New Balance Fresh Foam Zante: 8 Things to Know Before Buying


If you’ve been thinking about picking up the
New Balance Fresh Foam Zantes at all lately, stick around and I’ll give you eight tidbits
you need to know to help you in your buying decision before you pick these babies up. Hey guys, Taren here. Today we’re talking
about my experience with the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante runners. We’re going to share the
four things that I really like about it, the three things that I dislike about it, and
one little tidbit. Ok, so the first thing that I really like
about it is the comfort. It’s a very very comfortable shoe. Pretty much comes broken
in right out of the box. It doesn’t breath a whole heck of a lot, but I did use it barefoot.
It’s very smooth on the inside. When I used it barefoot because it doesn’t breath a lot
I got a little bit of a hotspot right on the inside of the toe, so I wouldn’t use this
for anything longer than a 10k if you’re planning on going barefoot. But that’s shouldn’t be
a big issue because people who are doing half marathons, half ironmans, full marathons,
full ironmans tend to put on socks anyway. So overall the comfort of this shoe is fantastic,
it’s very soft and plush baby, it’s really plush. The second thing that I like about this shoe
is the ride. It’s a fairly basic shoe in the sense that it’s more or less just a nice light
hunk of EVA foam on the bottom with rubber covering it. So there’s not a lot of technology
and gimmicks that are encouraging a specific type of stride. But it tended to promote a
very stable, a very efficient running stride, I was very aware of how my foot was moving
side to side and what it was landing on so I liked having that control. And the ride was almost silent, I didn’t have
any sort of sense of that sound of my foot slapping down because I was landing on my
heel. I actually tended to land on my mid or my forefoot very naturally. So the ride
of the shoe was quite nice. The third thing that I like about this shoe
is the price. I got these for ninety bucks, I imagine that they’re actually going to end
up becoming cheaper as the year goes on and next year’s models start kind of coming around
so you can probably get them for even less than ninety bucks. But getting into 70 miles and over a hundred
kilometres there’s almost no wear on the tread pattern whatsoever. So if the durability of
this show holds up, for ninety bucks this is a hell of a bang for your buck. The fourth thing that I like about this shoe
is the grip, but that’s a big doubles edged sword because it’s also something that I really
dislike and I’m going to get into in a second. So the waffle pattern on this shoe is fantastic
for some things: it’s really good on dry pavement, on the track, even on packed gravel it’s really
nice. As you’re running over mud and things like that this waffle pattern doesn’t tend
to pick up any mud at all so as your friends are scuffing their feet along the ground you
aren’t picking up any of that mud and your shoe isn’t getting heavier. But that grip is also the first thing that
I dislike about the Fresh Foam Zante. The thing about that waffle pattern is that there’s
not enough tread to really get much grip so as soon as there’s the littlest bit of condensation
or sliminess out on the road, so when it’s a little bit wet you can certainly feel this
slipping around. On the trail, I don’t really like it on much more besides a packed trail
or dried wood chips. And as soon as there’s a little bit of moisture I went down, so I
went down once just on wet grass and I went down once in the mud. So I certainly wouldn’t
be using this for hardcore trail running and I’d stick to road races where you know that
the conditions are going to be good. It’s fine for that, not so good when the conditions
are getting a little sloppy. The sixth thing you need to know about the
Zantes and the second thing that I dislike is this stupid strip around the toe box here.
It’s kind of nice because it gives you a very nice locked in feeling, but that strip I think
is unnecessary and you’re certainly aware of that strip being there. I noticed this
even with socks, but I noticed that there was a little bit of a hotspot right here on
the inside toe box. That’s not anything terribly new because I tend to develop that hotspot
quite a bit. I just thought that this little toe strip on that cap of the toe was unnecessary
and it got in the way more than it helped. The third thing that I kind of dislike about
this shoe is the aggressiveness of it. Because it was the “Fresh Foam” I was expecting more
a ride similar to a Hoka shoe. Something really really good for long runs when I didn’t really
want my body to get beat up, but it wasn’t like that at all. I would put this shoe in
a category that’s in between a long distance training shoe and a racing flat. So it’s certainly
not a harsh ride, but it’s certainly not forgiving. So it’s good for your average tempo run, your
speed work, but as you start getting up to heavier mileage, whatever that might be for
you, it might not be quite cushioned enough for your body to handle it. So, stick to shorter
runs, stick to speed work when it comes to the Fresh Foam Zante. So those are all the things that I like and
dislike about the shoe but that last thing that I want to tell you about it. If you’re
thinking about the shoe and you tend to be in between sizes and you’re not sure if you
should go with the half size smaller or the half size larger go with the half size larger.
I ended up picking up one size and one half size larger than what I normally fit, and
I didn’t have a hope of fitting into my normal shoe size. So I had to go with that half size
larger. So that’s all that I’ve got to say about the
Fresh Foam Zante. All in all very good running shoe. I have no qualms recommending this to
somebody who’s just looking for a very good bread and butter speed work, maybe some long
run work, track work kind of shoe that isn’t too aggressive like a running flat but also
not too cushioned. Good bang for your buck at ninety bucks, and I think it’s going to
last a long time. If there’s any questions that you have about
the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante that I haven’t answered I’ll put a link in the descriptor
below to where you can pick this up at our affiliate buddies website. It’s got all the
specs on how much it weighs, and the sizing, and the availability of the colours. So you
can take a look, it’s got free shipping all that good jazz. Like I say, good shoe. i hope you enjoyed
the video. Kill your next A-Race!

4 Comments

  • Thanks Taren for fine review, I totally agree with you in term of short to mid distance running, I feel I've been pushed to convert to Zante from my all time favourite 890s v1/2/3/4. after just one run with fresh foam zante (14km) i've seen major deference in cushioning especially around heel looked at most been crushed. So it's definitely for speed work and racing not long distance at the moment I'm using UA Gemini for long distance and they do slow down but for a very conferrable ride. I usually wear 11US in zante I went for 2E/11US. It's summer here in NZ I haven't tried it in wet surfaces.

  • Very Good shoe, I do like it. Share some feeling about this: http://www.amperaz.com/new-balance-fresh-foam-zante-jogging-run-in-the-city/

  • cant really fault a road specific shoe for not being grippy when used off road.  I love NB one of the few companies with shoes wide enough for my troll feet

  • whats the fresh foam material like? similar to hoka/boost?

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