Ever wondered what shoe you could wear for a road 5k and a 600km run across Bulgaria? The New Balance Zante has you covered for all eventualities. Well, kind of.
Not all road shoes are created equally. Some are made just for the tarmac, whereas others can handle a few miles on the trail in your weekly mileage. That seems like a reasonable ask in the days of parkrun and mixed terrain events.
Whilst it might be possible for some to afford a shoe for every occasion, we can’t all have the full arsenal with us at all times. Sometimes you just need a shoe that is very good at one thing, but alright elsewhere too.
The New Balance Zante, the 1, 2 and 3, is a lightweight road shoe with a good grip on the tarmac. There is even a Zante 4 but I’ve not had the need to upgrade this excellent shoe just yet.
Certainly, the time will come and I’m confident the 4 will keep the feet happy.
The 6mm drop, bold colours and New Balance fresh foam mean this is a comfortable training shoe that is good enough for racing too. Weighing in around 250g in a size 9 (UK) it won’t be weighing you down on the sprint finish.
What gives me such confidence to wax lyrical about this particular pair of kicks? How much do you expect a reviewer to run in trainers before passing a verdict?
Is well over a thousand miles with one pair surviving a 600 km run across the Kom-Emine trail in the Bulgarian Balkan mountains sufficient?
The pair used in Bulgaria are still seeing extra miles on the feet of a mountain guide, although their best road miles were behind them.
The best thing about these shoes is the cushioning. Whether it’s hard, fast tarmac or miles of rock, the fresh foam provides a good level of cushioning, spacious toe box and a trustable grip.
If the trails were wet then more grip would be needed, but how much do you want from one shoe?
If you’re a fan of New Balance shoes, the fresh foam cushioning or just a great value pair of running shoes that go the extra mile, the Zante is a real steal.