New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Review
This shoe was voted Competitor Magazine as the “2015 Shoe of the Year,” and while it doesn’t release until March 19 in the US of A, unless you are in Singapore for a holiday you can pick up a pair at any New Balance establishment and Concept store, check out my video and read on for first impression of this new Fresh Foam series to see what all the buzz is about.
Before the shoe came out I have heard much buzz about this Zante, but I went like what a name for a shoe, Zante? well just so you know, it is named after the popular Greek island in the Ionia Sea known for turquiose waters and sandy beaches so as the NB people wants you to feel “It is paradise for your feet”
Before we get to how the shoe runs do check out the shoe porn and specs of the Zante
Being plush is the current trend with all company (Adidas Boost, Puma Ignite) making their runners super plush with new materials making it feel as if you are running on air, with the Zante it has a 6mm drop but there are variances created during the development and manufacturing process but I am sure it will only differ slightly.
If you have already tired the first generation of Fresh Foam 980 you will know how many people loved the plush feeling of running in them no matter what feet strike you are, the Zante however is more recommended for the mid-foot strike as NB still made it overly aggressive on the rolling of the toe off, that means you will feel the definitely feel the ground as you push off if you are a heavy weighted runner.
The construction of the shoe have differ slightly from the 980 and it is now even softer to the touch, it has a new molded sockliner with a no-sew material which makes people like me who run sock-less very happy.
Take note that this shoe have zero to no arch support and after running in them after 10km or more I can feel my foot running really flat and battered. This shoe is so lightweight that it weighs in at only 212.6 grams (7.5 oz), it will definitely not weigh you down on the long run.
The New Balance team designed the Zante with speed in mind and in order to satisfy the need for speed, the NB design team studied the foot strikes and impact tendencies of those running at a faster pace to find out what makes them unique. As a result, the Fresh Foam Zante was born, while I was running around Tokyo the rolling of the shoe was good but for those who prefer a stiffer sole you may want to skip this shoe for races but more for training.
The soles of the shoe have definitely improved and If you were to try to glide this shoe along the floor, you will find it pretty hard to do so. the grip on this shoe has been cranked up a notch, but this will not apply to tarmac but on floor tiles and pot hole covers where it is slippery when wet.
I am not sure why the Zante has a different sole design on the heel side (see pic) which effect only on the outer right and left side, judging from the looks of it, this shoe seems to be design for people with under pronation in mind, this is one reason I will not know, but if you are under pronating this shoe is made for you then. Just take a look at your shoe wear pattern to see if you are.
The shoe runs lower than it’s brother the Fresh Foam 980 (which is good) but the heel cup feels overly lose and you get the feeling of the shoe slipping off under when you run.
Fresh Foam Zante has a new bootie-like design that wraps the foot like a second skin thus making it feel like an extension of your foot, the tight midfoot wrap pretty much holds the foot snugly in place but in times I felt it was too snug.
If you are looking to buy online the Zante feels half size smaller as even with socks the shoe feels really snug.
Isaac’s 2 Cents Worth
Currently with this new edition of Zante, I am pretty certain that more people will jump on the Fresh Foam wagon, Zante will do the same if not create more buzz cause of its light weight feature and sock like feel. This should would definitely double up as a walking shoe if you are traveling, the softness will ensure you feel comfortable and look stylish as well.
This beauty will make a perfect long distance running shoe. as the Zante takes all the best bits of the Fresh Foam 980 shoe and adds a bit more variety and design, It has a superior level of comfort when compared to the 1080v4.
Competitor Magazine voted the Fresh Foam Zante the “2015 Shoe of the Year,” and while it doesn’t release until March 19 (USA Market), you can click here and pre-order to ensure you’re one of the first to see what all the buzz is about!