New Balance Vazee Pace v2

8.5
8.5 score
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New Balance Vazee Pace v2Review Facts
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New Balance has introduced an even more versatile and durable performance trainer in the Vazee Pace v2. In an effort to improve upon its namesake, the Vazee Pace, they present a more natural upper, a less pronounced high arch, a more defined toe box and increased propulsion while adding a small amount of outsole for longer durability and better grip.  Keeping in line with the original Pace, the v2 has a firm, fast ride, is responsive to your gait, and protects your joints with New Balance’s REVlite midsole.

This shoe fits experienced competitive racers and the occasional runners equally. It is suggested to use it for more pace work, as the name suggests, but also for daily training, 5k, 10k or half marathons. The redesign of the shoe makes it appear sleek and fast. The knit feature of the upper hugs the foot closer with a softer feel to the sleeve. Flat semi-stretch laces hold the shoe closer to your foot as well, adding to the comfort and removing any slippage. The laces themselves are shorter, leaving less excess to bounce while running.

Pros
  • Comfortable fitting upper
  • Lightweight
  • Highly durable - Recommended for 250 – 550 miles
  • Comfortable toe box to allow for spread
  • Additional rubber on outsole, better grip on terrain and less slippage
  • More colorful, fashionable appearance
Cons
  • Heavier than the original Vazee Pace
  • Sleeve feels narrow on wider feet
  • Shorter laces
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

Similar to the original Vazee Pace, New Balance kept the full contact outsole on version 2. Under the forefoot is a softer rubber compound which provides a bit more traction on wet surfaces than the average training shoe. A harder carbon rubber under the heel provides protection to joints, especially for heel-strikers. Large rubber pods are strategically placed for a more aggressive spring in the toe and a slight increase in propulsion overall. Finally, an extra 1-2mm of extra rubber has been added to extend durability.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

With New Balance’s patented REVlite foam midsole construction, the Vazee Pace v2 is extremely durable and won’t lose its form. After many miles of use, it will continue to respond and react to weight redistribution. The REVlite foam is one singular piece, providing a stiff, firm ride, keeping stack heights unchanged from the original Pace. Aesthetically, New Balance has added a dimpled appearance to the outside.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The Vazee Pace v2 has the same sleeve technology as the original Pace but the newer version now has a knit construction allowing for greater breathability. The upper material wraps around the foot and arch creating a uniform spread of pressure. This can cause the midsole to feel tight but that can be corrected with adjustment of the laces or buying a larger size. The tongue is joined by the sleeve but is now longer to accommodate the flat, semi-stretch laces and the heel-lock lacing technique. The laces themselves are shorter than in the original Pace to reduce bounce. A small adjustment in the v2 is that the eyelet holes are also flat to coordinate with the flat laces, creating a smoother passage and reducing discomfort.

The heel is narrower and the molded foam of the original Pace has been replaced with a glossy synthetic. There is no internal counter and no slippage in the v2. The reflectivity has been moved from the dip to the lower heel, making the Achilles dip even softer. Additional reflectivity has been added to the N logos and the tongue loop for increased visibility. The toe box, while still accommodating for toe splay, is not as wide as the original Pace. With the synthetic overlays as well as the knit sleeve, lacing tightens both sections independently, essentially locking down the midfoot.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The New Balance Vazee Pace v2 is still considered a lightweight shoe, though it does weigh a full ounce more than its predecessor. With the additional rubber on the sole and increased coverage overall, the men’s shoe averages about 9.4 oz, depending on size.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

As with most lightweight shoes, breathability is more of a rule than a design preference. New Balance brought the high-tech materials and superior design from the original Pace into their latest version. The Vazee Pace v2 has a knit structured upper and ultrathin layers in the forefoot, causing very little body heat to be retained. The woven materials in the mid and rear foot panels make for a cool and comfortable run.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

New Balance is known for having extremely comfortable and durable running shoes while providing the technology to minimize knee and leg pain. Their reputation is secure with the Vazee Pace v2. The grip of the sleeve hugs the foot without pinching and provides arch support while still allowing enough room for the toe splay in the forefoot. It’s just tight enough to feel secure but without discomfort. While this design is great for shorter runs and even a half marathon, much longer races could cause the arch to rub and is not recommended.
Style
Style

Style

While overcoming the stigma of being less than fashionable, New Balance introduced the Vazee Pace with bright colors and a streamlined design. With the creation of the Vazee Pace v2, they are now producing modern, stylish shoes. They are still avoiding the bright neons that are associated with current running styles and that is working in their favor. They’ve embraced color and coordinated the two-tone mesh overlays into beautiful designs. Runners are excited about this new design direction and enjoy the compliments they receive as much as they enjoy feeling as fast as the style suggests. They can show them off in every part of their life: working out at the track, picking up the kids from school, or running errands around town.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Sticking with the construct of the New Balance Vazee Pace would have been the easy way to build a new shoe. They didn’t do that. New Balance actually improved on an already excellent design and added more. Building on the durability, the Vazee Pace v2 has the same solid construction with the REVlite foam, but increased rubber in the outsole and individual pods allow for a more even weight distribution. While adding speed and grip, the extra rubber is increasing the longevity of the shoe. This should allow for many more miles above average usage on urban and rural routes and short to medium distance races.
Protection
Protection

Protection

External protection is increased on the New Balance Vazee Pace v2 with increased and relocated reflectivity. The N logos over the midfoot have been upgraded to provide visibility in low-light and the reflectivity on the Achilles dip has been moved to lower on the heel. The tongue loop has been carried over from the original Pace to maintain reflectivity on the top of the shoe as well.

The original Vase Pace had no internal heel counter, and this is the same for the v2. In sticking with this design choice and removing the reflectivity, it creates a softer surface, reducing any friction and potential for blisters.

The REVlite foam in combination with the carbon rubber outsole and individual pod design reduces strike impact on the joints and knees. Continuing this technology into the Vazee Pace v2 showcases New Balance’s history of caring for its customers overall wellbeing and making it a priority one design at a time.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Described as more receptive than responsive, the New Balance Vazee Pace v2 uses REVlite foam for a firmer bounce and more control. With only a 6mm drop, it’s a fairly flat ride, providing for a stronger connection with the running surface while still protecting the runner’s knees and joints. The increased rubber has a stronger grip which could be a reason the bounce is not felt as strongly as in the original Pace.
Support
Support

Support

A bigger change from the original Pace to New Balance’s Vazee Pace v2 is a slightly lowered arch support from high to medium-high. This is a slight adjustment but makes a difference for a large number of runners. The midsole material has a consistent density along the length of the shoe which reduces the effects of impact from the lower back and knees. The REVlite foam also prevents the foot from excess movement within the shoe. Having a balanced sidewall design has created a stable foundation for the entire shoe to sit securely on the foot. Overall, the Vazee Pace v2 is a well balanced shoe with significant support features.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Very similarly to the original Pace, the New Balance Vazee Pace v2 is designed for fast workouts or shorter races. With that requirement, the conditions under which this shoe will excel are quite diverse. With the increased grip, they are good for roads, tracks, treadmills, even some non-technical trails. They will withstand a good degree of wet conditions without over-compensation for the water. They have a breathable upper that has the unique feature of preventing sand and debris from irritating the runner’s foot.
Price
Price

Price

New Balance strives to keep their shoes moderately priced without limiting the design and still meeting the needs of the running community. The knit construct of the upper is a unique feature typically found in a more expensive shoe while the technology of REVlite is unequaled. Revisiting many of the great qualities of the original Pace and adding the latest upgrades and redesign, New Balance has committed to making the New Balance Vazee Pace v2 available to the public at just the right price.
Traction
Traction

Traction

New Balance has increased the rubber outsole with both a softer, blown rubber and a carbon rubber in the heel. Creation of individual pods causes greater traction on the forefoot and flex grooves in the heel add more control. The grooves and separation allow the rubber to better grip the road under wet or dry conditions.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The Vazee Pace v2 has deviated from the original Pace with regard to the flex grooves throughout the outsole. Where there were multiple in the original shoe, they have been relocated to mid-foot rather than under the balls of the foot. Additionally, the rear foot outsole transition groove splits the slab into 3 pieces rather than 2. While both are great for traction, the flexibility is confusing. There appears to be a flex under mid-foot rather than under the balls of the foot, which comes across as unnatural behavior of the midsole.

Rather than use flex grooves, the Vazee Pace v2 has two large blown rubber slabs on either side of the foot and the number of rubber lugs have been increased, providing the flexibility of the softer rubber as well as additional traction.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The arch in the Vazee Pace v2 has been lowered from the original Pace, providing more stability. Additionally, having a medium drop and using REVlite foam over the entire midsole provides full foot support and stability for a fairly flat ride.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The New Balance Vazee Pace v2 has a medium drop of 6mm. This is slightly lower than many runners prefer but not low enough to make a noticeable difference. With the REVlite foam, the Pace v2 is considered a flat ride.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• REVlite midsole provides cushion and durability
• Knit constructed upper for breathability and stylish design
• Increased reflectivity for safety when running in low-light conditions
• Fast and supportive ride
• Blown rubber and carbon rubber increases traction on varying terrain
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

With the ever-increasing options available to runners, there are shoes designed for every type of run: training, racing, short runs, long runs, endurance runs, etc. New Balance has been a name in this industry since 1906. They are known for their running shoes. The Vazee Pace v2 is the culmination of their years of experience and love of running. This latest version takes suggestions from users of the shoes and makes them a reality. They improved upon the traction of the original Pace, added reflectivity, lowered the arch support, and adjusted the laces. Each small adjustment was designed specifically for the runner’s comfort. New Balance has done it again. They have produced a quality shoe that will last for many, many miles.