Evaluation In the past, New Balance's 1200 range of shoes has been aimed squarely at the big-guy market. With the 1221, though, New Balance has delivered a shoe with lots of cushioning, bags of stability, and durability that will appeal to far more runners than before.
It's a definite improvement on the shoe it replaces – the 1220. Firstly, at 351g, it's a relatively light stability shoe so it really isn't just for big runners. That's been achieved thanks to New Balance's introduction of a new midsole EVA. Acteva is lighter but more durable than ordinary foam.
The 1221 also boasts improved stability and cushioning. The stabilty is thanks to a dual density medial post which is harder in the rearfoot than the midfoot and also has a plastic rollbar embedded. The padding improvements are thanks to the firm's latest Abzorb SBS cushioning inserts in the heel and under the forefoot. This cushioning is particularly noticeable in the improved rearfoot feel.
In short The 1200 series is no longer a shoe purely for big runners. The 1221 has broadened its appeal immensely. It's now a responsive, lightweight stability shoe that should compare well to favourites like the Asics Gel Kayano.
Try it on if you liked Asics Gel Kayano £105; Mizuno Wave Creation £90