New Balance 1400 v2

1400v2

First, I should like to begin by telling you—all you Launch fans—that if you take out the insole that comes with the shoe, you get a whole new flavor of Launch.  I think it makes the shoe feel more responsive.  More poppy.  Poppier.  The fit changes, yeah, so you might have to accommodate that difference, but ommfg! It’s what the Launch was meant to be.  Try it.  Seriously.  I learned that trick from the fine folk at Newton, and have been experimenting here and there on various shoes with it.  The Launch is already one of the best shoes available, and now it’s like running into that old high school girlfriend years later and she’s all growed up and then you have to call in sick for two days because all a sudden you’re in a hotel in NOLA with a pile of room service trays outside your door and a crick in your neck.   Except, shoes.

Ok, secondly, HOLY F***BALLS!  You need the New Balance 1400 v2, like, right now!  You all knew of my profound and probably unhealthy love for the original.  I mean, I loved them so much I wore them to Cooter’s Place because I wanted to be, you know, respectful.  Serious.  True Story.  I’d put the 1400 on the same altar as the original Adios and the Tarther, both of which are now in line for sainthood.  It’s true.  Shoes can be saints.

The newest 1400 were just released, and, I gotta tell ya:  Oh.  God.  Actually, can we take a moment of silence?  Just for a minute.  Because I…just a sec.

OK.  So.  The New Balance 1400 v2.

These bad girls are almost exactly what a running shoe is supposed to be.  Other shoes that would fall into this category are the aforementioned Launch, the original Adios, (and then the Adios 2), the Tarther (sniff), maybe the Kinvara—maybe—and I can’t think of the other ones right now because I’m so loveydoveytingley that my neurons are pretty much making out with each other.  These could be classified under “Shoes I would wear if I could only wear one shoe for the rest of history, or, ‘til something else cool comes out.”

The main thing you want to know is that, yes, they are new, top to bottom.  Shit weighs like an ounce less than the previous version, which means that you’ll PR in salad bar lunges no prob.  A hair under 6 and a half ounces.  The midsoles feel a bit firmer, which is the sexier way to do midsoles, though I don’t have an exact durometer on that.  Everyone now has a new midsole compound that is X or Y% lighter than the previous, yet retains all the cushioning properties, etc., etc.  New Balance call their product REVlite, which would be a really good name for a rock band if I were the lead singer. There is more blown rubber on the full contact outsole, and that means more smoothiness to you and me.  The upper is new too, with a more open mesh, so on those days when the humidity reaches hyper moist levels, you’ll be way more comfortable, but no less disgusting.

The one concern I have is, thus far, the fit, right at the toes.  The v2 seem to be a bit, I don’t know, pointier at the toes.  Am I seeing that right?  It certainly looks like it.  I can’t say for certain yet, but I’m thinking that people with a bit of width right there at the end of the foot may have an issue with that.  And I think maybe the overlays in the front are just one too many.   My feet are pretty narrow.  Not real, real narrow.  Regular narrow.  I don’t know.  It doesn’t really bother me, but I’m just trying to think ahead.  Maybe I’m just concerned about the pointiness.  I dig the fit in the heel and midfoot though.  Snuggy.  It’s almost a curved last.  Almost.  The 1400 are on a Japanese racing last, which might be why I like them so much.

The Japanese part.  If you’re new round here, and don’t know what I’m talking about, let me catch you up to speed a bit.  I’m—how do I say this delicately?—fond of the Japanese shoes.  If I say it not delicately, it’s a fetish.  I mean, what’s not to like?  I mean, the Japanese looooooooove the marathon.  Fukushi.  Kawauchi.  Seko.  Q-chan. Tamagoyaki.1   The thing I like about the Japanese designed shoes is that they tend not to be so fucking baroque.  There’s not a bunch of designy shit all over them.  Simple, functional design aesthetic and not much else.  We Americans want our running shoes mostly to look like fucking space shuttles.  Millennium Falcons all chromy and shit.  Anyway.

The 1400, the Tarther (sniff) and the Adioseses are all kinda the same shoe, ‘cept different.  They’re all Japanese designed marathon racers with, give or take, 9ish millimeters of offset.  Lightweight, yet substantial enough to do the daily miles.  Poppy.  Responsive.  Not that anyone cares about the exact number, but for the 1400 I’ve seen that the offset is anywhere from 8-10mm.  But that doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you strap these bad girls on, they disappear—Vwooop!—and you get to rollin’.  They’re just so smooth.  Like the original Adios even, except for the pointy part.  I’m serious.  Shoe Pantheon.  Pantheon of Shoes.  It’s pretty rare that I wear the same shoe on consecutive days.  It seems to me that a good shoe rotation can help with keeping those little niggles at bay.  But the 1400 are one of those shoes that you want to wear every day.

The 1400 are what running shoes are pretty much supposed to be.  That’s not to say that shoes that aren’t like this are no good.  I know they are.   And not everyone can wear one model.  But running is supposed to be simple.  At some point we came to believe that our running shoes weren’t performance shoes if they weren’t, you know, all techied out and shit, because of, you know, marketing.  But here’s the deal:  Really good design—really good design—doesn’t need all that stuff to be legit.  It just doesn’t.  We just think it does, maybe because we don’t have faith in ourselves, or know what good design is, I don’t know.  But the New Balance 1400 v2 is almost—almost—exactly what you need, and nothing more.  Except the 1600.  You need the 1600 too.

 

 

1Fuck yeah, tiny omelets!

24 responses to “New Balance 1400 v2

  1. Hey Coach,
    How is the new mesh and weight compared to that awesome grey mesh 1400 that came out a few months ago? Love those things, but could use a ‘pointier’ toe for my next marathon. The grey was a little sloppy/foldy/something for my foot.
    Ed

    • Hi Ed!
      The new mesh seems to be so far, so good. No issues with sloppy or foldy. I think the front part of the laces might crease on the top of some people’s feet, but again, it doesn’t bother me. The overlays on the lateral side–near the little toes–might not sit right on some toes either.
      I keep my shoes fairly loose, I think, compared to most. That might be the reason that I don’t have significant issues with that kind of stuff.
      Enjoy your new kicks!

  2. Superb post Coach. You and I seem to be all over the new-old school style of marathon flat that basically wins. In this school, the Adidas Takumi and the NB 1600 for me are BEST. IN. CLASS.

    TBR

    • Aren’t they? I love the stuff that disappears underfoot! As far as “technology” goes, often times I feel that if it isn’t necessary to have it, then it is necessary not to have it.
      Thanks for the note, TBR!

  3. John, I really enjoy your take on running shoes. I made a pilgrimage to Rogue when I was in Austin last week and bought a pair of Launches. And now I have a question for you. I love the ride of the Launch. Loved the 1400 too–but in both marathons I raced with the 1400, they felt a little soft and like ‘not enough shoe’ by the end of the race. Want to race in something a little less than the launch and a little more than the 1400–any great ideas? (the adios doesn’t fit my feet great).

    Thanks,

    P

    • Thanks, P.

      Hm. You could try the Kinvara. It gives great protection and is lightweight. Some people have issues with the narrow-ish fit, though that doesn’t present an issue for me.

      I like a couple of the ASICS 33 series shoes, but they are a bit more “trainer” than “racer” in terms of feel.

      If you can wait, I think the Mizuno Hitogami could be the real deal; if not, check out the Musha.

      Please let me know how things go!

      • Thanks for the speedy response! I’ve put a bunch of miles in the Kinvara 3, and liked them–they just don’t have that “THING”. Yeah, I can wait, my next full is in March. I’m hoping the Hitogami or the Hyperspeed might do the trick. Right now the gospeed is the front-runner.

        Thanks again. P

      • Oh, and the A6, of course! Because I love the A5…
        I’ll rely on you to do a shootout–shoetout? and let us know where the magic lies.

    • I’m waiting on a pair now. I liked the v3, though I understand that a good number of people had issues with the shallow toe box. The v4 seems to have rememdied that, and I’m looking forward to checking them out. I’m not sure I like all the segmented pods on the outsole though. Often times that can hinder a smooth heel-toe transition. But I’ll wait to see what’s what before I pass judgement.
      Have a good one.

      • John,
        Thanks, I actually picked a pair of the v4’s up. Have put about 40 on them so far. Really enjoying them. Not sure I’d do speedwork in them, but they ride nice, pop off the ground and are super duper comfortable. Definitely a go to for me right now. Will most likely pick up the 1400 v2’s next. Thanks, as always, for your words.

  4. Sir. Would those who have high arches like me will be good with these pair? Thank you very much!

    • It seems to me that the shape of your arches has less to do with it than you might think. It’s a relatively narrow shoe, and the midsole/outsole is cut almost like a track spike. So it might appear that they are made for those with higher arches. But I’ve got flat, floppy feet and I’m absolutely in love with these shoes. For whatever reason, shoes with that spike last feel really good on my feet; I really like the way they hug the midfoot and make the shoe disappear. The Brooks T7 is another favorite–and even more dramatically shaped. Also the 1600 is similar and that is a go-to. Ultimately, I think you have to put the shoe on and try it. If the fit and feel are such that the shoe disappears on your foot, then you’re probably good to go. However, if you put the shoe on and something just isn’t right, then you may need to consider something with a little less sculpting in the midsole. The 890 perhaps.
      Enjoy!

      • Thank you very much for your suggestion. I will go try both 1600 and 890! (I hope the 890 is available in my country)

  5. Hey Pete, how do you think these compare to the V1? I am really tossing up which model to get. I prefer the looks of the first version, yet I am fond of the weight loss of this version. Yet I have heard the inside of the upper is quite rough and will inhibit the ability to wear them sock less which you could do with the V1’s. Knowing all this information; which one’s would you recommend.

    • Hi Toby,
      Perhaps you mean to address this to Pete here.
      But because I’ve had coffee, I’ll address it anyway. I like the ride of the new v2–more responsive, more pop–and the upper of the v1. But I think my preference for the v1 upper is mostly because I first fell in love with that one, and so maybe there is some sentimental value to that. Sock less? Probably v1.
      But with either shoe, you really can’t go wrong. Well, you can, but still. It don’t get much better than that!
      Enjoy!

  6. Hey coach . Excellent review !
    I’m a runner still searching for that perfect pair of shoes . I have bought 6 pairs in the last 10 months including – Kinvara 3, Ronins, type A5, lunaracer 3. I was just considering the Sayonara when I stumbled across your post.
    Just after more info on the fit. I have relatively wide , Flat feet . I find the Kinvara a little narrow in toe box due to the angle the front of shoe cuts in. The Lunaracer is a bit narrow. Type A5 fits well, and I find the Ronin a bit sloppy .. How do 1400’s compare with Kinvara ?
    Then I just need to find a stockist in Brisbane
    Cheers
    Steve

    • Hey Steve,
      You and I have similar tastes in footwear, for sure.
      The 1400 (both v’s) runs pretty narrow overall, and particularly through the midfoot. The forefoot has a little more room, though not much. V2 is a little pointier than v1, but the width at the metatarsals feels about the same, though the overlays feel different. If you think the Kinvara is narrow, you’ll probably find the same in the 1400.
      Hope that helps. Let me know what you find!

  7. I’ve never felt this way about a shoe before… who knew love could be so easy? I bought the 1400’s on a whim after reading this blog (I’m in Australia so they were an ebay, no returns purchase and I was sure it was a mistake as soon as I pressed “Confirm purchase”) and they’ve turned out to be perfect so thanks for the review! So now you’re kinda my guru of shoes I like, which brings me to my question… is there a shoe like the 1400 that has a lower drop? They’re perfect at race pace but when I jog I feel like the heel gets in the way, maybe I’m imagining it? But still, if there other shoes that I might like the way I do this one, please let me know…

    • I agree!

      The 1400 is so good that New Balance would do well to use it as the model for their other performance shoes. The 890, a really good shoe, would be a great shoe if it rode more like the 1400.

      If you’re looking for something a bit lower in the NB line, the 1600 is the best bet. It is a lighter, lower 1400, essentially. It should have an update coming soon, so keep an eye peeled for that as well.

      Thanks so much for your feedback.

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  9. Just what I needed to read, or hear, or read aloud to myself so I could hear what I read, so that the idiom works. I’ve sat on my desire to buy the 1400 v2 when I found out about it just because of the 8mm drop. But, this and another review pretty much sealed my fate – I will buy. I’ve been on the MRC 5000, which I love, but lasted about 2 months before they became mush. Just got into the xc 900, but I think it’s a bit narrow. It grips nicely, but I just needed one final excuse to get the 1400….and the 1600. Sorry, wallet.
    Great post!

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