Sometimes the equal is better, and that’s certainly the case with the performance-oriented Fresh Foam Zante 2. The original Zante turned heads (and won awards) last year for its connective feeling between foot and ground. This year’s version has been improved with a better fit around the arch. Although it remains a lightweight, nimble trainer, the second iteration of the Zante is slightly more cushioned with a slightly thicker outsole than the first. (The outsole also has more flex grooves to aid its flexibility.) The changes add to the shoe’s functional versatility and mileage range without losing any of its hi-rev performance attributes. Our wear-testers reported that it had a somewhat narrow and very athletic demeanor, but liked it because it wasn’t merely a speed shoe. “It’s not a shoe I’d take out on a 20-miler, but it certainly has the cushion and the energy for workouts and longer tempos,” one tester said.
This is the shoe for you if … You’re looking for a versatile, light and fast trainer that can double as a long-distance shoe.
Weights: 8.6 oz. (men’s), 7.1 oz. (women’s)
Heel-toe offset: 6mm; 23mm (heel), 17mm (forefoot)