Just in time for the spring running and racing season, we introduce two exciting shoes which New Balance just dropped. Those looking to run fast and potentially PB in an upcoming road race should definitely consider testing out a pair of these exceptionally fast racing flats.
New Balance Hanzo S
Brand new from New Balance is the Hanzo S, a seriously lightweight racing flat designed with the competitive road racer in mind. This shoe honours the rich history of road running in Japan. (Yes, that is a ninja on the back of the shoe).
Release date: January 2017
Type: Competition and road racing
Heel-to-toe drop: 4 mm (17 mm to 13 mm)
Weight: Men’s: 186g/6.5 oz. (size 9), Women’s: 154g/5.4 oz. (size 7)
Price (MSRP): $160
Terrain tested: Road, track and treadmill
Kilometres tested (so far): 78
The Hanzo S incorporates all of New Balance’s latest technologies including Rapid Rebound Foam and Revlite cushioning for maximal energy return and the Dynaride outsole which is designed to ensure solid traction even at faster speeds. The FantomFit upper uses a synthetic mesh that’s mostly seamless and comfortably wraps around the foot, securely locking it into place.
While not a direct replacement, the Hanzo S is similar to the now discontinued New Balance 1600 and is the brand’s best offering for a traditional racing flat. Given that it’s extremely lightweight and minimal in many ways, the Hanzo S may not be popular among those who want more structure and cushioning underfoot. Our testers thought it would definitely be ideal for average-weight runners with efficient form and mechanics.
We’ve been using the Hanzo mostly for speedwork on the track and treadmill workouts and can confirm that it’s seriously fast and well suited for intervals, strides and tempo runs. If you’re looking to go fast, this will do the job. As a racing flat, it’s ideal for road races such as the 5K and 10K and some could even consider it for races as long as the half-marathon. This is most definitely a specialty running shoe with a very specific purpose. It was made to go fast and is an important addition to one’s shoe lineup when it comes to fast workouts and races.
New Balance 1500v3
Another option for those seeking a personal best but who aren’t necessarily interested in lacing up in a true racing flat is the latest edition of the New Balance 1500. For those who feels the running economy could use a little more work, this shoe is going to be less intimidating than the aforementioned flat. This is the third iteration of what has become a popular training and racing shoe that incorporates added stability and support features.
Release date: January 2017
Type: Stability and competition
Heel-to-toe drop: 6 mm (24 mm to 18 mm)
Weight: Men’s: 229g/8.0 oz. (size 9), Women’s: 188g/6.6 oz. (size 7)
Price (MSRP): $140
Terrain tested: Road and trail
Kilometres tested (so far): 254
The 1500v3 is a stability shoe yet still designed for speed and competition. New in this version are small but meaningful improvements to the breathability and fit of the shoe using one of New Balance’s newest technologies.
Like the Hanzo S, the 1500v3 features a Revlite midsole for lightweight cushioning and responsiveness that is up to 30 per cent lighter than other materials. It also features a FantomFit synthetic upper for a supportive and lightweight fit using a no-sew application. Specific to the 1500, TBeam technology adds torsional stability and added arch support via a lightweight midsole shank. This also makes the shoe feel rather stiff and inflexible yet is precisely what plenty of runners want and need from a shoe. Contrast this to many other stability features that leave a shoe feeling heavy or clunky.
The 1500v3 is ideal for those looking for a light and fast shoe for speedwork and racing yet who want a bit more support and stability. In addition to tempo runs and longer interval workouts, we’ve also found the shoe is a good candidate for longer aerobic or easy runs as well as long runs outright. The combination of stability and support features packaged in a lightweight design also make this shoe ideal for racing half and full marathons.
Look for the Hanzo S and 1500v3 at newbalance.ca as well as at run-specialty stores across Canada now. Check out Canadian Running’s list of local retailers.