New Balance 1400 Review
The New Balance 1400 running shoes are marketed as a lightweight performance racing flat. I can see these New Balance 1400s doubling as an everyday trainer and a race day shoe. I was impressed by how well these shoes balanced cushioning, support, ground feel, and responsiveness all while only weighing in at 5.7oz.
In my opinion, New Balance did a great job on the aesthetics of these shoes which come in a bright blue and yellow combination and a more subdued purple with blue. The look of a shoe is definitely not the most important feature, but for me, it gets me to notice it and interested in learning more.
The uppers are a lightweight mesh material that provides a snug fit, but without a lot of bulk. There is a bit of padding in the traditional detached tongue and around the heel, but just enough for them to feel supportive yet not pillowy. I noticed that many of the seams in the upper aren’t sewn, but rather glued or fused together. I am sure that this helps to reduce weight and also reduces the risk of the seams causing discomfort. The laces were noticeably thinner than most other laces and it seems to me that this helped them stay tied better which is a huge bonus for me.
The midsole on the 1400s is made of REVlite which is a foam material that is 30% lighter than other foams that have comparable performance. The midsole provided an excellent mix of cushioning and firm responsiveness. I tested these on a mixture of runs and they felt firm enough for speed workouts and tempo runs, but cushioned and supportive enough for higher mileage days. After about a month of moderate use for both running and gym workouts the midsole seems to be holding up well, which was something I was weary of given how lightweight they are.
I was really pleased with the outsole on the New Balance 1400s. It felt really good on all surfaces providing full ground contact and secure grip. The outsole is thin to keep weight down, but is a durable rubber material with no real lugs to speak of. Even with a more durable outsole, the shoe had a lot of flex allowing me to feel each foot strike from start to finish.
As is expected from a race style shoe, these have a slimmer fit from heel to toe, with just enough extra space f toebox to allow for average width feet to swell a bit during long distances. Considering the style of shoe, I felt it ran true to size.
I only encountered one concern while testing these shoes and it was that the plastic details on the uppers started to peel as you can see in the image below. It does not appear that it will compromise the performance of the shoe at this point though.
The New Balance 1400 is a great all-around training shoe for neutral runners looking for one shoe to take them through varying distances and speeds. Although lightweight, I wouldn’t consider the New Balance 1400s a minimalist shoe because the heel-toe differential still hovers around 10mm. So those looking for a minimalist shoe should look toward New Balance’s Minimus line.