New Balance Zante v2 Review
Plush and responsive with great forefoot feel
Lets chat a little about a new shoe that I've been loving! I'm talking about the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2. This shoe has a 6mm heel to toe drop. Remember, the lower the drop measurement the more your achilles and calf muscles will lengthen. I personally like shoes that are in the 4mm to 6mm drop range. I've tried zero drop shoes and I don't mind them either but 4-6mm just seems to be my sweet spot as of late. So lets get down to the basics of these Zantes.
The first time I tried on a pair of New Balance Fresh Foams I was immediately turned off because the midsole, or Fresh Foam, felt like a giant piece of inflexible material under my foot. Didn't feel as comfortable as other shoes. But, I picked up a casual wear version of the Zantes for work and I quickly fell in love them. The "giant piece of inflexible material under my foot" started feeling like a plush, bouncy and responsive piece of material. So I bought a pair for running.
My first test run in them was a road 20 miler and they faired great! No blisters or anything like that. I find that some 4-6mm shoes lack in the material under forefoot. I especially noticed this in the new Kinvara 7 where they chose not to put their new Everrun midsole in the forefoot. These Zantes have great cushion in the forefoot. Sometimes on longer runs my form starts to get a little sloppy and to have more cushioning in the forefoot is appreciated.
I have around 120 miles in these shoes so far and they've held up great. No rips in the upper or extensive wear on the bottom. My only issue with the shoes so far is the traditional lacing. I really love Saucony's Pro-Lock lacing system and really wish other manufacturers would start to adopt systems like that.
I feel that the shoe has a pretty wide fit. I tend to do better in wider fitting shoes and these are wide through the mid/forefoot. Now, if you're the type of person who doesn't fit in the "D" width shoe then I don't think you should opt for the "D" width even though they feel a bit wider than the standard "D" width. The upper on this shoe is very breathable. It would make a great summer shoe. It has been a little chilly in the winter I must admit. The upper hugs your foot in a sort of "burrito" kind of way. I like it, I like it a lot.
Overall, I think they're a great shoe to have in rotation and they look super cool. Seriously, New Balance has the style game going strong on these!