New Balance Leadville v3 Review

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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.

L1

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.

L2

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.

L3

With all of that being said, this is the best New Balance trail shoe that I have tried in years!

Pros:
– comfortable
– slightly wider toebox
– nice outsole

Cons:
– 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.