New Balance Leadville 1210v3 Review

Like its precedents, the New Balance Leadville 1210 V3 is known as the typical running shoe which was inspired by Leadville 100 race. Being designed for runners of the high mileage, its most notable feature is an amazing comfort. This shoe features the N2 technology which packs an adequate cushioning amount underfoot. With tight mesh upper made of synthetic and the sewn in its gusseted tongue, it definitely helps you to keep out the debris. Also, the material improvements mean that these shoes absorbed less water compared to the previous version of New Balance Leadville.

Highlight features and technologies

  • The seamless sock liner was newly added to greet your feet as well as make the comfort be its’ top asset since your first step. Also, it has the very plush and soft fabric which help you run for the long distance.
  • New Balance retained most of its core features in a smart way. It stays unchanged as the very highly-sought and popular ultra-marathon shoe but having a few sensible revisions. Of which, the toe protection and breathability are the most excellent and visible upgrade you can see in the shoe.
  • Its upper is assessed more breathable than other shoes. And its strong covers your heel to your toe acts as the sturdy bump. The New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 made the stretchable mesh to wrap your foot in a comfortable way, especially when wearing it for hours and miles.
  • Its Vibram outsole does not incorporate more numerous and larger opposite facing its perimeter. You can see in the outsole’s middle 4mm lugs with the multi-directional function. Such lugs span your heel to your forefoot in order to deliver the required grip on many different trail surfaces.
  • The New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 also raised its stack height yet maintained the drop of 8mm in comparison with other New balance shoes. Its stack height offers more protection for your underfoot without removing the ground feedback dedicated for your trail runs in a ultra-long distance.

New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 - Pros and Cons


  • The cushioning technology named REVLite and the lightweight midsole layer gives you the responsive and comfortable underfoot.
  • Its upper unit delivers an excellent performance with the debris-free materials.
  • The acclimated N2 tech for the cushioning brings the added springiness in its forefoot area and its front side.
  • The New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 features the efficient yet strong layer in the Vibram outsole.
  • Fifthly, the reinforced trail protection provides you the flexibility through its inclusion of the toe guard and the Gusseted Tongue.


  • Its price is a bit higher than the average price range.
  • Its sole unit is easier to wear down after several months.
  • The shoe has the well-cushioned heel and forefoot area.

New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 description

These shoes offer the traction, protection, and flexibility to those getting more for the performance on trails. We will look into the details of this product which is assessed as excellent and suitable for runners required the high level of support.

New Balance Leadville v3


With N2 foam, the outsole and the midsole were connected in the most responsive and durable way. However, the REVlite foam occupies almost the central part of its midsole and runs through the shoe’s entire length. It is considered the top of its New Balance midsole foam which is extremely responsive and lightweight. Besides, the medial post which located directly below its mid-foot is the key element to make slight over-pronators run stable. It is indeed made of the high-density foam to provide effective yet non-intrusive arch support. Such medial post was designed to help all neutral runners to avoid having the breakdown during their ultra-marathon trails.


The upper of the New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 has more breathable and flexible mesh which covers the entire shoe’s surface. By adding the synthetic overlays, it offers all runners the support, durability, and structure to its upper. For this model, the New Balance shoe producer uses the prominent overlay which also acts like the toe bumper. Furthermore, its seamless sock liner is newly added with the odor-resistant capacity as well as provides the enhanced fit and comfort.


New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 outsole

The New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 has the outsole with the compound made of Sticky Rubber for the enhanced traction on all wet surfaces. Also, it presents a whole new set up of the extended lugs with the opposite facing position in the shoe’s perimeter. Such lugs having the multi-directional function were located in its central outsole portion. It provides the consistent and reliable grip for all runners, regardless of its surface or the conditions. The Rock Plate which is highly durable sits between its outsole and its midsole for ensuring the protection of the shoe against the sharp objects appeared on all trails.

New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 Review

If you want to find an ultra-running shoe which can use in various types of terrain and conditions, the New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 may be one leading option. It is practical and straightforward. Whenever I felt difficulty in the run, it seems to change into the battleship for shoe types. But it is considered the sexy and lightweight shoe I could love to wear for my 100-mile race. These shoes are the trail shoe kind which sneaks up entirely on you as well as ends up completely in the drop bag right at the mile of 50. I am actually satisfied as it offers the predictable, durable, dependable feeling to my finish line of running.

Comfort of New Balance Leadville v3

When mentioning of the comfort, all shoe testers might not leave out the New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 as it is the major feature of the shoe. You will feel great right from the moment putting the shoe on, and keeping that feeling for its entire life. With no seam, the upper of the shoe provides the exclusive sure-lace system without wear points. Compared to the New Balance MT910v1, it does a fantastic job of being tight along with the cushioning of its underfoot is indeed great.

Previously, the water absorption of the shoe is quite similar to its 2nd iteration of New Balance Leadville 1210 brand. This function was addressed by applying various mesh materials right in the upper construction. It also the least absorptive product with the vast improvement from previous year, which is quite similar to the Mizuno Wave Rider 20. During the race, the feet will be easy to get wet, especially when climbing the Hope Pass or crossing the river above the Twin Lakes.


The Leadville 1210 series of New Balance is well-known for the roomy fit so it can accommodate the mid-run swelling factor during all ultra-marathons. For the 3rd model, I truly enjoy its’ completely fit. In addition, all runners with the slightly and medium wide may love its adequate forefoot and heel structure. The locked-in mid-foot did not take effects of its size. From my point of view, it sometimes runs more stable than usual New Balance shoes, such as New Balance Vazee.

I pretty like the wraparound fit it brought by getting half one size down. However, the broad heel of the shoe reduced its fit. No laces were found around its heel, so I couldn't find out the way to have the shoe tightened up. Meanwhile, narrow heels may slide down and up with all of our steps, even going uphill.


This trail shoe type is the top choice for those who are looking for durable cruisers for all way with enough protection and cushioning for up to 100 miles. In fact, the mainstays for a long term include shoes such as the Montrail Mountain Masochist and the Brooks Cascadia. Also, Altra’s Lone Peak, Pearl Izumi’s N2/M2, Montrail Bajada, and Nike’s Wildhorse 3 are considered favorite shoes of many veterans with full of the buckles.

Similar to them, I expected to find the smooth ride, extreme durability, and a moderate level of protection and cushioning with the New Balance Leadville 1210 v3. And it was not disappointed me as I wore it all the time without fit or blister issues. Its midsole provides the unobtrusive and smooth ride from toe off to heel. It is indeed a perfect choice for all mid-foot strikers who craves the forefoot cushioning.

When heel striking to go downhill, it feels sublime while does not cross any line into your unstable feeling relating to mushy or excessive cushioning. I am really satisfied while running on dusty and concrete roads as well as technical trails with all surface feeling protected and smooth. The reason for this is the New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 uses both Revlite and N2 cushioning along with the medial post. Such post consists of the EVA foam with the high density to decrease the symptom of over-pronation.


Although the shoe does not have the protective and stiff rock plates like the Montrail Caldorado or the Brooks Cascadia 11, it instead offers the fantastic protection for your underfoot by using the ample cushioning. Its N2 technology combined with the REVlite foam are designed to provide more cushioning as well as less weight and volume. As a matter of fact, REVlite did not break down the traditional, yet bulky EVA midsoles.

With the same stack height, the shoe is definitely more cushioned and responsive than traditional shoes such as the ASICS GEL-FujiTrabuco 4 Neutral. Also, I loved its wrap around the toe bumper as well as the heel-toe drop of 8mm. These features serve to bring the shoe an entirely protective shoe which still gives the reasonable sensitivity on the trail.


I have to affirm that stability was not its principle feature. Its REVLite foam which is considered more compact and stable than the EVA foams still leaves the runner with a variety of the foam underfoot. Furthermore, it is not as tippy or unstable as the Salomon Speedcross 4. However, the New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 does not offer the same platform kind as The North Face Ultra Endurance. Besides, its upper was too loose to hold my foot in right place in comparison with other shoes. It actually allows my feet to move and sacrifice its stable platform.

Quality and durability

There is no significant change in this shoe compared to the New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 with the perfect and amazing balance between great sensitivity and underfoot cushioning. As there is no change in its composition of the foam compounds, I certainly felt the protective underfoot. However, it made me feel rigid and stiff while dare I say a bit clunky. Regarding the durability and quality, it was honored to be compared to The North Face Ultra Endurance and the Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2 v3. These shoes are well-known for being fantastic the attributes, while I felt that it was simply average.


Its Vibram outsole is considered the most outstanding and noticeable change made over the New Balance Leadville 1210 v3. There is no change in the Vibram material. Its outsole is only 1 single piece without the horizontal cut-out groove. Its lug pattern comprises of the triangular-shaped lugs arranged in a row in the directional and middle in-cut lugs around its edges.

I found that its rubber material offered a great balance of durability and stickiness. Also, it completes the decent job belonged to the shedding mud in order to give me enough traction. So, you can navigate in the snow fields of the mountains. Its outsole is adequate for the trail running, and the shoe is completely different with the Saucony Peregrine 6 for using through grass or cross country. We love its breathable room but prefer the shoes to lock the feet in a place in order to prevent sliding and slipping around. But the 3rd iteration of New Balance Leadville has not yet rectified this concern.


It completely differs from the Leadville Trail 100 which is suitable for a wide range of terrains for our races, from the buffed out and smooth trail, extensive flat sections of the paved roads to steep mountains. The New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 is assessed as a perfect product for handling all things the race may throw at the runner. Despite this point, there are few changes between the shoe and its previous model.

Of which, the most noticeable feature is the different lugs pattern on its outsole. However, it does not add up much to the overall performance. The mesh materials made the upper absorbed less water than the New Balance Leadville 1210 v2. It is the positive improvement with the multiple creek crossings of the wade-through encounters. In short, the level of comfort is unchanged for the high-mileage shoes compared to last year.


By adopting the Leadville Trail 100 rigors, the shoe performs well for the most common race of 100 miles in the U.S. On the race from Winfield to Leadville and back, runners at the race will face and encounter countless miles which comprise of ascents from huge mountains, dirt trail, and lots of rocks. Also, lengthy sections belonged to the paved road along with the multiple crossings of the stream should be added up to their difficulties.

These shoes certainly can take on such exhausting and severe 100 miles. So, it may perform well if you are heading to other high-mileage race, or as the durable trainer every day.


The men version of New balance Leadville 1210 v3 shoes with the size 11 has the weight of 23.5 ounces. It was in the middle range, similar to the Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2 v3 and the Salomon Speedcross 4. Although these shoes are not overly heavy, I cannot feel of lightness when wearing them. Instead, it made me like wearing the solid protector. Even it is not as responsive and quick as other lightweight shoes showed out there, it is still an acceptable option, right? The shoe is available with the widths of B and D and the sizes for men’s version among 6 and 15 and women’s version among 4 and 12.

You may also like: 10 best running shoes for women


Its upper overlays prove a different patterning and look, being the biggest and the most remarkable changes in the New Balance Leadville 1210 v3 versus its precedent. In details, such overlays were brought from the top to the bottom of the upper. We love its sure laces which grip really well as well as appreciate the widest cups of the shoe heel ever.

Furthermore, its tongue was amply gusseted and padded without the bulky feeling against your foot top. The sausage laces stayed tied and were effective while its ankle collar was highly padded. The upper fit is so roomy that it turn off those who are looking for the locked-down feel. It touts the drop of 8 mm but has the look like a trail if 1 miler. Also, it is considered a fast running shoe for non-technical and flat terrain once I have broken it after using for 28 miles.

Previous version of New Balance Leadville 1210 v3

New Balance Leadville 1210 v2

The New Balance Leadville 1210 v2 is assessed as a cushioned and comfortable trail shoe for the fantastic traction. As a matter of fact, it served all runners very well and comfortable on the runs of all long trails. Although the heel fit was a bit loose, the shoe led the pine needles and pebbles to disrupt the run. It is considered one of the lightest trail shoes I have ever tried before. Besides, the shoe didn’t bring the blocky and stiff feel on your feet in comparison with the Cascadias.

Its overall look is understated, but the special nod of its belt buckle under the Leadville 100 name on the shoe tongue attracted me. They are a bit narrow through my forefoot, but not so much and manageable. Many runners had the good running time in this comfortable shoe, even for long distances of about 20 miles and so on. With the adequate provided traction, I still can run on the grip, even on sticky mud, wet wood, and slimy rocks.

New Balance Leadville 1210

The first model of the New Balance Leadville 1210 is the example of combining the material used and knowledge in the minimal shoes. By this way, we have the shoe design focused much on the mass production and built for the specifically ultra-running. With the weight of 10.3 ounces for a men version of size 9, it has the average weight in the sector. As the shoe is larger of 1/2 size than other products under the same type, it is indeed the smidge lighter.

The 8mm drop is the happy medium for you to get closer to the flat ground without using those Achilles too much. There are common styles of the shoe when compared to the Minimus line. They include the laminated overlays and waffle mesh to add more structured support toward the Vibram outsole and upper. In short, the shoe owns all the characteristics you should expect from the standard runner in the trail. You will properly satisfy with the fatigue post, toe bumper, and low-profile lugs to help the last miles when the form already falls apart.

Similar running shoes to New Balance Leadville 1210

Let’s look at the top 4 similar running shoes to the New Balance Leadville 1210. They are arranged in the following order: Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 3, Asics Gel FujiEndurance, Inov-8 Trail Talon 275, and New Balance 910 v2.

Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 3

The Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 3 offers runners impressive protection, maximum support, and comfort. We can readily recognize that the shoe was specially designed for the trail running purpose as it owns the needed traction for rough and wet surfaces. Nike indeed presents some stunning changes which modify its original dynamics. Such changes make the shoe suited for all bruising runs as in ultra-long distances and technical runs in the trail as well. I can realize that it is heavier and meatier than ever in order to offer the improved cushioning, comfort, protection, and durability for extended long runs.

One significant change of the shoe is to replace the lightweight mesh part with the more durable and infinitely stronger part. It features a dual-layered, breathable and reinforced mesh which is able to substantially take serious poundings in its upper. My closer look typically shows a more prominent and bigger overlay which acts as the toe protection. So, your toes will be effectively protected without sacrificing its flexibility.

Asics Gel FujiEndurance

The Gel FujiEndurance is the new line of Asics limited shoes in the trail. Thanks to the average lugs, the shoe was moderately cushioned to enable all runners to change from the train to the road and vice versa. I really like the provided responsive ride along with the ater-repelling properties, and very noticeable feedback. Its new design with the water-repellant function effectively helps you to get rid of water and mud in one breathable package.

Even it is not considered a waterproofing membrane for full-blown capacity, you can expect the dry run in the weather with the snow, wading, shallow puddle or slight drizzles. In fact, some of its trail-specific features support and protect me on all rugged trails. There is the toe bumper, rock plate, water-repellent upper, and lace pocket. With the outsole made of the sticky rubber, it is truly designed for the serious traction, even with slick surfaces. Besides, its lugs with the moderate size help to deliver an optimal bite for all of your trails.

Inov-8 Trail Talon 275

The Inov-8 Trail Talon 275 indeed offer the reliable trail performance. Runners, including me, are generally fascinated its outsole grip, responsive midsole, and breathable coverage. I entirely elevated the credibility of this shoe which was designed for the neutral running purpose. Its upper unit stayed dry and breathed well for most of the time. I was also attracted by its modern design.

The adequate weight may be one of its considerable features to avoid dragging your feet down. Also, the gripping lugs of the outsole were efficient to give the reliable grip typically on different types of surfaces. We should not leave out the cushioning system in its midsole, which is more substantial compared to the New Balance Leadville 1210 v3. It is a bonus which allows you to handle all running sessions for a long period. The bottom line regarding to the Trail Talon 275 is the comfortable and responsive platform.

Inov-8 Arctic Claw 300

The Inov-8 Arctic Claw 300 offers you an impressive mixture of responsiveness, protection, traction, and cushioning. You properly may not disappoint when choosing to use it for varied terrains. Also, this shoe can be great for your daily workout and runs. Inov-8 introduced the Arctic Claw 300 iteration with the outstanding performance shown on all trails. Like the New Balance Leadville 1210 v3, it came up the market with some new features in order to ensure the comfortable and safe run for all runners who prefer to take extreme things.

It delivers the impressive grip as well as durable construction. You also can utilize its on-the-shoe gaiter which prevents the debris from coming to your shoe. Besides, it is lightweight and makes you feel comfortable all the run with the right level of flexibility and cushioning.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: