New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review

Totally synthetic, good soles, and a XCR membrane for wet weather use, plus a range of width fittings including really wide. Very good under some winter conditions, but with a curious defect which limits their use.

Recommended

Overall Rating: Recommended

Recommended for winter use and some three-season use, but you are strongly advised to correct a small manufacturing defect before you use them. Not recommended for river walking or sand country because of the defect, which is fully explained in the article.

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by Roger Caffin |

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review - 1
Courtesy New Balance.

Overview

These were covered briefly in a Spotlite Review, and a promise was made to provide a full review after they had been well exercised. I will assume you have just read the Spotlite and not go over the stuff mentioned there.

Field Testing - Locations

They have been tested under a rather wide range of conditions: everything from extreme winter snow conditions through mild three-season conditions in harsh rocky country to lazy river walking. In general they have been very good, with one exception.

Snow Use

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review - 2
Day two of the winter trip.

These shoes were worn by both the author and his wife in a winter snowshoe trip which went 'slightly off-course'. You can read all about the trip at When Things Go Wrong.

While things did go rather wrong over all, the shoes did not. Both my wife and I had got them half a size too big - partly by accident, but this allowed us to wear two pairs of thick wool socks inside the shoes. That extra padding, plus the Gore-Tex lining and the Gore-Tex gaiters, meant we had nice warm feet every day of the trip.

My wife did try wearing just one pair of socks inside the shoes, but found that the reduced padding allowed the straps of her snowshoes to be felt by the top of her arches. The tongue of the shoes is not all that padded.

Some people worry that joggers are only good for wearing with light packs. This is a silly argument, as the difference in total weight on your feet between a pack of 10 kg and a pack of 20 kg is really only the difference between, say 80 kg and 90 kg on your feet. You have to include the weight of your body.

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review - 3
Portering in to a remote ski base camp.

Anyhow, on a subsequent skiing trip we used the joggers for the walk in to a hut with rather heavy loads. The creeks were all flooded, and we could not safely drive in. When you are carrying full winter gear, plus skis, plus base-camp food, your pack does get heavy. The joggers coped just fine.

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review - 4
Portering back out of the remote ski base camp, with rubbish.

Coming back out we weren't carrying as much food (of course), but I was carrying a large load of rubbish. We had spent some time cleaning up the area. The New Balance MT1110GT joggers went just fine on my Yowie snowshoes. Very little wear was visible on the shoes at this stage.

Three-Season Use

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review - 5
Low down in the rainforest at Barrington Tops.

My wife wore her New Balance MT1110GT joggers on a multi-night trip around the Barrington Tops in mid-summer. This is an isolated plateau region based partly on volcanic basalt. The vegetation ranges from dense rainforest, as shown above, to near-alpine conditions.

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review - 6
Bad weather on top of Barrington Tops.

Unfortunately some of the weather up top was a shade damp, but my wife's shoes functioned very nicely despite that. Yes, her socks did eventually get wet, but we are fairly sure that the water got in by wicking down her trousers, not through any leak in the Gore-Tex liner. Well, if there was a leak, it wasn't noticed. The soles gripped nicely in both the mud at the bottom and the wet alpine conditions up top.

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review - 7
Rough country in the Kanangra-Boyd Wilderness area.

Another trip we used the New Balance MT1110GT joggers on was a traverse of five peaks in the Kanangra-Boyd Wilderness area. It was an extension of a classic 'Three Peaks' trip. This is harsh rough rocky country with no tracks. The joggers had to cope not only with the rock underfoot, but with the scrub brushing against the mesh top layer.

The soles gripped well and showed little wear. The uppers also showed little wear. That 'cosmetic mesh' on top is not fragile! In fact, after being worn on many rough walks, the joggers continued to function very well and to show little wear.

River Walking

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review - 8
The gentle Coxs River valley.

However, the life of one of the pairs of shoes came to an abrupt end in a most unexpected manner, while we were on a gentle walk down the Coxs River. Well you might ask, how this could be? The problem is that walking parts of the Coxs River means you have to cross it many times as one side, then the other, becomes impassable. We have been up and down this river many times and are used to doing this: we just walk across the shallow water without worrying about it. 'Cross early and cross often' seems to be the message.

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review - 9
Gaps in the sewing.

But we had not allowed for what can only be described as a bungle at the factory in China. The shoes are well made, and the Gore-Tex liners are well done. But around the base of the tongue on each shoe there were gaps in the sewing. You can see the gaps in the photo here: they are where the screwdrivers disappear inside the shoes. The tips of the screwdrivers are in between the Gore-Tex liner and the outer structural parts of the shoe. The thin blue lines show where the sewing is missing on each side of the tongue.

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review - 10
Walking across the Coxs River.

We waded across the river many times, kicking up the sand at the bottom and flexing the shoes. As we did this, the sand was able to creep through these gaps and inside the shoe, in between the GoreTex liner and the body. It settled down at the edges of the inner sole, mixed with the glue which bonds the inner sole to the foam sole, and formed hard lumps along the edges. They appeared especially around the ball of the foot where it flexes. They were extremely uncomfortable and made the shoes unwearable - like having small stones in your shoes.

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review - 11
Opening the shoes up for cleaning.

On the Coxs river trip, I was wearing my favourite summer joggers, Dunlop KT26s, and had no trouble. My wife was wearing her MT1110GT joggers, and it was those which filled up with sand. When we got home I pulled her shoes apart to see what was going on, and saw enough to verify the claims made above. There were little lumps of sand scattered all along both sides where the purple lines are. I tried to remove all the sand, but I found that unless I really 'deconstructed' the shoes I was just not going to succeed. The sand was too stuck in place. I gave up, as I was not sure I could reconstruct the shoes afterwards.

Summary

The New Balance MT1110GT shoes are very nice, hard-wearing but fairly light joggers with a good Gore-Tex membrane. Being available in half sizes and a 4E width fitting (as well as narrower versions), they should fit most walkers. Bought a half-size too large to allow for extra socks, they make excellent winter walking and snowshoeing shoes.

They also make excellent walking shoes for harsh rocky country. Both the soles and the uppers seem to be able to take harsh treatment. The Gore-Tex membrane seems to handle early morning dew very well.

But unless you modify the shoes by hand-sewing across the blue lines in the photo above, you should not take these shoes into the water or even into very sandy places. If you do sew them up they should be OK - I think. I have sewn my pair up and they continue to provide excellent service.

Specifications

  Manufacturer:

New Balance

  Year/Model:

2008

  Manufacture:

China

  Materials:

synthetic fabrics and rubbers, no leather, plus XCR membrane

  Last:

SL-1 (see New Balance's site for their definition)

  Size: - 6

13, 14, 15 in D, EE and EEEE fittings

  Weight:

Quoted 385 g (13.5 oz) each, measured 406 g (14.3 oz) for US size 11 EEEE (BPL measurement)

  Colour:

what you see is what you get

  MSRP:

not quoted

What's Good

  • A fairly low weight
  • A wide range of width fittings
  • A flat inner sole and footbed
  • Very good friction on the sole
  • No leather or suede anywhere

What's Not So Good

  • Sand can get inside the body through gaps in the stitching

Citation

"New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review," by Roger Caffin. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/nb_mt1110gt_review.html, 2009-06-23 00:00:00-06.

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New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review on 06/23/2009 16:33:19 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review

William Puckett
(Beep) - F

Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes
RE: New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review on 06/24/2009 11:17:18 MDT Print View

Roger, I really like your thorough reviewing style! The unsewed gap you found in the shoes seems like something that Superglue or similar adhesive could seal without compromising weight, function or durability. Of course, you'd need to know to look for the unsewn gap, but your review does a great job in identifying this manufacturing shortcoming.

Good job!

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
RE: New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review on 06/24/2009 13:37:46 MDT Print View

Another great review Roger! I'm partial to New Balance shoes for the very reason you point out: they come in widths, and very few shoe manufacturers make widths any one more. Another one that comes to mind is Asics (they make wide, 2E and 4E), and I've been looking at their Kahuna Trail Runner as a possible future purchase. Maybe you'll review it?

In the spotlight review you mention two things that I'm not clear about. One is your mention that low-cut shoes are preferable because mids rub and absorb energy. I can understand how a spongy sole can absorb energy, but the higher cuff? The other is about the shoe arch being detrimental to the point of being injurious. Now, I have absolutely flat feet and wear Superfeet insoles, which provide great comfort. Without them my dogs become fatigued way before the end of the day. Anyway, if you would be so kind as to elaborate it would be greatly appreciated. Happy trails!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: RE: New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review on 06/24/2009 16:48:02 MDT Print View

Hi Monty

I will have a look at the Asics - thank you. But I could not find the Kahuna Trail Runner on their web site.

> mids rub and absorb energy
That's MY experience. But I am referring to the bit around the ankle, not to the sole. I find that a significant ankle cuff rubs my ankle and I can feel that it is resisting my ankle bending. This goes to an extreme with the high boots of course. They are a left-over of the old leather army boots era.

> shoe arch being detrimental to the point of being injurious.
OK, this is one of those delightfully vague areas. The term 'arch support' itself derives entirely from Nike marketing of a couple of decades ago - an inspired bit of unjustified foot-destruction which has caused huge problems for athletes around the world. It is now recognised as being actively dangerous to your foot health.

Originally leather shoes had virtually no side-incut at the arch at all, partly because it was hard to do. And the inner sole was dead flat. All moulded soles now have some side-incut at the arch region to help retain the foot in the 'right' position for the shoe. Some manufacturers refer to this side-incut as the 'arch support', but the term is misused. We just don't have an alternative!

My venom towards 'arch supports' is directed at the idea that the sole should rise up UNDER the foot to 'support' the arch. This is a criminal concept. Nike's justification for this when they introduced it was the idea that your foot was not strong enough to support itself. There was no medical research behind this and no bio-medical justification for it. It was just a marketing idea, but they fooled the world for some years.

The effect of something under the arch of your foot is to cause compression on the tendons under your foot, while they are working hard. You should think of them as the string on a tensioned bow, with the bones of your foot being the bow itself. This compression on hard-working tendons causes bruising and can cause the sheath around the tendon to be abraded away and start leaking. Your tendons then lose their lubrication and can rub raw. This leads to Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), and can be crippling. As I said, it is a criminal concept.

> I have absolutely flat feet
This is another stupid marketing concept. Your feet have a certain structure from your genetics. There is NOTHING wrong with your feet! Do NOT believe any marketing ******* which implies otherwise!

(Before anyone pitches in with a foot problem which has been diagnosed by a qualified podiatrist, let me state that I am not talking about such genuine problems. I am talking about ordinary healthy feet.)

However, it may be that the construction of the sole of the shoes you are wearing is mismatched to the shape of your feet. Fair enough: feet do vary widely in shape. If wearing Superfeet insoles improves the match then you have the perfect justification for wearing them (COMFORT!).

:-)

cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 06/24/2009 17:01:06 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
re ASICs on 06/24/2009 17:08:08 MDT Print View

I have just had a look at the ASICs web site for Wide fittings. It seems they all have gel in the sole for cushioning.

Now this may be a personal thing, but my wife and I have found that gel soles are bad for walking. The gel has the effect of removing the feel you have for the ground, and this leads to more twisted ankles and other injuries.

This is also the opinion of many sports doctors. There is a strong evidence-based move back towards thin-soled 'flats' in fact.

Cheers

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review on 06/24/2009 18:03:54 MDT Print View

What do you think about using an elastomeric adhesive rather than sewing for the suggested surgery?

darren stephens
(darren5576) - F

Locale: Down Under
Careys peak on 06/24/2009 18:56:25 MDT Print View

G'Day Rodger
Was that careys peak hut? Thats about 20k's from home as the crow flies.
Nice place
Darren

Edited by darren5576 on 06/24/2009 20:34:42 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review on 06/24/2009 23:47:08 MDT Print View

> an elastomeric adhesive rather than sewing for the suggested surgery?

Oh, adhesives are wonderful stuff ... but I would always sew. The trouble with adhesives is that the edge of the bond can slowly creep, dirt can get into the edge of the bond, and, well, they are not reliable under a continuously flexing load like this. Where the surfaces are rigid, they can be good. Here - sewing is better imho.

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Careys peak on 06/24/2009 23:48:50 MDT Print View

Hi Darren

Yep, Careys Peak Hut on Barrington Tops. It was meant to fine ... :-)

Cheers

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Arch Support on 06/25/2009 17:49:29 MDT Print View

Thanks for your insight on this matter Roger. As a matter of fact, as a child I was diagnosed as having flat feet by a Podiatrist and wore custom orthotics for quite a few years. Then it became too expensive and I resorted to OTC insoles. But a curious thing happened when I got my Innov8 390s. I was so thrilled with their arrival that the first time out I forgot to swap in the Superfeet, and I was amazed at how comfortable they were. Even with the Superfeet they remind me of wearing moccasins. Next week I'll be going for a several day outing, and I think I'll do it "barefoot" (sans Superfeet) just to see. Keeping an open mind as it were. Happy trails.

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
lumps at purple lines - same problem w/ some Keen models on 06/27/2009 08:28:11 MDT Print View

Roger writes fantastic reviews. Thanks.
My husband and I have had the same problem with hard lumps forming along the purple lines of other models. I'll mention them here to help people shopping for shoes suitable for sandy conditions.
Keen Shellrock and Keen Voyageurs have the same problem. We called them sand-worms - linear dense-packed sand wedged between the inner and outer liner, shaped like earthworms. The worms formed within a few days of walking in sandy conditions (Oregon Coast Trail, Escalante River). We didn't do the analysis to figure out where the sand entered.
Given that two Keen models had the problem, I'm not planning to buy that brand again.
Amy

Daniel Maher
(dfmaher99) - F

Locale: SoCal
NB 1110 on 07/01/2009 14:15:15 MDT Print View

With the photo of the tongue defect from Roger's review in hand I visited a New Balance store to try out the 1110 and MO 1520 models. In each shoe, in the corners where Roger shows the screwdriver slipping thru, where the tongue should be attached to the upper, there is a gap in which a finger passes right thru. With gentle pressure the gap widened. The store manager was quite upset (not with me).

In comparison to my old Merrell Chameleons, these NB shoes are poorly constructed in the tongue/upper interface.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: NB 1110 on 07/01/2009 16:44:41 MDT Print View

To be fair to New Balance, I don't think this was their doing: it was a Chinese factory stuff-up.
And the shoe has been withdrawn from production, which is a pity as otherwise it is a good shoe.

Cheers

V k
(vladimir_ek)

Locale: New York
had these and returned on 07/28/2009 13:36:00 MDT Print View

Had these two seasons ago. Sent them back to NB for this problem as well as durability issues. Basically these shoes fell apart after < 100 miles. The outer shell of the shoe is far too delicate for heavy use.

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Roger or anyone else evaluate the new NB1110 trail shoe (without Gore Tex)? on 07/15/2012 18:39:03 MDT Print View

Know this is an old thread, pulled it up because NB resurrected this shoe in a non-Gore Tex trail model.

Roger have you had a chance to try the new NB 1110?

I'm having trouble getting accurate information from NB on the heel to toe drop. One NB rep said the 1110 has a 4mm drop, while another NB rep claimed 12mm. Wish they'd list that info. Would be great if you had a knowledgeable insider to ask.

By contrast the first rep said the NB810 has an 8mm drop and the second said it also has a 12mm drop.

I was hoping New Balance would have a shoe similar to the Saucony Xodus 3.0 (good cushioning, protective rock plate, quick drying mesh, 4 mm heel to toe drop) or Altra Lone Peak (same as above except zero drop) for the nice NB selection of wider sizes. I don't have wide feet, but find the toe box on many trail shoes not generous enough for hiking and backpacking.