New Balance designed the Leadville v3 as a hearty trail runner with long distances, including ultras, in mind. New Balance trail shoes lack a little identity at the moment – there are minimalist shoes, fresh foam and now the Leadville, which definitely is a more traditional shoe.
The Leadville is pretty comfortable. It has a “flat” tongue, which I don’t like. Several other brands are also using these now – my suggestion? Stop it! The length is basically average, as is the width. There is a slightly wider toebox, although I’d still prefer a bit more room, especially if the shoe is intended for ultras.
The shoe is a bit stiff. This isn’t a huge deal for me. I still use the Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 all the time, and that also has a stiff sole. With that being said, some people might not like it. It has a nice Vibram outsole, perfect for soft trails, hard trails and even a little pavement. The shoe also has “Rock Stop” – which is basically a flexible rock plate. I think there is plenty of protection for almost all types of terrain.
The size 10 weighed in at 11.2 ounces. That’s pretty comparable to similar shoes, but it might seem a bit heavy for some. Personally, I didn’t think it felt too bulky or cumbersome. The shoe has a 29mm heel and a 21mm forefoot – an 8mm drop.
With all of that being said, this is the best New Balance trail shoe that I have tried in years!
– slightly wider toebox
– nice outsole
– flat tongue – do other people like these? I hate them!
– a little on the heavy side
– price – this shoe sells for $111.95 at Running Warehouse. That seems a little steep to me for this shoe, although they’ll probably get marked down later in the season.