NEW BALANCE SUMMIT UNKNOWN SG: TRAIL RUNNING SHOES FOR TECHNICAL AND MUDDY TERRAIN WITH 6,5MM LUGS

NEW BALANCE SUMMIT UNKNOWN SG: TRAIL RUNNING SHOES FOR TECHNICAL AND MUDDY TERRAIN WITH 6,5MM LUGS. Our TRAIL RUNNING SHOES section  presents you today a beast for the mud that would have been very comfortable plowing through the epic ZEGAMA AIZKORRI 2023.

The NB Fuelcell Summit Unknown SG is the specific version for soft ground of the already classic NB Fuelcell Summit Unknown. This one has 6.5mm slugs and an anti-rock plate, for a drop of 6mm plus a special NB Hydrohesion “water” sole. All with a weight of 282gr and a price of 140€.

NEW BALANCE SUMMIT UNKNOWN SG:
TRAIL RUNNING SHOES FOR TECHNICAL AND MUDDY TERRAIN WITH 6,5MM LUGS

New Balance has opted since 2018 for the NB Summit Unknown saga as the fastest and most agile shoe in its NB Trail range. That first NB Summit Unknown already had almost all the elements that continue today in its new SG version for soft terrain.

Thus, it started at €120 for a featherweight of 245 grams and a high drop with 10mm. This is how the brand itself presented them in its official launch video.

NB FUELCELL SUMMIT UNKNOWN SG: COMPETITION SHOES FOR MUDDY CONDITIONS.

Almost five years later, the “normal” Summit Unknown is still here: It has logically lowered the drop, which is now 6mm and has gained some weight to 272 grams.

Without being a bad shoe, I personally think it doesn’t stand out at all, since for the €140 that NB is asking for today there are many good versatile shoes of a similar price that surpass it, for one factor or another: from the Salomon Sense Ride to the Scarpa Ribelle Run, Brooks Catamount 2, etc…

The NB Fuelcell Summit Unknow SG is another story when looking for a specific mud shoe. The performance-price-weight ratio makes it much more competitive in the market, as you can now see below

NB SUMMIT UNKNOW SG: DATA SHEET.

  • Price: 140€ Price quite contained for a competition shoe and also for a specific terrain, which makes it a very good candidate when choosing it.
  • Weight: 282g, barely 10g more than its “normal” sister despite multiplying the amount of rubber, yes, as a flyer that it is, light weight, and therefore little perimeter protection, thus seeking to lighten it as much as possible.
  • Stack height: 26/32mm. One more of the “raises” applied so that the average of the mountaineering squad has jumped in the last three years from the classic 18mm under forefoot to 24mm as a new standard.
  • Drop: 6mm, an intermediate drop that allows the popular player not to force the tendon too much with very low drops on climbs, but also content enough so that the elite are not affected in the biomechanical sweet spot of the 4mm for top performance.
  • Studs: 6.5mm. They are about 2mm more than their sister for firm ground
  • High protection: Toe protect in front for the fingers, anti-rock plate below… a good set, for the barely 282gr that it weighs.
  • NB Hydroession sole. Without being the best on the market on wet rock, it behaves better than usual on NB mountain soles (AT Tread).
  • Below you have a comparison of the Unknown SG (red) vs the Normal firm ground. (yellow)

NEW BALANCE SUMMIT UNKNOWN SG

HIGHLIGHTS

The New Balance Fuelcell Trail Summit Unknown SG was born to run fast through mud, soft snow, grassy fields and even technical terrain. In fact, you can bet on them as competition shoes on hellish days like the Zegama Aizkorri 2023

The geometry of the chassis is made in such a way that the foot is “embedded” in the internal last. This provides additional stability by adding ground feel and lateral support.

It is well protected. I like that there is an additional protective layer on the toes “Toe Protect” resistant to stones and branches. The tongue of this trail shoe is also designed to prevent the entry of dirt. It’s not as efficient as the integrated guetre, but it all adds up. A Rock Stop plate has been placed under the forefoot to protect your feet on rocky and uneven terrain.

The FuelCell midsole is commonly used in New Balance’s competition shoe category. It is firmer and more rebound than Freshfoam, while being very durable

Grip very adapted to mud and snow, due to rubber and studs. The Hydrohesion rubber outsole was designed to provide grip in wet and dry conditions. If you have read the 200km test of our colleague Vladytrail, you will see that even then it seemed to him a rubber with tremendous grip in all kinds of conditions, being the model with short lugs. Completing it with 6.5mm studs seems round to me because they bite much more than the usual 3.5mm-4mm of the multipurpose, without reaching the crazy 8mm-10mm so typical of the British who run more through swampy swamps than on muddy trails like us .


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