Review: New Balance 1600 running shoes

Fine racing shoes for distances up to marathon – if technique allows

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
New Balance 1600 trainers

Shoe design lore seems to dictate that lightweight racing shoes = colourways that’d make Liberace wince.


But these fluoro blue trainers from the Brit brand actually ticked our aesthetic box and, as much of a racing shoe’s advantage over a moderate-cushioned run shoe is psychological, the look of a shoe shouldn’t be underestimated.

Of course, it’s how it physically performs that you’re truly interested in and there are no complaints there either. It’s certainly a lightweight, our UK size 10.5 hitting 172g on the scales. But the REVlite RC midsole’s grand sell is its highly dense foam. And it’s tangible, feeling like the Adidas Boost we tested recently.

Mind you, though pitched up to marathon racing, we’d contest individuals like this tester (1.89m and nudging 86kg) should reserve them for 5km to 21km unless they’re biomechanically sounder than Dame Chrissie. We’d also replace those laces with a pair of tri versions for a swift transition.

And if you find these just too garish, they also come in a slightly less flamboyant blue with black and yellow.

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