Doing for the road what the Minimus 1010V2 did for trail, the New Balance 1400v2 is the latest iteration of the popular, lightweight shoe that has managed to shave off even more weight, whilst retaining traction and responsiveness.
The 1400v2 weighs in at 360g (pair, UK8) and features quite a substantial 10mm drop from heel to toe, absolutely playing to those runners who resist the more minimalist approach which has continued to dominate the market through 2014. This then is really a heel-striker’s shoe but designed for those who still want to benefit from recent tech developments and looking for padding without excess weight.
Underfoot comfort comes, mostly, from the excellent REVlite midsole foam, which cushions well and rolls nicely with the motion of the run. The grip is fairly stripped back – we wouldn’t expect much else from a shoe designed mostly for pounding the pavements – but it’s proven more than adequate even in wet conditions and with autumnal detritus littering the roads.
The mesh upper (over a really lightweight grid support) is going to let water in of course and there’s no gusset to the tongue, which is otherwise well padded and comfortable, so don’t expect to stay dry in the 1400v2. Then perhaps you don’t expect to in a road shoe and it’s only those fussy trail-runners that pamper their feet like that?
To describe the 1400v2 as ‘simple’ probably does it a disservice, but, to its credit, it’s certainly uncomplicated. Cuff padding is nicely judged, the removable foot-bed cradles well and there’s enough of a lip at the front to act as a reasonable toe guard.
There were undoubtedly those who feared that the v2 would mess too much with the integrity of the original, but those fears prove groundless; what New Balance have really done here is taken a well-loved shoe and tweaked it with some new materials to make it better. That’s quite a refreshing approach, given how cynical consumers can be about regularly updated kit and apparel.
The New Balance 1400v2 retails at £90 and are available in both men’s and women’s. Full details and online purchase at newbalance.co.uk