With more squish than you’d expect in a racing flat, the New Balance 1400 is a great option for training and race day.
When it arrived on the scene in summer 2011, the New Balance 1400 offered bold looks and colors. Now, with every manufacturer stepping up the hues, it might get lost in the loudness. But our testers found the 1400 to be a versatile, lightweight shoe that can easily do double duty on training and race days.
The upper of the 1400 is just what our testers expected in a racing shoe. Pliable, open mesh gives the shoe a breathable feel from heel to toe. The overlays on the mid and forefoot are welded on, providing a nice amount of structure without any detectable seams or hotspots. As you can see, there’s not much room in the toe box, both in terms of height and width. None of our testers felt scrunched in, partly because the shoe runs about 1/4 a size long. We don’t recommend sizing down because testers felt they needed the extra room for a comfortable toe box fit.
The platform of this shoe is what really impresses. Testers found that they could heel strike in total comfort, given the cushioned feel in the rearfoot. Some testers preferred to midfoot strike in this shoe, with a landing that feels a bit firmer. The transition to toe-off is seamless, whether you land on your heel or midfoot. Overall, the 1400 favors softness over responsiveness compared to other racing flats.
Soft and smooth transition when I heel strike, and a very comfortable ride when midfoot striking as well.
The midfoot fit is mixed for me. I feel very locked in place but had the thin tongue bunching up on the sides every time I slipped on the shoe.
I haven’t run in a flat with more heel cushioning than the 1400. Would be a nice choice for someone who wants the comfort of their training shoe on race day.