. The other is the side-walls.
So I’ve been running in these for the best part of six months and have covered some miles in them. Mainly off road on the muddy and rocky trails of the Peak District, but also a bit of road too. They are super light weight and low profile which means that I don’t hesitate to choose them when heading out. They aren’t quite a bare foot shoe, but they aren’t far off. I love the feeling of freedom for my feet I get when running in them. I suspect this is accentuated by the mesh side walls which let both air and water in and out. That’s the plus side. The down side is that they are not a shoe to attempt to keep your feet dry in, and after 6 months of use, the side walls have torn on both shoes. Interestingly this hasn’t rendered them unusable, but simply increased the air and water flow, so it’s not a show stopper. I’ve seen a lot of others on the start line to local fell races with the same tears and they don’t seem to have stopped them from running.
That brings me onto another issue. Whilst I have covered a lot of miles in them, many on hard and rocky surfaces, I do not now use them when racing or training fast on such ground. They are so light weight that I have bruised the soles of my feet when letting loose. For me this has been an issue purely of speed. To illustrate my point I wore these shoes on a 27 mile run in the Lakes supporting a friend on a couple of legs of the Bob Graham and had absolutely no issues with them because I was running so slowly, and walking much of the rock. In actual fact I found the shoes very comfortable for the 10 or so hours we were out, testament to their light weight and breathability.
Grip. For me this hasn’t been much of an issue. During the depth of last winter when the ground was super muddy my running mates questioned why I wasn’t running in something with more tread, but I was slipping over no less then them. Wet rock is an issue, but it is in all shoes that I have worn in reality.
All in all a great pair of shoes, and don’t let their tatty looks at races put you off. The fact that they are still being worn is testament to the fact that they must be good.
They are currently reduced on most websites to about £35 so I;d buy a couple of pairs quick at that price!