We might be nearing the end of the traditional racing season, but that’s no reason not to check out the latest racer that New Balance has to offer.
This isn’t a new shoe, it’s actually an update to the RC1600 that was launched a couple of seasons ago. This version isn’t wildly different, but then again, why change a good thing right?
For you eagle-eyed runners out there, you would have noticed that the outsole has remained unchanged from the original. The high traction studs and carbon plate in the outsole are still there, as of course, is the Revlite cushioning compound. It feels like the heel drop remains at 6mm as well. The RC1600v2 claims to be a shoe that can take you from a 5k race up to the marathon. At 145g, this shoe is pretty feather-weight, but I have to say that that might not be an empty claim. Even after a couple of steps, you feel that this shoe packs more cushioning than it’s thin outsole would have you believe it has.
The big updates to the RC1600v2 are in the upper. The upper remains light and breathable with it’s open mesh construction. The FantomFit upper has been redesigned, improving the level of comfort as well as the fit. The original RC1600 was already super comfortably, but the v2 goes a step further in locking your foot in without being overbearing. Inside the shoe, it is virtually seamless so sockless running is definitely an option.
The RC1600v2 is New Balance’s premium racer and it proves itself well worth of that title. The use of premium materials in the upper through to the outsole combine to deliver a shoe that ticks all the boxes when it comes to weight, fit, performance and though some might disagree, looks. The RC1600v2 run true to size and have a spacious toe box that is often sacrificed in many of the other racers out there. This is still a shoe that might be best suited for distances up to the half marathon for most, but biomechanically efficient runners will be able to take this through to the marathon with little issue.
The women’s Ironman World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae, recently wore the RC1600v2 to a swift course-record breaking 2hr50min marathon in Kona.
The RC1600v2 retails for $199 and is available in store now!
For many runners, the previous version of the RT1100 was a lightweight option that offered a good amount of cushioning with mild support features. The one gripe was that the heel unit often felt chunky and this prevented runners from turning to the RT1100 as a race day option. If you fell into this group, you will appreciate the improvements in the latest version of this shoe – the RC1100 V2.
My first impression was that RC1100 looked way sleeker than the previous RT1100. The new RC-1N racing last and decision to reduce the heel-toe offset to 4mm give the RC1100 that close to ground feel. This isn’t something that has been readily available with many New Balance shoes in the past (aside from the RC5000 & RC1600) and it’s cool because the shoes feel fast even when you’re just standing around in them.
Dynaride and ABZORB cushioning are standard. Those fancy, high traction studs on the bottom always nice to look at and are indeed grippy on a variety of surface. New to the RC1100 is the of the T-Beam shank (that silver bit) that helps to improve torsional rigidity and provide support. It is more substantial than the older Stability Web and you will notice something under your arch the first time you slip these shoes on but doesn’t feel like “too much”.
The RC1100 has all the good stuff – the REVlite compound reduces the weight without sacrificing cushioning and the FantomFit upper make this one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve tried from New Balance. FantomFit is a no-sew technology that is lighter and stronger, it gives the shoe a closer fit with improved comfort. The RC1100 felt a bit narrow in midfoot area initially but felt better after a couple of minutes. The 2E width makes for a roomy toe box. I experienced some mild heel slip even when I laced up to the last eyelet, but the FantomFit upper locked down the midfoot and I didn’t notice any excessive movement otherwise. These shoes seem to run a little big, so I would consider sizing down by half a size when you get your’s.
I’ve not run extensively in the New Balance shoes that use the newer REVlite compound so I admit that I didn’t love these shoes straight away. The RC1100 is not stiff (like the adidas adios 2) but it is firmer underfoot than shoes like the Asics Hyperspeed 5 or Nike Lunarspider LT+ 3. It has a responsiveness and feel that grows on you and is very stable whenever you plant your foot. This is unlikely to be your weekly long run shoe but for workouts at the track to your extended tempo runs, it will work a treat. On race days, this shoe will easily take you from your 10km up to the marathon.
The RC1100 V2 is a unisex shoe. It is available in sizes US6 – 12 and retails at $185.
For runners looking for a shoe with a little less cushioning for those really fast days, just look at it’s older brother, the new RC1300 V2.
The first new shoes to hit our shelves for 2013 are from New Balance.
New Balance has been pushing the envelope the last few years. No longer are they known as the “army shoes” here in Singapore. New Balance regularly produces technologically advanced and good looking shoes.
Two traditional favourites, the RC1300 and RT1100, are back but with a couple of upgrades.
Both models are now built on New Balance’s Revlite cushioning platform which is 30% lighter than traditional compounds but results in no loss of cushioning.
Another welcomed improvement is in the upper. There has been a big reduction in the amount of stitching. New Balance has instead gone for more breathable mesh paneling and seamless overlays (especially in the mid/forefoot region) that are likely to have been borrowed from the FantomFit upper that we saw on the RC1600 racer.
Technical mambo jumbo aside, what this translates to is a significantly lighter shoe with a more comfortable and secure upper. The RC1300 is the Japanese inspired racer while the RT1100 is the versatile, lightweight race-trainer.
The RC1300 (RRP: $185) and the RT1100 (RRP: $175) are available now at The Runner’s Gait.