Saturday, July 11, 2015

New Balance 610v3 Trail Shoes: For trail & OCR

Kind of a long overdue post but after a painful hike on Gunung Ledang, I believe I've tried out my New Balance 610v3 shoes in every condition there is to push it to its max performances. I've used it for trail running, obstacle racing and of course, hiking and can now make a fair review on it.

The New Balance 610v3 was the successor of my former trusty pair of two years, the New Balance 610v2. It even looks alike save for its more vibrant colour.

It shares the same sole as the v2 with some rather toothy lugs combined with road friendly prints that offers just the right amount of grip for trails, road and even on obstacle courses. The grip was impressive as when on trail, I often felt sure-footed and very rarely experienced loosing my footing or grip on the trails. These same soles even helped me survive the obstacles of Viper Challenge and Viper Arena although upon looking back, I realised it was more suited for Viper Arena due to the shorter distance combined with the variety of obstacles.



It was lighter than the v2 with a body of mesh upper was that less sturdier than its predecessor. The material allowed my feet to breath and drained water from the insides fairly rapidly. The synthetic reinforcements helped to minimize lateral movements when on the go and allowed me a better feel of my feet's rotation and placement. XLT footbed was used for cushioning but while it gave me a good feel of what I am stepping on, it seemed flimsy and had a tendency to wear out fast. It can however be removed if needed for a replacement insoles. I did the same with my previous pair but never didn't feel that comfortable with the insoles. Hence, the replacement.

The mesh upper with synthetic reinforcement in front was supposed to give my toes more wiggle room to move about for running or hiking. It was rather thin and unfortunately lacking in cushioning for my toes. My hike down from Gunung Ledang ended in agony with my big toes forced up against the tip of my shoes for a good 3 hours. Any misstep added to pang of pain shooting up my feet now and then.



After taking it for several trials, I feel that the New Balance 610v3 are best suited for short distance trail and obstacle racing. Its light form and stellar grip allowed me to blitz through trails and overcome obstacle steadily. However, any longer than a 10km distance or 4 hours in use and the thinnest of the front and its insoles becomes apparent.

At about RM250, this is one of the more affordable pair of trail shoes that can tackle both trail and obstacle racing. I still use it for hikes, trail runs, obstacle racing and even Bootcamp. However, in comparison to the 610v2, it comes off as flimsier and less hardier. Well, only the long road will see how well this pair can take the beating.

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