POST: New Balance MT 1110 LTR - André
> POST: New Balance MT 1110 LTR - Andrétext below, html here: http://tinyurl.com/64he3q
Long Term Report:
07 August 2008
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.