Verdict from 1 expert and 100+ user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • Traction: A number of experts say that the New Balance Summit Unknown v2 grips well on wet and dry surfaces. 
  • Weight: Many commend the trail shoe for its featherlight construction. 
  • Comfort: Multiple purchasers have shared that they had no blisters while running in the shoe. 
  • Support: The model ensures a stable ride, expressed several trail runners. 
  • Cushioning: According to some buyers, the running shoe's foam has the right balance of softness and rigidity.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Durability: After just a couple of miles, at least three reviewers claim that the tread has already worn out. 
  • Fit: The shoe runs too tight, observed a couple of critics.

Bottom line

Packed with all the essentials for trail running, the New Balance Summit Unknown v2 is designed to deliver excellent traction no matter the conditions. Sporting some of the most loved technologies from New Balance, you can expect maximum protection and a lockdown fit from the model. Although packed with all the performance-ready features, the Summit Unknown v2 keeps a lightweight build.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Good to know

  • To flaunt a new and improved exterior, the New Balance Summit Unknown v2's upper has been revamped. It now offers a more stylish, sleek look. 
  • Adhering to the upper's enhancement, the Toe Protect technology is incorporated. It basically serves as a reinforced layer protection of the toe from any hazardous ground elements. 
  • Built to deliver an unmatched grip on any terrain, the outsole of the trail running shoe has been reconfigured. It is now composed of HydroHesion outsole that supplies surefootedness to the runner.

The second iteration of the Summit Unknown from New Balance utilizes the standard sizing scale. This means that athletes can purchase a pair of these running shoes using their usual size choice. 

There are a few components of the neutral running shoe that affect its fit. One of these is the mesh upper which is part of the FantomFit technology. It has foot-conforming qualities that pronounce comfort and security. Complementing the mesh upper is the lace-up closure of the shoe. It permits an adjustable, dialed-in fit.

Contrary to its predecessor, the New Balance Summit Unknown v2 sports an entirely different outsole. It is now constructed with the HydroHesion rubber outsole. It is made of an advanced rubber compound that equips the running shoe with ground adherence even on wet surfaces. This gives the wearer a stabilized running performance.

Similar to the New Balance FuelCell Rebel, the Summit Unknown v2 is comprised of RevLite foam. It is a proprietary midsole technology from New Balance that exhibits innovative engineering. Unlike the brand's standard EVA foams, the RevLite is 30% lighter. Although very light, the foam does not sacrifice responsiveness, allowing a smooth and efficient running performance. 

On the forefoot, a rock plate is integrated. It is a flexible layer that is situated between the midsole and the outsole. With its composition, it protects the foot from any abrasive elements.

The upper of the New Balance Summit Unknown v2 is geared with the FantomFit technology. It combines two materials by employing a no-sew method, providing a featherlight, supportive fit. 

Acting as the outer wrap of the platform is the mesh textile. It has a number of perforations that let the air permeate the foot chamber for a highly breathable environment. This enables an odor and sweat-free running experience. Because of its pliable qualities, the mesh upper gives a lockdown fit. 

Providing protection from any dangerous trail elements is the shoe's Toe Protect technology. It is composed of a rubber compound that strengthens the toe area. 

Just like most running shoes, the Summit Unknown v2 is furnished with a lace-up fastening system. It gives the wearer an accurate wrap without adding much bulk to the shoe.


How New Balance Summit Unknown v2 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 29% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Top 29% New Balance running shoes
All New Balance running shoes
Top 26% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes


The current trend of New Balance Summit Unknown v2.
Compare to another shoe:
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.