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Monday, August 17, 2015

NB Vazee Pace Shoe Review

The Vazee Pace is one "Tuff Shoe" and is quickly becoming one of my favorite kicks of 2015.  It dropped on July 1st and I happened to be in my LRS in Brandford Ct-(SoundRunner) when the NB rep was in the store giving an in store product review.  After hearing the rundown about the shoe I tried it on and my interest was peaked enough to take them home for a ride.

The Pace is built on the same last as the Zante with a bit more room in the upper with a nice booty box to keep the tounge still-(they had me at booty).  This is a kick asphalt shoe!

Sweet Asphalt Kicking Shoe!!!

Features and Benefits:
  • REVLite Midsole: Offers a lightweight ride without sacrificing underfoot cushioning or stability 
  • Deconstructed Heel Counter: Flexes where you need it
  • No-Sew material application
  • Heel-to-toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 7.5oz 

Deconstructed Heel Counter reminds me of the Lunar Glide 6
I'm with my man Thomas at Believe In The Run, the deconstructed heel might just be marketing jargon and esthetics.  The upper is airy with a smooth interior with not hotspots, I was almost tempted to take a spin in them sockless.

No-Sew Material Construction
NB has it rated as a daily trainer but, I could easily see this being used as race day shoe for distances from 5k to a marathon. 

Competitor jumped the gun in naming the Zante the shoe of the year, they may need to retract that article before Kanye grabs the award and gives it to the Pace, either way it's a win for NB.

Heel-To-Toe Drop 6mm
The hype around the Zante was incredible and I'll admit I picked up two pairs but, subsequently returned them-they looked good just didn't work for me.  The Pace on the other hand looks good and works with me.  My only issue with the Vazee Pace was the bunching on the medial side-sizing down resolved it somewhat. 

REVlite Midsole 

The Vazee Pace has garnered a spot in my rotation and is def in the ranking for my Top 5 Shoes of 2015

Love at first Run

The Pace has a nice firm snappy but cushioned ride with a toe spring that provides quick lift off.  NB is certainly starting to make some noise in the running shoe industry.  For another take on the Vazee check out Steve's review at Run Bull Dog Run


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Clifton 2 Shoe Review

One of my favorite shoes last year received an update even without the improvements the Clifton was a solid shoe so I was eager to see how Hoka would improve on a nearly perfect shoe for me.  

The original Clifton wasn't without some minor flaws or what like to call #IWishTheyWoulda's, I wish they woulda added an additional eyelet, I wish they would do something with the tounge  and finally I wish they would do something with the insole so it would stay in place.  I resolved the latter with a little dab of loctite and was tempted to add an additional eyelet by performing surgery with an exacto knife but, decided to chill. 

5.00mm Offset 24mm forefoot 29mm heel

I'm two pairs deep on the original Clifton and pass the 50mile marker in my Clifton 2's.  The majority of the changes were to the upper and my #IWishTheyWoulda's were addressed it was as if they read my mind-thank you from the bottom of my sole.  

The changes weren't so drastic as to be unrecognizable don't worry you'll still have the same ride as with last years award winning shoe.  Hoka added an additional eyelet and padded tounge to the Clifton 2 and really dialed in the fit on the upper.

Full Ground Contact Design

They're a lot of Hoka Haters out there but, there's no hating on Hoka's ability to cram so much cush into such a light weight package. Gotta Luv the Cush!!  The Clifton 2's are my go to kicks for recovery or long runs.  The improvements to the upper made it appealing enough for me to rock around town.  

Ultra-Lightweight No-Sew Speedframe

I alternate between a max cushion of a Clifton for LSR to a 1400, Fastwitch 7, Hitogami 2 and most recently NB Vanzee Pace for speed work and tempo runs  The change in kicks stimulates different muscles.  I even noticed differenence in the laces with a bit of elastic in them and trimmed in red-nice detail.

Early-Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry

I've used the Clifton's for tempo runs also with no issues, it's easy to see why this shoe was last years fav and this years best trail shoe of 2015 according to Competitor.

Strategic Rubber Placement for Lightweight Durability 
  • Ultra-Lightweight No-Sew SpeedFrame Construction.
  • Early-Stage Meta Rocker Geometry.
  • Full Length Compression-molded EVA Midsole.
  • Full Ground Contact Design.
  • Strategic Rubber Placement for Lightweight Durability 

Perfect Balance of weight & cushion

7.70oz based on US9

The Clifton 2 gained some weight since last year but, it's not noticeable on the ride weighing in at 8.3oz in a men's size 9 compared to 7.9 in the original-that's still lighter than a Ghost, Glycerin, Nimbus or Vomero.