DISCLAIMER: New Balance is my brand of choice for almost any running activity, so I did go in expecting to like these shoes. I really do enjoy running in all of the NB shoes I own and I love what the company does for the Boston area and what they stand for. Many of my recovery and easy pace runs have been in the 1080 V3, most of my speedwork and races are in the 1400 and now the 1400 V2 and I have raced in the 1600 as well, up to full marathon distance. The Minimus is my go to mountain running and technical trail shoe and if I were to race often in distance’s shorter than 10k, I would pick up a pair of the RC5000 as well, a true road race flat that just feels fast.
Enough about my New Balance love affair though, on to the matter at hand, I’m going to touch on a few things that matter to me in a speed-work/race shoe.
Weight: One reason I’ve raced in the 1600 as opposed to the 1400 in the past was the weight difference. The original 1400 weighed in at 7.1 oz and the V2 is down to 6.3 oz. The 1600 however, weighs only 5.8 oz and though the differences may be small, they do add up over 26 miles. I’m sure some of the perceived effort due to weight is in my head, but whatever works, right? That being said, the 1400V2 feels incredibly light and nimble and I could easily imagine running a marathon in them after doing most of my 20+ runs in them while training for Boston.
Shape: I am very particular about the shape of the toe box especially, my second toes are much longer than my big toes and I need shoes that will cater to that. I also have an issue with my pinkie toe sliding under the next toe and if the box has too much room for my feet to move up and down inside. I prefer shoes that I can snug up quite tight to keep unwanted foot travel to a minimum and these do that very well. The single piece upper limits any pressure points that could bother me when keeping them tight, too.
Speed: I’ve run in a few shoes that billed themselves as competition or speed inspired but lacked the responsiveness to uphold those claims. The first time I ran in the original 1400 I remember setting a 5 mile PR on a training tempo run. A run I took too quickly, no doubt, but they were my first racing/competition shoes and I couldn’t believe how light and quick they felt. I’ve since tried other shoes out of curiosity, from some of the bigger brands, Nike and Adidas to name a few and I did not feel like they gave me the comfortable finished product that the 1400 offered for running fast. The V2 just builds on those first impressions. Also of note is the redesign of the sole, even more grip than the original and what looks to be a long lasting, simple build.
Design: I am a sucker for the bright and flashy and New Balance has delivered with their entire current lineup. There are a couple of style options on the V2 and one of them happens to be bright yellow! Great match for the emerald green and canary yellow Greater Lowell Road Runner colors. The reflective bits on the shoes are fun, too. If you look good you’ll feel good, and if you feel good you’ll race well.
Longevity: After breaking these shoes in at the end of winter and training through the wet spring months in them, I was not surprised to find the uppers breaking down a bit before I had really worn down the soles too much. That being said, I put approximately 300+ miles on them and they still felt responsive and not too flat. I will be buying a few more pairs and keeping them in my regular rotation over the next year. Hoping the upper mesh stays intact a little better on my next pair with summer running.
Second pair of the V2’s have been purchased and are holding up great in summer running. I ended up putting about 350 miles on my first pair before relegating them to a walking around shoe, pretty typical mileage for a shoe with such little support.
Please comment with any questions or thoughts on the shoes and I will try to answer as best I can.