Although the previous versions were pretty darn good themselves, the old cliche that the “third time’s a charm” may well apply to the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3.
The Zante is a neutral and lightweight shoe designed for performance and could be considered a hybrid between a racing flat and a daily trainer
Now in its third iteration, the Zante became an instant classic when first released in early 2015. Runners loved the idea of providing a plush cushioned feel in a lightweight and speed-oriented shoe. Some say the second version took a step backward and became a tad too stiff and firm. And although those features remain in this latest version, there are subtle improvements to the look, fit and feel of the v3.
Release date: March 2017
Type: Cushioned performance
Heel-to-toe drop: 6 mm (23 mm to 17 mm)
Weight: Men’s: 249g/8.8 oz. (size 9), Women’s: 211g/7.5 oz. (size 7)
Price (MSRP): $140
Terrain tested: Road, track and treadmill
Kilometres tested (so far): 327 (including a half marathon and 30K road race)
As has become the staple of many New Balance shoes, the Zante features a full-length Fresh Foam midsole which provides the shoe’s signature cushioning and plush, natural feel. It was altered slightly to increase durability but the shoe rides very much like past versions which is something we love about it. The upper was redesigned slightly and now includes an engineered mesh forefoot with new venting on the top which makes it more breathable than ever before. A thick midfoot panel which extends to wrap around the heel adds structure and support and also includes new reflective logos. Expect a slightly wider toe box, a snugger fitting lacing system and an increase in heel padding; all improvements over the previous version.
The Zante v3 is perfectly suited for daily training but given its performance orientation, is also a great option for your faster runs, workouts and even as a racing shoe. I’ve personally worn the Zante for a half and 30K race and found it worked great and now use it exclusively for workouts and racing. Honestly though, I could wear it each and every day for any and all type of runs.
The Zante had become and remains one of our all-time favourite shoes. It offers the fit and feel of a lighter, performance-driven shoe but also provides plush cushioning and natural support. As such, there is really no type of runner who couldn’t benefit from adding it to their rotation. Whether for road racing, track workouts or just a comfortable everyday trainer, the Zante is a versatile and dependable shoe for any occasion.