New Balance Vazee Pace Review


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.


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


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


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.


Internal sleeve – like the Fresh Foam Zante.


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


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.


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.


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


The half backstrap provides rearfoot reflectivity.


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


Front view of the night-time reflectivity.


…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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.)

We make a small commission every time you make a purchase through any of the promoted retailers in this review.
  • 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.