Reviews   Cushioning Running Shoes Reviews   New Balance 890 Running Shoes Review

New Balance 890 Running Shoes Review

 April 04, 2012 30


New Balance  890

New Balance 890

Full Name: New Balance 890
Category: Lightweight cushioning
Weight: oz. ( gr.)
Suggested Price: $
Recommended For: Runners looking to move towards a more lightweight running shoe

UPDATE 2012! We tested and reviewed the New Balance 890v2, successor of the great 890!

  • New Balance 890 General Info:

New Balance aims to reinvent themselves in the neutral shoe market with the release of the 890, a shoe that combines their new Revlite cushioning technology and updated aesthetics from the usually steadfast shoe company. It seems that the same forward thinking design principals in New Balance’s trail shoe arsenal are rubbing off on their road shoe design. New Balance has attempted to break into the neutral shoe category before with shoes such as the 905 and the 759 (both released last year) but the 890 is an entirely different breed of shoe. I was able to put this shoe through the paces over a two week period accumulating roughly 80 miles on asphalt, concrete, and crushed gravel surfaces to find out if the new Revlite cushioning is as responsive as advertised.

  • New Balance 890 Sole Unit:

Revlite cushioning debuts with the NB 890, and this new foam feels responsive and durable over the long haul. It is 10% lighter than Nike Lunarfoam and possesses enough firmness to be adequate for mild overpronators. I will go out of my way to say that I was so impressed with the Revlite cushioning that this shoe became my go to road trainer. The shoe is light enough (9.8 oz) to facilitate tempo runs and speedwork and the cushioning is substantial enough to hold up during the constant pounding of a long run. The shoe has a traditional heel to toe drop of 12mm which will make it an easy transition for runners looking to train in a lighter more responsive shoe.

The sole of the 890 is simple and functional. It features a thin carbon rubber outsole that showed very little wear over the course of approximately 80 miles, and the cutouts in the outsole iesigned to save weight do not pick up rocks when training on gravel or trails.

  • New Balance 890 Upper:

New Balance utilized the names of some of their elite sponsored athletes to grace these shoes. The men’s version of the 890 gets tagged with British Olympian Andrew Baddeley’s surname, and as a 3:49 miler the association is apt. The women’s version brandishes the name of Jenny Simpson (ne’ Barringer) referring to American Olympic middle distance star. I felt this was one of the coolest touches that running shoe companies can do to get young runners excited about the sport. It reminded me of being in middle school and clammering for nike basketball shoes such as the sky Jordan’s, the Barkley’s, and the Hardaway’s. The believable part about this joining of elite athletes and this shoe is that this is the kind of go fast trainer that these Olympians would log their miles in.
The upper of the 890 consists of overlays that keep the shoe fitting snuggly and gives the wearer the impression of being tied down to the shoe. But, maybe my favorite aspect of the 890s upper is the fact that New Balance used flat laces with flat lace holes which improve the lacing system’s ability to function as a part of the shoe rather than just not coming untied. Shoe companies have been experimenting with new-fangled lacing systems for the last decade, mostly to keep the shoes from coming untied. The 890s lacing system feels more like that of a racing flat, and the flat laces avoid putting too much pressure on the top of the wearer’s foot.

  • New Balance 890 Opinion:

The New Balance 890 is a game changer in the neutral and lightweight trainer category of running shoes. In my opinion, the Revlite foam cushioning is the most responsive cushioning system on the market featuring that perfect Goldilocks principal of being neither too firm nor too soft. From the elegant upper of the shoe to the thoughtfulness put into the tongue and laces, the 890 is the perfect blend of back to basics shoe construction and new lightweight technology. Runners looking for a lightweight trainer that they can run high mileage and do faster paced workouts will love this shoe. This shoe can also be a great transition shoe for runners looking to move towards a more minimalistic running shoe. I think that the 890 offers enough protection for heavier runners as well as slight overpronators, and for budget minded runners this is a perfect all around shoe for all of your training/ racing needs.

Let us know what you think of this shoe in the comments!

Review by Tom Caughlan.

We thank the nice folks at New Balance for sending us this shoe to try. This did not influence our review of the shoes, written after running more than 80 miles in it.

  • Price Comparison:

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  • What are design “principals” – the people in charge of the design schools?

  • As someone who has worn Vomero’s for about 2 years (and upon news that Vomero 6 will be even heavier than 5) I am very intrigued by this shoe

  • I just got a pair of these when I went to my local running store to look for a shoe that felt a little lighter/less bulky in the heel than the Vomero’s I’ve been running in for a long time. I took them out for a little 3.5 mile jog, and had my fastest pace yet by 10 seconds (I will decline from putting my pace since I’m no speedster and a bit self-conscious!) and no discomfort. There was enough cushioning throughout to give a plush-ish ride, but there was still a significant difference for me in the heel and forefoot, a firmness and contact with the ground that the Vomero kind of absorbs. On my longer runs, I am still wearing my Vomero’s for now, but I like these as an alternative and am looking towards trying them on my next long run. I’m not sure if I’m transitioning to a new shoe altogether or not, but for now I like having two different pairs.

  • I’m a beginning runner and have gone through a couple different shoes in the past year. I was running in Mizuno Wave Inspires and thought I’d be a lifer until I found the 890. Can’t believe how much I love this shoe. Did my first 15k a few weeks ago and couldn’t believe how great it performed. The shoe literally got better with every mile. New Balance absolutely crushed it with this one.

  • Love these shoes! I just bought a pair on Friday and have run twice since purchasing them. So far they are great. Very lightweight and great cushioning. Not as much support as I am used to and it feels like I am using more stabilizer muscles than I am used to, which is a good thing. Can’t wait to run in them tomorrow!

  • The New Balance 890 is not a “neutral”shoe. The medial heel to mid-foot midsole is reinforced with 3 external pyramids that significantly increase the strength. On the lateral side the heel to mid-foot is much softer and a lighter weight construction. Additionally the medial heel is wedged slightly thicker than the lateral side. This shoe is built for the over-pronator. THe mechanics of this shoe do not provide equal distribution of weight and balance at heel strike like a true neutral shoe. I just fit a pair of “motion control” orthotics on a client who had both these shoes and a true neutral shoe. With the motion control orthotics the client felt overcorrected in the 890. I expected he would be overcorrected in the 890. In the true neutral shoe he did not feel overcorrected. A true neutral shoe has the same construction on the medial and lateral midsoles: plain and simple. If NB had constructed the lateral side at the same thickness and had the same 3 pyramids then it would be a neutral shoe. If they had made the medial side with the same light weight material as the lateral side this would be a neutral shoe (albeit a rather unstable one). I fail to understand how NB can market this as a neutral shoe.

  • I’m an avid runner and love the NB trail 100s. That said I’ve recently developed a stress fracture above my ankle and realized I was running too many miles to use a minimalist shoe.
    Is the NB 890 better for long trail runs? I think more support will be good, esp when I get tired and sloppy,but still want the minimal feel…. Any suggestions??

  • Ummm, I have a question, which is better? The adidas cc ride or the revlite?

  • Bought the shoe yesterday and immediately went for a run. This is the most comfortable out-of-the-box shoe I have ever worn. I beat my PR by 30 seconds. I did some speed work on the track this morning and realized a huge benefit over the heavy duty shoe I have been wearing. I’ll never go back. I will buy a second pair to have in the closet as a back-up. VERY satisfied with the performace.

  • The 890 is a lite running shoe, but unlike the 901’s & 903’s it’s stiff and feels like your running on a cement sole. Feedback from a NB representative, well you’ll get more mileage out them, but the body won’t last! This is some feedback, from someone who’s gone through 200+ pairs of New Balance running shoes over the past 30 years. I would hope they would offer something similar to the 903’s again (perfect for a lite built, high mileage runner). Thank you for reviewing my comments.

  • I just bought these last week after going through a pair of Brooks with much more structure/protection. All I can say is PHENOMENAL over the 6 to 10 mile distance (have not yet tested above). I’m used to more padding/cushioning structure, but with these shoes I don’t seem to need it. My feet are as fresh at the end of the run as a they are at the start, with know sore front ball that I experience with other shoes. While I can feel the revlite absorb, I can also almost feel the road. The combination is someting that is helping me adjust my stride at different tempos. I find that the shoe stays close to the foot in all areas, although I tend to wear looser laces than average. Note: I would not recommend this shoe for anyone that tends to have a heel strike or lands hard on the heel after a toe strike.

  • Just bought some at local running store. I am just a layman, so I am not into the terminology, but they feel great. I tried on about a dozen different pairs, in every brand they had, and kept coming back to these. Feels like I am not wearing shoes. No hotspots anywhere on the foot. Other shoes dug into my medial arch, or behind my lateral maleolus. Also have a slightly larger right foot, that’s a little wider at the small toe-once again, no problem. Really looking forward to my next run!

  • Just bought a pair a my local Running Room stores. Shoes felt great out of the box. Usually running on Asic Gel Cumulus but these new shoes felt great. Not as much cushioning in the front of the show as my regular Cumulus. Took them out for a quick 5km run and they felt lighter and responded well. Too early to tell but with a new 20km run tomorrow will be in a better position to ascertain how they will hold up for in a full marathon. They do remind me of my old Nike LunarLite (2009 version).

    At this moment, they price was right ($129 Canadian). Time will tell.

    • Hi Indian Boy, thank you for your comment! Many many people are liking the 890 – we are curious to see what NB is planning to do to follow this up!

  • NB, The 890 has a lot of potential. I love the outsole/midsole. The Rev-lite is great. Very responsive. However. I feel the upper needs an overhaul. Too stiff, cheap like. The heel collar rides a bit too high near the ankle bones. The tongue slides too much. I hope the next 890 will have more open mesh, a lowered heel collar(like the new 880) and a more snug performane like fit. The current 890 is a little sloppy fitting. NB, you are onto something great. Keep up the good work!

    • Hey Flip, thank you for your comment! Many running shoes companies read our reviews and readers’ comment so that’s definitely good feedback for them!

  • I have just bought my 2nd pair of the 890’s. These are the first shoes I have owned in 10 years where I do not get blisters, soreness, or other foot/leg issues after a long run. They give me just enough support to do the job, yet are still light enough to make a noticeable difference. I am a plodder, yet these shoes have helped me cut 10 seconds+/mile on shorter runs. I would recommend these shoes without reservation.

  • I just bought my 890’s today after putting way too many miles on my Asics. I have never owned a pair of NB’s before but had heard good things so I threw them into the mix of shoes I tried on today. Immediately I noticed how “soft” the heel part felt and how light they were. As I kept trying on different shoes on my right foot, I kept the 890 on my left foot and couldn’t find another shoe that came close. The only thing I was slightly worried about is how well they would hold up but it sounds like they are a pretty solid shoe after reading some reviews.
    (Side note: My previous favorite running shoe was the Nike Shocks…(I know, very uncommon) but I hated how fast they broke down. Every other shoe I’ve tried since then just hasn’t felt “right” for one reason or another. I’m hoping the 890’s change that and after my first three miles, I’m very optimistic)

  • best running shoe ive ever had, been running 32 years, previous fav shoe was tiger ultra t, shoe has great cushioning and feel and adapts well to my orthotics, i used to train in nike pegusus and mizuno inspires, have also used brooks adreniline, this shoe has a better feel and wears better than those i have worn in the past. plus they are feather light. get some

  • I just bought my first pair of NB tonight. Have also been wearing Nike Shox for years since I could never find others that worked. They feel sooo comfy but a tad worried how much support they’ll give to my bad knees. Anyone out there using them with knee probs?! Thanks for the reviews!

  • A runner for 30+ years, I’m the latest to transition to minimalist running. A mild overpronator on my right foot, I never ran in stabilising shoes (they only made the situation worse), but always felt that traditional lightweight shoes wouldn’t offer enough protection.

    Harvey Johnson above is right/not right about Baddeley 890s not being a neutral shoe — they are neutral in that they don’t provide additional stablisation, but they’re not neutral in that there is some protection for mild overpronators (like me).

    Or put another way, I tried out the Nike Vomero (2010 model), which offers similar protection. A nice, soft ride.

    But the running store suggested these Baddeley 890s, and they are great. They are the perfect transition shoe.

    Remember, this means that you’ll need to run on your midfoot, not traditional heel-to-toe. But there’s just enough cushioning and stability so that when you lapse you won’t twist your ankle or overstrain your calves.

    These Baddeley 890s are my new, welcomed training shoes.

    • Mr.Ulster,
      You state “Harvey Johnson above is right/not right about Baddeley 890s not being a neutral shoe — they are neutral in that they don’t provide additional stablisation, but they’re not neutral in that there is some protection for mild overpronators (like me)”.
      This statement is contradictory. You say on one had it does not provide additional stabilization yet they are not neutral in the the is some protection for over pronators. You cannot have it both ways in the same shoe. Either it is neutral or not. Additionally I said that this shoe does provide additional stabilization on the medial midsole via the 3 external pyramids in the medial midsole. Combined with the light weight thinner lateral midsole = a motion control = a shoe that is NOT neutral.

  • Ive had my 890’s now for 6 months. I was a big fan of the old 890 and decided to chase the new model down after struggling to find another good neutral shoe. After my old 890 new balance I ran in an adidas neutral which was great but like all the brands once you find a good shoe buy good stocks of them as once they change to a new series, when they supposed to get better that isnt always the case!
    Ever since buying my 890s I havent been too overjoyed. Yes they are light but I feel the EVA makeup is too light to be a true runner, unless of course you are have the perfect light stride! After many years of running and now reduced to no more than 2 x10-12km a week I find these shoes way too soft for that distance and weekly mileage. I think these shoes are great if you are a triathlete or a weekend racer, they are not described as a race shoe but I feel they are very close to this. I checked the my soles to the other day and the area under my fore foot is already almost worn away! I thought this yellow material they are using underfoot is so strong and durable??!! Also the white EVA is already quite compressed. Overall I have to say nice looking, with the weight perfect for light runs or weekend races but not so for runs over 10km. I think I will need to chase down my next neutral. All said I love NEW BALANCE as a shoe but this new light series to compete with NIKE new flashy series does not have real running capability and I have to say I wish I had bought more of the older 890’s!!

    • Hey, do u still have that pic of the 890, I’m 228lb and run in 1080v2 but just got a pair of 890 haven’t put them on the road thinking of using them as a walking shoe.thank u.

  • Love the shoe BUT I crushed them in apx 35 hours. That said I just bought another pair.
    I’m a big 190lb guy and I run mid foot. The foam on the outside ball area of the shoes crushed to half its original thickness. I normally get twice this mileage out of a shoe like the Nike Pegasus.
    Also, I used the NB 890 in a sprint Tri this past summer and they are very comfortable with bare feet. I’ve used the shoe for 15k runs and its been great … I’m planning to mix up my new 890 with a NB gore-tex trail shoe for winter runs.
    Email me if you would like a pic of the old (3 month) shoes.

    • Adam I’m a NB guy too. I’m having issues though with the 890v2. I’m 180 lbs and the foam on my shoes is crushed. I’m starting to think that the hip pain I experience on longer runs, 15 – 20 miles, might be caused by the shoes. I bought 2 pairs of the original 890’s in a 2E but I really needed a 4E – which I got in the V2. I need to replace the 890v2 with another pair or another wide shoe. Any thoughts?

  • I got this pair as an alternate racing/training pair to complement my main road race shoes (K-Swiss Kwicky BL). I pound about 20-30km on these babies a week now, and I’m happy to say that the cushioning it has is really good. The ‘squish’ is comfortable and this pair actually reduced calf fatigue for me (maybe better running form though, but the shoes DO help in my opinion).

    I will be using these for a 16k road race this Sunday, and a couple of half-marys later on in August.

    Here’s a more comprehensive review I gave my New Balance 890 v2 Baddeley.

  • I bought these shoes after reading the reviews online. I have been weating various NB shoes for the last 5 years and love them. One of the differentiaters for me is the fact that NB Dwidth shoes seem to fit my somewhat wide feet perfectly. I have always worn a size 11 running shoes which is half a size greater than my regular shoes. The last pair I wore was the MR 857 and it seemed to work well for me.

    However, when I wore the 890, I felt like the shoe fit a little too snug around the toe area. I again got the 11 D size. After running about 2 miles, my toes felt like they were on fire because of the snug fit. I am surprised that noone else has felt this. I love the lightness of the shoes but have not been able to enjoy it for my runs.

    Has anyone else experienced this?

  • I bought these shoes on clearance from a big chain store for $30 and could not believe that I’ve been missing out on running shoes my whole life. I have weak ankles and completely flat feet…I thought running shoes would be the end of my feet. I was wrong! These shoes are nice and light which take it easy on my ankles. Coupled with Orthodics for my flat feet they’ve been great. I am in the process of purchasing a second pair (at discount since the V2 already came out). I’m 5′-10 180 lbs. I run about 8 Miles a week, mostly treadmill and some intervals on pavement.

  • Have 5 pairs of the new balance 890 and i want more.

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