New Balance Impact Thermal 1/2 Zip Review


This morning I put the New Balance Impact Thermal 1/2 Zip through its paces in the Manchester Road Race with 15,000 of my closest friends. The Thermal uses NB’s NB Heat technology to keep you warm. According to the NB website:

“Made from eco-friendly coffee grinds, NB Heat helps to provide thermal warmth and heat the surface temperature of the skin by approximately two degrees. Plus, it provides UV protection and is designed with quick-dry and anti-microbial properties.”  NB Heat or not, it’s a pretty sharp looking top

NB FrontNB Back

So, there you go. But pretty words aside, the real question is how does it perform on the run?

Temperature at race time was roughly 30 degrees with anticipated winds of 18-20 mph. Before the run even started we had to wait for 45 minutes in the cold. I paired the top with a lightweight vest and I am very happy to report that at no point did I feel cold on account if the top, even though my toes and fingers were fairly frozen by the end of the wait for the start. On the run itself, I actually found I was a touch on the warm side when there was no wind, but fine when the wind picked back up. I was very grateful for the thumb hole feature and I love zip tops for the flexibility they offer to regulate temperature.

If I had to pick out a negative for the shirt, I’d say the fit in the arms could use some work. The body of the shirt fits nicely but the forearms get quite tapered and can feel a bit tight. That might be a design element though, so try it in for yourself and see what you think. I will say that the thumb hole feature fits very well and doesn’t feel like they just cut a hole in the cuff, as is the case with some other shirts I’ve tried. I should also mention there’s a small pocket in the arm that could fit a house or car key, of gel, though not much else.

So, all that said, I feel very good recommending the NB Impact Thermal 1/2 Zip for your winter running needs!

Run Happy!

Disclaimer: I received this top free of charge from New Balance for review purposes. All my opinions are my own though.

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4 Responses to “New Balance Impact Thermal 1/2 Zip Review”

  1. Marron Says:

    How does this compare to Mizuno breath thermo? I haven’t tried either yet and need to invest in one of these space age warming shirts for winter. The Brooks heater hog is warm but sizes pretty big so its hard as a 1st layer, and lost its shape in the washing machine 😦
    Great review!

    • Michael R. Says:

      I had the original Breath Thermo quarter zip. I would say the NB Heat works equally well in terms if warming up, but this top is a bit thicker feeling than the Mizuno one, which I like. It’s not as fleecey feeling as the Heater Hog but if is soft on the inside. We shall see how it holds up in the wash! I wore a size Large in the NB but wear Medium in Brooks, for sizing reference. I think I could have gone M in the body but the arms may have been too tight that way.

      Thanks for reading the review!

  2. Rebecca Says:

    Looking good, Michael. However, you look much sharper in Brooks. 😦

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