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Good all-rounder, light, fast and good on or off-road.
Like many runners, I’m rather conservative when it comes to buying a new pair of running shoes, sticking to a few tried and tested favourites when making my choice. For no particular reason, New Balance have never really featured on my radar so I was pleased to have the opportunity to try out a pair of Vazee Pace shoes and see what (if anything) I’d been missing.
First impressions were very favourable – a good, tough looking shoe, smart bright blue without being ‘over the top’. They had a ‘quality’ feel and, at 210 grams per shoe, seemed light enough for most purposes. I was not disappointed when I tried them on – a good snug fit (size 9) with no obvious pinch-points. The laces tied up nicely and, even before I’d run a single metre, I felt I was in safe hands.
I haven’t exactly tested them to destruction but I have managed 60k of varied terrain over the past week and certainly no complaints so far. My first outing was an on-road, hilly12k, and the shoes were excellent. Although light, there is plenty of support and cushioning especially at the front end which encourages an efficient foot-strike. Whether on the flat, uphill or downhill, I had full confidence in my ‘Pace’ shoes. When I upped the speed to a 3.40k pace, the shoes responded well and I’d be very happy to wear them my at next attempt at a sub-18 parkrun.
The next day I ventured off-road for 15 km and was pleasantly surprised at the shoes’ performance. They coped well with mud, gravel tracks, grass and even stony ground (although, not surprisingly, I could feel some of the larger stones through the sole). Although they probably weren’t designed for this purpose, I’ll be confident to wear these shoes at a forthcoming multi-terrain event on the Dorset coast.
Further kms on the road confirmed my first favourable impressions. I was particularly pleased that wearing these shoes seemed to have a beneficial effect on a few minor foot niggles I’ve been suffering from recently – testament perhaps to the well-balanced, supportive feel of this running footwear.
*Postscript* I wore my Pace shoes in the Studland Stampede – 12k of gruelling off-road running and a real test of any footwear. I had an excellent race and I can honestly say, I didn’t think about my shoes once – probably the best testimonial for any running shoe.
Currently £99.99 from Runners Need