New Balance 101 First Impressions

the side view of new balance wt101

Even though the current buzz recently out of New Balance has been the Minimus line of shoes that are coming out next spring it shouldn’t be forgotten that New Balance has been making minimalist trail running shoes for a few years now.  New Balance was kind enough to give us a pair of their upcoming New Balance 101 shoes to try out.  We haven’t had time to run in these shoes yet, but we thought we’d give you a quick tour.

In case you weren’t aware the NB 101 shoes is the successor to the New Balance 100 shoes (which came as the men’s MT100 and women’s WT100).  New Balance took all the feedback people had for the 100 shoes and incorporated it into the MT101 (mens) and WT101 (womens).  Does it exceed it’s predecessor.  At first glance we think so.

The biggest question you might have about the 101 shoes is “what’s changed from the 100 shoes?”  A quick look and you might think the only thing that has changed is the color, but there are a few changes from the 100 line.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Front of the shoe has more protection compared to 100
  • Toe area seems slightly larger than the 100
  • Sole seems a flatter and more minimal than the 100
  • But at the same time seems to have more arch support than the 100
  • The back of the shoe not as hard, more forgiving (less prone to blisters like I had issues with the 100)
  • Still comes with the NB’s sure lace technology
For a better comparison check out the difference between the 100 shoes and 101 shoes when they are worn side by side:

Rather than keep rambling here are some extra photos of the New Balance WT100.

Here we have the front of the shoe with the rock stop protection covering (protects your feet from rocks and other debris while on the trail).

New Balance WT101 shoes facing front

Just like the original NB 100 shoe the 101 shoes are just as breathable and also let in just as much sunshine (great for when you need quick drying feet after running through a creek or raging river).

sun shining through the new balance 101 shoes

The bird-eye view of the New Balance 101 shoes.  Notice the the fancy “NB” and “101” tags stitched on the tongue?  That’s quality!

looking down on the new balance 101 shoes

A view of the bottom of the shoe.  The pattern has changed from the NB 100 shoe.

the bottom of the new balance 101 shoes

And finally the two New Balance siblings meet.

the new balance 100 vs new balance 101 shoe