Facts

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

Motion control / severe overpronation / 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
$90
Weight
Men: 7.6oz
Women: 5.9oz
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 9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • A mesh upper made from synthetic materials provides breathable coverage for the runner.
  • Most reviewers appreciated the puncture-resistant toe area and other durability-enhancing components of the NB 101.
  • The ACTEVA is a mid-sole material that runs the entire length of this running shoe and it’s 12% lighter than most mid-sole foams.
  • Composite Rubber is the main outsole component of the New Balance 101, which has a lugged design that offers traction over the trails.
  • The anti-debris mechanics of this running shoe was welcomed by many testers.
  • It’s noticeably lighter in weight than most trail shoes.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some runners felt that the New Balance 101 was a bit tight near the forefoot area.
  • Others thought that the mid-sole unit was thinner and inefficient in giving enough protection against ground impact.
  • A few had complaints that the padding on the collar and tongue was flimsy.

Bottom line

Many runners have tried the 101 from New Balance and most of them have generally taken in what it had to offer. It’s a comfortable neutral running shoe that has a lightweight nature.


Rankings

Best rated New Balance running shoes: Add to compare

Ratings

3.8 / 5 based on 44 ratings

5 star
48%
4 star
18%
3 star
14%
2 star
11%
1 star
9%

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.

88 / 100 based on 7 expert reviews

  • 80 / 100 by Running Warehouse • Connor • Level 3 expert

    The shoe offered a firm ride that was nimble at faster paces, but testers did note [that] there was not a lot in the way of cushioning.

  • 90 / 100 by Running Competitor • Brian Metzler • Level 5 expert

    This shoe is for you if … you’re looking for a lightweight, minimally constructed trail shoe with just enough cushion and protection to run a wide range of trail surfaces.

  • 90 / 100 by Runblogger • Peter Larson • Level 5 expert

     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.

  • 87 / 100 by iRunFar • Bryon Powell • Level 4 expert

    The New Balance MT101/WT101 (MT101 from here on) is light, low to the ground, and fits like a glove. 

  • 93 / 100 by Gear Institute • Jacob Waltz • Level 3 expert

    The original New Balance MT 101 was an all-out blast to run in on technical terrain, and the reissue is no different. The handling and agility of this shoe are nothing short of superb. Just watch where you step!

  • 87 / 100 by Trail Markers • Brian Kunkle • Level 1 expert

    The shoe sits close to the ground for great stability and contact with the terrain, while a thin plastic rock plate protects the foot from bruising and punctures without dulling the feedback minimalist runners demand.

  • 83 / 100 by Active Gear Review • Dan Brosious • Level 1 expert

    The forefoot lugs are designed in a Y-shape, which allows for traction when turning and moving side to side.  I found this beneficial, as I prefer a more technical trail, which means very few steps are straight ahead. 

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These are visual presentations, not reviews


Updates to New Balance 101

  • After a loud call from hundreds of trail-running fans, New Balance has finally decided to bring back the beloved 101. The lightweight and low to the ground model that was such a hit during the peak of the minimalist movement is reintroduced with several upgrades to guarantee more fun and better performance on the trail.
  • The upper gets most of the revamp in the NB 101. New Balance uses a new stretch-mesh upper for optimal breathability and superb wraparound feel. With decent stretch, the upper hugs the foot in comfort and support.
  • In the new NB 101, there are a couple more overlays for enhanced upper durability and better lock down feel in the midfoot. Some of the overlays are directed connected to the sole, which makes the hold and fit so much better.
  • Fans of the original model will notice that the collar has more padding. Obviously, this creates a cozier and more comfortable feel right from the get go. Another clear upgrade in the new model is the more flexible, but reinforced toe bumper. This will effectively protect the toes from getting bruised on the challenging trail.
  • Finally, the outsole gets a total makeover. New Balance uses a stickier rubber compound on top of the aggressive lugs. It ensures a very confident run as runners are assured of a superior grip on uneven, technical, muddy, grassy, or rocky trail.

New Balance 101 size and fit

The snug fit of the heel and the midfoot gives it a racing shoe kind of feel, but with enough wiggle room for the toes to splay. With an athletic fit that induces the need for speed, most runners will find this a great option for their trail needs. Medium is the offered width of the NB 101. Sizing is average in this shoe. Runners can choose from 6 to 15 for the men’s and 4 to 11 for the women’s.


Outsole

New Balance uses what it calls the AT Tread Outsole, which features very rugged and tough-looking lugs that can take on extremely rough terrains because of its proven durability and traction. A Composite Rubber of proprietary rubber compound enhances the grip on the trail. Sitting between the outsole and the midsole is flexible rock plate called the Rock Stop to prevent the foot from getting bruised. For a low-profile shoe with decent outsole, the rock plate is indispensable on the rugged and technical trail.


Midsole

The minimalist leanings of the 101 make it an ideal spot for the ACTEVA. This New Balance-exclusive foam runs the full-length of the shoe and is 12% lighter than standard EVA. It has decent cushioning with above average responsiveness.


Upper

New Balance brings a new stretch mesh upper for enhanced breathability and a more adjustable fit. The stretch mesh in the upper works very well as it goes hand in hand with the sturdy overlays for a secure and personalized fit. In this version, a strip of EVA connects the sole to the upper for better security and midfoot hold. A substantially-reinforced toe bumper is puncture resistant, which should make runners more confident in the outdoors. To prevent the laces from coming undone, New Balance uses a Sure Lace or a lace with good texture. The new-moderately padded collar helps with the plush feel upon step-in.