Advertised as stability shoe but doesn’t offer muc
The New Balance Vongo 2 is one the most comfortable and well-fitting shoes tested but fell short when it comes to performance. Advertised as a stability shoe, the Vongo 2 certainly doesn’t offer much in the way of stability. A 4mm heel drop, which is more typical of lightweight and racing shoes, limits this model to forefoot strikers and more experienced runners.
A completely new upper design removes heavy overlays found on its predecessor significantly upgrading the comfort level on the Vongo 2. Soft-engineered mesh coupled with an internal bootie construction created a welcoming and comfortable environment for even the longest of runs. The tongue and low-cut ankle collar feature a moderate amount of padding that guards against rubbing. The feeling underfoot was soft, yet had a touch of firmness to it.
All of our testers agreed the Vongo 2 fit well throughout and was true to size compared to other shoes tested. The midsole offered a wide platform underfoot capable of accommodating runners with wider feet. The new upper, which is free of structural overlays, never affected the security of the shoe in anyway. Despite a sock-like feeling, the upper held form, preventing a sloppy fit. A well-designed lacing system that slowly cinches the entire upper also contributed to dialing in a perfect fit.
The fresh foam midsole doesn’t live up to its ultra-soft reputation. Most of our testers were surprised with how firm the Vongo 2 felt, suggesting lighter runners may find the midsole too firm and lacking responsiveness. It felt like the full length and rather thick outsole design robbed the fresh foam midsole of its springy energy-returning feeling.
The Vongo 2 was not a fast shoe by any means. The shoe felt heavy (11.5 ounces for men and 9.9 ounces for women) and large, which made it somewhat of a chore to get going. Despite the low drop that would typically favor getting up on the toes for fast running, it was hard to transition to that stance.
It’s not often that a 4 mm drop shoe falls into the comfort category. This low drop, which is more suitable for forefoot strikers and experienced runners, created a flat feeling with each stride. The ride quality was highly dependent on where the shoe initially touches the ground, favoring forefoot strikers. One tester described the ride as “rather crisp.”