So it is clear to us now that the Zante is officially dead and while the Tempo v1 and v2 feel like the successors, there is one big difference. We’ll get into that but if you like a narrower, low platform, higher tempo shoe, with a lot of rebound and ground feel then the New Balance Tempo v2 just might be the shoe for you. If you have a medium to wide foot or like a little more cushion then you will probably be better served looking elsewhere.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Lower stack up-tempo shoe designed for those faster days where you want to dial it up.
- The Hypoknit upper can be hit or mess, midsole platform is narrow for most.
- Weight – 7.8oz or 258g for a US Men’s 9, 6.4oz or 181g for US Women’s 7.
- Cushion – 28mm of total stack (~24mm of cushion maybe?) and a 6mm heel/toe drop
- Pricing – $119.99 USD
- Colors – 2 options
Construction and Materials
- Upper – The Tempo v2 gets a new Hypoknit upper much like the 1080v12 which stretches to accommodate various foot sizes.
- Midsole – The midsole uses Fresh Foam X across the entire length of the foot. It’s not a lot, but what’s there delivers a fast and responsive ride.
- Outsole – The outsole does feature blown rubber at various high-wear locations for maximum grip.
What we loved
When the New Balance Fresh Foam X Tempo v2 (what a name) works for your foot, it really works well. That Hypoknit upper is stretchy and supportive at the same time, it has a great lock down on your foot, and the heel cup is a minimal yet stills hold you really well. Hypoknit itself along with an interior booty gives you that slipper like sensation that New Balance has been going for recently including the 1080v12 so on the foot things feel quite successful. Overall, the construction on these is really well done, so unless you catch the upper on something you should expect them to last you quite a while.
As for the for the midsole, this thing is just all Fresh Foam X. This means it delivers a decent amount of cushion, but more importantly responsiveness making this a fast shoe hence the name. This is your tempo day or even your speed is shoe and heck, you could even race in it just like you could the Zante before, probably best for a 5k or 10k. It does deliver quite a bit of ground feel but for those that prefer a lower stack or a more traditional feeling racing shoe, then this is going to make a lot of sense for you. Fresh Foam X does save the day here and if you liked the Zante in the past, the predecessor to the Tempo, then note there is going to be a lot more cushion here than there ever was on those.
The outsole delivers just enough blown rubber in key areas to provide ample traction on straightaways and when cornering but not too much to make the shoe feel bottom heavy or add extraneous weight. This is a speed shoe after all.
What we didn’t
The downsides of the shoe are both anatomical in nature and preferential in terms of your running style. First, the entire shoe is incredibly narrow. While the upper does stretch and give quite a bit, the midsole platform just doesn’t feel wide enough for normal size to wider feet. You get the impression you’re spilling over the top of the midsole and sometimes this can feel sloppy. This was the case in racing shoes of old and it’s clear that that’s what the Tempo V2 is trying to be, an older school speed shoe just with some modern technology built-in.
Next is that upper and we had the same issue on the 1080v12. The Hypoknit can just run a little warm compared to a traditional engineered mesh. For our money, we would easily take the Rebel v2 and run it against the Tempo v2 just because we think that material works better as an upper.
Lastly, it is about the amount of cushion you’re getting here and this is very much a personal preference thing. Simply put, we prefer more cushion now. Technology has advanced allowing us to have faster, higher stack shoes that protect your joints while still delivering performance. Going back and running in shoes like the Tempo v2 that have a ton of ground feel are going to be great for some people, but we are definitely gravitating more towards having more cushion underfoot.
The New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo v2 can be a very fast shoe, but that comes with a huge caveat. These things definitely land on the narrow side for many people so it is something you need to try before you buy. Also, while the Fresh Foam X implementation here is solid and delivers a ton turnover, there isn’t a ton of it on here which means a lot of ground feel. So the shoe itself is going to be hit or miss, for us we’d lean more towards the 1080v12 and for performance we would still spend the money on the Rebel v2.
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Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.