New Balance Fuel Core Sonic
7 years or so ago while at Zoot we developed the first ever road running shoes with the Boa Closure System. The process for a factory is not easy. In fact factories don’t like it. They would rather use laces. But I think we set the stage for others to build off what we did. I can tell you this, in my research the only Zoot shoes I ever see around the world on runners are the shoes with the Boa Closure System. That should tell you a couple things:
- The system works – If you are still using a shoe 4-6 years after you bought it there must be something to it.
- The Boa Closure System is very durable – The company stands behind the quality of their product and again after this many years it’s still working.
- The fact that New Balance and Asics both have road shoes now with the Boa Closure System we’ll see more in the coming years.
A quick note on shoe names. The name of a shoe is meaningless until it’s your favorite shoe of all time. The Brooks Adrenaline was a terrible shoe for a number of years until it hit a formula that made it one of the most popular. You’ll see this NB shoe on websites with the Vazee name printed on the photo. They went a bit crazy with the Vazee name and it became synonymous with nothing. It’s hard to determine if Fuel Core is going to stick around. I can tell you the designers don’t like it because they have to design panels that allow Fuel Core XXX or in this case Fuel Core Sonic to appear on the shoe.
Weight Men’s: 8.4oz
Weight Women’s: 7.2oz
Midsole Drop: 6mm
Midsole Volume: Moderate
This Boa Closure System is outstanding and easy to use. Simply push the dial in place, turn to tighten, pull the dial out to release the tension. You can adjust the pressure across the top your foot in milimetters. You can’t do that with laces. Another benefit is no single tight spot on top of your foot. You know when you pull the laces too tight you get points of pressure. You don’t get that here. Oh and these will not come loose mid run like your laces might. Simply slip on push, turn and run.
The one piece REVlite midsole is great. When I say one piece, there isn’t a cushioning system added to the shoe. No inserts or additional layers of foam. This removes glue from the construction and anytime you remove glue you acheieve a better feeling shoe. I also like REVlite because it has a firmer ride to it. Firm mean’s responsive.
New Balance like every brand out there has a relationship with the company that makes Ortholite insoles. They are pervasive across shoes and brands. They are soft and feel really good for awhile. They break down really fast and none of them provide any real arch support. For this shoe New Balance built their insole on their own. It’s a more durable EVA foam and it has a nice arch support. An insole can make or break the feel of the shoe. This one adds benefit to the feel of the Sonic.
The heel and midfoot lock down is so good, the forefoot feels almost cheap. It all depends on the type of running you want to do in the shoe. If you are running on even surfaces this shoe runs really well. If you run on anything uneven you will feel your forefoot “sliding”. I put that in quotes because it’s a feeling of no support vs actually sliding off the edge of the shoe.
Up in the top left of the picture you see that big seam. At that seam New Balance is joining tow different materials (upper and tongue construction) in a u-throat design. Both materials are folded in wth that seam joining them. It’s a fat seem and really doesn’t need to be so thick. If you try this shoe without socks you might feel that seam.
The outsole is hard. A firm midsole with a hard outsole make for a unique ride. I’m the first marketer that says every shoe shouldn’t be soft. The firm feel though will cause some people to shy away.
- The BOA Closure System is unique and now priced where it it’s not a risky buy.
- The price at $110 is extremely good.
- If you like a firm responsive ride.
- As a second shoe to run in. A great compliment to your long run shoe.
- If you put it on in the store and don’t feel ultra confident about the forefoot fit. It won’t improve.
- If you are looking for a soft relaxing ride this won’t do it.
- If this is the only shoe you will run in, there are more versatile shoes.
Total number of runs: 23
Total Estimated Miles: 120
Longest Run: 8 miles