The New Balance 890v2 is the most “running shoe” running shoe I’ve owned in years. After jumping from minimalist shoe to xc flat to trail shoe to zero drop and most recently back to Brooks Green Silence, I took the advice of one of our guests and found the 890v2 on the The Clymb for $55. I think they’re normally about $100. Decent price to try it out, so why not?
My requirements for a shoe are as follows:
- Light weight. Light weight. Light weight. (Get the emphasis?) My New Balance XC700s weigh 8oz, my SKORAs weigh just over 9, my trail shoes (Montrail Rogue Flys) weigh 9.25oz, and my go-to trainer, the Brooks Green Silence is a mere 8.8oz.
- I like a training shoe to be a hybrid. Able to handle some trail, but not too knobby where I feel guilty wearing them down on the pavement.
- Neutral without too much stability. Flexible is nice.
- Limited “technology.” I don’t need springs or space foam. Gimme a good shoe.
So first, the weight. These come in at almost 10.5oz, which immediately feels heavy on my feet.
Not like I’ve put on dress shoes, but my first run in them I certainly noticed a difference. Heavier than what I was used to, but still less than a HOKA or most other shoes, it took some adjusting, but after a month, I’m used to the weight.
Next up, what’s the tread and trail durability like? I haven’t had any issues with them at all, but most of my trail running with them has been on very groomed single track. Haven’t taken them in the mud or slippery slop, and if I knew I’d be encountering any of that, I’d immediately opt for my Rogue Flys. On the road, in the rain, on decomposed granite and light trail, these have been great and have showed zero sign of wear. Pretty impressive.
In terms of the fit, again, this is a lot more shoe than I’m used to. The upper is certainly pared down from a traditional shoe, but it’s still more than my XC flats. For the first week or so (probably 60 miles), the lacing system wore on the top of my foot. That’s not something that usually happens and I noticed it a lot until I re-laced them.
One thing I did notice is the sizing. I’m generally a 12, and the size 12s I got fit pretty tight, especially around the toebox. I’ve got narrow feet, so for those with paddles, beware. They’re tight enough where I’m not sure I’d wear them in anything past a marathon for fear of foot swell. After a good month of wearing them, either they’ve stretched or I’ve adapted, but I barely notice the tightness anymore.
They’re certainly neutral and don’t force my foot in any direction, but are nowhere near asflexible as I prefer. I’m still wearing them and have had no real problems. The 890v2 has a 4mm delta (12-8), but I would have guessed it to be more in 6-8 range.
Also, there doesn’t appear to be any extra technology or gizmos added to the shoe. I generally eschew the marketing books that come with the shoe, and this was no exception.
All in all, it’s the 890v2 is a great hybrid trainer that yeah, took some getting used to, but considering the price and the great durability, I’m happy to say it’s found its place in my rotation of shoes.