Facts

Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$125
Weight
Men: 10.3oz
Women: 8.7oz
Heel to toe drop
Men: 8mm
Women: 8mm

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 8 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

12 reasons to buy

  • The upper unit is constructed to deliver a debris-free performance, based on most reviews.
  • Trail protection is reinforced provided through the inclusion of a Gusseted Tongue and a toe guard.
  • The REVLite cushioning technology is a lightweight layer in the mid-sole that gives responsive underfoot comfort, according to some testers.
  • A large number of runners acclimated to the N2 Cushioning tech that’s found in the forefoot area, getting added springiness to the front area of the shoe.
  • The 3rd version of the Leadville features the Vibram outsole unit, a strong yet efficient layer.
  • A handful of expert reviewers were united in saying that the 3rd edition of the Leadville is the most breathable of this series.
  • Some runners use it for a variety of trail surfaces, including a taste of the road from time to time.
  • A few testers were pleasantly surprised by the outsole’s ability to shed off mud.
  • The out of the box comfort and performance of the New Balance Leadville v3 has been simply spectacular, based on the comments of a large number of reviewers.
  • Several testers affirmed that the shoe dries quickly.
  • A small number of runners use it for gym workouts, walking the dog, or walking around town.
  • It is lighter than the numbers on the scale show.

7 reasons not to buy

  • Some runners noted that the sole unit wore down quickly after a few months.
  • There were complaints that the heel area was not as well-cushioned as the forefoot area.
  • It has a high price.
  • A handful of runners bemoaned the lack of arch support.
  • A few expert reviewers found out that the exceptional underfoot protection compromised ground feedback.
  • The upper is not as good as the competition in providing a secure and stable fit, as experienced by a small number of runners.
  • A few runners grumbled at the loose heel.

Bottom line

The Leadville v3, also called 1210 v3, from New Balance offers protection, flexibility and traction to those who want to get more for their performance on the trails. It’s sleek and great to wear for runners who want a bit of support for their feet during their adventures.


Rankings


Ratings

4.5 / 5 based on 168 ratings

5 star
70%
4 star
17%
3 star
7%
2 star
2%
1 star
4%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

82 / 100 based on 15 expert reviews

  • 82 / 100 by EG Sleeve • EG Sleeve • Level 1 expert

    There are a lot of things good [about it], but for me, there was nothing excellent about this shoe that really stood out.

  • 80 / 100 by Runner's World • Runner's World • Level 5 expert

    To reduce the weight for all that climbing, this trail shoe is the lightest back-country-worthy model in this guide.

  • 89 / 100 by iRunFar • Tom Caughlan • Level 4 expert

    If I were looking for one shoe to wear for a season of ultrarunning, in different types of conditions and terrain, the New Balance Leadville v3 would be a leading contender. 

  • 88 / 100 by iRunFar • Tom Caughlan • Level 4 expert

    If I were looking for one shoe to wear for a season of ultrarunning, in different types of conditions and terrain, the New Balance Leadville v3 would be a leading contender

  • 81 / 100 by Trail to Peak • Drew Robinson • Level 4 expert

    As I mentioned earlier, the previous midsole felt a bit stiff, the new combination seems to have fixed that issue.

  • 81 / 100 by Trail to Peak • Drew Robinson • Level 4 expert

    A newly designed upper, midsole, and outsole seem very promising, continuing with the heritage of v1 and v2, while improving on their shortcomings.

  • 80 / 100 by Runblogger • David Henry • Level 4 expert

    The good news (if you like the 1210) and bad news (if you don’t) is that, while it is a full redesign, the general concept and geometries of the shoe are retained.

  • 78 / 100 by Runblogger • David Henry • Level 4 expert

    Unfortunately, to me the ride quality is just not what I look for in a trail shoe.

  • 83 / 100 by Kintec • Kintec • Level 3 expert

    The REVLite midsole provides a lightweight ride without minimizing construction or sacrificing underfoot cushioning or stability. 

  • 80 / 100 by John Ellings • John Ellings • Level 3 expert

    And of little surprise, it’s made for covering long distances, with plenty of cushion and support. - See more at: http://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-trail-running-shoes

  • 79 / 100 by Must Love Jogs • Must Love Jogs • Level 3 expert

    That’s pretty comparable to similar shoes, but it might seem a bit heavy for some. 

  • 82 / 100 by Trail Markers • Brian Kunkle • Level 1 expert

    Those feelings, however, tend to fade as the miles and pounding pile up, and by mile 9 I found myself enjoying the act of bombing down mountainous single track.

  • 77 / 100 by Phil the Runner • Phil • Level 1 expert

    The Leadville v3 is built for a specific purpose and serves this purpose very well.

  • 76 / 100 by Gear Institute • Boulder Runner • Level 1 expert

    These perks come with at a modest weight gain again other shoes on the market and slightly less raw speed feeling on the open trails.

  • 76 / 100 by Gear Institute • Boulder Runner • Level 1 expert

    These perks come with at a modest weight gain again other shoes on the market and slightly less raw speed feeling on the open trails.

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Updates to New Balance Leadville v3

  • New Balance smartly retained the basic features of the shoe and made only very sensible revisions to a very popular and highly-sought ultra-marathon trail shoe in the Leadville v3. Breathability and toe protection get the most visible upgrade in the Leadville v3. The upper is more breathable while a more substantial rand that covers the toe to the heel also acts as a sturdy toe bump. New Balance made the mesh a bit stretchable to really wrap the foot in comfort, especially as the runner is supposed to wear it for miles and hours on end.
  • New Balance also raised the stack height just a bit while still maintaining that 8mm drop. The new stack height provides more underfoot protection without taking away precious ground feedback for ultra-long trail runs.
  • A new seamless sockliner that greets the foot right out of the box makes comfort a top asset from the first step to the last. It has a very soft and plush fabric that should make the really long miles bearable.
  • The outsole still uses Vibram, but not incorporates larger and more numerous opposite facing lugs in the shoe’s perimeter. Right in the middle of the outsole that spans the heel to the forefoot are 4mm multi-directional lugs that really deliver the necessary grip on a variety of trail surfaces.

New Balance Leadville v3 size and fit

The Leadville series is known for its roomy fit to accommodate mid-run swelling during ultra-marathons. New Balance kept this type of fit in the 3rd version of the Leadville. Runners with medium to slightly wider feet will love the adequate real estate in the heel and forefoot with a locked in midfoot. The sizing is quite different though. This one runs a bit larger than usual for New Balance. Getting half a size down is the best option to get a wraparound fit. Available widths are D and B while sizes are from 6 to 15 for the men’s and 4 to 12 for the women’s.

Outsole

The outsole of the New Balance Leadville v3 features the Sticky Rubber compound for enhanced traction, even on wet surfaces on the trail. It also presents a new set up of prominent opposite facing lugs in the shoe’s perimeter. Located in the central portion of the outsole are multi-directional lugs that should provide reliable and consistent grip, regardless of the surface or conditions. A highly-durable Rock Plate sits between the midsole and the outsole for enduring protection against sharp objects on the trail.

Midsole

The N2 foam, which is known for its durability and responsiveness, bridges the midsole and the outsole. It is, however, the REVlite foam that occupies the main portion of the midsole as it runs the entire length of the shoe. This is a top of the line midsole foam from New Balance that is extremely lightweight and very responsive. Playing a key role in making the run stable for slight overpronators is a medial post directly below the midfoot. It is made of high-density foam and provides non-intrusive but effective arch support. New Balance uses the medial post to help neutral runners who are likely bound to have a breakdown in form during ultra-marathon trails.

Upper

A more flexible and breathable mesh covers almost the entire surface of the Leadville v3. The use of synthetic overlays adds durability, structure, and support to the upper. In this model, New Balance uses a prominent overlay that also acts as a toe bumper. The new seamless sockliner is odor-resistant and provides enhanced step-in comfort and fit.