New Balance Vazee Pace Review

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The Vazee’s upper fit is similar to the Zante, except for the wider forefoot.

Based on the shoe we’ve reviewed so far, New Balance has been very consistent in producing products with excellent upper fit. The Vazee Pace does well here too. The heel and midfoot fit is modelled on the Fresh Foam Zante, with many materials and fit aspects feeling familiar.

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The collar lining and padding is near-identical to the Zante.

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There is an internal counter, but it is restricted to the lower half. With minimal effort, you can collapse the heel.

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Looks familiar? The 2012 Nike Lunarglide 6 had the same heel design.

The heel lining and foam padding level is identical to the Zante, and so is the semi-collapsible heel design approach. The Vazee Pace has a very low internal counter, which leaves the top half completely free to flex.

The lower base has internal reinforcement, topped with a fabric accordion which looks similar to last year’s Nike Lunarglide 6. But as you can see in the picture above, you can make the heel collapse with minimal effort.

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Internal sleeve – like the Fresh Foam Zante.

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The tongue is attached, so no slide. Also, note that the sleeve is an extension of the forefoot mesh.

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There are no seams inside. The toe-box is propped up with an internal puff.

Midfoot sleeving design takes on the Zante. It is a full sleeve, meaning that the wrapping continues uninterrupted till the toe-box.

Which is no surprise; the midfoot lining is nothing but the reverse side of the forefoot mesh.

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Semi-elastic laces, and the eyestay design is of an integrated type instead of being split (Zante).

So, much like the Zante, the interiors feel seamlessly smooth and well fitting. The laces are semi-elastic, and the lacing width runs narrow. This leaves a lot of unused lace ends (unless you’re using the last eyelet row), so you need to tie larger loops.

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Plenty of reflective bits on the Vazee Pace. The tongue label is super-luminous.

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The half backstrap provides rearfoot reflectivity.

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There’s a pair of angular strips on the toe-box too.

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Front view of the night-time reflectivity.

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…and here’s the rear view of the tail-lights.

Reflectivity is pretty solid on the Vazee Pace. The tongue label is hyper-reflective, and so is the heel half-strap. And there’s two slivers on the toe-bumper.

The upper forefoot feels more relaxed when compared to the Zante and 1500. There is enough space ahead of the toes and around the sides; and the forefoot has ample splay room.

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Toebox design is seam-free, no pieces to catch on the foot. Relatively spacious too.

While the upper doesn’t match the brilliant fit of the 1500, it still does a better job than the Zante. Due to its independent first row of lacing, the Zante was tighter fitting in the forefoot. The semi-elastic laces could be shorter though; the leftover lengths tend to slap around the upper.

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There are urethane welds on the forefoot for structural support. These are spaced well, so no hot spots.

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The tongue comes with enough padding to absorb the lacing pressure.

All of the lacing is integrated into the single piece eye-stay, so the pressure is spread evenly on the Vazee.

The forefoot sides have widely spaced TPU webbing overlays which are non-invasive, yet functional. There’s plenty of vertical toe-box room as well.

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There are some highlights going-on on the Vazee Pace. Like the lime-green color accent on the midsole.

Recent slew of New Balance releases are proof that form can exist with function. Not only is the Vazee Pace superb fitting, but manages to look nice too. Matching lime-green highlights on the midsole, toe, laces and heel add a dash of color.

There’s a coherent flow of upper patterns, right from the toe bumper to the webbing and eye-stay.

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The honeycomb textured mesh on the midfoot and heel adds dimension.

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The spacer mesh has a tiny level of sponginess, and gets the job done.

Honeycomb textured mesh on the heel and molded New Balance logos helps produce visual depth – which is saying something on all-over grey running shoe. Even the forefoot spacer mesh has a nice texture, and is fairly breathable regardless of the seemingly closed structure.

Barring a couple of minor issues, the Vazee Pace does exactly what it claims to do. It is a good tool for going fast, and adequately differentiated from other NB lightweights we’ve reviewed so far. So out of three NB pacers, which one should you get?




It will ultimately boil down to personal likes and dislikes, but if you ask us, we’d prefer the NB 1500 V1, the Vazee Pace and finally the Zante – in that order.

(Disclaimer: For this review, Solereview bought the shoe at full US retail price.)

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