Though the heavy-duty 2000 is an update of the 1700 and looks very similar, its a very different shoe. It features New Balances new N-Ergy cushioning and stability cartridge in the rearfoot, plus several other changes that now put the 2000 in the cushioned category (the 1700 was a stability shoe).
The plastic N-Ergy cartridge is made from a material thats used to absorb shock under high-speed railway lines, and as youd expect, its main selling point is durability. It comes with a cushioned centre sweet spot, and a firmer outer rim thats designed to guide and stabilise the foot as it moves inwards. Initial feedback wasn't as good for the 2000 as for the new 1040
. Unlike the quicker 1040 testers, our heavyweight testers seemed to strike more squarely on the firm perimeter rim of the cartridge and they found this uncomfortable and disconcerting. Thats too bad, because the 2000 has other, more positive features such as a stabilising polyurethane-rimmed forefoot, and a full-length layer of Abzorb cushioning material. New Balance says it will soften the perimeter rim in the heelstrike area for a smoother transition in future updates.
New Balances N-ergy cartridge should be great for heavy, durability-oriented runners. But our initial feedback is that the cartridge needs a smother ride. To some degree it seems to depend on your heel strike you need to test-ride it to find out.
Try it if you liked
Pumas original Cell shoes; Nike Air Max Tailwind (£100)