To be a serious player in the running shoe market it is essential to have a good selling neutral shoe and support shoe at or around $100 MSRP. In 2009, Zoot attempted to accomplish this with the introduction of the Energy (neutral) and Advantage (support) at $110 MSRP. While the shoes were decent performers, they had no wow factor. They were often see as a more affordable alternative to the go-fast TT and Tempo. Well, that has now changed.
Noticeable improvements without a price increase.
From the initial step-in, the improvements made to the Energy 2.0 and Advantage 2.0 are apparent. Caressing the foot in a glove-like manner the two shoes just ooze refinement. The feel underfoot is has been greatly enhanced. Although the midsole materials have not changed, the distribution of the shock absorbing Z-Bound material has been separated into two distinct zones. A resdesigned outsole is a bit thicker and aids in providing better cushioning. The result of these changes is a ride quality that is much more lively than last year’s shoes. Reminds us a bit of the Brooks Launch, which has been selling in huge numbers.
Why all this talk of the two shoes together?
The Energy 2.0 and Advatnage 2.0 share the same tooling (chasis) and have nearly identical uppers. Some may be wondering if it makes sense to build a neutral shoe and support shoe from the same mold. Well this is not new. The first Asics Landreth was a neutral version of the popular Asics GT-2000 series. The Brooks Defyance is a neutral version of the preceding year’s Brooks Adrenline GTS and until recently the Saucony Ride and Guide shared the same tooling. Although the level of success of these different models has varied, runners have certainly found a favorite in a shoe that may otherwise not have existed.