New Balance Vazee Pace 2 ReviewSeptember 22, 2016
- Soft & comfortable mesh uppers
- Snappy energy return in midsole
- Nice forefoot flexibility
- Heavier than previous model
- Firm landing
The New Balance Vazee Pace 2 keeps most of the design and performance elements that made the original Vazee Pace one of our favorites, and the updated underfoot construction gives it a smoother ride than the original. This is an outstanding lightweight everyday training shoe that can also be used for racing anything up to the marathon distance. It is comparable in feel and performance to the Adidas Adizero Boston 6 and Nike Free RN Distance, with a less prominent heel to toe drop and slightly heavier weight.
New Balance keeps the VL-6 last that is comfortably snug in the rearfoot and widens out through the toe box. Bootie construction of the Vazee Pace 2 upper wraps the entire midfoot area nicely, and updated overlays lock the foot onto the platform very securely. A classic seven-eyelet lacing system adjusts and maintains tension very effectively.
Increased padding is placed around the heel and ankle on the Vazee Pace 2, with less through the forefoot and toebox. The redesigned uppers provide improved ventilation and drying, and the toebox is spacious enough to prevent chafing. The REVlite midsole material and extensive outsole rubber are great at diminishing road impact with high mileage.
REVlite midsole material utilizes focused impact cushioning and energy return regions that are positioned to propel the foot from rear to toe in stance. It works well in this regard, with noticeable toe spring in front of the shoe, and our testers like overall snappiness and quick energy return of this material throughout the midsole of the Vazee Pace 2.
New Balance tinkered with the ride in a couple of ways on the Vazee Pace 2: the REVlite midsole was fortified with more blown rubber to increase its durability rebounding capacity; this improves energy return but also creates a firm impact feel. Underfoot, the outsole rubber is thicker and more extensive than on the original Vazee Pace, and the flex grooves have been realigned to improve forward transition and energize every stride.
Although this year’s model weighs in slightly heavier than its predecessor, our testers were still able to enjoy quick leg turnover with the Vazee Pace 2 thanks to the strong energy return in the midsole and smooth heel to toe momentum. The secure fit and improved outsole grip both allow for great agility on road or track.
Donald Buraglio- Minimalist Running shoes
Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports.