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I picked up a pair of the NB Zante 2 last week and wanted to relay that I think the shoes are amazing. The heel is fairly soft but the forefoot is stiffer and firmer. The ramp from heel to forefoot is lowish(6mm) but then there is a quick taper to the end of the toe. They are a neutral shoe and weigh in at 8.5 oz for a size 9. However I do feel a little support in them but not a lot. The upper feels amazingly comfortable.
I'm still very much in the honeymoon phase but I seem to remember some mixed reviews on fresh foam shoes early on. I will say, these are not a really soft shoe but they are a very comfortable shoe for me. A very nice compromise of ideas; lightish, lowish ramp, softish, 27mm heel height... Very kinvara-esque but so far I like them better.
The running shoe store guy said that they added a bit of rubber to the sole and something else I can't remember compared to the Zante 1 which makes these a little heavier but more long lasting.
Did you run in the first version a lot? If so, any huge differences in feel to v2? I have trained and raced in several pairs of Zantes and they are by far the best shoe for me. Need to know whether to go and buy every pair I can get my hands on of the first version or not :)
Interesting review. My issue with the first version of the shoe was the heel cup and I didn't get along. Always worth a try to see if the fit has changed any. And it is nice to have a running shoe store than allows you to run outdoors in their shoes before you buy them.
Thanks for the review – it's helpful. I love the FFZante v. 1: the honeymoon phase never wore off with them for me. They are on the narrow side but super comfortable. Perfect for fast training or longer races. They do wear a little fast but I've got 250+ miles on mine and they're still fine. Can't wait to get the new Zante v. 2.
Sorry, I have not ran in the 1st gen, the sales person just was telling me the differences. You can find them very cheap though so I am tempted to try them.
I love my 1st gen Zantes for lightweight trainers. I hope NB didn't change them too much.
Anyone tried the Vazee Pace? I'm looking for something with a similar fit to the Zante but slightly more aggressive for faster runs and possibly as marathon race shoes.
The NB 1400's are really sweet for a step up from the Zante if you want something a little faster and would be a nice option if you didn't want to go full racing flat with the 1600 for the marathon. I run in the 1400's 3 times a week for training runs and they don't beat you up like a flat but still have that lightweight racing shoe feel to them.
Thanks. I've looked at the 1400's quite a few times but never pulled the trigger. I'm concerned that they look a little narrow, and the 10mm drop is more than I generally prefer. Are you using them for long runs? What other shoes do you run in?
I have the Vazee Prism. The shoe is way too stiff for me. Not sure if the pace is the same stiffness. I am going to take a dremel or hacksaw to them to cut them up and try to make them more flexible. I won't be buying them again. My calves are sore every time I run in them.
I get the narrow thing when you look at them but never notice it during running and I have a fairly wide forefoot.. I wear nike lunar tempos and kinvaras for long runs, 1400s for easy runs and then 1600s for the fast day once a week.
I'm an aggressive forefoot striker and prefer a decent drop but I can tolerate the kinvaras with the 4mm drop just can't do it every day. Obviously this is all very personal in terms of run shoe preference but back to your original question if I only had Zantes and the VaZee pace in my closet I would race in the Zantes.
Have never got along with NB shoes before but love the FF Zante v1. Prior to these, I tried the Vazee and ended up returning them. IMO totally different fit and feel from the Zante. I thought they would be similar as well but the Vazee felt like a stiff, hard board compared to the flexibility of the Zante. Just my .02. Looking forward to trying the v2.
Gulf Coast Tri Team
Good to hear, I loved the first edition...actually got my first pair from a friend who works for NB, but aside from the fact they got salty from my excessively sweaty feet, they were practically perfect. The sole did seem to wear kind of quickly, but then again there wasn't a ton of tread to begin with (which was fine for me).
Maybe I am alone in that I hated the Zante. The fit was excellent but what did not work for me was the excessive toe spring/ramp upward in the toe. The 1400 sole is fairly flat with only a small amount of toe spring which I far prefer.
I wanted to bump this for two reasons.
First, I'm now approaching 400 miles in my Zante 2s. They continued to be excellent throughout my time of using them. They feel lighter than they are, have held up fairly well to the miles, and I never had a single issue. They are by far my favorite running shoe for as long as I can remember. I will say, I feel like they are beating me up more lately, and 400 miles is about where I would expect that to happen, so I ordered some Zante 1s.
Second, I bought the Zante 1 to rotate in and as a replacement because they were half the price and I kept hearing that they were very similar. They are fairly similar except for two things. First, the Zante 1s feel a little smaller particularly in the forefoot, I was right on the edge of a 8.5 and 9 for the Zante 2 and ended up going with a 9 but always thought an 8.5 might be better. The 9 in the Zante 1, although it fits well, is a much less roomy fit. Second, I think that the heel cup on the 2 holds better or is somehow different, can't put my finger on it yet. The Zante 1 is otherwise fairly similar in ride and feel, though they are exactly an ounce lighter in the same size.
Thanks for the update. I was just about the grab a pair of the 2's when I saw the 1's on sale for less than half price. I have had huge success with them so I grabbed two pairs. The 2's will have to wait a bit, but it sounds like they are a great next step.