These kicks got Run Competitor's "2015 road shoe of the year" award with a subsequent in depth review posted to the website, but I love them just as much as everyone else, so I'm doing my own review! With a weight of 7.6 oz, an offset of 6mm (23mm/17mm) and a reasonable MSRP of $100, we have the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante.
The Zante has the fit of a racing flat from the heel throughout the midfoot, but the toebox opens up a little wider than a traditional flat giving runners a little more room. The upper is no-sew mesh with the tongue and vamp being one piece "bootie" construction to prevent any sliding, which is very effective from both a functionality and comfortability stand point. They fit true to size, though I went 1/2 size down for a performance/racing fit.
New Balance designed the one piece midsole to provide structure and support in specific areas throughout the platform by testing various pressure and contact points of efficient runners and using that compilation of footstrike data to "customize" the support and flexibility. The cushion is soft and forgiving, but not overly so, making it both responsive and comfortable. You can also feel a bit of medial support which you might find useful, say, in the later stages of a marathon when your form starts to break down a bit. The toe is also sprung which gives the Zante a nice peppy feel during toe off.
Not much to say about the outsole. It's simple: one piece of blown rubber with higher durability rubber in the heel for people like me who heel strike. So far it's been both smooth and durable.
I feel like this is one of my shorter reviews, which is fitting because two words come to mind when I think about the Fresh Foam Zante: Simple and Fast. I just love running in these bad boys! I took them out for 18 @ 05:53 AVG today. They ride like a dream on a run like that and anything other kind of run for that matter. They seem to be nothing more than exactly what I need, which make them my favorite pair of road shoes I've run in to date. I plan on getting my hands on at least a few more pair and I will be racing the Capitol City Marathon in them as well. Let's just hope New Balance doesn't change the design too much when they decide to update!
Feel free to follow me on Twitter & Instagram @koreykonga