Friday, December 08, 2017

New Balance Running Spring 2018 Preview: Summit Unknown, 1500v4 T2 BOA, Hierro v3, Fresh Foam 1080v8 & Zante v4

Fresh Kicks from NB Running- 2017 The Running Event
New Balance 1500v4 T2

Article by Peter Stuart and Sam Winebaum

We spent some quality time with Colin Ingram. SR Product Manager at New Balance and got our eyes and hands on some of the terrific new shoes coming down the (Mass) pike from them.

* All weights are for a US 9.5 sample size.


NB Fresh Foam 1080v8 ($150)
Peter: The 1080, which is already on the market, is a solid daily trainer from New Balance. 1080 weighs 11.1 oz/317 g in a US 9.5 catalog weight, although Sam's sample 8.5 weights 10.5 oz so we expect the men's 9 weight to come in at about 10.7 oz. It has a 27mm heel/19mm stack, 8mm drop. 1080 features a bootie construction mesh upper with a very soft engineered mesh toe box and a blown rubber outsole forward of the heel wear area.

Peter: Full review coming soon, but so far I'm pretty impressed with how they run. They're a much zestier shoe than the weight would suggest, at least partly because of the fresh foam and the two horizontal flex grooves under the ball of the foot. I've had a couple of terrific runs in them so far.

Sam: I agree with Peter. I have run several times in them and they have been for me the liveliest and most responsive of the current "premium" trainers I have run including the Saucony Triumph ISO 4, Brooks Levitate, Asics Gel-Nimbus 19, and Energy Boost 4.  Fresh Foam is really coming of age as NB has adjusted the midsole geometry and put flex grooves in the 1080. The upper fit is outstanding in its comfort and hold. My only knock to date is that they are a bit broad and flat feeling on the ground under mid foot and related could use a slightly longer flex to improve transitions.

Available now, including from Running Warehouse here

NB Fresh Foam Hierro v3 ($130)
Available January 2018
New Balance Hierro v3
A complete update here of this heavy duty NB trail shoe. They weigh in at 11.5 oz/329 g, but feel lighter.  They have a 28mm heel, 20 mm forefoot, 8mm drop. The big stories are a Vibram Megagrip outsole which feels plenty sticky and the new Hyposkin upper.
New Balance Hierro v3
Unseen the outsole lugs interlock with the midsole .

The shoe burritos the foot to help keep out muck and looks like it will drain pretty well. There's an ankle collar meant to keep debris from getting in and the upper is made out of a laser perforated Hyposkin--meant to be breathable, durable and not absorb moisture. The Hyposkin upper has some stretch.
New Balance Hierro v3
NB Fresh Foam Zante v4 ($100)
Available January 2018

Relatively minor updates to the Zante here. The offset is 6mm, the weight is about 8.5 oz/224 g and word is that the cushioning is ever so slightly softer. The upper features jacquard mesh patterning for breathability and no sew construction. Hyposkin is in the mix, as in the Hierro, but here just for the mid wrap.
NB Fresh Foam Zante v
There are some tweaks to the outsole geometry and NB has played around with some more convex patterning to help soften the ride a bit. Tweaks to the outsole are meant to increase traction, flex and durability.

NB 890 V6
8.9 oz/255 g
Weight M9 8.9 oz/251 g W8 7.8 oz/221 g 
Stack Height: 25mm heel/ 19 mm forefoot, 6mm drop
$119.95. Available 3/1/18
The 890v6 is a stable firm performance trainer racer which shines at speed. It has a very fine fitting engineered mesh upper and RevLite midsole.

See our full review of the 890v6 here

Summit Unknown
Available second quarter 2018
Price and Stack Height to be updated when available


Is this the 1400 for trails? Just about, as both have 10mm drop, Revlite midsoles and a similar skeleton mesh upper  but the Unknown also shares underfoot RevLite midsole DNA and trail purpose with the Vazee Summit Trail v2 (RTR review). It's a light at 8.6 oz/244 g, sleek and rockin' little trail shoe. 
New Balance presents the Summit Unknown and Hierro v3 at The Running Event

The outsole has directional 4 mm lugs and a flexible rock plate similar to Summit Trail's upfront.
It shares upper DNA with the 1400v6 by using a mesh skeleton upper and similar fit.
Top: New Balance Summit Unknown  Bottom: New Balance 1400v6
NB 1400v6
Peter: This looks to be largely a refresh of the upper. The 7.4 oz, 10mm drop1400 V5 is one of my top shoes of this past year, and it looks like they've left well enough alone while adding a slightly more breathable upper. 



Left: Summit Unknown Outsole Right: NB 1400 v6 outsole 
NB 1500v4
Available January 2016
This update to the 'mild stability' racer 1500 comes in two versions--a 8.5 oz/24g standard laced version and a 8.8 oz/250 g BOA closure version, the 1500v4 T2m ($129). The 1500 is a firm, fast race day shoe with just a touch of stability to aid in with that late race foot and form fatigue. The upper is engineered mesh and no-sew. It has a 6mm offset. Both are available January 2018. Pricing to be updated when received.

The really exciting news is the Tri focused 1500v4 T2,
New Balance 1500v4 T2
They've worked with BOA to re-design the upper from the ground up so the BOA closure works as an integrated part of the shoe.  The side BOA cords are very soft, thin and durable. The three straps the cords are connected to remind us of a bike shoe closure but without the velcro and stiffness.
The design went through many iterations with Tri elites. It looks like it will hold the foot a bit better than the BOA on the Fuel Core Sonic (RTR review). It's a nice system to have on a race shoe eliminating last minute futzing with laces and allowing easy on the go adjustments if need be.
New Balance 1500v4 T2 Outsole
We were very surprised by the aggressive outsole especially in the forefoot.  It  makes us think that when the flexibility of on the go adjustment from the BOA System, firm and stable RevLite midsole as in the Unknown, and the grip from the outsole are combined, that the 1500 T2 maybe also make a great faster shorter trail race choice.

Visit our 2018 Previews Page here for more details on 2018 run shoe, apparel, and gear, 13 brands so far.

View our YouTube Channel for 2018 Run Previews and Wearable Tech/GPS Reviews here
Visit our Index Page here for over 80 in depth 2017 shoe and gear reviews

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