Thursday, July 18, 2013

Shoe Review- New Balance 1400

What. A. Shoe. WEIGHT: 7.1 oz/5.7 oz
The New Balance 1400 is one of the best shoes I've ever run in. After having come from the Asics DS Trainer (which I loved until they changed it to add the heel-tongue thing they on the 16) and the Wave Elixir, then jumping the pond and into the New Balance 904s/ 905s then into the (oddly wide) NB 1190 after the discontinuation of the 905, I think my feet might have found their home.
 The NB 1400 is labelled as a racing flat by New Balance themselves but it has so much more to offer. Sporting a more tradition 10mm heel drop it feels like your most reliable pair of runners, but it has a much lower profile than more traditional running shoes. This means that the 1400 is great for those who are looking for a more forward step. The lower profile in the heel means your heel won't be dragging quite as much when you step down, promoting a more forward foot strike and a faster push-off of the ground. Yet for those who are heel strikers, don't let the lower profile fool you. It may appear that having less bulky cushioning in through the heel is to its detriment but the 1400 still features NB's patented REVlite cushioning system meaning you'll have more than enough cushioning regardless of where your plant your foot.
Runner's World Profile Chart

 The 1400 features no-sew welded seams creating a superb snug upper fit that is free of typical chaffing-causing seam protrusions. It offers a very supportive, comfortable upper fit that make the shoe feel as though it's just an extension of your sock.
 The 1400 looks sharp and performs as such. It is ultra lightweight, super flexible and has that low to the ground profile you're looking for when you think of a fast shoe. It preforms well on roads, track and mild trails without any problems. It features a bit of a carbon plate through the arch for added support and strength while still allowing for natural foot movement and flexibility. The 1400 also features a sole all made of one material which lends to a very smooth and springy transition from heel through to toe.
 I've been in this shoe for about a month; I've run 400-450 km in the 1400 and they have been great. I haven't run into any issues of wear and tear- no rips, nothing (although I did step in gum and it go lodged in the heel pretty good within my first week of having them). They've gotten me through some speed work on the track, some long tempo runs as well as all of my long runs.

There are a few thing to note however.
These are lightweight trainers. They are designed to be light and fast. They are not for people who are looking for the extra support or are in need of a plush and cushioned shoe. They are not going to last forever and for those who maybe want a shoe to last them for 6 months while still maintaining decent mileage (although no shoe can really do that) this is not the shoe for you. The shoe also fits slightly narrow through the heel-arch area. I have had no problems with it because I have a bit of a narrow foot for a guy but for someone with wider feet that could cause issues. It fits very similar to the Saucony Kinvara in terms of heel to arch fit, but it does have a wider midfoot to promote that performance midfoot strike.
Going to the other end of the spectrum, they aren't minimalist either. For those looking to "feel" the road and the ground below them, I wouldn't suggest the 1400. It still has the cushioning in the midfoot and heel so that you don't get enough of the ground to feel every orifice and rock that dots the terrain.
The 1400 isn't for everyone. If you have a wide foot you're out of luck- unlike a lot of other New Balance shoes it doesn't come in wide widths. If you're looking for a shoe that is overly plush or are looking go au natural and feel the ground, the 1400 won't do for you. But if you are looking for a light, flexible, fast shoe, the 1400 just might be right for you.

(Newer models also glow in the dark which is awesome).
NB 1400 HI VIZ
Check out the New Balance 1400v2- Fully updated and ready to rock!

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