The New Balance Vazee Prism is a shoe falling into the performance realm of stability shoes. It boasts a fast ride,yet gives the athlete optimal support.
It is a winning combination in this growing category of shoes and has an attractive low price when compared to the competition. It sits in line with Saucony’s Guide line, ASICS’ DS trainers, or the Brooks Ravenna.
New Balance Vazee Prism General Info
The Vazee name is another fairly new line in New Balance’s arsenal of running shoes where they are starting to deviate away from model numbers and use distinctive names.
Like the fresh foam line, many are only in their first or second incarnation. While the fresh foam boasts soft rides, Vazee is marketed as faster and lightweight. The prism is no exception.
I had been eyeing this shoe for some time. I have been searching for a good race shoe that gives me support but isn’t clunky. I like racing flats, but my performance starts to decline in them after 10 miles or so.
My first impression of them was immediately the color. Bright, bold orange! It was so bright I thought they were glow in the dark at first. Lacing them up gave me a nice snug feel.
New Balance Vazee Prism Sole Unit
The sole unit has hard foam throughout with extra protection on the outside of the foot and a medial post to combat against over pronation.
The mid sole is New Balance’s premium REVlite technology; a foam that is incredibly responsive yet lightweight. This gives a springboard like ride. It absorbs shock when I land and allows me to bounce off with power.
The sole bows up, especially in the forefoot. This naturally pushes you forward and had me mostly striking on the ball of my foot during testing.
This worked my calves out more than normal, but this is to be expected for this type of shoe. This translated into an incredibly fast ride, but thanks to the midsole did not cause me to over exert myself when I wanted to push myself.
I was very surprised when I found out that the drop is 8mm as this felt like one with 4mm. It was almost like a stripped down New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo.
There were some slight traction issues during inclement weather. There is plenty of grip, but there were times I felt like I was sliding when landing on the ground in the rain. This concerned me as the months are starting to get colder and wetter.
New Balance Vazee Prism Upper Info
The upper is standard breathable mesh. Inside is seamless overlays with a tongue attached completely to the upper. The official description on New Balance’s website describes this as ‘bootie fit’. This gave a really comfortable, snug fit.
The lacing system was mostly one whole unit with the exception of the bottom lace. I was able to tie these tight, but never felt uncomfortable when I did this.
Something that stood out to me the most was the construction of the heel unit. 3 stacked lines of hard fabric rose above to the mid part of my heel. I am typically used to seeing something more like hard plastic that locks you in.
In terms of the heel, I felt locked in, but perhaps less than some shoes I’ve ran in before. The toe box does not have as much room as I usually expect from New Balance.
Typically there is an over abundance to the point where you feel like you bought too big of a shoe. This is not the case with these.
At times, I did feel like my toes were hitting the front of the shoe, so buy half a size up if this affects you negatively. Fit wise, I did not have any other issues with it being too narrow or too wide. Fit like a glove.
New Balance Vazee Prism Conclusions
I had a blast running in these. They were fast and light yet still gave me the support I need in a shoe. My testing of these lined up with a race that was on my calendar and I was stoked to use them.
They performed well over my expectations. In fact, this was one of the most positive races I’ve had in my current training cycle.
I’ve been longing to find a new racing shoe since Saucony discontinued their Mirage line and I think I have finally found a replacement. I can’t wait to see what New Balance has in store for the Vazee.
We thank the nice people at New Balance for sending us a pair of Vazee Prism to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.