New Balance Summit KOM Trail Shoe Review
The New Balance Summit KOM, or King of the Mountain, was designed to handle the most rugged terrains. With a wide range of protective features, this trail running shoe can handle everything from harsh rocky trails to heavy rain and snow.
Its Vibram outsole runs the full length of the underfoot for highly durable and secure traction, and its REVLite midsole provides the runner with highly enhanced responsiveness. Sandwiched in between these units is a ROCKSTOP layer, which acts as a shield against sharp and jagged surfaces. And its breathable mesh upper is outfitted with multiple synthetic overlays, a stabilizing outer panel, and a Toe Protect forefoot guard to further prevent possible injuries.
While all of these features sound impressive, multiple reviews show that it does lack in certain areas. Buyers claim that it’s uncomfortably stiff and heavy, and its fit is much narrower than they expected.
-Very stiff wear
-Feels unusually heavy
-Narrower than average
Its tread pattern is comprised of a series of multi-directional gripping lugs, which are more tightly clustered at the forefoot and heel, for an incredibly strong grip on multiple surfaces both wet and dry. Deep flex grooves are also added to the forefoot area, although reviews indicate that they do little to make its wear less stiff.
Added protection comes in the form of a ROCKSTOP plate, layered between the outsole and midsole, which prevents sharp or jagged objects from penetrating the underfoot. A removable insole also provides an added layer of cushioning, and it can easily be replaced with a custom insert if the runner prefers.
The brand’s specialized Toe Protect forefoot guard is secured to the front to safeguard against accidental impact. Finally, a padded tongue and collar aid the lacing system in keeping the foot locked into place.
However, multiple reviewers have stated that this model feels quite heavy when it’s worn. Normally this would lessen after some time, but buyers have noticed it continuously no matter how long they’ve worn it. Furthermore, its clunky and cumbersome wear leaves them with a great deal of pain by the end of their runs.
Of course, this quality is restricted quite a bit by the shoe’s overlays as well as the wraparound panel. Still, reviewers don’t seem to mind, as air is able to reach the areas where it’s needed most.
However, a large number of buyers claim that its bulky and heavy wear leaves them with a great deal of pain by the time they have completed their runs. And despite the fact that it’s available in different widths, others have stated that it fits much narrower than average. Needless to say, it's highly recommended that the buyer try this shoe on first before they decide to make a purchase.
This model is also available in four separate colorways, all of which could pair well in both athletic and casual environments. Buyers can choose between Magnet/Hi-Light, UV Blue/Pigment, Phantom/RGB Green, and Flame/Black.
And while the mesh upper would typically be unfit for trails, this one has been heavily outfitted with printed-on overlays and a wraparound panel to ensure that it resists wear and tear. All of these features combined means that runners can confidently take this pair out into all types of rugged environments without having to worry about any kind of premature damage.
The full-length Vibram outsole not only ensures durable and secure traction on challenging terrains, but it also safeguards the rest of the shoe from potential damage. Its ROCKSTOP plate enhances this further by acting as a shield against sharp and jagged surfaces. And the REVLite midsole provides substantial cushioning and support while also lessening the overall impact.
While the upper's breathable mesh material reduces foot odor and irritation, yet also blocks out debris, its overlays work to prevent premature wear and tear. Even greater protection is provided by the wraparound panel, which hugs the foot tightly and integrates with the lacing system to prevent accidental removal. And, of course, the Toe Protect forefoot guard acts as a bumper against possible impact.
With that said, however, this model’s unusually bulky and heavy wear may lessen this quality for some. This would be especially apparent for those with a smaller build or those who are new to trail running.
Even the upper offers a decent amount of support thanks to its wraparound panel, padded collar, and lacing system. All three of these features work together to prevent over-flexing and keep the foot as steady as possible.
Buyers are relieved to know that this model works in various forms of weather. It maintains its grip in both rain and snow and can even keep the runner balanced as they move across muddy surfaces. In addition, there are some reviewers who claim that this shoe has a decent amount of water resistance against puddles and various splashes.
Based on this shoe’s reviews, however, it’s unclear if it’s actually worth the price. While buyers do love its responsive cushioning and dependable traction, they’re unhappy with its heavy and unusually stiff wear. Therefore, it would definitely be wise to try this shoe on before going ahead and making a purchase.
Thanks to this design, runners have been able to run securely across both rocky and forest trails in various forms of weather. The only downside that some have pointed out is that rocks have been known to get caught in its crevices.
Most of this shoe’s stability seems to come from its upper, which is outfitted with printed-on overlays and a synthetic panel that completely hugs the forefoot and sides. Furthermore, this feature is integrated with the lacing system to ensure an even more lockdown fit that won’t budge at any point during a challenging run.
Those who are more athletic typically prefer a lower drop platform, as it encourages better posture and provides a greater sense of balance while moving across challenging terrains. Even so, the size of its midsole means that it still gives them a great deal of underfoot cushioning.
-Responsive REVLite midsole
-ROCKSTOP plate for added protection
-Mesh upper with printed-on overlays
-Synthetic wraparound panel
-Toe protect forefoot guard
-8mm heel-to-toe drop height
Unfortunately, the brand missed the mark on a number of important qualities. Not only is this model uncomfortably narrow for a number of buyers, but its wear is also unreasonably stiff even after weeks of breaking it in. And its unusually heavy wear leaves runners feeling a great deal of pain by the end of the day.
All-in-all, this shoe has proven to be quite polarizing amongst buyers. Those who love it consider it to be a staple for their trail running. And those who hate it have immediately switched to another model altogether.