The original 890 came to fruition back in 2012 which introduced RevLite cushioning, and was met with super positive reviews.
Every version after continued to build upon the next and just when you thought the shoe couldn’t get any better it did. I ran in 3 versions of the 890 and loved every single one of them.
Flash forward to 2014 and the release of the Zante and Vazee both of which effectively killed the 890 as New Balance shifted focus to these lighter and faster models discontinuing the 890 after version 5.
After not seeming to gain the approval that New Balance had hoped from the Zante and Vazee and also perhaps from the fresh foam midsole the 890 has made a comeback.
Version 6 comes with a better fit than before sporting a new last, and no-sew mesh upper. RevLite continues to be at the base of the shoe keeping it versatile and snappy.
After unboxing the shoe for the first time it was like being reunited with a long-lost friend. The shoe was simple much like the first version but the more anatomical last was very evident. Once on the step-in feel of this shoe is so awesome.
I think that New Balance has picked up perfectly where they left off and fans of the 890 will love this version as much if not more than its predecessors.
New Balance 890v6 Sole Unit
Anyone who has ran in the 890 will not find a ton of changes here. RevLite Foam is the main platform for the shoe running full length with the omission of ABZORB foam crash pad.
For those not familiar this is a firm fast riding foam that provides great protection. What this midsole lacks in cushioning is a tradeoff for responsiveness which is not lacking.
This responsiveness is further enhanced in this version with the addition of TPU strips that are embedded in the forefoot.
These strips function like a spring board every time you hit midgait propelling you forward from midstance to toe off.
The strips are not over done giving the shoe a springy toe-off without feeling stiff, further enhancing the fast and responsive midsole unit.
This version features a 27mm heel and 21 mm forefoot giving it a 6mm drop. This drop gives the shoe a really smooth roll and paired with the firm cushioning really lends the version 6 great for those higher mileage outings.
The outsole of this shoe is unique and important to mention. The outsole is blown rubber that is separated into four segments. Each segment is able to move independently and adapt to different biomechanics.
Each section is very minimalistic in design to help minimize weight, but didn’t seem to affect traction as they held secure on varying terrain and in both wet and dry conditions.
New Balance 890v6 Upper Info
One of the biggest changes to the upper of the 890 V6 is the last which is much different than those of its predecessors. New Balance has adopted the VL-6 last that is also used in the Vazee Pace.
The last is more anatomical and matched the shape of my foot great. The last is moderately narrow thought the forefoot but then opens into a spacious toebox.
New Balance has designed the new 890 with an engineered mesh upper and an internal bootie design. This material and design secured my foot nicely and provided and irritant free wrap.
The channeled opening of the mesh keeps the shoe well ventilated but also allows for drainage and drying.
New Balance 890v6 Conclusions
In case I didn’t mention it earlier I am so glad to see the return of the 890. With version 6 it seems that New Balance picked up right where they left off with the shoe in terms of its progression.
The 890 continues to be the perfect blend of breathable and pliable upper materials, lightweight and responsive midsole foams, and a simple yet effective fit and construction.
The 890 is really a lightweight do-everything shoe with just the right amount of cushioning and protection for most runners to wear as their everyday trainer, but it has a snappy sweetness to it that makes it well suited for up tempo days.
This shoe has easily found its way into my popular lineup and I find myself reaching for it more often than not.
That stated if you were a fan definitely go out and get reacquainted, and for any neutral runner you would be doing yourself a real injustice by not trying the 890 V6.
We purchased a pair of New Balance 890v6 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.