The New Balance Leadville 1210v2 is the 2nd version of this trail shoe, and was inspired by the Leadville 100. It’s been years since I’ve worn New Balance trail shoes, so I was excited to try these. They are designed for a high mileage trail runner, so I felt these would be a good fit for my training.
New Balance 1210v2 General Info
The first thing I noticed was how light they felt for trail shoes. After years of wearing Brooks Cascadia, these felt really light, and didn’t have that stiff and blocky feel once on my feet like the Cascadias.
The overall look of the Leadville 1210v2 is quite understated, but I liked the nod to the Leadville 100 belt buckle on the tongue of the shoe.
I found the fit to be a bit above average. They are slightly narrow through the forefoot, but manageable. My only quibble is with the heel being a bit loose and allowing small pebbles and the like to get into the shoe.
New Balance 1210v2 Sole Info
I found the sole unit to be quite comfortable and well cushioned, while still managing to be quite protective underfoot, even on rockier trails.
The first run I wore them on was a 20 mile run on technical trails, and I can confidently say they were comfortable right from the start.
They also bore out my initial impression of feeling more streamlined than the clunky feeling Cascadias I’ve been used to.
I really have to give props to the fantastic traction provided by the Vibram outsole. The trails I run on have been a mess of downed trees recently, and the Leadville 1210v2 even managed to grip really well on top of wet, slippery logs.
The Leadville 1210v2 is has an 8mm drop, and a medial post for light stability.
New Balance 1210v2 Upper Info
I found the fit to be comfortable, though not exceptional. They are slightly narrow through the forefoot, leading to blisters on my small toes on occasion.
The heel felt quite comfortable, but was loose enough to allow small pebbles and pine needles to find a way in. It was secure across the arch of my foot, feeling comfortably snug but not tight.
I wore them for quite a few miles on varied terrain, including rocks, roots, mud, and sand, and they needed no more cleanup than a good spray with the hose.
The color scheme of the shoe was pleasant but somewhat subdued, no flashy colors here! The nod to the Leadville 100 finisher’s buckle (with the phrase “Go Get It”) was whimsical and clever.
New Balance 1210v2 Conclusions
I had a good time running quite a few miles in the Leadville 1210v2. They were comfortable, needing no breaking in (which shouldn’t be necessary these days anyway!) even for distances of 20 miles or more.
I really can’t say enough about the traction they provide. I had no problems with grip even on wet wood, slimy rocks, and sticky mud.
My only real problem is the number of times I had to stop and remove pebbles from them. If you’re a person who, like me, dislikes wearing gaiters, you may have to resign yourself to making quite a few stops.
If you have more dirt and mud rather than gravel, you may have a better time.
We thank the nice people at New Balance for sending us a pair of 1210v2 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.