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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.


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.