The RC1400 is the latest shoe from New Balance to feature the Revlite midsole and the first racing flat to do so. I’ve been waiting to see these shoes for a while so I was quite excited to put them on.
These shoes are pretty light, but they aren’t super-omg-light. Weighing 190g for a US8, they are comparable to the Adidas Adizero Feather and Nike Lunarspider+ LT, which are positioned by their respective companies as lightweight trainers and not racers. However, I think they’re alright weight-wise unless you are an absolutely shoe weight-weenie and will give most runners more confidence in wearing them for longer races.
The outsole unit is blown rubber and feels like it will provide a good amount of traction even on slick surfaces. The Revlite midsole provides the same amount of cushioning as traditional cushioning compounds with a weight saving of 30%. The full ground contact sole unit is meant to improve stability and reduce the amount of pronation as a result of fatigue later into your run. An open mesh, no sew upper completes the shoe.
Ok technical specifications covered, on to the actual shoe. The RC1400 is a good looking shoe and continues New Balance’s commitment to making not just functional but fashionable shoes. Nowadays its cool to wear NB and not have them referred to as “that army shoe brand” (for non-Singaporeans reading this, New Balance used to supply the Singapore Armed Forces with running shoes and let’s just say they won zero style awards). Length-wise, the RC1400 runs true to size, but take note that they are only available in D width for the men, so they might be on the narrow side. While the fit was snug, I felt most the upper was tighter on the outside of my foot and a bit not-tight-enough on the inside of my foot at the medial area. The no-sew seamless welded upper is very comfortable though and in fact, the shoes felt a bit more comfortable when I took my socks off.
The 10mm heel drop is a tad on the high side for me and the RC1400 does not seem to have the feel of an aggressive racing flat. The shoe is stable and fairly responsive but its outsole is not as flexible as some other shoes in this same category. It was comfortable for my 2minutes on the treadmill but the RC1400 may not be my first choice for the next road race (if asked to choose between the RC1400 and the RC1300 – I’d go with the RC1300). However, I think its a good option as a lightweight trainer for a bit of speedwork and even middle-mileage runs.
If you like the New Balance 890 and want an upgrade, the RC1400 is right up your alley! The RC1400 will definitely appeal to runners looking for a lightweight option but aren’t prepared to go for minimal cushioning just yet.
Available now at The Runner’s Gait!