On Jan. 5, New Balance introduced its 2016 runDisney collection, releasing information and photos as well as detailing how to purchase the shoes. The 2016 New Balance runDisney collection, themed to Disney characters, will debut at the Walt Disney World Marathon Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The expo kicks off the race event weekend on Wednesday, Jan. 6, and these runDisney shoes will be available when it opens.
The 2016 New Balance runDisney collection includes two shoes from the Vazee Pace line, a neutral cushioned running shoe, both designed to evoke classic Disney characters in their colors and details. Characters are featured on the shoes’ heels, with “runDisney 2016” on the shoes’ tongues.
Two shoes are offered in New Balance’s Vazee Pace, a neutral cushioned running shoe. The Vazee Pace was awarded the “Best Debut” by Runner’s World Fall Shoe Guide and “Beat in Class Light Trainer/Racer” by Triathlete Magazine in Nov. 2015.
The Ariel Vazee Pace, a neutral cushioned running shoe, will be available in Women’s sizes 5 – 12. The green shoe, with pops of purple and coral and even red, include a number of details to remind Disney fans of the mermaid who wanted a pair of legs. Tongue clip-ons in the shape of purple seashells are a nicely detailed touch of fun, as is the shoe’s texture. The latter looks a bit like scales in some areas and coral in others. Look for Ariel’s signature on the inside tongue of the shoe.
Note: I received a complimentary pair of the Ariel Vazee Pace prior to release for the purposes of review.
The Dumbo Vazee Pace, a neutral cushioned running shoe, available in Men’s sizes 7 – 14. Like the Ariel Vazee Pace, this shoe incorporates details associated with the character. Its color combination of blue, gray, and is accented with yellow, pinkish beige and red. Dumbo’s signature is a nice hidden touch on the inside of the shoe.
As in previous years, New Balance is also featuring Mickey and Minnie in this year’s runDisney shoe collection.
The Red Carpet Minnie 860v6 is a stability model running shoe, available in Women’s sizes 5 – 12, with wide sizes available. The glamorous yellow shoe, with gold and red accents, reminds Disney fans of Minnie’s own yellow shoes. It comes with clip-on bows to accent one’s laces and extra set sparkly gold laces
The Red Carpet Mickey 860v6 is a stability model running shoe, available in Men’s sizes 7 – 14, with wide sizes available. These shoes feature a bold black-and-red design, and include yellow accents.
The Dumbo and Ariel Vazee Pace will be available for $124.95, while the Red Carpet Minnie and Mickey 860v6s will be sold for $139.95. In addition, kids’ version of the Dumbo and Ariel 860v6 will be available and priced at $79.95. Limited inventories of these shoes are only available for purchase at runDisney expos, with availability dependent on inventory. They are not available for online purchase.
To help manage the demand for the shoes and to minimize runners’ time in line, New Balance has created www.NBVirtualQueue.com. The virtual queue will be available only to registered runners on the expo’s first day, and registration for the queue will open at for 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Runners will need their bib number. The New Balance virtual queue will be available for runners and the public starting at 6 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7, Friday, Jan. 8 and Saturday, Jan. 9.
Those interested in purchasing the shoes sign up with the virtual queue for the day they wish to visit the expo. Individuals may not sign up on Wednesday, for instance, for a Thursday time. After signing up, individuals will receive confirmation, via email or text message, telling them when to visit the New Balance booth at the Health & Fitness Expo. More details on the process for reserving a pair of shoes and pick-up are available at the NB Virtual Queue.
Worth noting: Based on previous expos and current buzz in the Disney running community, these runDisney shoes will be very popular. Due to high demand, New Balance anticipates the potential for a limited inventory and will post daily updates on availability at the virtual queue. New Balance also reserves the right to alter the virtual queue process, or the try-on process, depending on evolving circumstances at the expo. Again, updates will be posted on the site.
New Balance is the official running show for runDisney race weekends. The 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend takes place Jan. 6 – Jan. 10 at the Walt Disney World Resort. Race events include a 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, challenges combining two or more races, and kids’ races. The race weekend, runDisney’s signature event, attracts more than 100,000 runners and spectators from across the nation and more than 60 countries.