New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit

The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit is a racing shoe that also works well for casual wear. It features a translucent rubber outsole with many small hexagonal lugs for a good grip on road surfaces. Its Fresh Foam midsole, completely with laser-cut perforations, provides comfortable and responsive cushioning with less weight. And HypoKnit creates a snug fitting upper with seamless construction and plenty of airflow. All of these features work together to create a run that's lighter and much faster than other models within the Zante line.

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Pros & Cons

-Highly breathable

-Snug yet flexible

-Comfortable wear


-Good for pain relief


-Not enough support for some

-Narrower-than-average fit


Key Features
New Balance uses a simple, translucent rubber compound to create the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit’s outsole. It runs the full length of the foot and curls up at the tip of the toes, allowing a little bit of protection from accidental impact. Its simple tread pattern consists of many small hexagonal lugs, which mirror the design found on the midsole, covering the underfoot. This basic design allows for a very flexible wear, a firm grip on paved surfaces, and a solid layer of protection against wear and tear.
As the name of the shoe implies, the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit feature's New Balance's trademarked Fresh Foam midsole technology. This full-length unit maps out the foot's natural shape to determine the proper amount of cushioning, and it features laser-cut perforations to reduce its overall weight. It also includes a hexagonal pattern along the entire outer surface to allow further compressing and, therefore, a stronger bounce-back. Not only does this unit provide soft yet stabilized cushioning during runs and throughout the day, but reviewers say that it's also incredibly flexible. However, some reviewers have claimed that it doesn't provide enough support for their arches.
The brand's HypoKnit makes up the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit's upper, providing the runner with a snug and supportive fit that's also very easy to move around in. This and the soft fabric lining are made with a seamless construction, preventing any skin irritations that could be caused by stitching. Its notable lack of overlays and a heel pull tab give it a sleeker, more minimalist design. Its traditional lacing system includes semi-elastic laces for greater security and a more customizable fit. Finally, the collar and tongue are both padded, supporting the ankles and further locking the foot into place.
Competition shoes need to be very lightweight in order to help the runner reach their highest speed possible. With men’s sizes averaging at 7.4 oz. and women’s at 6.1 oz., the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit definitely keeps things light and easy to move around in. Most reviewers love its airy feel and notice a big difference in how they move and how fast they can go when using it. However, there are some who would prefer their running shoes with a little more mass and feel that this particular model is better fit for casual settings than it is for athletics.
Despite its snug fit, reviewers still praise the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit for being a very breathable piece of footwear. Its HypoKnit upper is perforated with a number of ventilation holes across its facade, with the larger one being placed all along the forefoot and sides. Since this model has no aggressive overlays and a seamless inner lining, it permits unrestricted airflow into the foot chamber for optimal cooling and sweat-wicking. This keeps the runner cool and dry during their races and also plays a key role in helping them reach their optimal speed.
Most reviewers feel that the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit is a very comfortable running shoe. Its namesake Fresh Foam midsole unit maps out the entirety of the foot to provide the right amount of cushioning and support throughout the gait cycle. It's also perforated to reduce extra weight, and its responsiveness greatly reduces the amount of pain and fatigue the runner might feel. The HypoKnit upper provides a snug, sock-like fit that's both highly breathable and easy to move around in. And its soft lining is seamless for greater comfort and no skin irritations. With all this said, there are some runners who feel that its tight fit isn't for them. Some even say that this model doesn't exactly fit true to size.
Although it seems quite minimalistic in design, the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit can still pair incredibly well with a number of athletic and casual looks. It features no overlays or pull tab, allowing the upper's texture to really stand out to buyers. The brand's 'N' logo is showcased prominently on either side, and the same of the shoe is printed on the heel's lateral side. Reviewers also seem quite happy that this model is available in both neutral and vibrant color options. Men can choose bright blue, bright red, or muted pale green from their sizes. Women, on the other hand, can choose violet, icy pale blue, or muted pale pink from theirs. Both men's and women's sizes include black and grey options.
Online reviews don’t really discuss how durable the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit is. But given its intended usage, it seems to hold up fairly well against races on paved roads and frequent casual wear. The Fresh Foam midsole gives sturdier cushioning and responsiveness than standard EVA, and the translucent rubber outsole ensures that the entire sole unit stays intact for longer. While the HypoKnit's adaptive wear does make it somewhat less resistant to damage than regular mesh, its design still makes it unfit for more rugged activities. Proper care and knowing when not to use these shoes is key to making them last longer.
The Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit is very minimal when it comes to its protective features, yet it still offers enough to safeguard the runner against some very common racing hazards. The rubber outsole curls over the tip of the toes to shield them slightly against accidental impact and its small hexagonal gripping lugs keep them moving safely across paved roads. The cushioning and responsiveness offered by its Fresh Foam midsole actively reduces the amount of pain the runner will feel by the end of the day. Its HypoKnit upper's seamless construction keeps skin irritations at bay, as does its incredibly breathable wear. Furthermore, its snug fit, semi-elastic laces, and padded collar are all that's needed to keep the foot from slipping out.
All good racing shoes need to be responsive in order to power the runner forward and protect them against constant impact. Those who use the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit feel both safeguarded and energized thanks to its namesake midsole. The full-length Fresh Foam unit features laser-cut perforations underfoot to reduce weight and aid in shock absorption, along with a hexagonal pattern that wraps completely around the sides. This particular design allows for a greater bounce-back after being compressed. Although this isn’t nearly enough for long distance runs, reviewers are still satisfied with this feature’s performance during training and mid-distance races.
The Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit seems to have very mixed reviews when it comes to its level of support. On one hand, several runners feel that the Fresh Foam midsole provides the perfect amount of cushioning for their foot shape. They also appreciate the upper’s snug fit and the ankle support offered by the padded collar. However, there have been others saying that it doesn’t provide enough arch support and actually causes them even more pain. Furthermore, the shoe’s snug fit doesn’t allow any room for a custom insert to be used. While runners without any major foot conditions could definitely enjoy this model, those with pronated feet should look elsewhere.
The Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit was designed for mid-distance running on road surfaces and also makes for an excellent casual shoe. Its minimal yet effective tread pattern features a number of hexagonal gripping lugs that effectively grab hold of concrete and cement, and also hold up quite well at most indoor training centers. Reviewers have stated that they've worn this model during a regular day out and felt that its fit and level of cushioning stayed perfectly comfortable. Still, it's quite obvious that this model is not meant for rugged activities or more challenging surfaces.
While the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit isn’t exactly affordable, it’s still well below the average price range for a high-quality running shoe. All online outlets, including the New Balance website, have this model listed for only $110. Most reviewers feel that its level of comfort, overall performance, and versatile wear definitely justify its price, with some even calling it a bargain compared to similar shoes on the market. On the other hand, some have purchased this shoe only to be disappointed with its arch support. Therefore, it may be best to try it on in stores before making a purchase.
Although the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit isn’t known for incredible traction, it still performs decently enough for road running and casual walks. Its tread pattern features many small hexagonal gripping lugs that are perfectly shaped for keeping the runner going on paved roads as well as indoor and outdoor tracks. However, models with similar tread patterns have become easily clogged when used on dirt or gravel surfaces. In addition, there is no indication of how well this model can perform on wet surfaces.
With no overlays or aggressive stability features, the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit gives runners a very flexible wear. The design of its translucent rubber outsole allows for completely free and natural movement while still protecting the underfoot area. The Fresh Foam midsole is soft and pliable, featuring laser-cut perforations that reduce weight and allow the unit to bend and stretch along with the runner’s foot. And the HypoKnit upper, aided by semi-elastic laces, give a snug, sock-like fit that makes it adept for training, mid-distance racing, and casual settings.
Since it doesn’t have any corrective features or aggressive overlays, the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit relies on a snug fit and cushiony midsole unit for stability. The entire shoe has been designed to offer a close fit that’s also able to adapt to the runner’s every movement. The brand’s Fresh Foam cushioning maps out the shape on a human foot to properly support areas that need it most, allowing a smoother and more controlled run. The HypoKnit upper fits around the foot like a sock to keep it supported and semi-elastic laces lock it into place. Padding around the tongue and collar further stabilize the foot and prevents accidental removal.
Many competition, stability, and trail running models have low heel-to-toe drop heights, as this permits a better sense of balance and posture for the runner and impedes less with the natural gait cycle. The Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit follows this design trend with a 6mm drop, allowing for more natural movement while still giving plenty of overall cushioning for sprints and mid-distance track races.
Key Features
-Translucent rubber outsole
-Full-length Fresh Foam midsole
-Snug-fitting HypoKnit upper
-Semi-elastic laces for security
-6mm heel-to-toe drop height
-Lightweight and flexible wear
-Seamless inner construction
Bottom Line
Those who partake in mid-distance racing, or just want a simple yet stylish casual shoe, will definitely get a lot of use out of New Balance's Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit racing shoe. Its Fresh Foam midsole is still as comfortable and responsive as ever, and it now features laser-cut perforations for a lighter wear. Its HypoKnit upper comes complete with a snug fit, seamless construction, and plenty of breathability to keep the runner cool and dry during their races. There are some who feel that it doesn't offer enough support, and others state that it doesn't properly fit their foot shape. Yet those who do enjoy its wear highly recommend it. Here's hoping that New Balance takes these consumer critiques into account when designing the next model, ensuring an even better running shoe for everyone.
Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
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Holabird Sports Link
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By Jessica Pilla
Last updated:
Where to buy
Best offer on: Aug. 01. 2021

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