New Balance Vazee 2090 Review

It’s been a while since I’ve done a shoe review on the blog, but thanks to Strava and the Back Half Challenge, I have a cool, new pair to tell you about.

img_1779I have never worn New Balance shoes before, but I wasn’t going to say no to a free pair! Not having much experience with the brand, I turned to their website and focused on picking out a speed shoe. I like the cushioning of the Saucony Kinvara for my distance runs so I wanted to pick something different. Enter the New Balance Vazee 2090.

New Balance Vazee 2090 ReviewAt $150, they are a pricey shoe, but given that New Balance was treating me to a free pair, I obviously didn’t mind. 😉

According to New Balance,  the shoe is “…Powered by Nitrogen-infused N2 foam and REVlite cushioning, this women’s running shoe delivers a light and responsive ride mile after mile.” It weighs in at 8 oz. It has a 6 mm drop (the Kinvara has a 4 mm drop for reference).

New Balance Vazee 2090 ReviewI’ll admit – one of the big draws of these shoes for me was their design. I liked the patriotic red and blue, and they also have subtle gold stars along the toe. Remind me to save these shoes for a 4th of July race!

One of the other unique features of the Vazee 2090 is its “midfoot saddle”. This is the red to blue gradient section in the middle.

New Balance Vazee 2090 ReviewIn most of the other sneakers I have worn, the upper has wrapped all the way from the toe around the heel. With the Vazee 2090, the saddle is a separate piece, allowing it to wrap more snugly around the midfoot. I liked the cozy fit, and felt like it held my foot very securely especially during speedwork.

Vazee 2090 Review | 2 Generations RunningThe toebox is pretty roomy – a big bonus for me with my history of black toenails. While I seem to be able to get by with a 10 in some running sneakers, I opted for the 10.5 with this pair, not wanting them to be too tight and this was definitely the right choice. They fit like a dream.

New Balance Vazee 2090The ride of the Vazee 2090 is very different than my Kinvaras. They are not the bouncy, cushioned shoe I prefer for higher mileage. But for speedwork, they deliver a perfect, responsive ride. Would I wear these for a marathon? No, but a 5k? Yes, definitely.

Design: A

Fit: A+

Price: C 

Ride: B+ (good for speedwork, but I wouldn’t want to run double-digit mileage in these shoes).

Do you have a shoe you reserve for speedwork? Ever run in New Balance before? 


RunRepeat’s Sneaker Study

Who has two fingers and is obsessed with running sneakers?

RunRepeat.com Shoe Study | 2 Generations Running

THIS GAL. Fair warning – this post includes a lot of data about running shoes. For the running nerds out there (such as myself), I think you’ll find it interesting, but if this is already sounding boring, THEN I GIVE YOU FULL PERMISSION TO SKIP THIS POST. No hard feelings.

Now that I’ve given full disclosure, let’s talk shoes. I’m always pumped to get new running sneakers. But since I’ve become more serious about running, I also get a little bit stressed when it comes time to get a new pair. Running sneakers can be pretty pricey these days and sometimes, you just can’t tell how a running shoe is going to feel before you get some miles in them.

That’s where the website RunRepeat.com can be a serious lifesaver (or a huge time-suck if you enjoy reading reviews of running shoes). RunRepeat pulls reviews of running sneakers from all over the web, gives them a ranking, and sorts them all – by brand, similar designs, best/worst rating – you name it! One of my most popular posts is my review of my FANTASTIC Asics Gel Electro33’s, because my review is linked through their website (I’m listed as an expert review, NBD. 😉 See it here!)

Asics Gel Electro33 Review | 2 Generations runningThe website has compiled a TON of data on running shoes, and it’s actually pretty fascinating! Recently, the founder of the website reached out to me to share the findings from comparing 134,867 reviews of 391 running shoes from 24 brands.

4part (1)Basically, what this chart shows is that price is not necessarily associated with quality/customer satisfaction when it comes to running sneakers (No, that does not mean you should start training for a marathon wearing a $20 pair of sneakers you bought at Payless – DO NOT DO THAT!!) In fact, the less expensive brands they studied tended to have better satisfaction ratings. One of the findings I found the most interesting was that “Running shoes from running specialist brands are rated 2.8% higher than running shoes from broad sports brands (Nike, Adidas etc.)”

This didn’t really surprise me. Remember when I shared the data on the shoes most runners wore for the Boston Marathon? Well here it is again.

Boston Marathon Sneaker Data

Adidas (despite being the headlining sponsor of the Boston Marathon) represented less than 10% of runners and Nike was even less than that. Now, take a look at this chart which shows price and rating.

Brand Ratings from RunRepeat Study

Frankly, I was very surprised to see Skechers at the top of the list, as I don’t really see that as being a popular shoe brand for runners. But I think that’s exactly the answer– Skechers only has 5 models reviewed and rated on RunRepeat.com, and for all but one of those models, there are less than a thousand reviews. Compare that with Asics, who has at least 53 different models reviewed, with far more reviews per model on average. Frankly, I think there’s probably just not enough data on Skechers to truly compare it to some of the other brands.

RunRepeat.com Running Sneaker Study | 2 Generations Running

It’s kind of interesting data, right?!

Like any study, I would take these findings with a grain of salt. Basically, the takeaway (as I see it), is that you don’t need to be spending $120+ on a pair of running sneakers for them to be good quality. You should also be weary of sneakers that are from a broader athletic wear line, like Nike. They churn out A LOT of different merchandise, and may not specialize enough to really focus on designing an awesome running shoe.

If you’d like to read more about the study for yourself, you can check it out here on RunRepeat.com’s website. What shoe brand is your go-to? Have you ever tried a pair of sneakers that you ended up hating?


Asics Gel-Electro33 Review

Hello hello!

I, like most runners I know, am a certifiable running sneaker addict. I typically LOVE getting new shoes once I reach between 400-500 miles on my current pair. I have to say though, I was a little stressed about it this time around. Last year, right around the time that I started training for the Rochester Marathon, I had bought a new pair of sneakers that ended up being too rigid, and I ended up sidelined for about a month with a strained EHL (in other words, I injured my toe. Yes, you can do that.)

After consulting with an orthopedist and physical therapist, I found out it was important for me to opt for light, flexible running sneakers. So I had that in the back of my mind this time around when I was testing out new sneakers. Enter the Asics Gel-Electro33.

Asics Gel Electro33 Review | 2 Generations runningFrom the moment I put these on, I knew they felt right, despite the fact that I’ve never owned a pair of Asics before (Saucony and Brooks were my previous pairs!). These are light, flexible, and fast (I even ran my most recent 5k PR in them!)

Asics Gel Electro33 Review | 2 Generations Running

I’ve run a bunch of distances in these new shoes ranging from 3 miles to 9 miles, and I still love them as much as when I first tried them on. It’s great because they are flexible (like a minimalist shoe), but they still offer just the right amount of support. More and more shoes these days are offering a big, padded sole and extra cushioning – I love that these don’t. After reading Born to Run, I personally want to stay away from those types of sneakers (although I know they work well for certain runners.)

After doing a little reading online, I also found out that these particular sneakers have FluidAxis technology in the soles, which is supposed to help the shoe adapt to the particular stride and gait of each individual runner (whether you overpronate or underpronate!). Pretty neat!

Asics Gel Electro33And while I know as runners, we aren’t really supposed to pick out a pair of sneakers based on “pretty colors” – I have to say, I LOVE THE COLOR OF THESE SNEAKERS! 🙂 The blues and pink touches are gorgeous for spring and the warmer weather.

And lastly, Keeper approves of them.

Asics Gel Electro33 Review | 2 Generations RunningSo I may be an Asics type of gal from now on!

What kind of sneakers do you wear? Are you loyal to one brand in particular?