For the runner seeking a racing flat that can handle a wide range of distances, the New Balance 1500 v3 offers a sleek and versatile experience that subtly blends light support and cushion in a responsive package.
Originally created for long-distance triathlete, Sebastian Kienle, the 1500 was patterned after the neutral-oriented New Balance 1400. The goal, with the help of Kienle, was to build a new lightweight stability flat with a 6mm heel-toe-offset. Kienle’s ideal shoe would have a smooth, comfortable interior that he could wear barefoot, have just enough material to protect and support his feet, and have a snug but adaptable fit. Thus, the 1500 v1 was created, and since its debut in 2015, it has been fine tuned with slight improvements to the upper and outsole, enhancing its performance and durability.
Knowing that this shoe was made to go fast while providing protection for longer distances, I was looking forward to three important elements the 1500 v3 had to offer: mild stability, speed, and light cushion. After adding this racing flat to my current marathon training, here are my thoughts.
Right out of the box, these shoes provided a comfortable, glove-like fit. The Fantom Fit technology paired with a semi-gusseted tongue delivered a desirably snug fit, securing the mid-foot without feeling overly tight anywhere. A slight upper change from the previous version reveals fewer overlays on the lateral side of the shoe, which delivered a more comfortable fit than its predecessor. I wore them with socks and my feet felt pleasantly hugged with no pinch at all to my pinky toes, but the interior is definitely smooth enough to go sock free as Kienle had envisioned in the original design process.
On the Run
Once I began running, I found the ride to be smooth and responsive. Thanks to REVLite technology, the midsole had just the right amount of cushioning over longer distances on the roads, while maintaining an agile, low to the ground feel. Weighing in at 6.3 oz, the 1500 is not the lightest racing flat on the market. The shoe’s higher midsole adds a little extra weight, but don’t assume that this is a slow shoe. It was still easily light enough for racing and provided plenty of bounce back at any pace.
As a supportive racing flat, the shoe features a Medial Post and TPU shank in the midfoot. While added support can typically create a more rigid experience, I can honestly say that I did not notice any extensive stiffness. The shoe offered just the right amount of support to help reduce mild overpronation without being annoying or noticeably clunky.
Compared to its predecessor, the 1500 v3 has slight changes to its outsole design to offer better durability. For those concerned about how this change effects how the shoe performs, you can put those worries aside. The new pattern includes a full-length half arrow design (rather than the previous version’s use of small round lugs on the lateral side) to provide the desired traction for fast running on the roads or the track. I’ve been wearing them on my weekly uptempo runs on paved sidewalks and asphalt and have been extremely pleased by the secure grip, even on rainy days.
The New Balance 1500 v3 is a great option for race day or for fast-paced training up to the half-marathon distance. Even an experienced marathoner could wear this shoe on race day, but for now, I’ll stick with my standard daily trainer. I am definitely adding these to my current marathon training, specifically for my uptempo runs and interval workouts. My faster paced efforts have never felt better since I added them to my training program. Here at the office, they have been hailed as “great shoe” by neutral runners and my fellow overpronators alike.
Jenny is a marathon mom in every sense of the word. Not only does she run marathons, but she is constantly running around with her two kids, helping to teach them the value of an active lifestyle.