New Balance Zante Pursuit Intro
This year New Balance has created multiple versions of the very popular Zante. The Zante Pursuit picks up where the Zante left off as a lightweight cushioned shoe designed to provide enough comfort to go the distance.
Previous versions have always been great in terms of comfort, cushioning and responsiveness.
The Zante pursuit features a redesigned hypoknit upper, a fresh foam laser-etched one piece midsole and an outsole made of translucent rubber.
The redesigned upper features bootie construction and no-sew material application. The shoe weighs in at 7.3 ounces and has a 6 mm heel to toe drop. It retails for $109.95.
New Balance Zante Pursuit First Impressions
The first thing I noticed about the shoe is the redesigned upper. The mesh has a nice stretch to it and the shoe has a comfortable sock-like fit.
Previous versions of the Zante had comfortable uppers, but not this kind of comfortable. I was eager to get running in them knowing what I know about the midsole from previous versions.
My first run in the shoe was fantastic. I was immediately impressed by the fit, feel and cushioning while running. Right out of the box the shoe felt fast and comfortable.
New Balance Zante Pursuit Sole Unit
The zante pursuit uses a laser-etched fresh foam midsole material that is created from a single piece of foam. The laser-etching is used to “enhance” the cushioning and keep the shoe lightweight.
The outsole features an adequately thick layer of translucent rubber.
I found no early or abnormal signs of wear and tear on the outsole. The rubber seems to be reasonably durable so far. It is translucent rubber but I’m not sure what the idea of advertising that as a feature is.
The only thing I’ve notice is that it makes for oddly colored stains.
By the time I was done testing the translucent rubber had started to darken and there were multiple areas where the rubber started to turn yellow. Overall it seems to be reasonably durable.
I was impressed by the ride quality of the fresh foam midsole. It is highly responsive but provides just the right amount of cushion at the same time. The shoe has a feather light and smooth ride with great energy return.
Most shoes that you find with this type of responsiveness aren’t going to be much firmer than this. A good example of this would be the Altra Escalante Racer.
The Pursuit has just as much if not better responsiveness but provides better cushioning. The ride is not overly soft but it is softer than any shoe that I’ve run in that can match its responsiveness.
New Balance Zante Pursuit Upper Unit
The upper utilizes bootie construction for a sock like fit and feel. The shoe fits true to size and is of average width.
The material is made of an engineered mesh that incorporates a technology called “hypoknit” which is designed to provide specific areas of stretch and support.
I am always amazed at the ability of shoe companies to come up with new names to describe their shoes design and technology. What really matters at the end of the day, is it comfortable ?
The answer to that question in this case is an enthusiastic-YES!
The upper is as comfortable as they come. The engineered mesh material is breathable and soft. I had no areas of irritation or rubbing.
It hugs your heel and midfoot like a perfectly tight sock and it opens up just enough in the toe area. They’ve done a nice job of designing it to provide stretch and support where you need it.
Even on uneven ground with your foot at an odd angle, this upper provides both comfort and control. There is not a single thing I can find to complain about.
New Balance Zante Pursuit Conclusion
The upper/midsole combination in the New Balance Zante Pursuit makes it stand out amongst competitors. Right out of the box I was able to run in the Zante Pursuit like I’d already broken it in for 2 weeks.
One of the most surprising things I found is that I was unable to find a distance where the shoe became uncomfortable.
In most cases a shoe with this type of responsiveness will eventually reach a point where after running so far, I start to feel the lack of cushioning wear on my feet and body.
This is precisely the reason that I prefer highly cushioned shoes. It has also happened when I’ve run in previous versions of the Zante.
I was unable to find a point where the cushioning was not enough in the Zante Pursuit.
For marathon+ distance I had no issues which meant I was comfortable and still able to reap the benefits of that responsive midsole material. I have continued and will continue to run in this shoe until I wear holes in them.
The midsole alone is impressive. When you combine that with an outstanding upper in a shoe this lightweight, you’ve got a major winner. It’s an awesome shoe that should be on every runners radar.
We purchased a pair of New Balance Zante Pursuit from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.