Gear Review - New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2

There is no denying that red is a power colour.

Tiger Woods drew power from his red shirt on Sundays to dominate world golf for over a decade.

Mitch Buchannon drew power from his red trunks to save the lives of numerous Los Angeles beach goers and sleep with just about all of his female colleagues (and yes, I do realise that this is my second reference to the great Mitch Buchannon, but do you blame me… he is the very epitome of a man).

I have always liked red kit so when I saw the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante, in a combination of red and orange, I was sold.

I slipped them on and it was the perfect fit. The engineered mesh and bootie construction gives a snug, sock-like fit but the toe box still provides enough movement that you don’t feel restricted.

Now was the real test, I had a 72km week planned including a marathon on the Sunday.

Within 100m of my first run in these shoes I couldn’t believe how light they were. I had a new spring in my step.  The full 9km were a smooth ride and I had no foot pain or indication of blisters forming which can often happen when running in a new pair of shoes. I found a few flat pieces where I could raise the tempo and as soon as you pick up the pace these babies just glide.

I have run in racers before and although they are very light and fast, if you don’t weigh 48kg like a Kenyan, you tend to feel every single bump or stone. I found that as soon as you take them past the half marathon mark they really begin to put pressure on your forefoot.

This shoe is the perfect combination. A lightweight racer with enough cushioning for mid to high mileage. I even plan on doing the Comrades in this shoe.

The only way that I can adequately describe how I feel about these shoes is to use the words of the poets from iconic 90s boy band, Savage Garden:

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life

Looks: 4/5 – These are a hot looking pair of shoes. A sleek design and the combo of red and orange is loud enough for my liking. Could do with a few more colour options in South Africa.

Comfort: 5/5 – The Engineered mesh and bootie makes you feel like you’re Tom Cruise sliding around the house in a thick pair of socks.  The toe box gives enough space that you don’t feel restricted but not too much that your toes move around and cause friction.

 

Performance: 5/5 - Fast, fast, fast. These feel and perform like a racer. Lightweight and a real kick coming from the toe when you get them moving.

 

Perfect for a beginner wanting something very comfy to get started with, all the way to a serious runner looking for a fast racing shoe.

I am really blown away by this shoe and I believe New Balance has created something special.