Tag Archives: new balance

5 Minute Review – New Balance RC700

We’re on a reviewing overdrive here at the moment.

The next shoe we’re going to talk about is the New Balance RC700.

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180g for a US 8.5

This pair of shoes probably hasn’t registered on the radars of many athletes out there.  The RC700 is a take-down model from the RC series and is predominantly meant for the Japanese market.  Simply put, this is a lightweight trainer (LT) without all the latest New Balance bells and whistles.

Haven't seen this blown rubber outsole for a while
Haven’t seen this blown rubber outsole for a while

We still see the use of Revlite in the midsole, but it is different version of the cushioning compound that is found on the higher end shoes.  The outsole is largely blown rubber, which should make this shoe a bit more durable and ideal for training.  The addition of the Stability Web will provide a light amount of support and runners will appreciate that as the workouts get a bit longer.  It feels like the heel drop might be about 8mm.  As with many traditional LTs, midfoot strikers might feel the shoe is a bit close to ground but heel strikers are offered a good amount of cushioning.

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Some retro-stylings on the RC700

The upper of the RC700 takes on a more traditional approach.  No visible heatbonded Fantomfit overlays that you find on many of NB’s newer offerings.  What you get is still a breathable mesh upper with some traditional sewed overlays and a snug heel cup.  With many of the ‘lower tier’ shoes, you often feel that they’ve cut corners and smudged over the details especially when it comes to fit.  I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the RC700.  The fit is snug in the right places, there didn’t seem to be any excess material where it was not needed and even the extra bit of support in the arch wasn’t obtrusive.

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Reminiscent of simpler times…

The RC700 feels like a throwback to a time before the different brands starting coming up with all these fancy names for their fancy new technologies.  The RC700 is not super fancy and certainly not cutting edge in it’s use of materials.  It is instead, a well put together workhorse of a lightweight trainer.  Compared to the recently review RC1600v2, the RC700 feels like it lacks a little something and is surely not as responsive, though I’m sure it is not meant to be.  The RC700 will slot into your current shoe line up as a “go to” LT, one that isn’t afraid of getting dirty.  It is simply a shoe that gets the job done.

The New Balance RC700 is in store now and retails for $129.

5 Minute Review – New Balance RC1600v2

We might be nearing the end of the traditional racing season, but that’s no reason not to check out the latest racer that New Balance has to offer.

145g for a US 8.5
145g for a US 8.5

This isn’t a new shoe, it’s actually an update to the RC1600 that was launched a couple of seasons ago.  This version isn’t wildly different, but then again, why change a good thing right?

Outsole remains unchanged in v2
Outsole remains unchanged in V2

For you eagle-eyed runners out there, you would have noticed that the outsole has remained unchanged from the original.  The high traction studs and carbon plate in the outsole are still there, as of course, is the Revlite cushioning compound.  It feels like the heel drop remains at 6mm as well.  The RC1600v2 claims to be a shoe that can take you from a 5k race up to the marathon.  At 145g, this shoe is pretty feather-weight, but I have to say that that might not be an empty claim.  Even after a couple of steps, you feel that this shoe packs more cushioning than it’s thin outsole would have you believe it has.

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Fantomfit in the upper

The big updates to the RC1600v2 are in the upper.  The upper remains light and breathable with it’s open mesh construction.  The FantomFit upper has been redesigned, improving the level of comfort as well as the fit.  The original RC1600 was already super comfortably, but the v2 goes a step further in locking your foot in without being overbearing.  Inside the shoe, it is virtually seamless so sockless running is definitely an option.

Hard to be missed in a pair of these
Hard to be missed in a pair of these

The RC1600v2 is New Balance’s premium racer and it proves itself well worth of that title.  The use of premium materials in the upper through to the outsole combine to deliver a shoe that ticks all the boxes when it comes to weight, fit, performance and though some might disagree, looks.  The RC1600v2 run true to size and have a spacious toe box that is often sacrificed in many of the other racers out there.  This is still a shoe that might be best suited for distances up to the half marathon for most, but biomechanically efficient runners will be able to take this through to the marathon with little issue.

The women’s Ironman World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae, recently wore the RC1600v2 to a swift course-record breaking 2hr50min marathon in Kona.

The RC1600v2 retails for $199 and is available in store now!

5 Minute Review – New Balance RC1100 V2

For many runners, the previous version of the RT1100 was a lightweight option that offered a good amount of cushioning with mild support features.  The one gripe was that the heel unit often felt chunky and this prevented runners from turning to the RT1100 as a race day option.  If you fell into this group, you will appreciate the improvements in the latest version of this shoe – the RC1100 V2.

185g for a men's US8
185g for a men’s US8

My first impression was that RC1100 looked way sleeker than the previous RT1100.  The new RC-1N racing last and decision to reduce the heel-toe offset to 4mm give the RC1100 that close to ground feel.  This isn’t something that has been readily available with many New Balance shoes in the past (aside from the RC5000 & RC1600) and it’s cool because the shoes feel fast even when you’re just standing around in them.

High traction & full ground contact outsole
High traction & full ground contact outsole
Extended Web support
Extended Web support

 

Dynaride and ABZORB cushioning are standard.  Those fancy, high traction studs on the bottom always nice to look at and are indeed grippy on a variety of surface.  New to the RC1100 is the of the T-Beam shank (that silver bit) that helps to improve torsional rigidity and provide support.  It is more substantial than the older Stability Web and you will notice something under your arch the first time you slip these shoes on but doesn’t feel like “too much”.

All the fancy features
All the fancy features

The RC1100 has all the good stuff – the REVlite compound reduces the weight without sacrificing cushioning and the FantomFit upper make this one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve tried from New Balance.  FantomFit is a no-sew technology that is lighter and stronger, it gives the shoe a closer fit with improved comfort.  The RC1100 felt a bit narrow in midfoot area initially but felt better after a couple of minutes.  The 2E width makes for a roomy toe box.  I experienced some mild heel slip even when I laced up to the last eyelet, but the FantomFit upper locked down the midfoot and I didn’t notice any excessive movement otherwise.  These shoes seem to run a little big, so I would consider sizing down by half a size when you get your’s.

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Red shoes always look fast

I’ve not run extensively in the New Balance shoes that use the newer REVlite compound so I admit that I didn’t love these shoes straight away.  The RC1100 is not stiff (like the adidas adios 2) but it is firmer underfoot than shoes like the Asics Hyperspeed 5 or Nike Lunarspider LT+ 3.  It has a responsiveness and feel that grows on you and is very stable whenever you plant your foot.  This is unlikely to be your weekly long run shoe but for workouts at the track to your extended tempo runs, it will work a treat.  On race days, this shoe will easily take you from your 10km up to the marathon.

The RC1100 V2 is a unisex shoe.  It is available in sizes US6 – 12 and retails at $185.
For runners looking for a shoe with a little less cushioning for those really fast days, just look at it’s older brother, the new RC1300 V2.

New Releases from New Balance!

New Balance has been making huge strides (get it…that’s some running humour for you) in the last few seasons.  They’ve always had good shoes, but now they have the looks to put them high up on everyone’s list.

This season, New Balance has updated 3 fan favourite shoes that will surely make the New Balance faithful happy.

The Japan-inspired RC1300 and RC1100 have been completely reworked.  Upgrades include a 4mm heel to toe offset, FantomFit upper and big weight saving.  The shoes have a much lower profile and feel as fast as they look.

This is a unisex model
This is a unisex model
Also a unisex model
Also a unisex model

 

 

 

 

The other shoe that gets a brand new look is the 1400.  This was a real underrated performer last season.  The 1400 appealed to a huge range of runners looking for a super lightweight shoe that seemed to do it all.  Racing or training, this shoe did it all.  This season, the 1400 has a reworked upper and they’ve ditched even more weight off the original.  The 1400 still retains the 9mm heel to toe offset.

available in men's and women's models
available in men’s and women’s models

All 3 models are now available at The Runner’s Gait.

New for 2013 – New Balance RC1300 & RT 1100

New year, new shoes.  That sounds about right!

The first new shoes to hit our shelves for 2013 are from New Balance.

New Balance has been pushing the envelope the last few years.  No longer are they known as the “army shoes” here in Singapore.  New Balance regularly produces technologically advanced and good looking shoes.

Two traditional favourites, the RC1300 and RT1100, are back but with a couple of upgrades.

Both models are now built on New Balance’s Revlite cushioning platform which is 30% lighter than traditional compounds but results in no loss of cushioning.

sizes: US7.0 - US12.0
sizes: US7.0 – US12.0

Another welcomed improvement is in the upper.  There has been a big reduction in the amount of stitching.  New Balance has instead gone for more breathable mesh paneling and seamless overlays (especially in the mid/forefoot region) that are likely to have been borrowed from the FantomFit upper that we saw on the RC1600 racer.

sizes: US 4.0 - US 12.0
sizes: US 4.0 – US 12.0

Technical mambo jumbo aside, what this translates to is a significantly lighter shoe with a more comfortable and secure upper.  The RC1300 is the Japanese inspired racer while the RT1100 is the versatile, lightweight race-trainer.

The RC1300 (RRP: $185) and the RT1100 (RRP: $175) are available now at The Runner’s Gait.

New Balance RC1400 – Colour Update

New Balance have released a new colourway to their very popular RC1400 racer.  With its ample cushioning and responsive Revlite outsole, this is a great neutral shoe for runners looking for a lightweight trainer or cushioned racer, without an overly aggressive heel drop.

You can read our review of the RC1400 here.

RC1400

The RC1400 retails for $155 and starts from a men’s US4.0, available now at The Runner’s Gait.  We brought in some smaller sizes, so ladies that a looking for a racer with a bit more cushioning that the RC1600, now have another option from New Balance.

New Balance Minimus Amp (MT1010) – A Quick Word

I have wanted to take these shoes out for a try for a while now, but its hard to run around on the trails then put the shoes back in the box without the next customer figuring out that something was amiss.

So until I get a pair for myself, I slipped on the Minimus Amp (also known as the MT1010) and did my usual dance around the store and on the treadmill.

Fit-wise, the MT1010 is very comfortable and is true to size.  While the midfoot and heel cup are not super snug, they held my foot firmly enough.  The upper is constructed from a very light, synthetic mesh and features welded seams which add to the comfort of the shoe.  Runners with wide feet will also appreciate the roomy toe box.

200g for a US8…where’s the rest of it?

Chances are, this pair of trail shoes is lighter than the current pair of road shoes you’re using.  At 200g for a men’s US8, they definitely have that ‘barely there’ sort of feeling.  However, the 19 Vibram rubber covered lugs and RevLite midsole deliver increased levels of cushioning over other shoes in the Minimus range.  I’ve heard that this added cushioning has been very well received by runners that are do ultra trail.

With the 4mm heel drop, the Minimus Amp has a real close to ground feel and is more responsive than some road shoes I’ve tested in the past.  Running on the treadmill, they felt light and nimble, and will go far to breaking the stereotype of trail shoes being clumsy and chunky.  My only complaint so far is with the unnecessarily long shoe laces on this thing!

The smooth shop floor offered little challenge to the new trail shoes

The MT1010 has a rockplate that is surprisingly responsive and flexible.  I’m very keen to try these out on the trails and see if they provide enough cushioning and protection for the novice trail runner like me!  A trail update to follow.

You can pick up the Minimus Amp (MT1010) at The Runner’s Gait now for $165.

The 5 Minute Review – New Balance RC1600

So with the Olympics done and dusted, I’m sure everyone has been inspired to go out and run faster than they ever have.  New Balance is doing their part to help out with their new range of racers.  The RC1600 is part of their Fall selection that includes the ultra-light RC5000 that weighs an obscene 90g.  The RC1600 is a much more practical shoe and is being pitched as a shoe with enough cushioning for you can to do your marathon (PB) in without any worries.

145g for a men’s US8

Weighing just 145g for a US8, that makes the RC1600 even lighter than the Saucony Grid Type A5 racer and the Nike Lunarspider R2.  Make no mistake, the RC1600 is a shoe built for competition, no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ about it.  Using the New Balance NBJ racing last, the RC1600 is a standard D width with a reduced volume toe box.

Look Ma, no seams

One of the new technologies featured in the RC1600 is New Balance’s FantomFit.  The upper for the RC1600 is a light, breathable mesh that is extremely comfortable.  The FantomFit process fuses two mesh layers into a very light yet supportive upper, getting rid of those pesky seams that often lead to blisters.  The heel counter is fairly snug and covered in a felt-like layer, similar to the RC1400.  Add that all together and potentially, you get a shoe that you could run in sockless.  I didn’t feel any discomfort when I ran a couple of steps in them on the treadmill, but will personally opt to wear socks with these shoes simply because I have delicate feet.

Vroom.

According to Running Warehouse, the RC1600 has a profile identical to the Nike Lunarspider R2 – 6mm of heel drop and even the forefoot/heel heights are the same.  However, the Lunarlon cushioning of the Lunarspider and the full length Revlite RC midsole of the RC1600 make these two shoes feel completely different.

Triangular window reveals the midfoot shank that adds to torsional rigidity

Revlite RC is a higher density version of New Balance’s Revlite cushioning compound (which reduces weight but not level of cushioning) and felt a little stiff initially underfoot.  Another feature of the midsole is the shank that provides torsional rigidity, similar to the Torsion system in the adidas adizero range.  The Dynaride outsole  is a feature found on New Balance’s racing range and gives the RC1600 extremely good traction at a weight saving.

Slick looking kicks

Overall, this looks like the most advanced racer that New Balance has released so far.  It is packed full of technology, comfortable, not overly minimalist and hey, doesn’t hurt that it looks good too.  The RC1600 will be a good option for any time that you want to go fast.  The shoe definitely doesn’t scream “cushioning” but well trained, efficient runners will have no issues using this for a full marathon.  While the RC1600’s Revlite RC cushioning might feel slightly stiffer than some other racers, you won’t feel over exposed to impact forces once you get going.

The RC1600 retails for $195 and is available now in men’s and women’s models at The Runner’s Gait.

The women’s model is pictured below.

The women’s RC1600 comes in a B width.

The 5 Minute Review: New Balance RT1100 Black Rainbow series

We actually got 2 shoes from the Black Rainbow series by New Balance delivered today – the RC1300 and the RT1100.  Since this is the first time the RT1100 has hit our shelves, I’ll do the review on them instead.  But I have worn both pairs of shoes, so I will point out what I think are the differences between them along the way.

And we’re off!  You can be sure that these shoes are head turners.  Don’t just rely on your running speed to be noticed, throw a pair of these on!

Wait for it...

The RT1100 weighs in at 200g versus the 195g RC1300 in a men’s US8.  While the weight difference will go unnoticed (both are pretty light anyway), the extra 5g gives the RT1100 substantially more cushioning.  You aren’t quite as close to the ground in the RT1100, but responsiveness is good and the ride is smooth.

Just in case you wondered where the rainbow was

I felt the shoes were true to size.  The RT1100 has a roomy toe box with just enough wiggle room for your toes and a quick tightening of the laces locks the midfoot down well.  They are comfortable but I would have liked a more secure heel counter, just for those really fast paced days.  The Stability Web provides an extra hint of support and will help put the minds of mild overpronators at ease!

Abzorb in the heel provides high level of cushioning for a lightweight shoe

The RT1100 has all the toolings of a racer but with enough support and cushioning features for it to be used extensively for training.  Not ready for a “racer”?  Or looking to move on from heavier daily trainers?  The RT1100 should definitely be on your radar.

If nothing else, the Black Rainbow series of shoes is a cool looking shoe to wear when you’re hanging out at your favourite running store (that’s us!!) or grabbing a coffee.

Below are a few photos of the RC1300

The RC1300 black rainbow

Closer to the ground with less heel drop

Japanese series features in the outsole

Slightly thinner mesh upper with less overlays

black heel collar instead of pink

The RC1300 and RT1100 are unisex shoes and are both available now at The Runner’s Gait!