You need a shoe like the New Balance Zante v3 in your life in the same way you need a really good hoody. Everyone should have at least one pair.
Love at first sight? Maybe. The Zante v3 maintains the good looks of its predecessors with some brand new swagger. It is all about the mesh. Keeping a very similar silhouette the new engineered mesh upper is sleeker than previous editions of the Zante. There are fewer overlays. They have been replaced varying densities of weave in the mesh. It works well and looks even better.
The midsole of the Zante v3 is on the firmer side. The polygon structure that decorates the midsole has been redesigned and it isn’t just to look cooler. The pattern also helps with the way the midsole absorbs impact and bounces back. I am sure some computer like IBM’s Watson came up with the optimal pattern for the design based on the impact of the foot while running. Anyhow, the ride is smooth and it is easy to feel quick in turnover.
The outsole looks very similar to the Zante v2. The pattern shifts a little under the forefoot in the Zante v3. The hexagons are wider and sweep from the lateral edge to the medial. The result is a little more grip and more power during toe-off. With the full coverage of rubber on the outsole, you don’t need to worry about durability.
The tweaks to the Zante v3 are not extreme, which is a good thing if you are a fan of the other versions. The evolution of the Zante has been one of the best examples of how to update a shoe without ruining it. The Zante’s price point is great too. They are not available until February 2017, but should be around the $100 mark. In the meantime get a great deal on the Zante v2 priced under $70! The v3 offset remains at 6mm.
There isn’t much that I don’t like about the Zante v3, but we did find a couple little things to bitch about. First, if not laced properly, the eyelets which are stiff can dig into your foot causing discomfort. I am no newbie to lacing up and I experienced some pain over the 1st metatarsal after having the laces just a little too tight.
My toes rubbed on the lateral side. Not enough to cause discomfort, but you may want to try a half size up from your normal running shoe size.
New Balance Zante v3 Conclusion
The Zante v3 is a low-slung fast feeling trainer that I recommend for any runner. There is enough under foot for daily training and it is firm and light enough for your faster workouts and race days. This shoe will not only work for most runners, most will love the z3. The shoe is durable and a good value at around $100.
Other shoes I would compare to the Zante v3: