I’ve logged about 400 miles of trail in these shoes since I bought them, on terrain ranging from technical to rocky to muddy. I liked the way they performed so much that I decided to run the Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line 100 Mile race in them.
Long story short: I ran the entire length of the 100-mile race in LT1210v2 without having to change the shoe, which is not “normal” for me. During almost all of my races I end up having to swap shoes at about 60 to 80 miles into the race because of blisters or issues with the toe box. Not here!
The shoe did not require a break-in period; straight out of the box I was able to knock out 12 miles with no problem. The shoe has a soft feel, and despite the cushioning is extremely responsive to the rugged terrain. In fact, the extra cushion was a welcome feature as it kept my feet from getting banged up while running in the 100-mile ultra — less fatigue and great response to help with toe offset, minus the added weight.
The shoe upper is lightweight and breathable, and I absolutely dig the gusseted tongue! I’ve run in multiple shoes from multiple brands, and the gusseted tongue is a huge feature in trail running shoes that gets neglected, in my opinion. It keeps the tongue from sliding and holds the shoelaces in place, and you can run debris-free on any uneven surface with loose rocks and roots. It’s the attention to little details like this that make for a smooth ride!
The wide toe box is a lifesaver as it allows for foot expansion on long runs and keeps blisters from forming under your toenails while you’re bombing those downhills. The shoe has an aggressive lug that offers great traction on ascent and decent while running on multiple surfaces. The flex grove system on the forefoot allows the shoe to feel more pliable under foot rather than stiff and rugged. With this shoe you get full ground contact; not only does it offer stability, it feels great on your feet and is extremely responsive.
I would recommend the New Balance Leadville 1210v2 for anyone who is looking for that median between the minimal and maximum shoe movement. It’s a no-bullshit kind of shoe; not much for looks, but it will get the job done — and your feet will love you for that.
Author: Shalini Kovach is a competitive ultra runner and lead organizer of Terrain Trail Runners