Reviews: Wearables

Easy-fit running shoes, minus the hassle of tying the laces

The New Balance FuelCore Sonic uses the BOA Fit System, which consists of an integrated rotating dial, laces and lace guide, that lets wearers easily adjust the fit of the upper by turning the dial to their liking.
The New Balance FuelCore Sonic uses the BOA Fit System, which consists of an integrated rotating dial, laces and lace guide, that lets wearers easily adjust the fit of the upper by turning the dial to their liking.PHOTO: NEW BALANCE

Tired of tying your shoelaces? You might want to try the New Balance FuelCore Sonic running shoes.

It uses the BOA Fit System, which consists of an integrated rotating dial, laces and lace guide, that lets wearers easily adjust the fit of the upper by turning the dial.

This is not a proprietary New Balance technology. Asics and Under Armour will also be using the BOA system for some of their running shoes.

Positioned on the out-step, the BOA dial controls a lace system that attaches to a large overlay strap across the in-step of the shoe.

Pull out the BOA dial to release the tension of the lace and slip your foot into the shoe.

Next, press the dial back into place and turn the dial clockwise to tighten the strap.

It is really easy. But you need to work out the tension you prefer. As the lace pulls the strap only towards the outstep, it might not give you the more uniform tension that shoelaces do. Also, for those with narrow feet, the toe box might not be as fitting.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $149

    MATERIAL: BOA fit system with synthetic mesh upper

    HEEL DROP: 6mm

    WEIGHT: 237g (US 9, men's)

    RATING

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

After some trial and error, I was able to crank the dial to a perfect fit that wraps my foot tightly but with enough wiggle room for my toes.

Looks-wise, the FuelCore Sonic easily doubles as a pair of trendy sneakers whether it is the stealthy all-black (the version tested) or the bright blue model.

It looks clean and mimimalist, with a reflective New Balance logo of corresponding tone to match each colour model. The sock-like mesh upper is of similar colour as well. Only the white RevLite midsole breaks the colour monotony. This is something I would wear for work or leisure.

The fit is good, butit took two to three 5km runs before I really felt comfortable with the shoes. The ventilation is not as good as that of some running shoes I have tested, but the Sonic did not cause any hot spots. My main gripe is the lack of a strong heel counter, which I normally look for to protect my injury-prone ankles.

Otherwise, the Sonic runs pretty much like the Vazee Pace - my favourite New Balance running shoes. It provides great cushioning and responsiveness during runs.

Perhaps the best part is that I no longer need to worry about the shoelaces coming undone or accidentally stepping on the shoelaces during runs.

Trevor Tan

•Verdict: For those looking for form and function in their running shoes, the New Balance FuelCore Sonic is a convenient choice.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2017, with the headline 'Easy-fit running shoes, minus the hassle of tying the laces'. Print Edition | Subscribe