Sports Tech

Beat the heat with the NB Vazee Breathe

The New Balance Vazee Breathe is easily the most breathable shoes in this roundup.
The New Balance Vazee Breathe is easily the most breathable shoes in this roundup.PHOTOS: ADIDAS, ASICS. NEW BALANCE, NIKE, PUMA

Film in the sole area meant to deflect heat from wearer's foot

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.


    PRICE: $169

    WEIGHT: 270g (US9, Men's)


    DESIGN: 4/5



    OVERALL: 4/5

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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2016, with the headline 'Beat the heat with the NB Vazee Breathe'. Print Edition | Subscribe