Shoe Review! The New Balance 890 v4

First things first:  I have been MIA because its my LAST month of grad school!  Woohoo!  World, hire me.

But anyways, I decided to branch out from Brooks world yet again, and try a new shoe for my marathon training.  After discussing what I looked for in a shoe (neutral, well-cushioned, wide toe box), it was decided that my next shoe would be New Balance’s 890 v4.  I got this grey, blue and yellow shoe:

nb1

Just for some context, here is what I personally look for in an acceptable running shoe for my training:

  1. Stability – I am a neutral runner, so my ankles don’t roll inwards and I don’t need medial posting.
  2. Cushion – I’m a distance runner, and not about the minimalist lifestyle (I like to baby my knees, okay?!), so I like a could amount of cushion underfoot.  I’m a mid foot to heel striker depending on the terrain and my fatigue levels, so I like some heel cushion in there as well.
  3. Squish – While some people like a firmer shoe, I’m more of the squishy type.  I like to feel like I’m walking on clouds.
  4. Toe box– I have lost enough toenails to know that I like a nice wide toe box so that I have plenty of room for metatarsal splay.

Here are my thoughts:

  • Stability – Neutral.  Check.
  • Cushion – Okay. You can see in my picture below, theres these huge nodules on the shoe, which I think are supposed to serve as the majority of the cushion, but they are too spaced out, in between those theres not much foam underfoot.  Without some other mechanism to cushion besides foam (like the Mizuno wave plate), I don’t see this shoe lasting very long, cushion wise.

nb4            nb2

  • Squish – None.  This shoe just felt hard. In addition, the crash pads underfoot were too spaced apart (see picture below), so I could feel each nodule underfoot.  Not very comfortable, and ended in some tarsal spasms towards the end of a short run.
Not the best crash pad design
Not the best crash pad design
  • Toe box – This shoe ran short.  I am consistently an 8.5 in running shoes, across brands.  This is the first time I’ve gotten an 8.5 where my toes reach the top of the shoe.  In addition, theres not much of an arch/instep to the shoe, so I found that when I ran downhill, my foot slid forward and crunched my toes up in the front even more.
  • Overall impression:  This shoe looks pretty.  Thats about it.  I definitely won’t be running in it, and honestly anyone who runs in this shoe hasn’t worn something like the Brooks Ghost, because it is a world of a difference.   I ended up keeping the shoes because I didn’t get a return receipt, so I wear them with my scrubs at cardiac rehab, to the weight room when I know I’m not running, and as a pair of sneakers to wear around instead of my actual running shoes.

At least I have some cute casual shoes now?

Happy running!

-jules

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