best place to buy mens shoes online:New Balance Vazee Summit Q & A with Katie DeSplinter Factory Suppliers Manufacturers Quotes

best place to buy mens shoes online:New Balance Vazee Summit Q & A with Katie DeSplinter

We heard from Dominic Grossman earlier this week, and now we are getting the low-down on the Vazee Summit (women’s, men’s) from Katie DeSplinter. Katie also happens to be a footwear tester for New Balance, and she told us all about why she is so pumped about the Summit.

How long have you been running? What’s your running background?

I started running 5ks with my dad way back in 5th grade, and then I did the whole high school track star thing. Hilariously enough, I ran 4’s and 8’s and while I also ran cross-country, I thought three miles was a horrendously long way. I opted for the dance team scene in college over track, but picked it back up after graduation as a hobby, running road marathons. It wasn’t until I moved from Missouri to California that I discovered the trails, which lead me down an internet wormhole to discover ultras. I ran my first ultra in 2009 and have been on the dirt ever since. Big, high, steep mountain terrain is my preference. The nastier the better.

What was the inspiration behind the Vazee Summit?

The New Balance 110 was our “trail racer,” but we saw the v2 move into way more of a shoe that just didn’t feel fast for most of us. The New Balance 101 (women’s, men’s) was a fine flat, but we’ve been wanting something with a thicker sole and actual lugs, while staying light and letting you feel the ground a bit. There was a definite hole in the line between the 110 and the 910.

How does this shoe compare and expand upon the NB 110v2?

Not even on the same planet. I have an extremely narrow foot, so I really couldn’t wear the 110v2 at all. Instead, developer Michael Buzon had some hybrids made for me of an 890v4 2A-width upper on a 110v2 sole, since I wanted the rockplate and grip of the trail shoe but with the fit of the road shoe. In essence, what I wanted all along was the Summit, but I didn’t find that out until I had it on my feet. It was definitely a Cinderella moment for me.


What terrain and distance is the Summit best suited for?

If it’s a trail, you can use it! I’ve raced a 50k in the sharp talus of Montana (The Rut) and just completed a 70 mile race in the Appalachians (Georgia Death Race), which threw everything from rocks and roots to long stretches of jeep roads, and the Summit was bomber (see “one word to describe your favorite features of the Summit” below). Perhaps for a race that was all fireroad or “Cali carpet” I might choose a cushioned road shoe, but for everything else – the Summit is all I want to wear. I plan to use it for everything from a 5k to a 100 miler this year, and am stoked that it’s truly a shoe that can handle it all. The 100 miler will take me on everything from gradual jeep roads to super rocky talus to snow and ice, and I’m glad I’ll have a shoe I can trust.

What was the testing process like?

I’m far off from sample size, so Dom usually enters the testing process a little sooner than I. While I’m normally jealous, this time it worked out (seeing that he had some issues with the fit being loose, and it would have been ten times worse on my narrow foot). My only contribution before the move to the 1400 last was subtly begging for it to be on the New Balance 1400 (women’s, men’s) last. I’ve actually been using the 1400 v3 a lot on the trails – even for a mountain 100, mainly because the fit is just so dialed.

When I got into my first pair, I was happy to hear that my thoughts on some minor things like the tongue were echoed in other’s thoughts and by the next version were fully solved. The rest of the testing process consisted of Dom and I continually telling each other how much we loved this shoe and then tweeting or texting brand manager Brendan Murray or Buzon to make sure that it all wasn’t a dream and the shoe was, in fact, being produced.

Where did you test the Summit and how many miles did you put in them?

I’ve put well over 600 miles in the Summit, most of which were in the coastal Santa Monicas and higher San Gabriels of Southern California. But this is great, because boy do we have a variety of terrain out here! I have plenty of groomed fire road miles, plenty of rocky, technical single track and even some snow and ice. I’ve also taken them to talus fields of the Eastern Sierra and was pleasantly surprised how protective they felt underfoot. The grip was fantastic, as a lot of my running eventually turns to scrambling up high. The Summit really echoes the reasons why I love living and training in California – the diversity of terrain that is here, and this shoe can cover it all.

If you could use one word to describe your favorite features of the Summit, what would it be and why?

Well, the one word that I’ve been using every time I describe this shoe to anyone is “bomber,” so I suppose I’ll stick with that. The combination of the snug fit, toothy lugs, rock plate and just enough underfoot to go the distance makes it the shoe I want to choose from my arsenal every time. Plenty of traction for grinding the ups, enough underfoot to bomb the downs – locks my foot in place so I don’t end up with weird foot and ankle stress after putting in big miles.


What sets this shoe apart from other trail shoes on the market?

The fit. I’ve always been amazed at how the 1400 fits such a variety of foot types, and the Summit carries on this great tradition. At a regular women’s B width, it fits better than any shoe I’ve ever had in a 2A. Yet, it’s also perfect for my fiancé (Dominic) who has a wider foot, particularly in the forefoot area. I have noticed a legitimate improvement in my downhill running simply from having a shoe that locks my foot in place.

What are some of your other favorite NB trail shoes?

There will always be a place in my heart for the 101. The 100 was the first trail shoe I ever loved, and I still enjoy taking it out for hill repeats. On recovery days, I’ll often throw on the cushioned New Balance Fresh Foam Hierros (women’s, men’s).

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