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New Balance 890 v2 – Our Take

February 22nd, 2012

New Balance 890 v2 Men's Shoe

Our Tweet

The 890 v2 is a refined lightweight trainer – low and light with excellent road feel. The full redesign is an evolution, not revolution.
(See Men’s 890 v2 and Women’s 890 v2)

Big Updates

  • Lower Drop: The 890 v2 sports an 8mm heel-to-toe offset, 3mm lower than the original.
  • Lighter Weight: Weight is down by about half an ounce in the Men’s and Women’s versions.

Road Test

The original 890 has received truckloads of positive customer comments since its release in February 2011. Now, just one year later, New Balance has updated the formula. But New Coke this ain’t. The 890 v2 is a subtle update that should keep the faithful happy and win over some new fans.

The shoe has been completely redesigned on a new last with a lower heel-to-toe drop. Even though the original 890 fit well, the v2 fits even better, and most testers liked being a little lower to the ground in the heel. The close fit makes this shoe feel fast, but watch out if you have a high-volume foot: this shoe will make you feel claustrophobic, particularly in the toebox. (Like the original, the 890 v2 comes in wide widths, which will give you a little more room if you need it.)

It’s hard to imagine that the transition of this shoe could be much better. “Linear” is the best way to describe the transition – the shoe keeps your foot moving fluidly whether you strike in the heel or midfoot. Testers were also impressed with the cushioning technology. The dual-layer RevLite and ABZORB midsole foam provides a mix of road feel, cushion and protection unlike any other shoe on the market. Frankly, we’d like to see more shoes treat our feet this well.

Runners Say

“This is a low-volume upper, but I found it very comfortable. The toe box is on the low side, so if you prefer having some room in the forefoot of your shoe, this might not be the best match for you. Personally, I like the streamlined feel.” – Jonathan

“I had a tough time characterizing the feel of the cushioning of this shoe. The ride is firm, soft, light and responsive all at the same time. Maybe like a pencil eraser? A dry sponge? Anyway, I like it.” – Matt

“The excellent transition of this shoe is due in part to its full ground contact. Once you get the 890 going, it doesn’t even feel like you’re wearing a shoe.” – Joanna

Matt Running Shoes , ,

New Balance 890 v2 – First Look

January 16th, 2012

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.

Matt Running Shoes , ,