New Balance offers its cross country shoes in three tiers, all of which provide outstanding performance at three budget levels. The entry-level 700 receives some update attention, continuing to narrow the gap between the three tiers. The upper is a closed, stretch mesh with traditional overlays at heel and toe.
The remaining support derives from no-sew overlays that make for a smooth, barefoot-friendly interior. The midsole has geometry similar to the v2, but with a bit more refinement and the performance to go with it. The outersole is thin solid rubber, lugged with triangle-shaped molding in the midfoot and heel. The forefoot features chisel points and four spikes in the spiked version ($70), or round nibs in the spikeless version ($65). The result is a well-done cross country racer.
Sizes: Men 7–12, 13,14; Women 5–10,11
Weight: Men’s 5.2 oz./5.4 oz. (size 11, spikeless/with 4 spikes); Women’s 4.1 oz./ 4.3 oz. (size 8, spikeless/with 4 spikes)
Fit: Snug heel, close forefoot