Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review New Balance Vazee Rush v2: A Great Value!

Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor Road Trail Run

In a running shoe market increasingly dominated by $100  if not $150 shoes the Vazee Rush v2 ($89.95) stands out as a fine flexible neutral trainer at a great price and at  a very decent weight of 9.6 oz/274 grams, 6mm drop. Often lower cost translates into weight due to the use of stitching but there is nary a stitch in the Rush. Is it as refined in upper and road feel as a close cousin the slightly lighter 9.1 oz  premium $150 Vazee 2090 (review here)?  No,  but for $60 less it is a lot of shoe for the money.
New Balance Vazee Rush v2
Upper
New Balance Vazee Rush v2
The upper features an innovative 3-layer construction, actually 4 layers as there is an inner partial bootie from about midway from the lace up to the end of lace up joining tongue to midsole.  The inner liner is bonded to the black support layer with a thin fairly rugged black mesh over the top. The foot is fairly well held. There is no sewing anywhere in the shoe except the far back single achilles heel seam. I would not call the fit sock like but it is consistent in pressure, if a bit relaxed over the entire foot with the upper's construction noticeable over the toes.  The toe box is more than decently roomy with no tight spots or seams felt. There is a bit of sensation over the toes that the support overlay layer is not far away above your toes but no issues. The upper construction contributes to the Rush v2 great flexibility.
New Balance Vazee Rush v2
New Balance Vazee Rush v2
Midsole
The midsole is made of a new foam mix which New Balance calls Rapid Rebound.  My sense is this is a mix of New Balance's Revlite found in other Vazee shoes and something intended to give a bit more bounce. New Balance says it has 17% more rebound than their usual foams. While the midsole ride is cushioned it is firm with more noticeable road shock than the 2090 with its Nitrogen infused TPU shock vibration absorbing layer and more podular midsole outsole construction. The midsole feels similar to the 1400 with a bit more firm rebound and fits between the 1400 and Fresh Foam Zante.

Outsole
New Balance Vazee Rush v2
The Rush v2 does not skimp on outsole coverage, likely contributing to weight. There is plenty of rubber in 2 densities with the yellow front softer than the pink red rear. The diamond shaped front outsole coverage with openings and long longitudinal grooves contribute to a long smooth easy flex, reminding me a bit of the older Saucony Kinvaras.

Ride and Recommendations
The ride is on the firmer side particularly at the heel with some road shock transmitted. This is not a marshmallow type ride. The forefoot is somewhat softer than the heel and nicely flexible. It is closer in feel for me to a tempo, even a racing shoe than a pure trainer and that is how I have been running it. This said it is certainly plenty cushioned enough for daily training for those who like some robust road feel or as a marathon racer. It would be a great trainer for high school distance runners.

Conclusions
New Balance has done a great job coming out with a quality lively run shoe at a very reasonable price. Not as refined as some of the competitors, even NB's own quite similar Vazee 2090, it is none the less a great and welcome option in a sea of ever pricier run shoes.

Score 4.7 out of 5
-0.15 for somewhat firm rough ride
-0.15 for overall foot hold
Score is as compared to other run shoes at all prices. As a value the Vazee Rush v2 is 5/5!

The Vazee Rush v2 was provided at no charge to Road Trail Run. The opinions herein are entirely the author's.

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The Vazee Rush v2 for men and women is available from Backcountry.com here
The Vazee Rush v2 for men and women is available from Road Runner Sports here


2 comments:

Unknown said...

Strangely, I found the Vazee Rush v2 to be a more forgiving ride than my Fresh Foam Zante v2's (which theoretically should provide a softer ride). As someone prone to ankle pain when I run, this shoe has actually helped a lot. I also think they look great. Thanks for the review!

sam winebaum said...

Hi Unknown, Thanks for reading! Zante v2 and Rush both have the same 6mm drop but Rush weighs almost an ounce more. NB doesn't provide stack heights and Running Warehouse who consistently measures stack height is not carrying the Rush so have to speculate. Maybe the Rush has a higher stack height and that is what we are feeling as I feel the same. It could also be the properties of the Rapid Rebound material in the Rush.