Runners hate heavy shoes. The compromise between stability versus weight and responsiveness is a constant conflict. New Balance appears to have a pretty good grasp of this struggle with the 1223.
The 1223 is a maximum stability shoe for moderate to severe overpronators. It is also deemed a “high mileage trainer.” There are a number of technologies built into the shoe to provide stability, lighter weight and cushioning such as STABILITY WEB, TS2, and ABZORB FL to name a few.
Training in these shoes consisted of speedwork on a track, trail and road running, and stair climbing and elliptical trainer workouts. The reviewer is 5’ 10” and 190 pounds, and a moderate to severe overpronator; training pace for average runs is 7:30-8:20 per mile, interval pace average is approximately 71-75 seconds for 400 meter repeats.
As with most New Balance shoes, the ride was exemplary because this shoe provides tremendous support without feeling overbearing, heavy or stiff through the forefoot.
Stair workouts and interval training felt fine with a smooth heel-to-toe transition in faster running, and a proper forefoot flex point that didn’t strain the calf or shin muscles.
However, this is not an orthotic friendly shoe. Once I put my semi-rigid orthotics in the shoes, all the fun was over. Because the 1223 is designed for moderate to severe overpronators, the additional stability provided by the orthotics translated into a stiffness and unresponsiveness that left me feeling like I was running on wooden planks.
Be aware that if you wear orthotics, this shoe may have too much stability for you.
One other observation is that when these shoes wear out, they do so suddenly. It seems like one day they feel fine, then the next day it feels as if someone let the air out of the tires! So when the cushioning is gone, get into a new pair of shoes ASAP and consign these to yard work duty.
Supreme stability, nice ride, reasonably light
Not compatible with orthotics. If you must wear orthotics with your shoes, test them before paying your $$$, because the 1223 may not work for you.
The 1223 is a very stable shoe with the typically great New Balance ride; may provide too much control for orthotic wearers.