New Balance seems to have a thing for making fast shoes. This year’s Vazee Pace is another perfect example of that trend. This lightweight neutral trainer made an impressive debut last summer getting on people’s feet just as race season started to kick off and kids were gearing up for cross country season. The Vazee Pace 2 should be a shoe to look at if you’re trying to get up onto your toes and speed down the road.
The first thing you’ll notice about this shoe is its sleek style. It sits low to the ground with a look that says, “Giddy up! It’s time to get movin’!” The same curved last and 6mm heel-to- toe offset as version 1 makes this shoe both look and feel efficient. Some runners felt that the underfoot of the shoe was a little harsh and that the forefoot was too exaggerated while running. Immediately under the metatarsal heads were accentuated carbon rubber outsole pieces that many felt weren’t smooth while transitioning through the gait cycle. In this year’s Vazee Pace 2 we see a new outsole configuration specifically addressing that problem. For those that felt inconvenienced in the first edition this will hopefully encourage you to glide through each stride more easily.
The upper of the new version almost has a racing flat look to it. There is a mildly stiff heel counter giving a locked in fit and a lower cut ankle than before allowing more irritation-free range of motion. The stitched, structured midfoot keeps you secure no matter how much you’re trying to fly out of the shoes. A slight fit alteration was made compared to the first version because some felt that with the overlays, the mesh was a bit boxy on a narrower foot. This year we see softer mesh and less defined welded overlays. This new material use should adapt better for hugging a narrow foot and also be naturally generous enough for someone who has a slightly wider-than- average foot.
Overall we are very pleased with the changes made for this fall season and can’t wait to see it on your feet! The Vazee Pace 2 is a lightweight trainer and works best for someone with neutral biomechanics. The underfoot curvature towards the toe feels quick and allows you to get up onto and off your toes faster. Since it is built with New Balance’s RevLite cushioning, it does have a firmer ride best for up-tempo training or racing. This makes for a great faster on the roads or an excellent track shoe for some.
Some comparable shoes are the Adidas Boston Boost, On Cloud, Saucony Kinvara, Brooks Pureflow and Mizuno Sayonara.