March and April were spent testing these trail shoes from New Balance. These are being marketed as a “neutral trail runner”. I was excited to get to test these, as this is the time of year when I typically ramp up my training.
Out of the box: good looking shoes, with a solid tread and robust build perfect for the trails. I was amped and couldn’t wait to try them out.
Initial feel: Ooh. The initial feel was stiff and I felt like the lack of cushioning could be a problem. My enthusiasm was replaced with concern. Had I been in the store, the initial feel would have been enough for me to pass on these.
First run: I made the inaugural run with these shoes the Land Between the Lakes Trail Marathon. That’s right. I busted out 26.2 miles in these bad boys on day número uno. And they did great. The stiffness disappeared within the first mile and on the trail, these shoes had the perfect amount of cushioning and comfort. The trails were technical single track. There roots, mud, water, hills. It was a great race to put these shoes through the ringer and they performed phenomenally.
Overall: I had these shoes for 6 weeks and got a ton of miles on them. I ran technical trails, cross country courses, on gravel roads, roads and on the treadmill. They did great on all surfaces. They held up well to the beating I gave them and showed virtually no wear by the time I had to send them back.
These were my favorite pair of trail shoes I’ve run in. Comfortable and durable. If you’re looking for a new trail shoe, give these a try and let me know your thoughts.