We spent 9.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • The width profiles of the New Balance Summit KOM were appreciated by a few for being adherent to expectations.
  • The traction capacity of this shoe’s outsole was lauded; people noted that they didn’t experience any slippage while running.
  • The underfoot cushioning was deemed responsive and supportive by those who have tested the shoe.
  • Given its performance, the shoe is reasonably-priced, according to a few users.
  • A few happy users found the shoe durable.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some consumers lamented the stiffness of the New Balance Summit KOM’s sole unit.
  • Several people claimed that the forefoot section was too narrow for their tastes.
  • This running shoe felt heavy, according to a handful of purchasers.

Bottom line

The Summit KOM was expected to be the evolution of the roster of trail options from New Balance. In fact, many were quick to claim that it was supposed to channel the efficacy of the Leadville v3. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be because this shoe was said to have a narrow forefoot design, an unreasonably stiff and stout build, and an irritating inner sleeve. But the outsole’s gripping capability and the midsole’s responsive quality were highlighted as positive points about this trail companion.


Terrain: Trail
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 10.9oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 8mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Use: Jogging
Strike Pattern: Midfoot strike
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Heel height: Men: 24mm
Forefoot height: Men: 16mm
Release date: Jul 2018
Brand: New Balance
Type: Heavy | Big guy | Low drop
Width: Men: Normal, Wide, X-Wide | Women: Narrow, Normal
Price: $120
Colorways: Black, Blue, Grey, Orange
Small True to size Large
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Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, 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.

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86 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews

  • 90 / 100 | Jones Hamilton

    New Balance Summit KOM: Truly made to rule the trail

    More photos

    New Balance has created a new trail beast – the Summit KOM. It is called King of the Mountain, but female runners can still enjoy this model by purchasing the women’s counterpart – the New Balance Summit Queen of the Mountain.

    Here’s my experience with the Summit KOM:


    The design of the New Balance Summit KOM

    New Balance uses a durable air mesh in the upper of the Summit KOM. It aims to provide a breathable coverage without adding too much weight.

    It also gives the foot a comfortable wrap. The shoe also features a Toe Protect, which offers the foot an additional layer of protection against sharp trail elements.



    In the midsole is the REVlite foam. It is a lightweight midsole foam that gives runners reliable underfoot cushioning while tackling the trail. The cushioning is soft and durable, giving the foot enough combination of protection and responsiveness.

    In between the midsole and outsole is the flexible Rock Plate which serves as a protective layer, keeping the foot safe against sharp rocks and debris.



    The Vibram Megagrip covers the entire outsole of the New Balance Summit KOM. It is a very durable material that gives unmatched traction on varied surfaces. Despite the sturdiness, flexibility remains unaffected.

    Comfort and breathability

    As a trail running shoe, the Summit KOM is impressively breathable and comfortable. The mesh upper is just right to keep the foot cool and sweat-free. The material is so soft and follows the shape of the foot. Every step is comfortable even when worn for long hours.



    However, since the upper is only made up of mostly mesh and synthetic materials, wearing them on rainy or wet running conditions is not advisable. Moisture or water can easily get into the shoe. It is better to use a waterproof or water-repellent shoe to keep the foot dry.

    Performance of the King of the Mountain

    The New Balance Summit KOM is a very reliable trail shoe. It is my new favorite! It offers responsive, long-lasting underfoot cushioning without affecting flexibility.

    It is very protective; every step is protected by the Toe Protect and rock plate. And the traction is impressive as well. It can survive even the toughest terrain. With all these things, I can truly say that this shoe is the new King of the Mountain!


    The shoe features a traditional lace-up closure that keeps the foot secure. The laces are durable, and they stay tied throughout the run.

    The fit is incredible; it is secure and comfortable at the same time. The heel and forefoot section fit right, and the toe box gives enough wiggle room whenever I needed it.



    The shoe is true to size. Trail runners with wide foot measurements should celebrate because it is available in both medium and wide width options.


    I think the New Balance Summit King of the Mountain is one of the affordable and reliable trail shoes on the market to date. Despite the affordable price tag, it is made of premium materials. After several miles of running, the shoe shows no signs of wear; the upper is intact, and the outsole still looks new.

    What I noticed though is the heavy weight of the shoe. Maybe because of the materials used, the shoe feels bulky on my feet.


    Good points

    • Durable construction
    • Good-looking color options
    • Grippy outsole
    • Secure fit
    • Comfortable and breathable

    Bad Points

    • Feels bulky and heavy
    • Not ideal for wet running condition because of the water entering the shoe


    The new ruler of the trail is here. I salute the performance of the New Balance Summit KOM.



    With its cushioning, grippy outsole, and protective feature, this trail shoe is almost perfect. I hope New Balance could add waterproofing in the upper and reduce its weight. But overall, I’m impressed! 

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 85 / 100 | Runner's World | Level 5 expert

    Testers confirmed that the sneaker held up well in wet conditions. The Vibram Megagrip outsole helped runners keep their footing when things got dicey.

  • 81 / 100 | Gear Institute | | Level 2 expert

    The New Balance Summit KOM is a solid, fortress of a shoe that can handle any terrain. However, it is heavy, clunky and unresponsive in most normal trail running uses.

  • First look | Running Warehouse | | Level 4 expert

  • First look | Soul Running

Become an expert

  • The Summit KOM is a New Balance trail running shoe that’s designed to take on the trails. It has an aggressive façade that aims to prevent the elements from causing any damage to the materials, as well as the foot. Breathable mesh and synthetic overlays make up most of the upper unit, but they’re flanked by a Toe Protect layer that acts as a shield.
  • The midsole unit of this neutral shoe is composed of a full-length REVLite foam, which is advertised to be more durable and more responsive than compounds that are 30% heavier. A ROCKSTOP layer between the cushioning unit and the outsole literally stops rocks from causing injury or mild discomfort to the foot-pad.

The New Balance Summit KOM was designed to be true to size. Runners are welcome to get a pair with their usual sizing expectations in mind. When it comes to width, the options are D – Medium, 2E – Wide, and 4E – Extra Wide, measurements that cater to men. This shoe is only available in the men’s version.

The outsole unit of the New Balance Summit KOM utilizes Vibram® rubber, which is a grippy feature that ensures surface control. It encompasses the entire surface area of the external pad, wholly shielding the foam midsole from abrasion and wear.

A bevy of multidirectional gripping lugs heightens grip over the ground. The flat ends and pointed corners of these protrusions are meant to establish balance when going uphill or downhill.

Flex grooves are placed in the forefoot section. These shallow canals help the runner when it comes to bending the foot during the toe-off phase of the gait cycle.

REVLite is a full-length cushioning unit that’s crafted to be 30% more responsive and more durable than the industry-standard options. Its job is to protect against impact shock and lead the foot towards a smooth performance.

ROCKSTOP is a flexible layer between the midsole and outsole. This technology’s job is to prevent sharp objects from piercing the sole unit and causing injury to the foot.

An insole is placed on top of the main cushioning unit. It offers a bit more cushioning. It can be removed or replaced with a custom orthotic insert of the wearer’s choosing.

The upper unit of the New Balance Summit KOM features a breathable mesh. This textile is breathable, but it doesn’t have visible ventilation pores as it may invite small trail debris into the interior. It has a cloth-like quality to it that evokes the texture of a sock.

Synthetic overlays are printed onto the sides and heel. These thin layers keep the façade as durable as possible while helping the lacing system in delivering a secure fit.

A wraparound panel covers the sides and the heel. It helps in averting in-shoe wobbling and destabilization of the stance when tackling unpredictable terrains.

The Toe Protect forefoot guard is like a barrier that prevents the elements of the trails (surfaces, rocks, sharp debris) from hitting the front of the shoe and causing pain to the toes.