New Balance 100 Trail Shoe Replaces the 790

Update: THE SHOE IS NOW OUT! …and we have a thorough MT100 Trail Shoe review complete with feedback, photos and spec sheet from New Balance.


The information below was written BEFORE the release of the shoe. To see a review of the released version of the MT100BK trail shoe, please see the latest review.


Love the NB790 Trail Shoe?

I mean, what’s not to love? The New Balance 790 trail shoes are light as a feather at a measly 7.6 oz., “ultra”-comfortable, simple, flat, …and quite honestly, look damn good with a pair o’ baggy jeans and t-shirt.

…but yea, I know what your thinking, and I also have issues with the tread – could be a little grip-e-er. The shoes could also dry a little faster when they get wet. …but all that gnarliness is what 800s, now 840s, are for.

For a legion of us, the MR790, for the ladies, WR790, is the best trail shoe ever.

Here comes the NB100, New Balance 100 Trail Shoe

This is all hearsay. I only know what I hear. I’m not an in-depth reporter, nor shoe reviewer with the “inside scoop”. I know a few dudes who work in shoes, and I ask around, and I put together other things to try to understand what’s happening.

A friend sent me some pics of the New Balance 100 trail shoe which, I was told, will be replacing my beloved and cherished MR790.

Oh man, I’m gonna say it – “those are some big shoes to fill”.

New Balance 100 Trail Shoe Pictures

Side of the New Balance 100 Trail Shoe

…the other side of 100s

NB 100 trail tread

NB 100 Trail Shoe Information

So whaddya think?

This is what I think I know, and more will be posted here as I learn more:

NB100 Updates and Web Information

I will add resource links and updates here as I find ‘em out:

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i love these shoes and now i need a new pair and cannot find them where so i look

@ Carole and Nathan: try — there’s a whole bunch

I’ve spent the entire weekend trying in vain to find a pair of the 790s in a size 8. I’ve looked everywhere online and in more than a dozen stores. It is the perfect shoe. What is the point in discontinuing a shoe that people love so much? I don’t get it.

i have been told this shoe would be helpful to my foot condition. i dont know where to locate them. help!

Help!!!! I have worn my 790 for four years… should see them now. I have NEVER had a pair of shoes i loved so much….walked many many many miles in these puppies. Where oh where can I get a pair? I am not too interested in other types…just these. Ill buy ran- in if I have to!!!!

Yes New Balance we need wider shoes
I have some 790s that are not wide enough so i am limited on my distance
I work in 909 2-e s and they are perfect
so please New Balance consider us wide glides we want to hit them hills hard Thanks

Okay, I finally been able to run in the NB100. First, they do seem to run about 1/2 size smaller. I went for a full size up and so did my friend. We both were happy, but a 1/2 shoould work. We are in Afghanistan and run on the dirt FOB roads and hills. They work well against the rocks on the road and I like the extra protection albeit little. If you are a hard heal striker you need to change your running style for this type of shoe and your overall knee health. They are more forgiving than a few shoes like 5 toes but they will not provide the thick comfort heel strikers are use to. Some even have taken padding out of the heal-true minimalist. I use socks but you can run with or without.
Overall I am going to stick with these shoes on dirt and road. Only put about 30 miles on them so far so I can’t say how the long haul goes. I will post more down the road when the wear starts showing on me or the shoes.

Stuart – I wear the exact same size as the 790s and they work perfectly for me. There is only one width. Hope that helps.

- Christian

Trying to find the NB 100 in a 12B. I wear an 11 but found that the larger shoe with a narrow foot provide better for the hard pavement running and foot swelling. Can I stay with my a normal width/size in the 790s or 100s. Meaning run narroow or wider? Had 1062 and 992

[...] thanks to the very rocky trail I found in the Fells, but very enjoyable. I might have to try the MT100’s…the KSOs didn’t quite cut the mustard out there. I’d definitely like to [...]

The 790′s run a 1/2 size small. Be careful of some of the color combos. They are made of different material and feel and weigh totally different. I have a pair of black ones and a pair of Mercury/yellow. They are perfect. The coffee/gold color was totally wrong for me. I returned them to without a problem though.

I just now heard of the 100′s and had been looking locally for someone that stocked the 790′s so I could try some on in hopes of buying. How do the 790′s run size wise in comparison to a 1223? (apparently I like old models). For the price at the link you posted I will buy 2 pair and wait to hear the reviews on the 100′s.

I’ve tried these on since a NB demo model was in my size – they feel absolutely wonderful and will be a good replacement for the 790.

That being said, I’m still getting more 790′s while they are cheap!!!

Hi Keith – the images were shot using a store employees phone camera and sent me via MMS.

I agree with you, image quality is king, but when you only have what you have, you use it.

Thanks for the comments.

Seriously were you trying to capture bigfoot trying on the shoes. With the technology we have now there should never!!! ever!!! be gainy or blurred pictures WTF were you using a dispoable camera! the bigfoot shoes do sound pretty awesome though.

I heard a rumor that anyone commenting on your blog gets a discount on the 100s when they come out … is that true? Oh, wait. I started that rumor!

Hi Everyone. I’m the Product Manager for Trail Running at NB and worked on this shoe. Just to clarify a few things, the 100 is built on the same last as the 790 and also features the same midsole heights in both the heel and the forefoot. The plate in the forefoot has been beefed up for more protection and the tread has been reconfigured for greater durability and traction. Yes, we did work with Kyle and Anton on this shoe and that is what lead to many of it’s unique elements. As they tend to run without socks, the upper was built to be as minimal as possible and that is what lead to the foam based foxing. It’s lighter weight and causes less irritation.

The 100s look a little bit bulkier in the heel. I hope not. I bought 2 pair of 790s for $60 about a year ago when there was a rumor of the stock drying up. I trained in one, and saved a pair for my recent 50-miler. They (790s) feel as comfortable as bedroom slippers right out of the box. I can only hope the 100s are as comfy.

Not so sure about the swept up toe – I like a nice flat shoe. I never had a problem with the light tread on the 790, I regarded that as a feature. I am overall happy with the 790 and it’s the only real “shoe” I wear anymore. But I agree with Joe that a little more width wouldn’t hurt… and more true sizing overall. Good report though, I have been hearing rumblings…

Add a 2E width. The 790s I have are nice, but way to narrow. I can’t go more than 12 miles without a blister. I’m forced to run in the heavier NB 875s since they come in 2E.

Hope they make them WIDER! Really wanted to love the 790 (ran in it a few times before I returned it to a shop that accepted ran-in returns) but it just squeezed the bejeezus out of my duck-paddles…er…I mean feet.

Keep the info coming, Christian. Good find on this!

…o, and more meaty tread!

but keep ‘em light.

we don’t much, right? {grins}

Personally, here’s what I’d like to see in the new trail shoe:

- Better glue on the tread. The tread begins to pull away from shoe after as little as a rugged 50K

- remove the little flap from the heel. It can dig into the achilles(ankle area)

- perhaps make them dry better, if that’s possible.

- I know there’s a plate in there for rock protection, but it’s not entirely effective.

- add a hole in the tongue for laces.

I don’t like the looks of the lasting on it. It looks like it sweeps upward too much.

Also ugly as sin…but if it feels good and is that light…could be good.

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