The New Balance Gobi v2 is the trail running equivalent of the Zante, but does it live up to the versatility and ride comfort of its road cousin?

At first, the Fresh Foam Gobi v2 looks like an identical shoe to the Zante, with a slightly more aggressive tread on the sole. That’s not too far from a full review in that sentence alone, but a little more detail would probably be useful.

The shoe designed for off-road use is a little heavier (258g) than the Zante V4 (244g), but, for some reason, all trail shoes are generally heavier duty products. Probably to make them more robust for the extra demands asked of them in the mud and mountains.

The added gripped will certainly add a little weight, but it’s tough and durable enough to cope with miles and miles of rocky terrain and road, if necessary.

The grip itself isn’t super aggressive but copes well on light mud, handpicked trails and rocky terrain too.

In the wet, you might opt for a more aggressive tread and the age-old conundrum of wet rock isn’t solved by the Gobi. In my experience, nothing yet has outperformed Adidas’ continental rubber grip on wet rock.

If you run in places like the South or North Downs in England, where you can expect a mix of road and trail, then the Gobi is a fine middle ground shoe.

It’s light enough to race in if needs must, has great cushioning with the New Balance Fresh Foam and tread that suffices on a range of terrain, if not all.

If you’re looking for a solid training shoe, that could also be a great racing shoe for longer trail and ultra races then this is certainly worth a try.

Lightweight (ish) – 258g
Great cushioning
Versatile grip
Robust & durable

Not great on wet rock or slippy mud
Could be a bit lighter

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