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New Balance MT1110GT Joggers SpotLite Review

Totally synthetic, good soles and a XCR membrane for wet weather use, plus a range of widths, including really wide.


Overall Rating: Recommended

*Tentatively Recommended!* This tentative Recommended rating is based on a few fine-weather trips under alpine and mountain conditions where the shoes proved to be extremely comfortable and to have an excellent grip. More extensive testing will be undertaken during an extended snow-shoe trip in the Australian winter, when they will have to handle a lot of wet snow and cold. A full Product Review is scheduled after this.

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by Roger Caffin |

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Spotlite Review - 1
Courtesy New Balance.


Normally I wear very low-cut Australian-made Dunlop KT-26 joggers when I am out walking. They are very light (327 g or 11.5 oz each shoe) and have superb friction on rock. However, they do have a few deficiencies. They have a very soft sole which has some problems on muddy trails; the lugs on the soles are very shallow and just don't grip on snow, and the mesh upper lets water straight through. For winter walking in snow country, as beautifully described by Will Rietveld in his three articles on Lightweight Footwear Systems for Snow Travel, the KT-26s just don't make it.

What would I like for winter snow travel? A good lugged sole with some rigidity, because in the snow I need some traction around camp. A sole with firm edges also helps with snow shoe bindings. I would like a waterproof/breathable membrane to keep the melting snow out. I don't want lots of seams on the outside: the stitching is always a weak point fraying where the shoes folds. I don't want suede or surface leather trimming as it always gets wet and heavy and freezes and cracks after a while. I don't want a high ankle: high ankles on the shoe just absorb energy and rub on my ankles, and anyhow in winter I wear GoreTex gaiters over my shoes to keep the snow out. And because I have very wide feet (common among Australian walkers), I want a wide fitting, like an EEEE.

Over the year I have tried many many different shoes, joggers and light boots. Few of them have been wonderful, but these New Balance MT1110GT joggers come very close to meeting every one of my needs. Perhaps I am slightly biased by the fact that when I wore them for a short field trip they were immediately comfortable and wide enough! Granted, the size supplied was slightly too big for summer walking, but I didn't want them for that anyhow. I want them for snow shoeing, and the size supplied has enough room for really thick warm socks, or even two pairs of warm socks as Will recommends.

I remain slightly puzzled by shoe sizes. The same size US 11 in another brand I have used just feels smaller: I could not imagine wearing two pairs of warm socks inside them. I suspect that this may be because they are probably only an EE fitting. But then, I can get away with size US 9 in the KTs mentioned above, and still be comfortable! With shoes, always try before you buy!

I plan on wearing these New Balance MT1110GT shoes around August 2008 on a long (about two weeks) snow shoe trip. Perhaps I will be able to write a full product review of these shoes after that trip. So far I have worn them for about one week in the mountains during autumn.

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Spotlite Review - 2
Up in the mountains.

Product Details

The web site specifications for these shoes contains the usual array of fancy marketing buzz word names for the various bits. Forgive me if I skip them. The rubber sole has fairly good lugs: you can see the pattern in the picture. While the lugs are not all that deep, I did find this rubber quite grippy - more than I expected. There is some cushioning in the sole to be sure, but not like the notorious 'air support' which usually means you lose all contact with the ground - and risk spraining an ankle. The inner sole and footbed are fairly flat, which is wonderful. No, these shoes do not feature that appalling concept of 'arch support', so they should be good for long distances with minimal foot fatigue.

The upper is advertised as seamless, and it does look seamless. This probably makes it easier for the XCR membrane inside to keep the water out - it worked for lots of wet grass during autumn field testing anyhow. There is a bit of plastic embossing on the outer fabric ('Go-Fast' stripes?) but it seems to be very well stuck down - or molded in more likely. The fabric does not abrade very easily: it hasn't shown any signs so far.

The New Balance web site makes a bit of a thing about the toe cap, calling it (I think) 'Rock Stop 2'. Indeed, the toe cap is quite solid. I kicked bits and pieces of stuff (branches, rocks ...) in the field and the toe cap showed no wear at all. My toes didn't suffer either.

The tongue is fully gusseted, which is good for keeping the water out. The laces are ... bumpy! You can see just how bumpy in the photos. New Balance call this strange profile 'Sure Lace'. I think the idea is that the bumps prevent the laces from slowly drifting undone. Yes, this did seem to work in the field. A simple bow sufficed for the whole day. Mind you, I am not sure how well the laces will work when they are frozen solid, but we shall see.

There is padding around the top edge of the ankle and inside the tongue, but not to an extreme. I would describe it as a 'suitable' amount. The 'spikes' at the back of the ankle present the only problem: when new I could feel them a little. I have seen this before, and perhaps the spikes will soften after some wear.


  • Manufacturer: New Balance
  • Year/Model: 2008
  • Manufacture: China
  • Materials: synthetic fabrics and rubbers, no leather, plus XCR membrane
  • Last: SL-1 (whatever that means)
  • 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)
  • Color: 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

  • Nothing has been found so far.


"New Balance MT1110GT Joggers SpotLite Review," by Roger Caffin. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2008-07-08 00:00:00-06.


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

Locale: Montana
New Balance MT1110GT Joggers SpotLite Review on 07/08/2008 17:29:43 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

New Balance MT1110GT Joggers SpotLite Review

Colin Briggs
(colinpbriggs) - F - MLife

Locale: Melbourne Australia
Where to buy them? on 07/12/2008 01:47:51 MDT Print View

Hi Roger, the joggers looked OK so I thought I would try them out. Don't seem to be able to buy them in Oz???? Tried the New Balance Outlet. They called their head office who said that this model isn't imported into Australia. Where did you get your pair from?


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Where to buy them? on 07/12/2008 04:33:56 MDT Print View

> Tried the New Balance Outlet. They called their head office who said that this model isn't imported into Australia.
Yeah, this happens. Sigh. I think it is about time we skipped local distributors and bought over the web. The Oz markup is often pretty outrageous too. Granted, it gets a little more tricky with shoes. Find another NB model with that last which is available here, check the size, and then import.

> Where did you get your pair from?
As Senior Editor for Technology at BPL ... from New Balance PR department. Their advertising budget. Hey, there has to be SOME benefits from all this!

James Augustine
(chirodr) - F

Locale: Southern California
Breathability on 07/15/2008 00:12:57 MDT Print View

Hi Roger:
I'm concerned with how well they breathe. Any comments / experience with this?

Jim Augustine

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Breathability on 07/15/2008 00:43:24 MDT Print View

Hi James

> I'm concerned with how well they breathe.
I can't answer that very well yet. They do have a Goretex membrane which is going to limit breathing of course. I don't normally wear membrane shoes unless I am in the snow, and that is a few weeks off.

Fwiiw, during the prelim testing with very thick wool socks I did not notice any problems. But everyone's feet are different.

I did notice the really comfortable fit due to the EEEE fitting though: a real pleasure to wear.


Colin Briggs
(colinpbriggs) - F - MLife

Locale: Melbourne Australia
Re: Re: Where to buy them? on 07/22/2008 02:25:33 MDT Print View

Thanx Roger,

Clearly New Balance don't wont to sell me a pair of these Trail Runners! I tried all the on-line outlets in the US. Most won't ship to Oz. The only one that did doesn't have my size!

Normally I wouldn't consider a pair of runners with a waterproof membrane except for snow shoeing. My feet sweat so much that the best shoes I can get are SALOMON TECH AMPHIBIAN, basically a sandal with mesh in between. These are the only shoes I have found where my feet don't get wet from sweat. Unfortunately they are a bit narrow aross the ball of the foot and have an internal join right in front of the little toe. After 100km or so I end up with a black nail from the nail touching against the join.

I have managed to get hold of a pair of New Balance MT800 trail runners which seem to be excellent. They are light and are wide enough for my feet. Only done about 75km in them so far with no problems.

I'm going to try out a pair of Keen Wasatch Crest WP, which have an Event lining which makes them suitable for snow shoeing. Keen list them as being availble in Oz. So I'm off to find a pair tomorrow.

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: New Balance MT1110GT Joggers SpotLite Review on 09/23/2008 19:51:24 MDT Print View

Somehow I missed the original posting of this. I still have one question: Why is arch support an appalling concept? My feet give me grief without it.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: New Balance MT1110GT Joggers SpotLite Review on 09/24/2008 04:29:55 MDT Print View

> Why is arch support an appalling concept?
Old discussion. It refers to the exaggerated forms of arch support which actually go UNDER the arch. I think Nike promoted them at one stage. Absolutely daft idea if the muscles/tendons under your feet rub on the arch support: you end up with RSI or torn muscle sheathe from the pressure. Most state-level and above athletics coaches won't permit their trainees to wear them, for very good reason.

What many joggers have these days is a bit of incurve at the side of the arch which they call 'arch support'. That is *relatively* harmless in comparison.

It is worth looking at expensive Italian-made leather boots. They have a dead flat inner sole. The Italians also have hundreds of years of boot-making experience.