|Men's version of the NB 890|
But first, let's look at the anatomy of this shoe.
|Men's (left) and Women's (right) models|
If you are someone who doesn't like their feet to feel as though they are choking; the soft, synthetic mesh of the upper allows for breathability and aids in keeping moisture out. In addition, with a seamless, soft upper, you can expect quality comfort which, as I've experienced, helps equate to virtually no blisters. Yes, sock-less running has been a must in this shoe for the optimal experience in my opinion.
This is where the designers at New Balance earned their paychecks. The midsole is comprised of Rev-lite foam technology. Rev-lite is a highly durable, yet cloud-like foam. In fact, Rev-lite midsole foam is 30% lighter than standard foams of its kind (and 10% lighter than Nike Lunarfoam). Such advantages to a light, responsive, and robust midsole foam translates into a 450-500 mile shoe (whereas with most running shoes you can expect to get anywhere from 250-400 miles before the foam in the shoe breaks down); and experiencing a fast feel while cruising the roads and/or trails. The inserts are also removable and for me, after the insert in my left shoe started to irritate my left arch during a long run on the roads, I removed it and the problem was alleviated. I almost prefer to run in them without the inserts to give my feet the freedom to function as they wish without any added cushioning/support.
|The outsole of my semi-dirty pair|
The outsole is engineered with blown rubber which is efficiently light and fairly durable. I say fairly durable because the most durable rubber material found in shoes is carbon rubber (which is used to make tires). However, I am really pleased with the grip in this shoe. Whether I've run on slippery roads or over wet rocks on the trails, the blown rubber material has hugged whatever has been under this shoe quite nicely. Also, the stack height consists of a 30mm heel and 18mm forefoot (12mm heel to toe drop).
Overall Feel and Performance
At first I was a bit weary of this shoe. Not because I wasn't pleased with it, but solely for the fact that it was slightly different than what I had been running in prior. For example, I run mainly in the MT 101's, road, and trail minimus, therefore, after my first run in these babies, I noticed that I actually had some heel back there. I had to tell myself, "Dude, this is a road shoe, look at it as such." From then on, this shoe really grew on me. I've found that it has more than accomplished the job on easy, recovery days where my legs need a break; and, has really helped me in feeling fast during tempo days on the roads in preparation for the AR 50.
Being a 100% neutral runner myself, this shoe has blended with my stride, cadence, and foot-type beautifully. What gives me such a high degree of satisfaction running in this shoe is that I know and feel the effects of it being lightweight, yet I also realize that due to the quality, internal ingredients which make up the shoe (as I outlined previously), I'm getting support and the high number of overall miles I crave out of a shoe. With all of this said, I'm interested to see how the 890's carry their weight, or lack thereof, over the entire 50 miles of pavement and trail which make up the AR 50 course. I'm expecting them to function and perform as they should, I just hope I can follow suit as well.
Who would I recommend these for?
- Someone looking for a "middle-ground" shoe, meaning, it's not beefy, yet not truly minimalist.
- Someone who has run in the Nike Pegasus, Nike Lunar, or Asics DS Trainer and is looking to try something different.
- Someone who is light, fast, and efficient.
- Someone wanting to gravitate toward a minimalist shoe, but is not ready for something like the MT 101 or Road Minimus.
- Someone who is on the heavier side.
- Someone who mildly pronates (such as my wife and she is enjoying this shoe tremendously).
- Someone who is a neutral runner.
- Someone looking to run a road half/full marathon and needs something more than a racing flat.
- Someone who is looking for a light-weight and highly durable shoe for the roads and/or trails and wants to get the most bang for their buck in terms of what they pay for and what it provides for them.
What are others saying?
I was curious for feedback from others and to hear their experience in the New Balance 890's, here is what they said:
"They are like running on clouds. They fit my foot well and unlike other road shoes, I don't notice a significant heel-to-toe drop." - Spencer
"Best shoe I have ever worn. Light like a racing flat, but I can feel that it was meant to be a distance running shoe." - Bentley
"Lovin' this shoe." - Aaron
"At first I wasn't so sure because I have mainly run in the Asics 2100 series, but I love this shoe now." - Sara
If you live in the greater Sacramento area, swing by the New Balance Store in Roseville to pick up your pair of 890's, otherwise, get them where you can. Would also like to hear feedback/thoughts if you have tried them or are currently running in them. What have you liked? What haven't you liked? Overall conclusion?