I was given the *opportunity through @ukrunchat to review a pair of New Balance shoes and I chose the Fresh Foam Zante V2 due to their reported lightweight nature and heel drop. They are a neutral cushioned road shoe with a weight of 204g and a drop of 6mm. It is made for fast pace.
My training uses a variety of shoe types with a variety of drops: anywhere from 12-zero drop. I thought this model would be a good choice for mid-distance road training.
Upon receiving the shoe, I was pleasantly surprised at the colour. I do love a brightly coloured shoe and this was bright orange. Also perfect for dark nights. The first fit felt good. I ordered my usual size of UK7 and the fit was slighter tighter compared to Brooks fit, especially in the toe box. However, it was not too tight or uncomfortable. There was plenty of lace length.
I took the shoe for a test around a path/gravel 10k run with mild undulations during warm, dry weather.
The cushioning felt good but not excessive. They did provide a ‘bouncy’ feel during the warmup session. As the session progressed, the cushioning feel remained consistent. As mentioned before, the fit was a little more snug compared to my usual shoe; however, this did not feel uncomfortable at any point during the 10k. I usually experience mild swelling in the feet on warmer runs but the more snug fit was not an issue for me. I am not sure if this would be the case for longer runs. I did notice that larger pieces of gravel could be felt through the sole and therefore I would only use these shoes for road runs. The grip was fairly good for the gravel, both while climbing and descending hills but I could clearly feel the larger pieces of gravel. This would be unsuitable for longer mixed terrain runs but fine for something up to 10-20k.
They did feel quite light but more supportive than my usual road racing shoe. I did like the extra support. Based on the lightness, mild cushioning and support, I will be using these shoes for shorter road races – up to half marathon distance. I am not sure the snug fit would accommodate my hot feet over longer distances. Aesthetically speaking, I love them!
*I received no payment for the product review. I was allowed to keep the product following completion of the review.