Facts

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Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$100
Weight
Men: 8.6oz
Women: 7.2oz
Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 7.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • A generous amount of padding is noticeable around the heel for added comfort, according to some runners.
  • Nice and plush insole is great and comfortable, as noted in most reviews.
  • The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2 offers a great barefoot-like running, but maintains a nice underfoot cushioning as observed by some testers.
  • There is a seamless and irritation-free upper that enhances the comfortable feel.
  • The changes in the forefoot and toe box area, and in the geometry design, are quite impressive according to several users.
  • Plenty of colors to choose from.

4 reasons not to buy

  • It is not technically made for racing.
  • The tightness in the mid-foot wrap is felt and caused some blisters.
  • It is not as fast and snappy as the first version as complained by some testers.
  • Too narrow for some runners.

Bottom line

The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2 is a great shoe with efficient design and performance. It is a reliable running shoe for training, tempo runs, and for long miles as well. It can handle different work outs and running routines as well. The shoe delivers a fresh running experience in the comfort, arch support, and protection that it offers.


Rankings


Ratings

4.4 / 5 based on 241 ratings

5 star
65%
4 star
19%
3 star
11%
2 star
2%
1 star
3%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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86 / 100 based on 21 expert reviews

  • 88 / 100 by TheGingerRunner • Ethan Newberry • Level 5 expert

    So, really, it’s just cosmetic stuff. The ride is very similar to version one, which is awesome. But it's also heavier by one ounce.

  • 88 / 100 by GEARIST • Brandon • Level 3 expert

    This shoe is really, really evolving. It's subtly evolving, not huge changes with it. But the changes they have made in this feel really good.

  • 88 / 100 by Gearist • Brandon Wood • Level 5 expert

    The changes in this shoe haven’t turned a blind eye to what made it great in version one but have embraced those things and doubled-down to make this shoe even better. 

  • 84 / 100 by Runner's World • Runner's World • Level 5 expert

    While it’s a bit more shoe, testers found the new version to be an accessibly priced and comfortable trainer.

  • 82 / 100 by Running Shoes Guru • Ruggero Loda • Level 5 expert

    Characterized by a midfoot-friendly 6mm drop, low weigth, bootie construction and very competitive price, the Zante is meant for neutral runners looking for a everyday cushioned shoe that rides soft, but welcomes faster pace and racing.

  • 98 / 100 by Road Trail Run • Peter Stuart • Level 4 expert

    The Zante 2 manages to retain almost all of the magic of the original while also making some nice, subtle tweaks.

  • 87 / 100 by Believe in the Run • Thomas Neuberger • Level 4 expert

    The ride is on the firmer side, but not unforgiving.

  • 84 / 100 by Triathlete • Brian Metzler • Level 4 expert

    The changes have resulted in a better fit that gives this edition a speed-inspired, sock-like fit and feel.

  • 81 / 100 by Runblogger • David Henry • Level 4 expert

    The v2 fixes the main issue I had with the original in removing the midfoot overlay that gave me a sense of restriction around my 5th metatarsal.

  • 80 / 100 by The Active Guy • The Active Guy • Level 4 expert

    Even though the shoe looks like a racer, it provides ample support for middle distance runs.

  • 90 / 100 by Running Monkey • Sean Conway • Level 3 expert

    The lack of weight is both noticeable and much appreciated, particularly on longer runs and certainly making the Zante worth considering for marathon distances.

  • 88 / 100 by Gear Institute • Mandie33 • Level 3 expert

    This shoe is light weight yet has decent amount of cushioning.

  • 86 / 100 by RunRepeat • Kyle Jang • Level 3 expert

    The Zante v2 is a great looking shoe that can be worn for your hard workouts, and out for dinner a few hours later. The fit of the shoe was a disappointment for me, but the shoe more than made up for it with its fantastic price point and great cushioning!

  • 100 / 100 by This Marathon Life • This Marathon Life • Level 1 expert

    The upper hugs your foot in a sort of "burrito" kind of way.

  • 93 / 100 by Average Athlete • Average Athlete • Level 1 expert

    A lightweight racer with enough cushioning for mid to high mileage. 

  • 92 / 100 by Phil the Runner • Phil • Level 1 expert

    It can handle long slow runs, long distance races, short races, tempo work, and speed work.

  • 85 / 100 by Red Fox Outfitters • Jesse Anderson • Level 1 expert

    This still retains that snappy, lightweight feel. And I think that a good segment of the Marathoning population will find this a very suitable flat for the race day.

  • 82 / 100 by Traxx LLC • Logan • Level 1 expert

    I like to think of the Fresh Foam Zante v2 as the 1080's mini-me. It's lighter and faster.

  • 80 / 100 by FITOutfit • FITOutfit • Level 1 expert

    Not too bulky but still lightweight,but also not too light and lacking adequate support.

  • 80 / 100 by Run Society • Nathan Lin • Level 1 expert

    The Fresh Foam Zante v2 is a runner's neutral cushioned running shoe built for fast speeds.

  • 76 / 100 by Slow Twitch • Slow Twitch • Level 1 expert

    The heel is fairly soft but the forefoot is stiffer and firmer.

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Updates to New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2

  • The Fresh Foam Zante v2 is Reebok’s answer to the fit issues that plagued the performance of the original model. What is most significant in the updated version is the removal of the arch bump that made the run a bit jarring and the fit slightly constrictive. New Balance also moved the midfoot straddle further ahead and loosened by just a hair this area. The result is a snug but comfortable fit that still delivers adequate support for runners doing short or long-distance training sessions.
  • New Balance also improves the cushioning and flexibility in this shoe. The forefoot in particular is more cushioned than before. The flexibility is introduced by adding numerous cuts in the outsole, especially near the heel where New Balance now uses a slightly thicker rubber.
  • The geometry of the outsole treads is significantly changed as well. This new hexagonal pattern makes the transition a bit faster and helps ease off the fatigue for long-distance runs.
  • The midsole uses convex hexagons instead of concave. Since the new convex hexagons are generously spaced out, they provide more pop and energy return.

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2 size and fit

The fit of the 2nd version of the Zante still hugs the foot with enough breathing space, particularly in the midfoot. This is basically the difference between the original version and the new model. Runners with average measurements will find the fit superb while those who want more room in the toe box could also go half a size up. Available widths are medium and wide while standard sizes are from 7-16 for the men’s and 5 to 12 for the women’s.


Outsole

The outsole features new hexagonal patterns covered in blown rubber. This gives the shoe superior traction. A crash pad in the heel is designed to isolate shock.


Midsole

The midsole offers a really nice blend of shock-absorbing features and responsiveness. New Balance made a few tweaks in the midsole by changing the hexagonal patterns from concave to convex. With this new configuration, the larger hexagons in the heel absorb shock while the elongated hexagons going to the forefoot deliver a nice and firm propulsion. The Fresh Foam layer makes every stride feel cushioned particularly in the heel.


Upper

To provide excellent fit and support, the upper has different expansion points. The front half has more flexibility to allow the upper to move together with the foot. It also gives the feel of a roomy forefoot area than the previous version of the shoe. The back end of the upper carries more structure. This is designed to give some support both for the shoe and the runner. Light and welded overlays also contribute to overall shoe support and fit. Heel support is made possible by a relatively flexible heel counter. Bootie-like construction in the inner portion of the shoe allows for superb comfort and snug fit. An open mesh gives incredible breathability.

As mentioned, the bump in the arch has been removed and the midfoot straddle stretched a bit for a more relaxed midfoot fit without taking away the snug comfort.