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The first thing you notice about the New Balance Vazee 2090s is the lurid fluorescent yellow colour scheme. The next is that they feel fast on the foot.
Having spent the majority of my running year in highly supportive but bulky trainers like the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080s, designed for comfort no matter how many miles you put in, the Vazees were a real change. The sleek profile and reduced cushioning mean you get a far greater feel for your run and you’ll almost certainly pick up the pace as a result.
At the same time, the Vazee 2090s still have enough support for long runs, and to be an easy adjustment from the likes of the 1080s. In theory they should slot in nicely as a faster option for those used to running long distances in highly supportive shoes, or a more cushioned option for those who spend most of their time flying through short runs at top speed in very lightweight trainers.
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Given this in-between status, it seemed right to test them out over both race-pace 5kms and steady, longer runs, and the 2090s coped with both admirably. Given the responsive ride, it was easy to push myself over shorter distances and even when I took them out for longer runs I found my pace naturally creeping up. Whatever the distance and the aim of your run, you’ll probably find yourself going a little quicker in the 2090s, which is no bad thing.
In fact, the 2090s have replaced my other running shoes on all kinds of runs, from interval training to the five-mile amble into work in the morning, always with the result that I end up moving a little quicker than usual.
So although they are an excellent option as an inbetweener, whatever your normal running style, the Vazees are also an excellent all-rounder. Supportive enough to ensure everything is still in working order the next day if you take them out for a longer run and fast enough that they won’t feel clunky over short sprints.
New Balance Vazee 2090, £120, buy on newbalance.co.uk
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.