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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The New Balance Vazee Pace are a pair of trainers that I am quite looking forward to testing out. The forefoot support seems perfect and just where my feet strike - they are claimed responsive with light foam that helps energise every stride. It certainly is a neutral cushioned shoe without a large loaded heel. The neutral running shoe is designed for your foot to run in a more natural position. We are not going to fix the topic of correct running position, heel strikes or toe strikes right now but let’s assume for now that the better and correct and appropriate way to run is the mid part of the foot striking the ground first.
The first test run for the trainers is a 10k with a few flights of stairs thrown in at the end for good measure. The shoes have enough cushioning to allow you to strike the floor taking the sting out of the impact, but they are responsive enough to get the natural feel from the tarmac. Another very good thing about these shoes is the width of them. If you are used to something a little roomier than the typical running shoe then these are for you. You may want to order a size up as they do come in a little small in length, but these shoes are not restrictive at all.
When it comes to climbing up steps, the shoes are light enough not to get in the way of your stride. The cushioning is limited and the grip is very effective.
The New Balance Vazee Pace trainers are a fantastic pair of running shoes which are cleverly designed and provide an excellent amount of support for the seasoned runner. The cushioning is comfortable and they boast a generous width so as not to restrict your feet. For a more detailed analysis, have a watch of our video below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.