Review: New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo

New Balance has had great success with their Fresh Foam line, injecting new life into a company that was once considered “for old people”. First premiering in the middle-of-the-road Boracay, then the responsive Zante and plush 1080, the Boston-based New Balance has finally developed a stability model with their patented geometric engineering. How does it fare?

Stability

Certainly the main draw of this shoe is its support. This shoe uses a single piece of foam for the midsole, but the medial geometry is denser to prevent overpronation a tad. Most of the stability, however, comes from the softer lateral outsole, which is also forked to divide the rubber pieces. You can feel it. A little too much. When walking, the shoe feels slanted out, like you might roll your ankle. What might’ve been a better fit here is a straighter last and geometry, rather than the dual-density outsole.

Photo courtesy of New Balance
Note the forked design (circled) that makes the shoe feel slanted out.

Transition

From landing on the heel to toeing off, the Vongo felt great. That slant even felt less pronounced at higher speed. The heel felt fairly stable (probably a result of the dense rubber wrapping around it), while the forefoot was cushiony-yet-responsive.

Verdict

The faster you run, the better the Vongo feels, but on the downside, it makes for a poor uptempo/speed trainer at 10.6oz/300g. In other miscellany, the tongue is a little short, but didn’t seem to slide too much, thankfully. The best way I can describe the shoe is that it feels like the Nike Structure meets the Altra Provision.

Score: 7.0/10


New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam Vongo
New Balance Men’s Fresh Foam Vongo

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