In the past when it came to New Balance, we have reviewed only their Leadville trail shoe and for the most part we confined ourselves to their road lineup which is massive. We did have a chance to take a look at the redesigned 910v2, a trail shoe designed to be a little speedier and fill the gap between road runners and long distance shoes. This is a trail shoe that’s designed to be well cushioned and responsive while still being able to go the distance. It is a complete overhaul from the original 910 so here it goes.
Construction: The Upper
Its not a light shoe, but the upper is meant to be very durable. It is a dual mesh design given you a wider mesh on the exterior to increase airflow coupled with a fine mesh on the interior to keep particulates out. This works well for the most part although some dust may get in. This shoe does not have the overlays like the Leadville however and everything is stitched. This makes it a little heavier, but should increase durability and maintain structure. The ToeProtect is also featured and runs arch to arch and is composed of a harder rubber.
The 910v2 also got the REVlite treatment as well giving you a ton of cushioning and the strange grooved slits on the bottom actually move up into the mid giving the shoe greater flexibility. Sandwiched between the midsole and the out is the New Balance RockStop plate. It doesn’t stop ground feel, just protect it from the really sharp stuff.
It is a full contact outsole so there are no cutouts and the shoe maintains full ground connection through. The sole itself is composed of New Balance’s HHR rubber which is supposed to be stickier than others. They did adopt the lug shape and layout from the Leadville which is a welcome addition to the shoe. This means the front half are turned one direction for maximum speed and take off and the back half are reversed giving you greater traction downhill. They are also dispersed randomly so none of them actual lineup directly.
Style and Aesthetics
The 910v2 is available in three color combos, but the version we tested really popped. New Balance may call it bright cherry, others may call it hot pink, and yet others may call it salmon, but none will dispute the fact that these shoes are visual. This colorway is incredibly bright and they do have other choices like a strange green/yellow version or their gray/orange combo, but if you’re someone who really likes to pop on the trail then look no further. The one negative about this color way as well as the toxic version is that when it gets dirty, it definitely is noticeable. Given it’s a trail shoe, expect these things to show their wear and tear quite a bit more than you might normally. This isn’t saying that I don’t actually like it because the more I wore them, the more I got into them. I do also like to be black, white, and burgundy accents throughout the actual shoe. So overall I would say, there are color options available for everyone.
Running in the 910v2 is actually pretty solid and they feel like a baby brother to something like the Leadville. There is a little more freedom overall for your foot, a little more stability due to the angle of the sole, and decent enough yet not super aggressive logs for traction. On the trail, these things stayed pretty true to form and provide just the right amount of ground feel. I did find that the stability aspect to the sole did leave a little bit to be desired from a cornering perspective. They hold their lines pretty well and handled most of the debris without a problem, and I had decent enough control. I would also say the shoes come across as extremely comfortable. It’s not a word I use all that much, but there is a lot of potential movement through the upper and mid, coupled with a decent amount of cushioning as well. This leads to a generally pleasant wearing experience, but at distance, it’s just a little too much play for me and I would offer something more like their Leadville if I knew I was going to hit the trail runs over 13 miles. When your legs are getting tired, it’s nice to rely little bit on the shoe for that structure and support. The 910v2 opts to be a comfier shoe which translates into a little less support in the upper. The Toe Protect and RockStop rock guard features do work as advertised and protect your foot pretty well.
The New Balance 910v2 is a decent performer and fit really well in a spot within their lineup just below the Leadville. I would say this is geared to those who want a lot of extra cushioning, have a wider foot, and might have a little extra weight on them. They provide adequate ventilation and will be solid for your single-digit to low teen mileage runs and are also great trail shoes for those new to trail running. My personal preference would be to use the Leadville for the majority of my runs given the additional weight on the 910v2, but for a lot of people these will work out better and actual provide you a higher level of comfort.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
– Weight: 10.8oz (size 9)
– Drop: 8mm heel/toe
– MSRP: $109.99
– Available: Now