On Tuesday, I received a pair of New Balance's highly anticipated new trail shoe, the MT110. The 110 is a continuation of New Balance's highly successful "Minimus" line of shoes. This shoe is pretty much a hybrid of the MT10 and the 101. (Confusing, isn't it!) The MT110 fits similar to the 101 in the midfoot and the heel and offers the same outstanding flexibility as the 101. The MT110 fits like the MT10 in the toebox area, specifically the stack height of the toebox; meaning it is very low but wide.
Another aspect of the MT110 that is similar to the MT10, and for many it's the most important aspect, is the 4mm heel to toe drop. Where the 101 is said to have a 10mm drop (I personally think it's much less, maybe 6) the 4mm drop of the MT110 will allow for an even more natural foot strike than the 101.
I think the best improvement in the MT110 over both the MT10 and the 101 is the outsole. Simply stated, the traction appears to be much better than those other shoes. (I can only say "appears" because I haven't as yet taken them out on the trails) Where the 101 offered decent grip on dry trails, it wasn't very solid on wet, muddy trails. In addition, the rubber compound used on the 101 is a lower quality rubber, which is one major reason why the shoe was so inexpensive. And while the MT10 offers Vibram rubber for it's outsole, which is very high quality rubber, it's non-aggressive pattern meant major compromises in traction.
It appears that New Balance has found a great tread pattern and used a quality rubber compound for the MT110. The tread is aggressive, but not overly so. It should be able to capably handle most mildly muddy trails.
I got a chance today to take them for a run, but only on the treadmill. I did a few miles and some 1/4 mile repeats in them and they performed wonderfully. Like the 101 and the MT10, the MT110 does not use an insole, and you can wear it sockless. I normally don't run without socks but I did today on the treadmill and I can report that I didn't have a single hotspot.
I'm looking forward to getting these things outside, where they belong and seeing what they can do. I may even use them in Arizona in a few weeks for the 50k.