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POST: New Balance MT 1110 LTR - André

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  • André Corterier
    ... text below, html here: http://tinyurl.com/64he3q ... Long Term Report: 07 August 2008 Field Experience: The Long Term testing phase happened to fall
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 8, 2008
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      > POST: New Balance MT 1110 LTR - André

      text below, html here: http://tinyurl.com/64he3q

      ----------------------------------------
      Long Term Report:
      07 August 2008
      Field Experience:
      The Long Term testing phase happened to fall entirely in between
      overnight backpacking trips, but I've been dayhiking extensively
      with these shoes. My pack load varied from 5 kg (11 lb) for a fast,
      easy solo hike to just over 22 kg (50 lb) of an occupied child
      carrier with provisions (my younger daughter now weighs 15 kg / 33
      lb naked, but I have to carry her clothed). Weather has seen some
      rain and a lot of sun, temperatures have been going up - generally
      in the 20 to 30+ C (70 to 90 F) range. I have also jogged some 80-90
      km (50-odd mi) in these, in about equal parts blacktop and offroad
      conditions (I run over roads to get to the trails).

      Comfortable Temperature Range:
      I have determined that I can comfortably wear and be active in these
      shoes to an upper temperature range of about 30 C (86 F) - given
      less than high humidity and wearing my thinnest pair of synthetic
      socks. Higher humidity or thicker socks can reduce this to the mid-
      20s C (upper 70s F) for either one, down to just over 20 C (70 F) if
      combined.

      I find this to be one significant limitation on the overall
      usefulness of these shoes. It is also, I have to say, the only one
      I've found. It's a limitation in that I would not choose these shoes
      for trips where I'm reasonably certain it'll be warm and also
      reasonably certain that it won't rain - or in cases of longer trips,
      that rain will be a very minor issue overall. The dayhike on Fehmarn
      comes to mind. The weather forecast was a clear day with sun, sun,
      sun - who in his right mind would choose to go for a long, fast hike
      in shoes with a waterproof membrane on a day like that?

      Well, I did, and sure enough - about halfway through the hike my
      feet began to burn. This is an itchy, hot sensation now familiar
      from an earlier, weeklong hike which saw me crossing an open plateau
      in blistering heat. The conditions on Fehmarn weren't as hot (mid-
      twenties C, low seventies F), but there was no escaping the sun all
      day and the sandy ground heated up over the course of the day. I was
      also not wearing my thinnest pair of socks (though they were thin
      nonetheless). So I spent some time over noon and several time
      throughout the afternoon airing out my feet, trying to cool them
      down, as well as walking in beach shoes or barefoot. None of which
      really helped to alleviate the problem much. But this is familiar to
      me from the past - the primary thing seems to be to avoid
      overheating my feet in the first place. No big surprise there.

      So in the future the NB MT 1110s won't be my first choice in hot,
      dry circumstances. But then I assume they weren't given a waterproof
      membrane in order to make them anyone's first choice in dry
      surroundings.

      Running:
      I've been able to mostly maintain the sort of running I had meant to
      do over the summer, so have a somewhat broader base upon which to
      rest my judgement. It remains basically unchanged from my earlier
      statements in the Field Report.

      I've run on blacktop, beaten singletrack paths, meadows, gravel,
      wood duff, sand beach and loamy soil. I've had serious slopes on
      paths and loamy soil, while the other surfaces were mostly flat -
      none more so than the beach. In each of these circumstances the
      shoes have given good grip and made me feel secure about my footing.
      Some of these circumstances I'd say were somewhat challenging, and
      the shoes rose to the challenge.

      I was particularly glad about these shoes in respect to a set of
      repeat uphill sprints that I've tried out and will want to do at
      least once a week for a while longer. I run up a steep (to my mind -
      and calves) loamy slope in the woods and return via a less steeply
      graded curve to the bottom of the hill. I try to catch my breath
      again on the slow jog downhill and then sprint up again. In these
      circumstances, having shoes that were *light* on my foot and gave
      good uphill traction (a feature I remarked upon already in my Field
      Report) was excellent.

      Another feature I appreciated is that the NB MT 1110s are tough
      where they need to be - particulary where I am concerned. My feet
      touch each other when I run. Even when I walk, apparently. I never
      notice this, but several pairs of hiking and running shoes I've had
      bear silent witness to the friction generated when one foot slides
      past the other in passing. The NB MT 1110s have taken this kind of
      abuse, ahem, in stride.

      While I have a pair of dedicated running shoes that is more
      comfortable to run in, they actually weigh more and aren't
      waterproof. And I've never had reason to complain about any lack of
      comfort in these. My feet feel okay, even after a *long* run (okay,
      for me that's anything approaching 10K - say anything over 5 mi). So
      it's just that I know my pace could feel even more comfortably soft.
      Maybe it's me that's getting soft.

      Water Resistance:
      I'm told waterproof shoes sometimes suffer delamination or similarly-
      called technical problems which mean that they stop being waterproof
      when they've been worn for a while. No such problem with the pair of
      New Balance's MT 1110 I was testing (I just checked). They've held
      off rain, whether it was a sprinkle or a downpour, and didn't have
      any problems with saltwater either. In fact, briefly sumberging my
      shod foot in saltwater to well above the ankle (without gaiters)
      when jumping to recover a hat blown off my head, did not allow much
      water in (though a bit did get in). I upended my shoes a little
      later, letting out the water. The saltwater did not appear to
      prevent permeation of the remaining moisture through the membrane.

      Hiking:
      Again, while I've walked a lot more in these shoes since my Field
      Report, my verdict is unchanged. These are good, lightweight and
      waterproof shoes which were perfect for light hiking, particularly
      in changeable weather. We've had a lot of that in Spring and will
      have it again in Fall (and even Winter, as serious winters appear to
      be a thing of the past) and I'll be happy to hav these shoes.

      Again, there are running shoes out there (and even in my closet)
      which are even more comfortable to walk on. Yet even after long days
      of lugging a heavy child carrier up and down hills, my feet didn't
      hurt and they felt fine again the next morning. So I'm not
      complaining. Really.

      These are easily the best all-weather hiking shoes I've worn, and I
      guess I'll be looking for similar shoes without a membrane for
      summer.

      Durability:
      A more general note on durability - the shoes have held up well. Now
      I don't expect shoes to break down after four months of regular use -
      I no longer buy those kinds of shoes. And these do *not* still look
      like new. But the wear I see, from the minor abrasion of the sole's
      profile at heel and forefoot over the previously mentioned slight
      abrasion at the contact spot to the minor ruffling of the SureLaces,
      makes me say that these shoes appear to, ahem, wear well.

      I particularly like the fact that the thick, stiffened parts of the
      outside of the shoes around the sole seem to have covered all of
      those areas which, at least in my use, were particularly abrasion
      prone. This has left nary a mark on the less rugged looking top
      surface of the shoes.

      Given this track record, I look forward to running and hiking a lot
      more miles (even more kilometers) in these shoes and would hazard a
      guess that should the time come to retire these, I'll look for
      another pair of these to replace them.

      Summary:
      PROS: Rugged. Lightweight. Waterproof. Good Grip. Good Looks.
      CONS: Can overheat in summer. Not the thickest cushioning around.

      This ends my test report on the New Balance MT 1110 trail running
      shoes. I'd like to thank New Balance and BackpackGearTest.org for
      the opportunity to test them.
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