2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2011

Gear Review: New Balance 101 Trail Runner

This barely there trail runner has the perfect blend of breathability, support, and durability.

by: Berne Broudy

[minimalist trail runner]
Barefoot-curious? After more than 1,500 miles of testing in every weather and trail condition—from Vermont’s Green Mountains to Idaho’s Sawtooths—testers were unanimously wowed by the perfect blend of breathability, support, and durability in this mud-shedding, barely there trail runner. It looks more like an ultralight marathoner, not a rugged trail shoe. But after a full season (400-plus miles) off-road, one Idaho tester summarized: “It’s a versatile compromise between traditional shoes and new-school ‘no-support’ models, so it helps you transition to forefoot striking (which has less skeletal impact than heel striking) without skimping on sole protection.”

Aggressive forefoot lugs gave testers traction in rocks, mud, and wet grass, while deeply cut heel brakes provided control on steep descents. And the midsole—with a stiff plastic plate under a thin layer of EVA foam—provides minimalist protection. “It has just enough cushioning to block the bite of rocks and roots,” says one tester. “My feet were happy even after an 18-mile run.” The airy mesh upper keeps dirt out while letting puddles stream through (the shoe dried fast, so no one had hot spots or chafing), while microfiber overlays give the mesh structured support.

Bonus: Wavy laces always stay  tied, and the nearly seamless interior lining is so comfy you can go sockless. $75; 1 lb.; m’s 7-15 (D width), w’s 5-12 (B width)

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -


May 17, 2011

I have a pair of these. I like them. But, the heel counter leaves something to be desired. There are exposed stitches inside that I had to cover with moleskin. A normal heal counter would be a great.Real racing flats are just as light and they have a real heel counter.


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Falling in the backcountry
Posted On: Aug 20, 2014
Submitted By: overthehillwalker
Anyone else planning a JMT hike this summer?
Posted On: Aug 20, 2014
Submitted By: Scot

View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions