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Review of the 890 Running Shoe by New Balance

Shoe Review: New Balance 890

The barefoot running trend is, ironically, creeping into sneaker design. Inspired by the phenom of running sans shoes, many popular running shoe brands are bringing lighter weight running shoes to the market this Spring. New Balance, a company that built its reputation on well-cushioned, fortified sneakers, is introducing the revamped 890 running shoe ($100).

It's a bantam weight sneaker — one shoe clocks in at 7.75 ounces according to my little electronic food scale. Shoes this light are usually pared down racing flats, but the 890 is a neutral training shoe, meaning it still offers cushion. New Balance has created the midsole with a new foam, christened REVlite, which weighs nearly one third less of equally durable compounds.

But how does the shoe feel? Well keep on reading.

These shoes are incredibly light. You can feel it when you pick the sneakers up. My first couple of runs wearing the 890s were on a treadmill and the shoes felt great. My foot didn't feel overly insulated so I could easily feel where my feet were making contact with the belt. But there was enough cushion that the ball of my foot was happy. Then the wintry skies cleared and I ran outside in my 890s. After five miles the shoes felt a little to thin on the asphalt for me; my knees were craving a bit more cushion. But after running in many shoes designed to correct my pronation, the neutral shoe felt good on my ankles and arches. I am dedicating these sneakers for my gym workouts because they feel good on the treadmill. Since the combined weight of the pair is just over a pound, the 890s are great for travel, either to and from the gym, or across the country. I don't usually like strength training in running shoes, but this flexible shoe works for weight training and plyometrics.

The shoes are available in four colors for women including the flashy orange and blue pictured above, black with pink accents, dark gray with touches of mint green, and light gray with bits of blue.

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Join The Conversation
Susi-May Susi-May 4 years
Fair Oaks, That is so great to hear! Yay for beating your PR. Running shoes should feel good immediately — if you feel you need to break them in, they are not for you.
Arthur Arthur 4 years
I use my frees in the gym and think they are great for cross training. The fact that they are lower to the ground than traditional running shoes make them better for things like planks and pushups and i think that they are more stable for squats and lunges and any jumping. The whole point is that if you don't have all that padding, you don't strike with your heel but land on the ball of your foot, which is how our feet are designed.
poorcountrycollegegirl poorcountrycollegegirl 4 years
This color combo is so freaking sexy I can't stand it. It totally makes me think summer! I need to buy these...wish they weren't so $pendy!
Arthur Arthur 4 years
I love my nike frees and am psyched to try the lightweight nb offering. I ran in nb for decades (really) and switched to frees after reading "born to run".
mandysneaks mandysneaks 4 years
Also, if you are used to thicker soled sneakers, you should slowly work up mileage again with "minimalist" sneakers. Don't jump back in as if you're simply buying a new pair of sneakers.
mandysneaks mandysneaks 4 years
I recently switched from heavy and cushy Brooks Adrenaline (for pronation) to lightweight, neutral New Balance WT 101. They are even closer to barefoot running than the pair above. I have a history of ITBS and the goal is to strengthen my entire legs, from the feet up. I'm happy to see these sneakers getting the spotlight, thanks for the review!
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