Summary

We spent 5.8 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

10 reasons to buy

  • Comfort is king in the New Balance Vazee Pace v2 Protect Pack, according to a large number of reviewers.
  • Durability gets a nod of approval from a moderate number of runners.
  • The price is within range of the competition.
  • More than a few runners use the shoe for high-mileage runs and gym sessions.
  • Reflective details make it excellent for low-visibility running.
  • Some runners figure the Protect Pack of the Vazee Pace v2 as a superb bridge that connects trainers and racers with ease.
  • The traction is, at least, above average, based on the observation of a handful of reviewers.
  • The additional support from the stitched overlays were welcomed by those who need better security.
  • A DWR upper keeps off water during inclement weather runs.
  • The slightly thicker tongue adds comfort and plush feel.

4 reasons not to buy

  • More than a handful did not like the increase in weight.
  • The attached tongue created a slightly tighter fit that needed some break-in time to loosen, according to a few runners.
  • Several runners felt that the upper is simply an overkill or overbuilt.
  • The heel was a little lower than before that caused a small number of runners to make adjustments in the fit.

Bottom line

New Balance wasn’t kidding when they labelled this version of the Vazee Pace v2 as the Protect Pack as it carries a substantially more muscled upper over the standard version. Together with the water-repellent upper, a thick outsole, bulky midsole, and decent arch support, the shoe is built to handle the mileage and shines best in inclement weather. It is a well-designed shoe that offers a no-fuss performance.

Facts

Base model: New Balance Vazee Pace v2
Terrain: Road
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 9.6oz | Women: 8.1oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 6mm | Women: 6mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Use: Jogging
Strike Pattern: Midfoot strike
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Heel height: Men: 24mm | Women: 24mm
Forefoot height: Men: 18mm | Women: 18mm
Release date: Feb 2017
Brand: New Balance
Type: Low drop
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $120
Colorways: Black
Size
Small True to size Large
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Expert Reviews

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  • In the 2nd version of the Vazee Pace, New Balance introduces a new update that is sure to delight fans of this line who wish to bring better protection all over. The Protect Pack edition brings a water-resistant upper that will make running in inclement weather and stepping on wet roads or tracks a delight.
  • Another update in the upper that brings another element to this protective upper is the presence of reflective elements. These glow in the dark details are optimal for night-time or low-visibility running.
  • The biggest update that can easily distinguish this shoe from the standard version is the utilization of very substantial and stitched overlays. While the regular model uses welded overlays, the stitched midfoot and forefoot support holds the entire shoe better and provides better overall security.
  • In relation to the first edition of the Vazee Pace, this latest model, although in the Protect Pack model, has an upper that is a bit softer for a more luxurious and glove-like fit.
  • The special version of the Vazee Pack 2 also has a scree-like mesh that will be useful in keeping dirt out of the shoe.
  • New Balance also uses a new outsole in this iteration as the thick rubber pods also have a more vertical design for a quicker and smoother transition through the gait cycle. The new underfoot layout works in the tandem with the very distinctive toe curl for more spring during take-off.

The fit of the New Balance Vazee Pace v2 Protect Pack is largely similar to the original Vazee Pace, except that it has a better midfoot hold. There is the same slightly narrow heel fit and adequately spacious forefoot and toe box. The toe box has both height and volume to accommodate mid-run swelling, particularly for those who want to log the miles with every run.


New Balance covers most of the outsole with blown rubber, a dead giveaway that the shoe has more than enough traction, even in wet conditions. To make up for the soft rubber in the outsole, New Balance also made the rubber quite thick for better durability. When it comes to design, the rubber pods feature a more vertical configuration that adds more ground contact and enhance the transition from landing to take off. There are also more notches all over the outsole of the New Balance Vazee Pace v2 Protect Pack, which should also improve its overall grip.


A large chunk of the midsole of the 2nd Vazee Pace v2 Protect Pack is composed of New Balance’s proprietary Revlite foam. Acclaimed as 30% lighter than traditional EVA, it gives the shoe sufficient cushioning and responsiveness. The rather thick outsole will ensure that the midsole will not easily lose its resiliency, especially when the miles are accumulated.


The upper is where New Balance differentiates this shoe from the regular model. The Protect Pack edition of the Vazee Pace v2 is clearly more muscled than the standard model. An epitome of this more substantial upper is the use of large and stitched overlays for support and security. The thick, stitched toe protection is another example. Besides these more apparent differences, there is also a water-resistant upper and a scree-like mesh that should help keep off dirt. The glow in the dark reflective details is a fantastic addition, when visibility is not optimal. New Balance provides more cushioning in the form of a removable insole. Both the tongue and the collar are plush while a cleatie construction delivers that sock-like feel in the upper.

Comparison