First Look: New Balance Vazee

Next week, New Balance will release two new shoes built for speed on the tarmac.

VazeeAngle

The company provided an early release of the Vazee Rush and Vazee Pace for testing. Here’s our first look and a breakdown of each shoe.

Vazee Pace

VazeePace

For those seeking negative splits, New Balance’s Vazee Pace is brimming with giddyup. The Pace is replacing New Balance’s 890 and is the performance shoe in the Vazee lineup.

Fit: The no-sew, bootie construction gives the Pace a snug-but-not-tight feel around the foot, while giving the toes enough room to spread.

Feel: The Pace is noticeably lighter on the feet, has more toe flex and rides closer to the ground than the Rush. It’s clearly the thoroughbred of the lineup.

Ride: With just enough cushion to dampen long miles but light enough to encourage faster turnover, the Pace propels you forward with each step and inspires faster cadence.

Price: $110

Weight: 7.5 oz

Offset: 6mm drop

Available. July 1

Bottom line: If you’ve paid your dues in clunky trainers and are working the tempo runs to qualify for Boston, pick up the Pace. I found it to be the faster, more aggressive shoe of the two.

Vazee Pace Front2

Vazee Rush

VazeeRush

Billed as a generalist shoe, the Rush caters to the runner who might mix it up at the gym and refuel at Trader Joe’s afterwards. But that doesn’t mean it’s sacrificing the goods to get the job done.

Fit: The Rush uses the same no-sew construction as the Pace, providing a sock-like fit. I found it snugger than the Pace.

Feel: With more cushion underfoot, the Rush is more supportive than the Pace.

Ride: While New Balance doesn’t provide stack height, the Rush rides noticeably higher than the Pace and puts more cushion between you and the road. It didn’t feel as quick on the feet; on my non-scientific back-to-back 6-mile loops, my turnover was slower and my stride was shorter in the Rush than the Pace.

Price. $90

Weight: 8 oz

Offset: 6mm drop

Available. July 1

Bottom line: If you are new to running but still want a well balanced but reasonably lightweight trainer, the Rush is capable, will provide cushion for the long haul, and cross over into other activities as well.

Vazee Rush Front

If you are in the market for some new running kicks this summer, give New Balance a look. At 8 oz or under, both shoes are capable runners for your fall goals.

–See more photos on page 2.

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Contributing Editor (and Gear Junkie Idaho Bureau Chief) Steve Graepel is allegedly a crook and a thief, conning his friends to steal away time from their families in pursuit of premeditated leisure, which typically involves a bike, a pack-raft, skis, running shoes, climbing rack, or all of the above.
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