NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM ZANTE RUNNING SHOES
What It Is: Awarded “Road Shoe of the Year” by Competitor Magazine back in 2015, but still available in updated models today, New Balance’s Fresh Foam Zante running shoe was designed for speed. Available for men and women. Fits true to size.
What You Might Not Know: I hit a wall trying to select a Fresh Foam Zante color design (they’re all cute), so I turned to my Facebook friends for their input. By 55 comments, the coral and black had gained the lead by a slight margin.
Feelin’ the Love: New Balance says the Fresh Foam Zantes have a “bootie-like” design. That, plus their midsole foam cushioning, took a little getting used to because I’ve been wearing mostly minimalist shoes for a few years now. These ones feel positively pillowy.
I wore my Fresh Foam Zantes for all my usual workouts, like teaching my HIIT class and to see my personal trainer. I’d grade Zantes an A for gym use. They felt sturdy around the soles, and the uppers hugged my feet, providing great support whether I was landing squat jumps or loaded up at the squat rack.
But these shoes were made for running, so I needed to test-drive them out on the road, too. I set out to see if their “aggressive toe spring” and “smooth heel to toe transition” really did make me a faster runner.
Well, I’m not sure I’m even a good runner, let alone a fast one, but the shoes did help me establish a decent stride and stick to it.
If I Could Change One Thing: Actually, I can’t think of anything. They’ve held up really well. I got these shoes to test-drive in 2015 and wore them only at the gym. I still have them 4 years later (although my teenage daughter has now claimed them for her gym class.)
Should You Buy Them? If you’re in the market for a cushioned shoe with foam technology and a bright design, the Fresh Foam Zante is worth your attention. Someone in that Facebook thread I posted above said she bought multiple pairs in different colors. I can see why.
Available at Sport Chek (Canada) and NewBalance.com (U.S.) and Amazon for around $125—$175.