New Balance Vazee Prism | First Look

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Available January 2016 – MSRP $100.00

Based on our sales over the last three years, we have seen a huge shift in running shoe use away from support shoes and toward neutral shoes with lower heel-to-toe offsets. This coincides with talk of natural running and letting the foot do what it wants to do. So while it seems like the running world at-large thinks support shoes are no longer necessary, there is still a sizable population of runners who find success with support shoes. I only need to look at the sales of the ASICS Kayano, GT 2000 and Brooks Adrenaline GTS for evidence that the support category is still alive and well. However, a largely ignored category has been performance support shoes.

FullSizeRenderThe performance support category has been owned by the ASICS DS Trainer and has had worthy competition from the extinct Mizuno Elixir and adidas adizero Tempo. Saucony has given the category a go with the Tangent and outgoing Mirage, but neither shoe stuck with customers. The Nike Zoom Elite was a worthy shoe before it got screwed up as a Lunar Elite, and then it became a good shoe again but was changed to a neutral shoe. The lack of offering in this category suggests there are not enough sales to warrant a bigger selection. However, there are a few support racing shoes that sell in large numbers (ASICS DS Racer, Brooks Racer ST 5, New Balance 1500, Saucony Fastwitch, and the Mizuno Musha – before it was dropped), so it seems reasonable that some runners would like a support shoe that fits between their daily trainer and racing shoe.

To help fill this void in the market place, New Balance is introducing the Vazee Prism. It will be about an ounce heavier than the DS Trainer, which makes no sense because its heel-toe offset is 2mm lower than the DS Trainer.  But at least the 8mm drop should help deliver a smooth, fast ride. It also has a full-contact outsole to further enhance the smoothness and is reasonably stiff for a fast toe-off.

It’s great to see New Balance increasing their product offering to meet the full range of running needs and we hope other brands follow suit.

Preliminary Tech Specs

Stack height: 27mm heel, 19mm forefoot, 8mm heel-toe offset

Weight*: 9.9 oz (men’s size 9), 8.3 oz (women’s size 8) *Provided by manufacturer

Competing Shoes

ASICS DS Trainer 20 – MSRP $120.00

adidas adizero Tempo – MSRP $100.00

 

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