NEW BALANCE: FRESH FOAM ZANTE v4
This is a personal experience, basic, easy to understand review that reflects my first 185 miles in this shoe. Opinions are all my own and may differ from other reviews you read online. If there are any additional questions or features you would like to know about, please leave a comment! 🙂
TL; DR I really like this shoe. It took only 2 runs to break them in and have felt fabulous ever since. The sole is responsive and the upper is slightly structured yet snug and fits like a sock. The mesh is breathable and drys quickly when it gets wet. I have used this shoe for both short speed workouts and a half marathon (training & race day) and during both my feet felt fresh and comfortable.
Retail is $100, though you can often find them on sale for around $80. Coming from someone who typically spends $120- $160 for shoes I was shocked that I liked them just as much if not more than my previous pair costing an additional $60. What a deal!
This shoe is made for the neutral road or track runner.
I have run 185 miles in my first pair and fell in love. I like the flexibility in the laces, so they hang down and don’t fly up and tickle my leg as I run – weird I know but it is a pet peeve of mine. Also the foam is forgiving providing a comfortable cushioned ride. Please note, I would not compare these to the ultra cushioning in Hoka shoes or the Brooks Glycerin. I would compare these to the Adidas Ultraboost line. The fresh foam technology extends from heel to toe instead of stopping at the ball of the foot like some other comparable shoes. In my opinion this gives the best of both worlds if you are looking for a combination of response and comfort.
I have heard some comments about the heel collar rubbing against the ankle, but I have not experienced this. I wear Feeture ankle socks that go up to slightly higher than the heel collar (see photo in grid).
Specs per NB:
- 6 mm drop
- Bootie construction
- Engineered mesh
- HypoSkin upper that adapts to the shape of the foot for a flexible and natural movement
- Lightweight solid rubber outsole
- No-sew material application
- Synthetic/mesh upper