New Balance Beacon 2 – 200 Mile Review
This post was written for and first appeared on Just A Runnah.
The New Balance Beacon 2 are the current version of the Beacon series and have done everything that I have asked of them.
Why I got them: I had a pair of Beacon v1 that worked great for me his Spring and after reading the reviews of v2, I asked for a pair for my birthday back in August.
Bennie (yes, that is my dog) got them for me from Running Warehouse.
Due to having injury issues and not being happy with the shoes in my rotation back in July, I needed to get them out of the closet a couple of weeks ahead of my birthday. They have been in my running shoe rotation since then.
You can read my other posts on these shoes below:
Initial thoughts here: https://runnah.blog/2019/07/21/first-run-new-balance-beacon-2-7-21-19/.
Weight: I prefer lighter trainers and the Beacon 2 at 6.9 ounces definitely fill that bill.
What are these shoe’s purpose in my rotation? These are my do almost anything shoes – from treadmill longer runs to track sessions they have served me well. I wouldn’t use them for trails or nasty weather and shorter races, but otherwise I have confidence that any run that I do in them that my feet will not bother me when I am done.
Which at this point in my running life is very important to me.
What kinds of runs have I done in them so far?
I have done just about all the runs that I tend to do, in the Beacon 2s. While I can run faster in them, I have other shoes that work better for me at faster paces. I usually use them for my longer, easy and recovery runs on the roads.
• Do the Beacon 2 run true to size? I am between sizes 7.5 to 8.0 according to the Brannock and have skinny heels, with a Tailor’s Bunionette on the outside of my right forefoot. The size 8.0 fits great and I probably could get away with a 7.5 if I had to, but where I use them for longer running, I prefer to have the extra room.
• Are the Beacon 2 wide enough in the toe box? I have no issues with my Tailor’s Bunionette and they feel comfortable throughout any run that I have used them on.
• How does the heel fit? I have skinny heels and the heel does not lock in quite the way I would like. When going up hills I can feel a little loosey-goosey-ness in the heel, but it is not enough to use lace lock.
I have had zero issues with blisters or discomfort from the shoes rubbing-which is what I expect from shoes that work well for me.
Feel (different from fit)
The New Balance Beacon line of shoes are a firmer shoe than I expected. Not super firm like some of the Mizuno shoe, but definitely not soft like Hoka’s, somewhere in between. Which for me, makes them borderline when I use them for recovery runs, but easier to push the pace when I want to.
Do the Beacon 2 run quiet or slap the road? The Fresh Foam outsole doesn’t have a lot of rubber, so they are a step up from many other shoes as far as being quiet. I do not slap the road and the heel-to-toe transition is smooth.
• Do the Beacon feel fast or sap my energy? This is something that I go back and forth on with the Beacon 2s, at times they feel as though they are sucking energy out of me and that I have to work harder than I should. Then there are other runs that they feel light and lively, where I can run well at any speed.
In this respect the Beacon 2s confuse me, where the Beacon 1s performed much more consistently.
• Are they rock collectors? I run a lot on dirt roads and road shoulders that have a LOT of pebbles that tend to get wedged in the outsoles of many shoes. With the Beacon 2, once in a while this happens, but it is not really an issue. I am more concerned with a really sharp rock puncturing into the Fresh Foam outsole and causing problems that way.
• Are the Beacon 2s a 3 season sole and then only good for indoor running in the winter. I have run in the Beacon series in Winter, wet conditions and not had a lot of problems. However, in snow, slush or mud the outsole design does not work and I have better options.
• Is there apparent wear, where? There is some wear after 200 miles, (mainly where I toe-off), but it is not really all that much different than many other shoes that I have, which surprised me on the v1 and continues to surprise me with the Beacon 2.
My experience with the Beacon 1 is that the outsole will last as long as I will be using the shoes.
• Do they have sewn on overlays or are they welded? The upper is a simple upper that doesn’t have any extra overlays which in my opinion – less is more.
• Is it weather proof, breathable? I ran all summer in the Beacon 2s and they might not be as airy as other shoes, but they did not bother me on long runs in hot weather. However, I have a feeling that they will be more suited to Fall and Spring running than they are for Summer or Winter.
• Laces. I did change out the original laces because they matched the upper colorway too closely and didn’t provide any contrast. They were also too long and would touch my other leg when running, so they had to be changed out.
What colorways are available? For guys, in my opinion the colorways are a bit dull and boring. My blue colorway is the brightest one that was available when I got them and it just isn’t all that interesting to me.
Some runners might like them as lifestyle wear after running, but I prefer the bright colorways, so that drivers notice me when I am on the roads.
Would I get them again?
• This is my second pair of running shoes in the New Balance Beacon line and while I think that I like version 1 just a tad bit better, I love the fit and feel of both versions and there will be another pair of Beacons in my rotation when these wear out.
Although the New Balance Rebel is an intriguing shoe that is very similar to the Beacon and if I can try a pair on and they compare favorably with Beacons – I might have a tough decision.
The Reality is That
I really, really like the New Balance Beacon line and while the Beacon 2s seem to be a bit less consistent in the paces I run in them for me than v1. I do not hesitate to run any distance or workout in the v2, they are just very comfortable shoes for me to run in.
I can see another pair of v2 under the Christmas tree in a few months, because I just run well in them and they do not bother my feet.
That is the important thing.
Disclosure of Material Connection: These were a personal purchase from Running Warehouse and I do not represent any corporate or private interests for advertising or marketing purposes. The opinions I have expressed are my own and your experience with the product might be different. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”