New Balance 890 v2 – First Look

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New Balance M890 v2 Men's Running Shoe

The original 890 – introduced in February 2011 – quickly became a popular lightweight trainer for the neutral runner who still wanted plenty of cushioning along with a responsive ride. But for all its fans, it also left a few folks unimpressed. Love it or hate it, the 890 sold well enough that New Balance invested in an updated version.

The 890 v2 (New Balance has adjusted their numbering system so that the model number stays the same and a version number is added) looks plenty fresh but keeps things pretty much where they were with the v1.

There are few technological changes in store, which will come as good news for those of you who wish shoe companies would leave things well enough alone more often. The 890 fan still benefits from full-length ABZORB cushioning, RevLite midsole, and an open-mesh, no-sew upper.

While the balance of comments we’ve heard trends in the positive direction, a few customers have expressed disappointment with the upper (too stiff feeling) and the outsole (slippery and not durable enough) of the original 890. We’ll let you know if the new upper feels more flexible in the v2, but we’ll have to wait until the v3 is introduced to see if any changes are made to the outsole technology.

Projected to come in a few tenths of an ounce lighter (9.2 oz versus 9.5 oz in the Men’s size 9 of the v1), the v2 should remain competitive with other lighter weight trainers, including the Brooks Launch and Mizuno Wave Precision 12. Men can look for Green/Black (pictured) and Silver/Blue colors in mid February. Women will have a White/Pink color available at the time of the initial launch. More colors will be available in July 2012.

Update: New Balance has moved the 890 v2 to the Natural PL-1 last, which is designed to have an 8mm heel-to-toe differential in the midsole. We’ll measure the shoe as soon as it arrives in stock and post the exact stack height and heel-to-toe ratio on our site.

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