Updated: April 4th, 2012


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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