New Balance Vazee Pace

New Balance is in the process of evolving its companies’ signature brand of making comfortable running shoes, for which they have updated their entire line. The new Vazee Pace takes the place of the old 890 model, and runners have found that this shoe features some much-welcomed updates that both experienced runners and casual athletes can appreciate. New Balance is stepping up their game with new features to the Pace, such as a more secure and supportive midfoot and a wider, roomy toe box. The curve of the Vazee Pace’s sole helps the foot roll naturally with each step, which encourages the runner’s natural gait. Surrounded by plenty of hype, the Vazee Pace was awarded “Best Debut” from Runner’s World, and the slogan attached to the Pace, “unleash your fast,” seems to live up to the hype.

With its efficient midsole, well-crafted outsole, and comfortable upper, the New Balance Vazee Pace is a running shoe built for high-mileage training and ultra-long runs, all delivered in a lightweight package. Its responsive REVlite midsole provides powerful takeoffs while also remaining taut and firm. Built for speed, the Vazee Pace features improved arch support with a modification to the medial side, which will be noticed by neutral runners during long runs. The upper hugs the foot and keeps it firmly in place after lace-up, with a lockdown feel that never squeezes the foot uncomfortably. Lightweight, built for speed and made to take on many miles, the New Balance Vazee Pace is a reintroduction, reinvention, and return to the great elements that made New Balance one of the tops running shoe companies in the world.

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Pros & Cons
  • The upper unit features a glove-like fit
  • The fabrics of the upper allows air into the foot chamber and it keeps feet cool and dry throughout a run
  • Lightweight all-around trainer that aids in smooth transitions and features excellent arch support
  • Stylish but not visually over-done, available in a variety of great color schemes
  • Cons
    • Runners with a very wide foot noticed some narrowness to the upper
    • May run slightly small
    • Not a great shoe for runners looking for stability.
    • Key Features
      Runners have been impressed with the Vazee Pace’s all new full contact platform outsole. With the midsole utilizing REVlite foam technology from the front to the back, New Balance outfitted the outsole with huge chunks of rubber pods for excellent traction that ties in with the deep flex grooves for incredible flexibility in the forefoot and midfoot. Runners have reported that the foam has a firm and fast feel to it, much like a high-end racing shoe. However, its cushioning has enough give to be comfortable on longer runs. The Vazee Pace also features a good amount of cushioning under the heel, which heel strikers will appreciate. This all leads into smooth transitions that feel firm in the forefoot, which is great for runners with quick strides or runs at a fast pace. Carbon rubber coats the heel and near the tips of the forefoot, which provides durability, while the blown rubber that covers most of the outsole enhances traction.
      New Balance made a concerted effort to ensure that the midsole of the Vazee Pace provided a responsive ride for quick-paced runs, and many runners have noticed that its midsole’s construction has greatly contributed to the overall speed of the shoe. This comes from New Balance’s use of its patented REVlite material for the midsole. Lightweight and extremely durable, it retains its responsiveness even after months of wear. Providing great support for ultra-long runs, the Vazee Pace’s midsole continues to perform without missing a step and doesn’t lose its form over time, unlike many of the soft foam midsoles found in other running shoes. The one-piece REVlite foam aids in making transitions much smoother from the heel to toe. Another welcomed innovation to this shoe is how the flex grooves on the outsole are fused with the same pattern in the midsole, which works wonders for its overall flexibility.
      Those familiar with New Balance will notice that the Vazee Pace is a mix of two of their most successful and trusted models, the 890 (its lower half) and the Zante (its upper). The upper uses a perfect blend of two kinds of mesh for superior breathability. The upper’s construction utilized wider, more breathable, holes in the mesh to provide runners with excellent ventilation throughout a run. The upper is all tied together with seamless construction, which provides above average midfoot hold after lace-up. Runners appreciated the snugness of the upper on the midfoot and the secure feeling that seemingly locks the forefoot in place.

      Another great upgrade in the upper is its expanded toe box, which helps runners endure the varying impact of each stride perfectly. These components are all held together through solid welded synthetic overlays. Practically all types of runners will feel adequate support in the rear section of the upper thanks to the deconstructed heel counter. This counter is somewhat pliable, which helps provide a strong wraparound fit and greater overall comfort. Running without the need of socks is up to the runner for a change, thanks to the irritation-free interior construction and seamless upper. New Balance added a traditional sock liner for enhanced comfort and cushioning, topped off with flat laces to give runners the fit they have always enjoyed in a lightweight trainer.
      The New Balance Vazee Pace comes in at 7.5 ounces/213 grams. At its lightweight, these shoes move through the gait cycle extremely fast and without great effort. Long distance runners have found the enhanced speediness and springy steps the Vazee Pace delivers comes from its lightweight and super responsive REVlite midsole. Combining these ultra-lightweight materials with a featherlight upper, the Vazee Pace allows runners to move freely and in a more natural manner. With the newest lightweight runner from New Balance, runners may find themselves feeling as quick as lightning!
      One of the many benefits of having an extremely lightweight shoe is that typically breathability comes along with the territory, and the new Vazee Pace is no exception to that rule. Runners have enjoyed the way its lightweight upper retains practically nobody heat whatsoever. Similarly, triathletes have named the New Balance Vazee Pace “Best in Class,” in part because of how well it outperformed similar shoes in its class on breathability. There is no question that with its combination of high-tech materials, runners will enjoy a breezy and cool run with their foot feeling dry and comfortable the entire ride.

      Read also about best triathlon shoes.
      All of the components of this shoe work perfectly together with the mission to keep the runner comfortable, secure, and well supported. Runners have found that the Vazee Pace provides excellent comfort, which has helped address many comfort issues associated with longer runs. Providing runners with both comfort and durable support is nothing new for New Balance, as they are well known for being the go-to shoe for people with leg and knee pain. This is another factor that should be considered when mulling over whether to purchase a New Balance trainer: that they do not cut corners when it comes to comfort.
      While New Balance has a reputation for comfort, they have also gained the reputation of producing rather bland-looking sneakers. However, the Vazee Pace is not your father’s pair of New Balance running shoes. The first thing that many runners noticed with this trainer is the bright and vivid colors found in almost every single color option of the new Vazee Pace. Making a perfect athletic fashion statement without devolving into “neon nonsense” like many other eye-catching, brightly colored running shoes, the Vazee Pace instead elegantly balances the bold with the neutral in its visual style. Runners have complimented the beautiful hues and crisp lines of this newly redesigned running shoe, which--when paired with the new curvature found on the outsole--makes for a striking pair of sneakers. Whether on the track, in the gym, or at the local grocery store, runners will be looking fresh and styling in the New Balance Vazee Pace.
      New Balance has a great reputation for constructing durable shoes, and many runners have agreed that the Vazee Pacee is built as solid as they come. The tough rubber outsole that comprises the entire length of the shoe is meant for a hard pace and fast, every day running, and runners have logged in hundreds of miles in both urban city environments and rural non-technical trails and found that this shoe held up every single step of the way. It would have been easy for New Balance to just copy the same shoe that they put out the last model in terms of durability, but they went back to the drawing board and delivered an even more durable shoe.
      The New Balance Vazee Pace is a very responsive shoe that belongs in the performance category. The combination of a high arch and a strong upturn in the toe makes for snappy feedback that works to the advantage of every runner, from expert to novice. Its REVlite midsole kicks in when it’s needed for a bouncier ride that’s firmer and provided all runners that tested it more overall control. One of the key components to its upgraded response levels is the way the outsole is split into actual multiple sections. The carbon rubber that is both durable and highly responsive is found right under the heel and the toe of the shoe, while the equally responsive blown rubber is found under the ball of the foot that’s formed in a unique shape, which completely changes the feedback that is given to the runner during a run.
      Runners have reported that the Vazee Pace performs very well in terms of support. Not only did they feel fast but they provided enough support to easily get through the gait cycle quickly, allowing the runner to focus on the run itself. One feature that particularly stands out is its newly redesigned heel cup. It provides such an adjustable fit that it almost invites the runner to dig deeper into their stride. Most runners that were heel strikers found that it did wonders for their longer runs that required more endurance.
      Simply put, the New Balance Vazee Pace can be worn nearly anywhere. Most runners that ran in heavy rain conditions had no issues with traction and were more than confident to continue on with a steady approach instead of overcompensating for a wet surface. Another uncommon but great feature of this shoe is that although the upper is extremely breathable, it does not allow debris such as dust or sand to penetrate it or irritate the runner’s foot. According to most runners, the New Balance Vazee Pace running shoe is perfect for mid-level technical courses along with the typical urban environment.
      Runners that tested the Vazee Pace for extended periods of time felt that New Balance could have gotten away with charging a lot more money for this pair of running shoes, especially when its laundry list of new features is taken into consideration. A strong effort was made on the part of New Balance to keep these shoes moderately priced without sacrificing what the running community was looking for in a redesign. The new seamless upper is a high-quality feature that is typically found on a more expensive shoe, for example. The amount of value these runners provide leaves nothing to be desired, and no compromises were made. For these great advancements, the Vazee Pace is the right shoe at the right price.
      Its blown rubber outsole that is coated with carbon rubber in high-impact areas provides a great amount of grip to the Vazee Pace. The rubber pods that dot the outsole also provide solid and reliable traction on a variety of surfaces both dry and slick.
      The outsole of the Vazee Pace is outfitted with numerous flex grooves, which are mirrored in the platform’s construction to provide runners with maximum flexibility during a run.
      Made for neutral runners, this sneaker features a slightly modified neutral arch support on the medial side for slightly more stability. Its 6mm drop is lower than the standard drop, which also aids in overall stability. However, this is not specifically a stability shoe.
      At 6mm, the drop of the Vazee Pace is slightly lower than the average drop of a neutral running shoe, but not so much that it would be terribly noticeable to most runners. This lower drop also provides slightly more overall stability on a run.
      Key Features
      •Blown rubber outsole for maximum cushion and support

      •Bootie construction with fabric lining

      •No-sew material application for increased responsiveness and a glove-like fit

      •REVlite midsole foam provides durability and a natural ride

      •Woven synthetic/mesh upper with seamless construction provides skin-friendly protection and breathability

      •Firm heel-to-midfoot EVA midsole
      Bottom Line
      We are in a time where runners no longer have to settle for shoes that don’t meet their expectations. It’s no coincidence that these shoes have been named “Best in Class” for light trainers/racers from Triathlete and “Best Debut” by Runner’s World. New Balance is well known for their neutral cushioning running shoes, and the Vazee pace is their reimagining of what makes their shoes so valued and enjoyed by many runners. The Vazee Pace was built from the ground up (from the outsole up, technically) and was carefully designed for runners seeking an inherently stable and comfortable ride. Runners agree that nothing in this shoe feels out of place or overdone. Quite simply, it’s the result of New Balance’s legacy evolving into the needs of today’s active runner.
      Where to Buy
      Backcountry Link
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      Holabird Sports Link
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      By Brian Price
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 26. 2021

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