New Balance 1400v2 Review
When the opportunity presented itself to put the New Balance 1400v2 to the test, I was quite excited to see what this shoe had to offer. I had some experience testing the original 1400 when they first came out, and am pleased to report that this shoe is a good sequel. A few slight changes are that they are lighter, and have a more breathable upper mesh. This is a lightweight shoe and because of that, this is a marketed for speed and fast racing. Some of its features allow a wide variety of runners to use the New Balance 1400v2 for its intended purpose of hitting the track or working on your speed.
First Thoughts on the New Balance 1400v2
The weight of this shoe is what really struck me from the get-go. At 6.2 oz. this shoe literally floated as I was holding and tossing it about. There is adequate cushioning, and the New Balance 1400v2 does have some rigidity in the sole which should provide some protection. The color scheme falls slightly on the side of noticeable and bold. The model I am testing has a muted green midsole and laces, shades of blue on the upper, and a few orange branding highlights that work well and make a statement. As this is a racing flat, I intend to put the New Balance 1400v2 to the test in some speed and tempo workouts as well as some local 5k’s.
The New Balance 1400v2 is constructed with a REVlite midsole. It hasn’t changed or gotten any lighter than its predecessor, and it really doesn’t need to. The amount of cushioning provided is pretty good considering this is a racing flat. The trend of a diminishing drop is very main stream now, but it is still something you will want to take slowly to get your feet, Achilles, and calves a chance to get familiar with. The rather substantial 9-10mm drop from heel to forefoot is great for allowing the everyday runner to lace up something that will provide them with a chance to run fast in a lightweight shoe.
The New Balance 1400v2 Upper
The two big features I have taken away from the Upper is the no-sew overlays and the very breathable mesh. Granted it is the middle of the winter here, but we’ve had some upper 60’s in January and February. Also, I have run some fast intervals on the treadmill in a very warm gym, so I have appreciated the ability for my feet to be able to release some heat when I picked up the pace. I have not experienced any hotspots at this point, so the wearing-in process has gone quite well for me. I also am a fan of the wider front toe box to allow my feet to splay a bit, and not find themselves in a situation where my toes are jambed in where a blister could easily form.
The outsole of the New Balance 1400v2 appears to have a thick and dense enough rubber to put a decent amount of mileage on them. I joke sometimes that a shoe isn’t really broken in until you’ve got 250 miles on them, and I do intend to get there on these. 500 miles is pretty much the minimum for me to retire a pair, so time will only tell.
- Weight: 6.2 oz.
- Profile (Heel): 30.2 mm
- Profile (Forefoot): 19.6 mm
- Drop from heel to forefoot: 10.6 mm
- 10 mm drop
- Blown rubber outsole
- Breathable air mesh
- No-sew material application
Putting the New Balance 1400v2 to the test
I have a pretty decent running base, and just got into the thick of my training plan for the Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage Alaska. This is my attempt at a B.Q. (Boston Qualifier) which has eluded me a couple of times. This time around, fast Tempo runs and Speed Work are going to be an integral part of my weekly runs. All in the hope that the ‘Hurt’ that is certain to come will give me wings as I pace myself to a strong finish when it comes to 26.2 miles. The New Balance 1400 v2 are hopefully going to play a big role in achieving fast bursts of speed.
After a few easier runs of 3-6 miles, I had to take my workout sessions inside to the Rec. Center. Not that I mind the cold and snowy weather, but the ice would be an issue. The biggest factor was that I would have also had to push my 2 year old in the stroller through snow and slush. I suppose that would be a strength workout, but I will save those for another day.
Anyway, a 5k at 6:15 pace was on the schedule which would be my fastest ever 3.1. The whole point here is to push myself into such a ‘hurt-zone’ that over time, I’ll be able to ignore the pain which will inevitable come during my Marathon. I succeeded at maintaining the pace. I’d love to give full credit to the New Balance 1400v2, but my mind, legs, and lungs were working in full overdrive that I didn’t give my shoes much thought. And that, I suppose, is the point. Just a short week ago, I ran a similar 5k in another pair of lightweight racers, and the bottom of my forefoot took a bit of a beating. Not this time around. The New Balance 1400v2 provided enough support and cushioning without sacrificing on weight and performance.
Next up: 6.5 miles with four 800 meter repeats thrown in. I was able to go under 3:00 for all four of them, but it was a serious effort. This time, I did focus on the shoes a little along with good form by trying to maintain a high cadence and quick turnover. I am really impressed at the responsiveness and how light these New Balance 1400v2 shoes are. I realized how ‘soft’ my foot strikes were while going for a high cadence. The very soft tap tap tap of my feet hitting the track was a welcoming sound, and made me feel like I was flying along only to touch the for more speed.
Finally, a longer-ish run of 10 miles to see if I could maybe race these in an upcoming half marathon. The good thing is that by wearing such lightweight and somewhat minimal shoes, focusing on a solid form does get me to this distance. I will probably opt for a bit more cushioning during my half marathon, but all shoe choices, running style, the unique body, and distance will vary for everyone. Although, I am far from elite and fast, I think I have dialed in my shoe choices for my runs; may they be easy, fast, long, trail, or technical. I believe my new New Balance 1400v2 kicks will find a nice place in the rotation as I continue my marathon training.
Final thoughts on the New Balance 1400v2
I am pleasantly surprised that such a lightweight shoe has certain technical features that allowed me to put this shoe to the test in a variety of settings and distances. If you are 100 or 200 pounds, this shoe is a good option for you to work on your speed and tempo. Depending on your running style, this can definitely be a shoe which can carry you to longer distances. Lightweight, REVlite midsole, and no-sew upper applications are the key to help you get faster.
The New Balance 1400v3, yes that’s ‘three’, should be coming out this Spring/Summer, so please keep a look out for that. I know I will!
For more details on the New Balance 1400 v2, and other quality running shoes please visit: www.newbalance.com