Posted on Leave a comment

New Balance 860 v6 Performance Review

Of course, there are reasons for New Balance’s success as one the the world’s top running shoe brands, and that’s because of its professional models in the field. Actually, New Balance has a wide range of running shoes that mainly fall into four categories, each of which has its own advantages. And the NB860v6  of today belongs to the one that distinguishes itself by its support performance.

As soon as I opened the shoebox, I was refreshed by the shoes’ colorway and my eyes just opened wide with this surprise. And with the green outsole, the shoes look much less coquettish but all the more lively.

In the vamp it is the big meshes plus the seamless design, making the shoes very comfortable to wear and offering an excellent breathability performance.

The shoelaces are in fact quite elastic, which is rather satisfactory for the laces won’t loosen easily with this design. Besides, as you can see in the picture, the tongue is super thick, which can be very comfortable and skin-friendly for we wearers. However, it is a bit regrettable that the integrated design is not adopted in it.

Then just take a closer look at the heel and the outsole. As can be seen in the heel, there is the “860V6” printed which indicates that this is the 6th version of the series.

And on the outside of the heel, there is the eye-catching “ASYM COUNTER” that might be unfamiliar for some people. Simply put, it is a kind of asymmetric fixation technique, a commonly-seen tech in NB’s top running shoes with excellent stability and support performances.

So looking at the shoes from this perspective, we can find that the asymmetry between the two sides  of the shoe is obvious, which improves stability and also prevents injury.

It is also shown that there is a “RCTEVR lite” mark in the midsole, which is a kind of foam material. For the 860V6, it is a double-density midsole which is simply composed of two kinds of materials; that is the blue and the green parts. As for the green one, it is the ABZORB which is a kind of shock-absorbing technology developed by New Balance.

Speaking of the outsole, it is rather wear-resistant. The material used in it is said to have originally been used to make the caterpillar band of tanks, so it is beyond question that the outsole made of the material is sure to be long-lasting.

For the supporting tech in the midsole, it is the T-BEAM which is an excellent tech in this field. And combined with the lightweight and soft TPU, both the shoes’ support and stability are improved and can be sufficient for use.

Regarding the insole, the label on it reads “Ortholite”, but from my point of view, there seems to be nothing special. Although I had some doubt about it at first, after some more testing of the shoes, it turned out that I was right. On the strength of my experience, I deemed that the insoles’ performance actually could not live up to its reputation, and I’d never expected more of it from then on.

Personally, I’ve been into this kind of exercise for several years and I have always had such a belief that good equipment is necessary and essential for running, I’ve therefore bought a certain number of various running shoes as of today. And for you to better understand this pair of New Balance 860 v6, here is a brief comparison of the shoes to the other ones.

The New Balance 860 v6 is relatively harder than the Gel of Asics, but much better in offering elasticity. For those who have preference for elasticity, this New Balance 860 v6 would be  much more suitable. And although it is worse than Adidas Boost in offering elasticity, it is however much nicer in its support performance.

Overall:

To summarize, this pair of New Balance 860 v6 is suitable for most people and can meet the basic needs of many runners. So if you happen to be seeking a pair of excellent running shoes, you might as well have a try of this one and chances are that you’ll find the shoes better than you expected.

Posted on Leave a comment

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V2 Performance Review

Several years ago, New Balance has specifically designed a brand new running shoe series for urban runners which is the Fresh Foam Zante. Initially, the Fresh Foam Zante V1 is more suitable for runners who have a preference for improving speed and need some more protection. But based on the  Zante V1, New Balance again released its Fresh Foam Zante V2.

Zante, which means the Greek island of Zakynthos named after an Arcadia leader, is wooded and beautiful. And just like the beautiful and heroic island, the Zante V2 comes in a variety of colorways with a summer vibe. Its different colorways are shown as below.

After a morning’s work, the shoes, as soon as I opened the shoebox, did make me refreshed. The combination of white, green and black, in my view, is quite cool and novel, which seems to offer me endless energy during the process of running.

The colorway of this pair of shoes goes very well with the green grass. And unlike spring which is a colorful season, summer entails such refreshing color as the shoes.

In terms of the shoes’ vamp, it is made of breathable mesh, and compared with the Fresh Foam 980 that also adopts the Fresh Foam tech, this Fresh Foam Zante V2  is much lighter. And I think this Fresh Foam Zante V2 distinguishes itself by its lightness: its midsole is not so thick as that of Fresh Foam 980; its outsole is also made to be lighter. So with the treatment, a single shoe whose size is US 8.0 weighs 451g, which can be said to be a nice design though it is not superior.

But as you can see in the picture, the air holes in the vamp are a bit large, I’d therefore suggest that you’d better avoid running on the sand and stone road so as to prevent those particles from entering the shoes and grinding your feet.

The high upturned toe here appears quite personalized and the Zante V2 at the heel is also prominent.

In the outsole, there is a large Blown Rubber that is rather wear-resistant. And made in hexagons, the Blown Rubber looks harmonious with the honeycomb pattern in the rear; they just bring out the best in each other. But they do more than just that. The staggered hexagons can also provide grip in all directions, which is enough to deal with the plastic asphalt roads and relatively flat masonry grounds.

By extracting data from runners of different running postures, paces, weights and so on, and then building a powerful ergonomic database, New Balance also designs the honeycomb midsole, which was then tested with massive amounts of computer data to achieve optimal cushioning and supporting. Actually, the hexagonal shape of the midsole is similar to that of a honeycomb and they are scientifically distributed.

If you look at the shoes carefully, you’ll find that the concave and convex honeycombs are arranged in an orderly way. The concave ones are responsible for absorbing the impact of shock while the convex ones play a significant role in offering support and stability.

With respect to the thickness of the midsole, it is also very meaningful. Although the overall midsole looks flat and slender, the thickness of the midsole of the front foot cushioning part is 20mm while the midsole of the rear part is 26mm. With the height difference of 6mm, runners can form proper running postures.

On top of that, the sawtooth on the outside of the insole provides greater bite force between the insole and the upper, thus preventing the insole from slipping during matches.

Since the reflective designs are necessary and widely seen in many running shoes, they won’t be absent in this New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V2.  At the two sides of the toe and the heel, the logos are made of reflective materials so as to ensure safety in night running.

Since the shoes are all here, I made a brief comparison between the three. The Zante V2 is roughly the same weight as the Nike Free5.0, but both are slightly heavier than the  Li Ning Ultra-Light 13.

Overall:

Having talked so much about the shoes’ performances, I know you might have had a general idea about the shoes. In short, as a pair of lightweight shoes, the Zante V2 is not ideal for heavy runners, but it is ideal for long-distance running in the cities, making it a great choice for summer night runs.

Posted on Leave a comment

New Balance Vazee 2090 Performance Review

For running lovers, those new running shoes are like childhood candies in the stores and they are eager to have a taste of them. Those “candies” are just so compelling and are constantly attracting every “child” who walks past them, and I am also one of them. So when I received the new New Balance Vazee 2090, I was just as excited as the little kid more than 20 years ago who got the candies in the showcases.

Honestly, as soon as I opened the shoebox I was attracted by its colorway which was the bright fluorescent powder mixed with gradient black. From my perspective, it is lovely as well as elegant. In terms of the colorways of running shoes, I like bright ones which seem to offer me endless energy for running is the  kind of sport that requires quite a lot of enthusiasm to keep on year by year regardless of the seasons.

It’s been a relatively long time since I received the New Balance Vazee 2090, and I’ve been running in it for the last two months. As a rule, we need some more time to adjust to a pair of new shoes, but when it comes to this one, I thought it felt like one of my old friends at the first meeting and before long I could get the hang of it.

And the size I chose here was half a size larger than my usual one and it just fits me snugly. Simply put, there is no extra room in the front part but the vamp just hugs my feet friendly. So I feel quite relaxed when I am running.

The middle and rear parts of the shoes are supported by the Dynamic vamp which is a leather-like material and can offer protection for our feet. However, maybe it is because of the vamp material, I also feel my instep a bit tight and I’d therefore recommend those with high insteps to buy a larger size.

The shoes’ midsole support, on the personal level, is perfect since I am used to landing on my heel first. But with years’ of running experience, I think the standard of measuring a pair of shoes is whether it fits me or not. If you don’t feel the existence of shoes in the process of running, but they are actually there to help you, then it can be said to be a pair of excellent shoes. However, if the case is to the contrast, it is likely that the shoes are not for you.

I love the fact that the New Balance Vazee2090’s cushioning performance is further improved  by adding a nitrogen buffer material to the midsole. Although this design seems a bit negligible, it does make a great difference. I’ve also got another pair of New Balance Vazee shoes, but without the nitrogen buffer material, the shoes are a bit overshadowed by New Balance Vazee2090.

The shoes’ anti-slipping performance is enough for use in our daily exercises. And the outsole offers such a nice grip that it can easily deal with many kinds of roads. However, on the strength of my bitter experience, I want to remind you that you’d better not choose to run on the wet roads with moss because you’ll otherwise get the same kind of miserable experience as I did.

Overall:

I usually wear the shoes for running on asphalt roads where I can get the hang of the shoes. With the shoes’ overall nice performances and such a reasonable price, I think it is hard for running lovers to resist it.

Posted on Leave a comment

New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo Performance Review

The well-known New Balance is very popular among the running lovers. What’s more, along with the ASICS, SAUCONY, BROOKS, NIKE, ADIDAS and MIZUNO, the seven brands occupy the majority of the international running shoes market share with each having advanced running shoes technology. In recent years, New Balance’s main running shoes can be divided into three lines, the Fresh Foam, the Vazee and the NBx. And today’s protagonist is the New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo which, as you could have guessed from its name, belongs to the  Fresh Foam series. Besides, it is also the only shoe in the series that has won the Best Debut awarded by the famous American magazine, RUNNER S WORLD. 

Here is the shoes’ performance review. Regarding its appearance, honestly, I was not so surprised as did my friends because I thought the shoes were so ordinary and its colorway was not novel, either. And to tell the truth, if it is put with the many running shoes of today, I certainly wouldn’t fall in love with it at the first sight. But anyway, this is to a great extent depended on the subjective views.

What’s worse, the shoe also impresses me by the chunky appearance which made me think it was heavy. However, it was only when I grabbed it on my hands that did I know I was wrong. Actually, it is much lighter than the other shoes with the same support performance. When I actually put the shoes on, I quite forgot the negative impressions about it and just couldn’t wait to exercise.

The vamp adopts the breathable 3 d mesh fabrics. And indeed the vamp’s air permeability is like a “double-edged sword”: you’ll feel very cool underfoot in hot summer days, but in autumn and winter, you’ll experience the piercing wind which seems to tear your skin. So this is not recommended in winter.

The vamp and the tongue with average thickness are not integrated. And there are shoelace buckles that prevent the tongue from moving upward. As soon as I put on the shoes, I felt the inside of the shoes was spacious so that my toes could move freely.

The logo “N” and the strip in the heel are both reflective which are quite obvious at night, thus protecting runners from possible danger.

Looking from the outside, there seems no supporting material in the arch. However, the supporting tech used here is not the dual-density midsole, such as Duomax of ASICS GT2000, or the rigid plastic support, such as Nike Air Zoom Structure 19. Instead, by increasing the thickness of the midsole and adopting the compact triangular structure(as shown in the image below), the support performance of the shoe is improved greatly.

And the outer side of the midsole is the honeycomb structure(as is also shown below) which is here to provide comfortable cushioning. Such design can retain the superior cushioning and feedback  of the Fresh Foam material, and at the same time provides sufficient support for the arch.

For the outsole, it adopts the foam rubber which is patterned with grains of quite different density. However, as the gaps between the grains are a bit big, grits or stones might easily get stuck in them.  Therefore, this requires frequent cleaning, which would be a little troublesome.

The structure of Vongo has been determined by its poor flexibility. But despite that, some buyers still observed that the outsole can offer a nice grip and is also wear-resident notwithstanding the big gaps.

Overall:

In short, the New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo is a pair of stable shoes with nice support while at the same time offering enough cushion. And for those who want to pick a pair of shoes with sufficient protection, this New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo might also be a good choice for them.

Posted on Leave a comment

Fresh Foam Zante v3 Performance Review

If you wear New Balance, you must be a great runner!” said Jim Davis, CEO of New Balance. Honestly, I can’t agree more with what he said because I am a beneficiary of New Balance shoes. 

Here I’ve brought a pair of Fresh Foam Zante v3 of New Balance Fresh Foam  series, which is designed for relatively low-speed runners and is optimized based on big data research and development. . I found, surprisingly, that  Fresh Foam Zante V3 has inherited  the excellent performances of the previous versions. Above all, its excellent design and performance are highly appreciated by professional media, Runner’s World, and voted as 2017 Editor’s Choice

For the shoebox, it is still the iconic and highly recognizable one with details about the model and colorway of the Fresh Foam Zante V3 at the side.

It is said that this orange Fresh Foam Zante V3 is full of vim and vigor just like the sun. And from my perspective, the 111-year-old New Balance is still quite young; the lively LOGO has permeated my life.

In terms of the shoes, there is no exaggerated decoration in the appearance; but rather, it is the combination of plain appearance and brilliant setups and performances that becomes the secret of New Balance’s long-lasting success.

For the vamp, it is made of woven material, endowing it a three-dimensional visual effect. Such design is quite different from that of the previous versions.

The three-dimensional LOGO on the toe not only looks more beautiful, but also provides effective protection for our toes.

The midsole looks like a honeycombed wall, which is made by using 3D cutting technology and  to provide rebound. And the extension design at the front foot of the shoe can effectively prevent our feet from injury when exercising.

The Fresh Foam midsole is made of a multi-density combination of foam,  whose purpose is to ensure lightweight and provide softness and high elasticity. Simply put, it can offer us  very nice cushion and more effective feedback.

For the midsole, it is made of rubber +PHO[1] that is  patterned irregular hexagonal honeycomb. In a word, the overall improved design in the outsole can increase friction and offer more traction that greatly helps to start up.

With respect to its weight, Fresh Foam Zante V3 is 442g and we can see from the data in the picture that the weight difference between the two shoes is only 2 grams. Therefore, it can be seen that the quality control of New Balance is quite excellent and prudent. 

And the shoelaces here are the transparent and flat that can effectively prevent the occurrence of loosening when used.

As you can see in the picture, there are shadows inside the shoe, indicating that the shoe has good air permeability, which can quickly discharge moisture and heat occurred during the process of exercising so that the shoes are always kept dry and comfortable for us.

On top of that, security has also been considered when the shoes were being designed. There are actually reflective settings on the logo and the toe of Fresh Foam Zante V3. The logo is not reflective in the sunlight though, it is reflective on the inside and outside of the shoes.

Overall:

In short, on the strength of my personal experience, the shoes are actually nice and gave me much help although they are not so perfect. But if you are also a running lover, I would highly recommend this Fresh Foam Zante v3. After all, New Balance can be said to be a leader in this field and has quite a lot of experience.