New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo

8.2
8.2 score
[Editors rating (8.0) + Users rating (8.6)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.2)/10

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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 3 user ratings
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New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo Review Facts

New Balance boasts, and many agree, that the Fresh Foam Vongo is their best lightweight stability  trainer to date. This shoe is part of New Balance’s stability line up that includes the 940v3, Vazee Prism vs, and the 1260 v2, and it is the first shoe in their Fresh Foam division. This is a perfect shoe for the runner who is looking for a high quality, daily runner, from a trusted American made brand. This shoe can provide the unique combination of added stability and comfort without adding extra weight. It still can give the runner a very flexible and responsive ride, but you will still get the protection of a solid shoe.

New Balance is known to use real data from runners in order to make adjustments and additions to their shoes to create the best running experience possible.  It utilizes the “varus wedge” midsole which means that the inside of the shoe is slightly higher than the outside. This is designed specifically designed in order to correct overpronation and help reduce joint pain. This shoe offers New Balance’s signature plush yet firm cushioning that doesn’t sacrifice a high level o of responsiveness on runs. The shoe is snug, yet breathable, earning this model high marks in the comfort department.

Pros
  • Miles - Runners loved that these shoes were the perfect combination of support and comfort to take them through the long miles of their half, marathon and even ultra marathon training plans.
  • Comfort, support, stability - Runners loved that these shoes were able to offer all three of these important features.
  • Size - These shoes can also be ordered in wide width to accommodated the runner who has a wider foot. 
  • Unique Design - Perfect for the runner who need added stability. Their unique design helps the overpronator correct their gait.
  • Breathability - The Air Mesh upper keeps the foot cool and dry even on long, hot runs.
Cons
  • The weight of this places it in a precarious category. While it is great for your longer runs because of its added cushioning and support, many runners reported that the weight (10.6 ounces) keeps it from being their ideal trainer for speed and tempo workouts.
  • This is a pricey shoe. If budget is your number one concern, there are many great options, but this might not be the best shoe for you.
  • Some runners reported that the New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo broke down and needed to be replaced more quickly than they would have liked.
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The majority of the outsole is made of blown rubber. Blown rubber is a lighter and cushier rubber compound because it is mixed with air during its production. In addition to the blown rubber, New Balance also included a deep cut along the heel to the midfoot of the outsole. This cut is designed to add flexibility and improve responsiveness. Many stability shoes do not offer a high level of flexibility, but because of the deep cut included in the outsole, this shoe can provide stability without sacrificing flexibility.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole saddle of this shoe is made of a perforated material. This helps add to the breathability of these shoes. The actual midsole of the shoe is made of New Balance's patented Fresh Foam. The Varus Wedge midsole of this model is a great combination of stability and comfort. This material runs the length of the midsole and provides balanced support and cushioning to the runner. The Fresh Foam of the midsole on these shoes is comparable to either the Adidas Boost or the Brook's DNA.
Upper
Upper

Upper

This shoe uses a unique combination of materials to create a comfortable, breathable ride. This shoe received high marks for its innovative upper. The Vongo uses a bootie like construction that hugs the foot and provides all over support and comfort. To add to this comfort, New Balance added a sock liner to the interior of the shoe. The upper is made of a breathable mesh and the midsole is perforated to support breathability too. This mesh is called Air Mesh and it is specially designed to create the most breathable ride.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Although this shoe is considered a stability shoe, it is surprising light. Most stability shoes add at least a few ounces to add the extra stability and cushioning, but not these shoes. They weigh in at only 10.6 ounces which is considerably lower than many of the other models in this category. Even though this shoe weighs almost eleven ounces, it still feels light and flexible and offers a responsive ride. The outsole of the shoe is made of a blown rubber which is lighter than a carbon rubber to keep the weight down and the ride cushioned.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

This shoe received high marks for breathability. The upper of the shoe is comprised of a very breathable Air Mesh that ensures maximum breathability without sacrificing support and comfort. Runners love this shoe for their long runs and one reason is that the shoe kept their feet cool and dry, even on long, hot runs.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

This shoe earns high marks for comfort. Multiple technologies work together on this shoe to provide the runner with firm, yet supportive cushioning. To begin, the upper is made of a breathable Air Mesh that keeps the foot dry and cool on runs. It also offers an internal sock liner that gives the shoe a glove-like feel. This also cuts down on movement in the shoe during the run which can keep blisters at bay. The Fresh Foam midsole protects the foot by absorbing shock which cuts down on hip and knee pain.
Style
Style

Style

The Fresh Foam does a great job of taking the classic, signature look of the New Balance brand and kicking it up a notch. You can get the shoe in a variety of unique color combinations (black with blue and impulse!) as well as the classic New Balance gray or black. Runners reported the shoe did not feel or look at all clunky, and actually commented that they liked the "slimmer" look and feel of the Fresh Foam Vongo. The style of a running shoe isn't the most important factor for all runners, but this shoe is definitely a contender if you like a stylish looking shoe.
Durability
Durability

Durability

In terms of durability, these shoes come in at the low to middle section of the running shoe pack. Some runners reported that they didn't like that the shoes needed to be replaced too quickly. One runner commented that while they did like the shoe while they lasted, they only made it " (~6 months) and runs about 15 miles a week" before they needed to be replaced. In general, this can be attributed to a thinner outer.
Protection
Protection

Protection

This is a great shoe to help you ward off knee and hip pain. The added cushioning combined with the stability in these shoes helped runners reduce the amount of pain they were experiencing on their runs. These shoes also offer a roomy toe box which runners reported helped to cut down on blisters. The Fresh Foam midsole protects the foot by absorbing shock which cuts down on hip and knee pain. It also offers a low cut heel design to eliminate chafing of the Achilles.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The Fresh Foam technology was designed specifically to meet the needs of runners. This lightweight foam increases responsiveness. The unique design of the outsole also increases the responsiveness of the Vongo. A deep cut runs from the heel to the forefoot of this shoe which increases the level of responsiveness that runners experienced while running in these shoes. These shoes have a heel drop of 4 mm which is also a keep feature in helping the runner "feel" the road while running.
Support
Support

Support

The Vongo is part of New Balance's new mild stability Fresh Foam collection. The runner who needed added support and stability found that these were a perfect fit for them. The Vongo is able to provide added support through the smart design of the midsole and outsole. The medial side (the inside) of the shoe is slightly meatier and higher than the lateral (outside) of the shoe. This gives the ultimate support to the runner who is prone to overpronating. Runners reported that this is a great shoe for the long grueling runs of their marathon training plan.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

While this is an excellent shoe for the road, you can also feel comfortable taking this shoe on mild trails. The Vongo has a collection of lugs of different shapes and sizes on the outsole. This gives the shoe great traction and can take the runner on mild or groomed trails as well as the average street. This is not a shoe that you are going to want to take on tough, off road trails, but if you are looking for a shoe that can take you from the streets to the groomed trails of your neighborhood park, this is a great choice.
Price
Price

Price

Let's face facts. New Balance is on the pricier end fo the running shoe spectrum. Today the average cost of running shoes has increased to 114 dollars. This shoe comes in over the average running shoe price tag; however, many runners reported that the price tag is worth it. The amount of cushioning, stability, and overall quality of the shoe makes this shoe a smart investment.
Traction
Traction

Traction

This is a great shoe to go from the road to mild trail. It contains different lug shapes and sizes on the outsole which improves traction. They aren't the shoes you will want to take on slippery and unstable trails, but they are great for the road of your groomed trail run.
Stability
Stability

Stability

This is a shoe that offers quality arch support. Runners reported feeling secure and protected day after day in this shoe. This a perfect shoe for the runner who overpronates. Using an innovative design, the medial side of this shoe is slightly higher than the lateral side. The purpose for this is to force the foot to rolls towards the elevated part of the shoe. This is a perfect way to reduce overpronation. Many runners reported that due to the added stability, they were actually able to reduce hip and knee pain that had been plaguing them.
Flexibiliy
Flexibiliy

Flexibiliy

This is a unique shoe in that it doesn't sacrifice flexibility for added stability and cushioning. Although the New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo comes in at almost eleven ounces, runners still reported that the shoe is very stretchy and flexible in all the right spots. They didn't feel constricted at all while running in this shoe.
Drop
Drop

Drop

This shoe offers a 4 mm drop. This gives the shoe a more natural, minimalistic feel. This is a great choice for the runner who likes the flexibility and responsiveness of a minimalistic shoe but is also looking for added comfort and stability of a more tradition running shoe. Even though this shoe has a lower heel drop, you won't sacrifice stability or added cushioning. This is a unique combination.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Air Mesh Upper - This extremely breathable mesh is used on the upper of the shoe and is designed to keep your shoe dry and comfortable even on your long runs.
- A bootie like construction and internal sock liner add extra support and comfort to this shoe.
- Low cut heel design to avoid unwanted chafing of the Achille's heel.
- The unique design of the midsole (varus wedge) help to alleviate hip and knee pain.
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

This is a perfect shoe for a runner who is just getting started or looking to log longer slower miles. The New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo gives the runner a stable ride without too much added weight. It utilizes the lugs and blown rubber of the outsole to add traction. It uses a unique design around the midsole to help protect against over pronations, and the upper is made of a breathable Air Mesh to cut down on heat and discomfort during runs. This is a good alternative to Kayno's if you are looking for a similar shoe with more breathability. All in all, if you are looking for a lightweight stability shoe that can take you on long runs, the New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo might be the best choice for you.