• New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3 Review

    New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3 reflective review

    I've been running in the New Balance Vazee Pace since I reviewed them a couple of years ago so I was delighted to update my trainer collection and test the new Fresh Foam Zante v3 reflective.

    Appearance

    These trainers look exceptional and really stand out from the crowd. I love the solid reflective detail that just looks like part of the shoe. These trainers are great for running in the winter months as they are impossible to miss and reflective detailing on winter training apparel is really important.

    Reflective Detail

    A flash photo captures the reflective detail on the New Balance trainers

    These are a really modern, fresh pair of trainers and could be worn just as well as a pair of fashion trainers for every day activity as well as being a high spec pair of running trainers.

    New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3 Reflective Sundried review

    Sundried Running Socks are the ideal liner

    Fit

    Unfortunately, I found the ankle really stiff. After a month of wearing them they really started to cut into my ankle and cause some discomfort. I haven't heard this from any other runners so it's possible it is just my foot anatomy. I've not had this issue from any other New Balance trainers but they do really seem to cut in. I will explore more because everything else about this shoe is great. 

    One great thing about these trainers is that there is plenty of room for your foot and they do not feel restrictive on the forefoot. After road testing the Adidas Adizero Adios 3 Running Shoes for review and continuing to run in them after testing, I found the Adidas quite narrow and restrictive. I could have definitely done with a size up, but maybe they would still be restrictive. Side by side, you can see how much more space there is in the forefoot of the New Balance trainers. This is a big plus as having a toe box that is too tight can make for some really uncomfortable runs, but the New Balance shoes have it just right. 

    Adidas running trainers review sundried

    Performance

    The sole of the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3 men's running trainers is actually quite stiff, but the grip on the road is amazing. When I run on wet concrete I can usually feel and hear a slip under the foot, but this is definitely reduced in these shoes which is a big bonus. 

    New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3 reflective

    Price

    The RRP of these men's running trainers is £95 although they are currently on sale from the New Balance website for £66. I think this is a really reasonable price for such a responsive and attractive pair of shoes. Nike running trainers can cost you well over £100, so the New Balance price point is really competitive in comparison.

    New Balance Review Test

    Tested with the Sundried Men's Training Tights Roteck 2.0

    Sundried Grand Combin Long Sleeved Training Top 

    Posted by Daniel Puddick
  • New Balance 1080v5 Women's Running Trainers Review

    New Balance 1080v5 Womens Running Trainer Shoes Review Sundried

    Hailed as a cushioned running shoe, the New Balance 1080v5 have a lot to deliver on. The first thing you might notice is how light they feel when you pick them up. They weigh in at only 258g, which makes them feel light on your feet.

    They pack in a lot of technology for a trainer. Sliding your foot in, it is hard to ignore the comfort factor. The feeling of New Balance’s foam is noticeable, as is the N2 cushioning. These two ingredients, mixed together make the trainer soft yet firm, cushioned yet flexible. The foam really helps cushion the sole of your foot when running, as well as absorbing any shocks from the pavement.

    Running Form

    By design, cushioned running shoes have a softer midsole, and these have a lot of support in the heel. So depending on how you run will determine if these are the shoes for you or not. These suited my running style quite well and I found the level of support held up mile after mile. The uppers have a really breathable mesh that allows sweat out and cool air in, which helps keep your feet feeling fresh and dry. The asymmetrical heel counter helps offer good heel support, with the insole offering decent arch support. These are definitely made for those who run with a heel strike other than a forefoot strike.

    The bottom of the trainers looks like a maze of interconnected hexagons. However New Balance came up with this design, it works. The grooves, the dips and the shapes all work harmoniously together to ensure you have a smooth run. I ran over gravel, stones and streets in these and the cushioning is fantastic.

    Fit

    The fit of the shoe is a little narrow; if you have wider feet these are not for you. They lace up well and in no way feel like they are going to slip off, allowing for maximum support. The shoes have a removable insole, but it does help with softening heel strikes.

    The uppers are mostly made of fused mesh overlays, which does make them airy and adds to the lightness of the shoes. Not to mention it looks great!

    Overall, it is a good trainer with a decent price tag. They are like running on air, in that you will be cushioned from heel strikes and they give decent support. Designed as a heel striking trainer, they do the job well.

    New Balance 1080V5 Women's Running Trainers Front and Sole

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • New Balance 1080v5 Review

    This fully cushioned trainer from New Balance oozes footwear technology and production. At 307g (10.83 oz) they are fairly light. A standard width pair of shoes, but they are definitely not designed for a forefoot / front foot strike (unlike the more neutrally designed Vazee Pace).

    New Balance 1080v5 Review

    It is like taking a step backwards switching to heel striking but these trainers are designed to be run this way. And a standard 'jogging' heel-strike is probably the norm when it comes to western running. There is so much going on with these shoes it really is hard to know where to start. So how about the grips underneath. 

    What's Under the Bonet?

    New Balance 1080v5 Sole and Grip

    A closer look

    New Balance 1080v5 Closeup of Grip

    Another view of the underside

    New Balance 1080v5 Grips

    Underneath these trainers look amazing. A galaxy style gridded interwoven hexagonal network. The design process to get this right must have been some feat of engineering and they certainly did not hold back in the process of getting it right. About one inch of heel give these shoes maximum shock absorption allowing you to heel strike mile after mile. Running over stones and even on an uneven patch is like a monster car crushing all around. They certainly deal with it all and unlike some shoes they do not seem to pick up stones adding weight to each step. 

    Front On

    New Balance 1080v5 Front Photo

    The most protected and solid area of these shoes is around the back of the foot. They have gone to town here and there is excellent protection around your heels. The entire upper is light and airy but a plastic mesh helps with the stability. If you are loading your foot with a heel strike this is where the support is needed and your foot is cushioned from below and behind. The laces reach far enough round your foot to really hold everything together meaning your foot does not slip about. 

    A view from the side

    New Balance 1080v5 Side Photo

     Final Words

    There is some serious engineering behind these shoes and as a cushioned pair of trainers go, they are a delight to run in. Breathable, light but with ample protection and shock absorbing sole, especially under your heels these will suit the majority of runners out there. 

    So then it comes down to style and if these trainers are your cup of tea you are on to a winner. They are sensibly priced and it is amazing you can buy so much technology for so little. 

    New Balance 1080v5 Pair Reviewed

    New Balance 1080v5 On

    New Balance 1080v5 Review Profile

    New Balance 1080v5 Review Photo

    New Balance 1080v5 Photographed from On

    New Balance Say

    The 1080v5 is made for the long run with premium features like nitrogen-infused N2 cushioning that delivers lasting comfort, N2 Burst in the forefoot for exceptional push-off response and Abzorb shock technology. All work together so you can go farther than you did yesterday.
    • 8 mm drop: due to variances created during the development and manufacturing processes, all references to 8 mm drop are approximate
    • Asymmetrical heel counter
    • Blown rubber outsole
    • Breathable air mesh
    • No-sew material applicationOrtholite® Premium insole provides additional cushioning for arch support and durable comfort. *Ortholite® is a registered trademark of O2 Partners, LLC. All rights reserved
    • Synthetic/mesh upper
    • Asymmetrical heel counter is part of a stability system for lower lateral support at the back of the foot
    • T-Beam& lightweight shank provides rigidity and mid-foot support for a smooth transition from foot strike to lift-off
    Posted by Daniel Puddick
  • New Balance Running Kit Review

    New Balance Running Kit Review Sundried

    This is a review of the New Balance Ice Short Sleeved Top and the New Balance Impact Capri Pants. I received both in purple to match the New Balance Vazee Rush Running Trainers which I also reviewed here.

    First, the New Balance Ice Short Sleeved Top. The fabric is really impressive; I couldn't believe how soft it felt on my skin and how lightweight it was. The fabric is designed to give two-way air circulation and to be fast drying which is the sort of technology you want from a fabric designed for running. 

    New Balance Ice Short Sleeved Top Sundried Review

    The top has back vents which allow air in and out as you move and works really well at helping maintain a constant temperature. When it comes to visibility, and this is important as the nights draw in, the top has various reflective detailing to allow you to be seen in headlights.

    As for fit, it has a flattering cut and round neck, which is perfect because it allows you to feel covered and not over exposed while still looking good. It is antibacterial too which is a big bonus if you are prone to sweating a lot.

    Next, the New Balance Impact Capri Pants. These come in two colour combinations, of which I tested the black and purple which match the top and trainers.

    New Balance Impact Women's Capri Running Tights

    The capris are perfect for autumn and spring running due to their shorter length and lightweight feel. The waistband is pretty near to perfect; made from a soft and comfortable elastic, it doesn't dig in at any point. They are easy to pull on, with a mid-rise waist and are a very good fit.

    They feature New Balance Dry technology so they wick away sweat and keep you dry. I found this feature worked well for both the top and capris. I ran during September when it was still quite warm, so sweating to test them out wasn't a problem. A couple of miles in, I had built up a decent pace and I could feel sweat start to move down my back. The vent in the back of the top soon sorted that out, and to be honest, the capris never seemed to feel sweaty at all.

    The capris have a reflective accent strip down the outside of each leg, making them very visible in darker conditions. The New Balance logo is on show, but discrete enough that you don't feel like a walking advert for the brand. There is a mesh behind the knees that offers a good airflow right through.

    The capri pants also feature a small zip pocket that is perfect for storing energy gels, money, and other small valuables.

    The price point of both of these items is very middle of the range, making them very affordable, comfortable, and practical.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • New Balance Vazee Rush Running Trainers Review

    New Balance Vazee Rush Running Trainers Review Sundried

    On opening the box with New Balance Vazee Rush running trainers inside, I am first of all struck by the vibrancy of the colour (purple with flame orange). They look stunning and visually they are very grabbing. 

    New Balance say that these shoes are good outdoor running shoes, as well as indoor running trainers making them perfect for an autumn/winter choice. Having worn the trainers in both scenarios for a few weeks, I can confirm they are excellent crossover trainers.

    The shoes themselves are incredibly lightweight, weighing in at 181g, which means you barely notice you have anything on your feet. In terms of support, there is a lot to explore. The design has a deconstructed heel which gives excellent support when your foot strikes the ground. The sole has “pods” which are supposed to help provide traction when you run. I found that these work really well and when I ran in the rain, the grip was fantastic. 

    New Balance Vazee Trainers

    The Vazee Rush running trainers have a mid-foot wrap which is supposed to “hug” the foot arch for better support. It actually does more than that and provides great lateral support. The shoes are true to size as long as you don't plan to wear thick socks. They are snug, but that is the design so that your feet get the maximum support that the shoes are designed to give.

    Running outside felt like a breeze: everything about the trainers is designed to make it feel fun to run. I have trialled them in wet and dry conditions and found them to feel secure, supportive, and very easy on my legs. Mile after mile, they made me feel like I could keep going forever.

    They also perform very well as indoor trainers. The lightness of them makes them a perfect gym shoe where you get really sweaty. 

    Overall, these are an excellent mid price point shoe. Great for those looking to upgrade their footwear from beginner, or those needing a crossover shoe that works as well inside as outside. The RRP is £85, but they are now retailing on the New Balance website at £42.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren