New Balance's Vazee line of running shoes has seen many variants in recent months, among them the Vazee Prism for flat-footed runners and Vazee Pace for neutral runners. The latest addition is the Vazee Breathe.
It features a new perforated upper with breathable overlays, to allow perspiration to escape in the most needed areas. From the outside, it just looks like there're plenty of small vent-holes.
It features New Balance's HeatFoil technology, which comprises a heat-reflective film in the sole area, between the foot and the ground. This film is supposed to deflect heat away from your foot.
The midsole contains a high-rebound foam for energy return during impact and toe-off. Its rubber outsole has a pod-like design in the forefoot area to aid transition during foot strikes.
With a 6mm heel drop - the difference between the heel height and mid-foot height - the Vazee Breathe is more of a minimalist running shoes for neutral runners.
WEIGHT: 270g (US9, Men's)
VALUE FOR MONEY: 5/5
The review unit comes in blue and white. I like the grey version better, but it still looks pretty good, whether for running or shopping.
Wearing it in an air-conditioned room, I immediately feel a sense of "coolness" inside the shoes. I could feel air being pushed out whenever I put on the shoes, and my feet stays cool even during hot mid-afternoon runs. It's easily the most breathable shoes in this roundup.
In addition, the shoes felt comfortable right away, with a good snug fit. They are lightweight but have enough cushioning and support. My injury-prone ankles never once ached when I was running with them.
On the downside, with that many "air-con" vents on the upper, it is very easy for water to enter.
•Verdict: With its ultra-breathable upper, the New Balance Vazee Breathe is great to run in in our current hot weather. Just remember to run for shelter if there is a sudden downpour.