The New Balance Vazee Rush v2 is designed for both the gym and the road, according to its maker.
It uses a new midsole foam called Rapid Rebound, which gives considerably more rebound than New Balance's standard-performance foams. The rubber outsole has strategically placed grooves and flexes to enhance flexibility and traction.
A three-layer mesh upper provides support for movement in all directions, while remaining breathable. The mid-foot saddle and no-sew bootie construction provide support with a sock-like fit.
Available in grey, black/white and black/pink (version reviewed), the Rush v2 is not spectacularly good-looking. But I'd readily wear it as a pair of casual sneakers.
When I first put on the shoes (without socks), I was pleasantly surprised at how fitting and secure they felt. The "deconstructed" heel counter might not look like much, but it provides good support and does not constrict movement - great for my injury-prone ankles.
I usually do not wear new shoes for runs that are longer than 5km, but I used the Rush v2 for a 7km run event and it felt great.
MATERIAL: New Balance's Rapid Rebound midsole with synthetic mesh upper
WEIGHT: 265g (Men's US 9)
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
I was running in hot and humid conditions, but the shoes felt comfortable and the cushioning lessened the impact on my knees. There was no slippage of the foot, and my toes did not feel cramped. There were also no hot spots to report, despite the heat.
The rebound with each stride felt substantial, but not as pronounced as what you get with Puma's Ignite and Adidas' Boost midsole technology. Even so, I finished the run without feeling any foot ache.
The only downer is the Rush v2's traction. I felt it was not as good as what the Asics fuzeX TR offers. I wouldn't go too fast during front and lateral movements.
• Verdict: If you are new to jogging, the affordable New Balance Vazee Rush v2 might suit you with its all-round performance in cushioning and rebound.