Shoe Reviews

New Balance Zante Running Shoe Review

Guest post: Peter Stuart AKA @theloudmouuse

The Good:

The Fresh Foam Zante (NYC edition) is simple, light, quick, smooth and fun. While I’m sure there’s a lot of tech that’s gone into this shoe, it doesn’t feel that way. The fit of the shoe is terrific for me. I went true to size (even though I go half size larger in the NB 1400), and “sock like” is a good way to describe the fit. The tongue on the Zante is perfect—not the big puffy tongue of the 890. Also, in a great little touch, the laces seem to have just a hint of elasticity, which makes them tie really nicely—tight but with a little give. The shoe just disappears on the foot. I’ve had absolutely no blisters or discomfort in any of my runs. The cushioning on the Zante feels just right to me too. I know this is subjective, but for me they’re a great balance of firm and protective. I like the way they run at all speeds, but they FLOAT when I start running fast. As far as wear, I’ve put about 75 miles on them and they’re showing almost no wear. Finally, the Zantes never get in the way of my stride. As much as I love the Newton Fate, there are days where the lugs bug me a little—haven’t had a bad run in the Zante’s yet!

The Bad:

I just don’t have anything bad to say about the Zante. The arch felt a little prominent on the first two or three miles, but was fine after that. Oh, also I sure hope I don’t need another pair before the proper release of the shoe in March.

CONCLUSION:

The Zante is my shoe of the year. I really like the Newton Fate, and have been loving racing in the ASICS Hyperspeed 6, but the Zante is the one for me.  As far as feel, the Zante feels like a lighter Brooks Launch to me—super smooth transition, disappear on the feet and really, really fun to go fast in.

zante2What New Balance has to say

Be the first to experience our newest running shoe, the Fresh Foam Zante NYC. For this next generation of Fresh Foam, we studied runners who were even faster to create a quick, incredibly smooth heel to toe transition, helping your feet feel fast no matter what pace you run. And for a supportive yet flexible feel, the shoe features a sock-inspired fit that hugs your arch while allowing your toes to spread out comfortably as you run.

FEATURES

  • 6 mm drop: due to variances created during the development and manufacturing processes, all references to 6 mm drop are approximate
  • Breathable air mesh
  • No-sew material application
  • Reflective screen details
  • TPU tongue weld

19 Comments

  1. great review.
    couldn’t agree more.
    i do, however, have a little problem with the elastic laces. i prefer regular old boring laces.

    what do you use zantes for? EDT? could you envision racing in them over longer distances?

  2. Agreed! This is a great shoe. I have been running in them since the NYC Marathon (where I ran in the Hoka Clifton) and the Zante will be my shoe for the Boston Marathon. The feel seems less than a 6mm drop, fit of the toe box is roomy, secure fit from the upper when cinching the laces and the ride is like a protective racing flat with the forefoot getting excellent padding (without giving up ground feel) and transitions to a quick and smooth toe-off. Best shoe for ME in a very long time.

  3. Oops, nick– same size as fate
    Michael, using them for all sorts of runs. Great on fartlek and speed work. Would definitely consider them for a marathon. As good as they feel overall, they really shine at mp/hmp.

  4. I’m 40+ miles into the Zante. It’s an amazing shoe. I’ve run in a bunch… This is the best shoe I’ve ever run in.

  5. Hi,
    Thank you for this excellent review!

    Is this shoe comparable with the NB 980? The design of the midsole (fresh foam) and the outsole (separated crash pad) looks pretty similar.

    Thank you!
    Alex

  6. How do the Zantes compare to the Hoka Clifton? Is the cushioning as soft and protective, or is it more like the 980?

  7. I know the Clifton is a max cushion shoe, but i am wondering if the Zante has similar forefoot cushioning as well as enough cushioning to protect my bad knees while running fast for longer distances such as a 50km.

  8. my left foot has a neutral running gait while my right foot is underpronating. Do you think the zante would be a good shoe for my tempo runs and races? Or do you recommend another shoe for my running style?

    thanks

    gert

  9. Great review Thomas! I currently wear the Saucony Ride 7 and love them as you did in your Ride 7 review. I’ve had three pairs and finished my first marathon in them last month. I want to move to a lighter shoe as I continue to train and improve and am seriously considering the Zante. One concern is the 6mm drop on the Zante vs. 8mm on the Ride 7. Would that transition be easy and could the Zante take over as my daily marathon trainer and even race in them? Also I’m size 11.5 with the ride 7 – would I be the same size in the Zante? Thanks!

    1. Hi Matt, Great to hear the Ride worked well for you, and congrats on the Marathon! The Zante would be a good choice for you. Our review is coming up soon. You probably won’t even notice the difference in the drop. The Zante does have less structure to the shoe and a more noticeable toe spring. I would try it. Also consider the Under Armour Gemini. We are posting the review later today. Cheers, Thomas

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