New Balance Vazee Pace Review

There was some chatter about how the Vazee Pace was the successor to the 890 V5. Having reviewed the 890 V5 a few months ago, and with initial mileage on the Pace, we can assure you that there is absolutely nothing in common between the two. Unless you’re comparing the Vazee to prior versions of the 890, an area where we have no wear-test experience.

The 890’s fit and the ride couldn’t have felt more different. The 890 felt like a cushioned trainer with a snug forefoot, a closer relative of the 1080 than the Pace. Add to that greater weight too, at 272 grams/9.6 oz vs. 255 gms/9.0 oz of the Vazee. So if you were expecting the Pace to be an incarnated 890, then you’ll likely be disappointed.


Similar category as the NB 1500 V1 and the Zante, yet markedly separated.

A better way to look at the Vazee Pace is to do so from a 1500 V1/Zante/Pace viewpoint. All three shoes are excellent choices in the category of low-profile-low-weight low heel drop pacers.

These models are sufficiently differentiated, which is quite a feat. We won’t bring the Boracay into this discussion, because of its higher stack heights and weight class.


The Vazee Pace has the firmest ride out of the 1500/Pace/Zante trio.

The Vazee Pace differs from the 1500 and Zante in a couple of distinct ways. Imagine a scale of 1-10 defining two attributes: an upper fit quality on a scale of roomy to narrow, and a ride type which scaled from firm to soft. On this scale, the Pace would occupy the left slider, meaning that it has the most spacious upper and the firmest ride out of the three.

Like every other shoe, New Balance markets the Vazee Pace helped by a lot of superfluous adjectives. Yet in Vazee Pace’s case, one thing you can’t accuse New Balance of is false advertising. The Vazee Pace is a performance thoroughbred with a very specific purpose. It shines only under the ideal set of circumstances, which happens to be running in them at a 5.00 min per km / 7 min per mile or faster.

If you go slower, then perhaps the Vazee isn’t the best shoe for you, and you’ll be better off in the Zante. Think of the Vazee Pace as a fast road bike meant for carving speedy miles, versus a general purpose bike with features to match.


The removable insole is fairly thin with bare-minimum levels of padding.

With its firmer midsole foam and Hoka Clifton 1 type flat insole, there isn’t any soft sensation to be had while walking around or trying them on the store floor. The impression of your first in-store wearing and actual running will differ greatly.


The midsole density is very firm, which means no sinkholes.

The very firm midsole helps produce an excellent quality of transition, a kind which feels quick and efficient. There are absolutely no wasteful soft spots, and the Pace feels distraction free throughout except for the under-arch area.

You know what they say about the ideal running shoe; the one which you don’t think much about during runs – and the Vazee Pace comes pretty close.


The heel has a split outsole design. The exposed foam area in the center splays out on loading, helping transitions and cushioning.

There are a few design elements worth of note. The outsole has a wide groove running from the split heel to the midfoot, which helps keep the weight loaded in the center.

And the Pace is a good example of a firm midsole not necessarily translating into a jarring ride. A few design factors help achieve this outcome.

  • Wojtek

    It looks similar to Elite 8, right?

    • Same purpose, different fit and feel.

      • Wojtek

        So generally it’s a better shoe for You? I’m curious about durability. What I really dislike in Elite is soft blown rubber in the front of the outsole. For me carbon rubber in Pegasus is much better/durable and after about 600 km in both Nike shoes I can’t see any advantage of softer rubber. I wish Elite 9 will be lighter, softer under the heel and more durable in front.

        • Durability should be on par. Both shoes use softer blown rubber under the forefoot, the Vazee Pace more so.

  • Jeff

    Thanks for your detailed reviews of the shoes.
    I got a pair of Pace last month. I run slow (6min/km, 170cm & 150lbs). I changed the hard insole with that of NB790. Still, my forefeet feel painful after a 5km practice. I also have the Adidas Boston 3 & 4, and they are worn out now. I am looking for a pair for practices and cannot make up my mind to choose among the Nike Veroma 10 (US$99), Nike Pegasus 32(31?)($100), NB890v5 (US$62), Adidas Boston 5 (US$90). Do you have any suggestions?

    • The Pegasus 31/32 or the Vomero 10 should do just fine.

      • Jeff

        Thanks for quick reply.

  • Enrique

    hello solereview!! Just to let you know that I would love it if you guys could review the new NB 1080s and the Saucony Triumph ISO 2s somewhere in the future!! They seem to be quite cool and packed with some serious awesomeness, but a professional opinion like yours would seriously help me in my purchase decision process. Cheers!

  • vri2i

    Thanks for the excellent review !
    I have the Vazee Pace and would like something with a bit more cushion and better heel support. I have high arches and a very narrow mid foot – difficult to find a shoe that fits. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Happy New Year !

    • The Nike Lunaracer 3 might be just right. Its midfoot is Flywire cord based, and grips very well while providing lightweight cushioning, more than the Vazee Pace.

      And have a great new year too!

      • vri2i

        Thanks for the suggestion- I’ll try on the Lunaracer. How does it compare to the Lunartempo ? I tried it but the arch support was minimal.

        • Our LunarTempo review has a section on comparison versus the LR3 🙂

          • vri2i

            Thanks again ! I’m thinking of trying the Vomero 10 based on your review. Do you think it has more arch support than the Lunaracer ?

          • The Vomero 10 is great, but the midfoot wrap isn’t as snug as the LR3. You have a narrow midfoot, so the V-10 might not be the shoe for you. No harm in trying, though.

  • Ditsch

    I like the Pace, but i was also curious in trying out the Vazee Rush. I think the Rush is worth of more attention, since it is a very capable shoe too. Both, the Rush and the Pace, are very close siblings, nethertheless they are a bit different. If someone wants a lightweight shoe with a fast feel, but better suited with allround qualities for daily running, the Rush is in my view a sound option. The Rush is overall slightly more cushioned (forefoot and heel feel more padded, still on the firm side but by no means harsh) and supportive, maybe a bit softer than the Pace, but the midsole has still a fast and responsive feel (firm bouncy, if that makes sense?). I would describe the ride as a mixture of the Pace and a firmer Kinvara. The grade of cushion is also somewhat comparable to the Nike Lunaracer/Lunartempo, maybe a bit firmer.

    • Thank you for the feedback! We’ll see whether we fit the review of the Rush in.

  • Ricdeau

    Too much arch support, didn’t work out for me on longer runs. Though I like the relatively high toe box.

  • Eleanor Hutchings

    Hi there – thanks for the great reviews. Can’t believe I’ve only found this site now. Hoping you could offer some advice. I’m a slow, neutral runner (130 pounds; half marathon best of 1hr53min; 10km 50min), been running for over 10 years in traditional shoes with no injuries. Got hold of the NB Fresh Foam Zante last year and fell in love; they “disappeared” on my feet, my running cadence and style changed and my times all improved vastly… have run through 2 pairs now. But I find that I can only really run them up to about 30km. I’m looking for a higher mileage shoe for marathon and ultra-marathon distance now. I’ve tried the Brooks Ghost (hated them) and am now in the Pegasus 32. They’re OK, but just feel heavy and as though it is more effort to move my feet and legs. Trying to increase cadence and run lightly is a real effort. Any ideas? Was hoping the Vazee Pace might do it but doesn’t sound promising.

    • 50 min 10k isn’t exactly slow, so you should give yourself more credit!

      You’re right, the Vazee Pace won’t cut it. That said, you might want to consider the New Balance 1080 V6. We haven’t reviewed the shoe yet, but fellow shoe reviewer Sam Winebaum has good things to say about it. You can ask him a question if you like, too:

      • Eleanor Hutchings

        Thanks for this. I hadn’t actually considered the 1080 because I always thought of them as the same as the Ghost/Pegasus (slow, heavy, heel-striking, cushioned). But perhaps I should give them a look, maybe I have been wrong about them.

        Should add that 50min is my fastest 10 km (run in the past year, in the Zantes) and my average would be 56/57mins, and would run a LOT slower pace over marathon and ultra distance. What do you think about something like the Zoom Elite?

        • We haven’t tested the 1080, but would love to hear your feedback.

          The Zoom Elite is super firm, do not recommend considering your requirements. Instead, get an adidas Boston Boost for a blend of cushioning and durability.

  • James

    Thanks for all these great reviews, very thorough and a real mine of information – it really helps to understand what is being offered (or claimed) by the different companies. I enjoy just reading them even if I have no particular interest in the shoe.
    Anyway, I am currently shuttling between the glide boost 7 and the adios boost 2 and really enjoy running in both. But these vazee pace seem interesting and a friend suggested they might be up my street (and I’ve just spotted a very good online offer!) – I run at about 4min/km over 10k, 4.15min/km over 20k.
    I was wondering what your thoughts were on how these sit in relation to the adios or boston boost?

    • The Vazee Pace has a nice, consistent spread of fit – the adios 2 is comparatively narrow in the front. In terms of cushioning, the Vazee is somewhere between the adios and Boston.

      • James

        Thanks. This does sound good. Think I’ll add them to the mix.