New Balance Vazee Rush V2 – 50+ Mile Review

Okay, I got a bit behind and my New Balance Vazee Rush V2’s have over 70 miles on them. However, I did make a change to them at around 50 miles and wanted to see if the change made a difference in how the shoes felt/performed.

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First of all, they are last year’s model and I bought them on Amazon for a wicked good sale price. So they met one of the big requirements that I have they were reasonably priced.

Yes, cheap I am.

Second the VR2’s are a size 8.0 EE, which I am finding, especially in New Balance shoes fit my Hobbit feet just about perfectly.

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What kind of runs have I done, treadmill, roads, wet, snow-covered, faster tempo or progression runs and an 8.0 mile long run. Just about every type of run that I typically do except for running on the dirt i.e. now muddy road down-back. So I have gotten a nice variety of runs in them and pretty much know how they feel/do for me.

I ran quite well in them and while I wouldn’t want a steady diet of runs longer than 3-4 miles in them due to how firm they were in their original configuration.

Yeah, they were quite firm, almost harsh. The Vazee Rush V2’s reminded me a lot of when I first started running in PI N2 v1’s and how much I didn’t like them at first. Although the heel-to-toe transition is not as smooth.

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Still they were a confusing shoe for me. The VR2’s are fairly light-weight and firm enough running shoe to run faster in, but not quite what I would consider a 5K or shorter race day shoe and yet were too firm for me to be comfortable for racing longer. While at the same time the VR2’s had similar stack heights to other shoes that I have used as my daily trainers, they were not a shoe that I would readily go out for an easy or longer run in.

A very confusing shoe and figuring out how to use them…well that was the question.

After 50 miles, I decided to take the insole out of a pair of NB 860’s and see what kind of difference it made to the Rush V2’s. I won’t say it made them a completely different running shoe, but it took the edge off the firmness that I wasn’t thrilled about and made VR2’s a much more enjoyable shoe for me, but didn’t affect my being able/wanting to run faster in them.

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It also increased the weight from 8.8 ounces to 9.1 ounces (not a big deal).

All I know is that I like the VR2’s a lot better since I put in the 860 insoles, they just feel more comfortable on my feet.

What I like

They are wide enough for my Hobbit feet and are comfortable to wear while running for any of the distances I am doing now. I think that pretty much says it all.

Oh yeah, the outsole has plenty of rubber and will last a long, long time, even with the yellow showing through in a couple of places – there is still a lot of rubber under there.

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They are bright Harold colors!

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I can run fast enough in them to race most distances, especially 10K and up, and they provide a good level of protection for me on daily runs up to 5-6 miles.

The 6mm drop encourages me to run a little towards the forefoot/midfoot, at least until I get tired.

What don’t I like

The VR2’s are strictly road or firm dirt road shoes, the outsole pattern doesn’t leave much doubt about that

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In their original configuration they were too firm.

Even with the 860 insoles, the VR2’s didn’t protect my feet as well when I got tired on an 8.0 miler and I started to heel-strike more often. Although, if I lost 15 pounds and got in better shape it would probably help a great deal with that problem.

Conclusion

Since I switched out the insoles, I am very happy with how the New Balance Vazee Rush V2 are working for me.

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They are a road shoe I can run comfortably in and wouldn’t hesitate to race in up to a half-marathon, although I have better choices for 5K’s I think they would do fine for the shape that I am in now.

It will be interesting to keep putting miles on them.

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