Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low 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
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
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.
WeightMen: 8.6ozWomen: 7.4oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 10mmWomen: 10mm
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.
Heel heightMen: 26mmWomen: 26mm
Forefoot heightMen: 16mmWomen: 16mm
WidthMen: normal, wideWomen: normal, wide
Release dateApr 2018
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94 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews
I just got this out on the trails. It's super fun, lightweight and protective ride.
The Summit Unknown makes for a great race shoe or up tempo trainer for up to mid distance on a wide variety and especially technical terrain. Despite the initial blister issues, the upper of the Summit Unknown is softening and breaking in to the point where it is less of a problem, but pressure remains and I find myself being cautious.
I found the Summit Unknown to be an outstanding choice for all around, less than super technical trail running, at speed and for moderate distances. I tend to like such a shoe for my 5-15 mile runs where I will see a mix of terrain and where some agility is needed and it for sure fits the bill.
Updates to New Balance Summit Unknown
- The Summit Unknown is a reliable New Balance trail running shoe that’s created for the neutral runner. It features a trail-optimized design to bring confidence over a variety of outdoor terrains. The outer tread makes use of a sticky rubber compound to provide grip on dry and wet surfaces.
- Cushioning is handled by the RevLite foam which is a full-length compound that offers responsive cushioning and shock attenuation. Affixed between the midsole and outsole is a high-density forefoot plate for protection against debris and irregular surfaces.
- The upper unit features a synthetic mesh to provide a secure and well-protected coverage. It has tiny ventilation holes that allow air into the foot-chamber. Complementing the external mesh is a set of thin overlays and underlays.
New Balance Summit Unknown size and fit
The New Balance Summit Unknown makes use of standard measurements to accommodate the preferences of consumers. Lengthwise, it adheres to the regular expectations. The women’s version has these widths: B – Medium and D – Wide. The men’s iteration features the D – Medium and 2E – Wide variants. The semi-curved shape of this shoe’s last mimics the natural curvature of the human foot.
The outsole unit of the New Balance Summit Unknown utilizes the HydroHesion rubber compound. This full-length material is specially designed to provide traction on wet surfaces. Having this layer would potentially increase confidence when tackling slippery trails and paths.
A semi-aggressive lug-pattern allows this shoe to traverse different types of topography easily. Also, the multi-directional configuration of these nodes permits confident uphill climbs and downward excursions.
RevLite is a lightweight material that is advertised as more responsive and sturdier than heavier midsole compounds. It’s been designed to resist early sagging or breakdown.
The Rock Stop® is a layer of dense material that’s placed in the forefoot section. Its purpose is to protect the underfoot from rough surfaces and trail debris. It also attenuates impact shock and diffuses the energy generated by such a force.
A foam insole is placed above the primary midsole unit. It can be replaced or removed entirely.
The façade is mostly made using a synthetic mesh which is a lightweight material that offers breathable coverage. It has a semi-closed construction to improve its durability.
Fantom Fit is an overlay-and-underlay system that’s composed of two materials that have been combined using a no-sew method. The goal of this add-on is to assist in providing a secure yet customizable fit.
Protecting the forefoot section of the New Balance Summit Unknown is the Toe Protect™ compound, which is a thin layer of rubber that acts as a shield against sharp objects on the trail.
The tongue and collar are padded. These two sections hold the foot in place and prevent it from wobbling inside the foot-chamber.
Soft fabric lines the interior of this shoe. It’s crafted to stave off hot spots and skin irritation.
A pull tab is placed on the back portion of the collar. This loop makes it easy to wear and remove the Summit Unknown.