Shoe Reviews

New Balance Vazee Pace 2 Review

Updates on popular shoes can be tricky. Last year our favorite new shoe was the New Balance Vazee Pace. We were excited to try the Vazee Pace 2 update and see if they could make the shoe any better.

They didn’t.

That doesn’t make the Vazee Pace v2 a bad shoe, but it does mean that the original was superior. Let’s break down the v2.

New Balance Vazee Pace 2

The Good

Thomas: The shape of the Vazee Pace v2 is sleek. It’s how I like my running shoes. When I lace up in the morning and the shoe looks fast, it helps me get in the right mindset for a good workout.

The weight of the Vazee Pace v2 is 9.85 oz. for a size 10.5. Anything under 10 oz. makes me happy. Over long miles, the weight of the shoes can contribute to fatigue. The Vazee Pace 2 has enough cushioning to go long in a lightweight package.

The upper fits well and is comfortable. It isn’t hard to adjust the lacing to get the right fit.

The ride of the Vazee Pace 2 is on the firmer side. The shoe uses New Balance’s REVlite midsole. The REVlite is firm enough to provide a stable platform while providing enough cushion to protect your feet and joints. There is plenty of durable rubber on the outsole to grip the terrain and help the lifespan of the shoe. The drop is not high or low at 6mm.

Meaghan: The Vazee Pace V2 is one of the best-looking shoes I’ve seen in 2016. If I chose my race day shoes on looks alone, these would be on my feet for Marine Corps Marathon. Anyway, New Balance made a few updates from the original.The upper is a new knit construction that hugs the feet closely. The flat semi-stretch lacing system does a nice job of holding the foot in place AND New Balance shorted them up! The laces on V1 were about 9 feet too long.

The toebox doesn’t seem quite as wide as the first version, but there is still room for toes to spread out. The midsole and outsole combo provide a responsive/firm ride. I think they feel firmer than the original. The only argument I have for this is the additional rubber pods on the outsole. The rubber adds some serious traction and durability, but they also make the shoe feel a bit stiffer out on the run. For an everyday, durable trainer New Balance did a nice job of keeping the shoes light, my W7.5 came in at 7.4 oz.

The upper is a new knit construction that hugs the feet closely. The flat semi-stretch lacing system does a nice job of holding the foot in place AND New Balance shorted them up! The laces on V1 were about 9 feet too long. The toebox doesn’t seem quite as wide as the first version, but there is still room for toes to spread out. The midsole and outsole combo provide a responsive/firm ride. I think they feel firmer than the original. The only argument I have for this is the additional rubber pods on the outsole. The rubber adds some serious traction and durability, but they also make the shoe feel a bit stiffer out on the run. For an everyday, durable trainer New Balance did a nice job of keeping the shoes light, my W7.5 came in at 7.4 oz.

Vazee Pace 2

The Bad

Thomas: The Vazee Pace v2 gained an ounce on the original Vazee Pace. This is strange, the original shoe was well received, why make changes that increase weight?

The heel counter in the original fit better on my foot and I did not experience any heel lift. The new version is more structured and did not fit as well. I did experience some heel lift in the v2.

The original has less rubber on the outsole and a better ride for my taste.

Meaghan: I think my love affair with the Vazee Pace is over and it hurts. It’s such a good looking shoe.  It seems like New Balance took aspects of the Zante upper/fit and incorporated it onto the Vazee Pace 2… which would be fine if I didn’t hate the Zante. Although it’s not a huge difference, the slightly narrower fit takes away from the comfort (of my wide feet). The weight of the shoes also went up, from 6.75 oz to 7.40 oz. Not a huge differential, but I always prefer a lighter shoe.

Vazee Pace 2 Conclusion

Thomas: The Vazee Pace v2 is a good running shoe, that I would recommend for runners looking for a firmer trainer that you can train and race in. If you loved the original Vazee Pace, you may be a little disappointed with the update, but overall still a better shoe than many out on the market.

Meaghan: The Vazee Pace V2 is a durable, firm daily trainer that would double as a race-day shoe. I feel New Balance missed the mark with comfort. The original had a slightly wider toe box and a more forgiving ride. I should note I’ve been preferential to softer-cushioned shoes this training cycle (Nike Streak 6 being the exception). Give the Vazee Pace V2 a try. I’d love to hear your thoughts on V1 to V2.

Purchase The New Balance Vazee Pace v2

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