Some of the latest shoes coming out of New Balance are pretty solid looking and the 890v8 is no exception. They have brought over their FuelCell midsole, updated the outsole, and then giver that upper a whole new makeover so this is very much an all-new shoe. The question is of course, how do these things run, and was it worth the huge update or should they have stuck with the original platform?
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- New Balance gives the 890 a whole new design from top to bottom.
- Weighs in at 8.25oz or 234g for a US Men’s 9.
- Has 25mm of cushion and a 6mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $119.95 USD and comes in 3 colors for Men and Women.
These things look just amazing out of the box and New Balance is really doing a better job year over year on improving the design of their shoes and the 890v8 is no exception. The large N overlay which masks their midfoot supports to the color selections, these things are pretty hot.
On the foot, the upper while externally being a little rough to the touch has any amazingly soft inside. The extended and redesign tongue sits in place well and the connected gusset wraps into a full forefoot bootie that is soft to the touch and still breathes really well. Everyone loved the feeling of that upper, but it got a little wonky when you stand up. These things just feel stiff… so we ran them.
So here is the deal, they run really well you can definitely take them up a bit and let them fly, but that midsole/outsole combo is just super firm. We put numerous miles on them and they definitely worked better for lower mileage quicker runs. As your tempo increases, the midsole starts to feel a bit more comfortable or you just don’t notice the stiffness as much. The slower you go, the less forgiving they feel. After the run, your feet will probably be a little sore as well.
All this being said, if you like a firmer ride then maybe the 890v8 is for you. We would rather grab a FuelCell TC and run slower as even with the carbon plate is feels more forgiving. As we look at v9 on these, would love to see them resolve some of the stiffness issues, it’s a tough one for now and probably will be relegated to the walking shoe department.
The upper on the 890v8 is a breathable mesh layered on top of an internal gusseted tongue and bootie that is soft against your foot. The tongue itself has been redesigned and tapers down the lateral side for a better fit. The tongue is moderately padded and that same padding extends around the collar to minor elf heel. This makes on and off even easier.
The midsole on here features their FuelCell tech which is designed for more responsiveness, faster rides, and higher rebounds. The 25mm of cushion definitely feels a lot firmer than on some of the other FuelCell models which is odd considering it’s the same tech.
For the outsole, New Balance brought back a reinforced version of their REVlite to help with durability and a bit more snap. The forefoot area itself appears to be more of a rubberized material than REVlite (could be wrong), but it is definitely the area where it firms up the most.
Style & Aesthetics
Styling is really where the 890v8 shines. The shoe is really hot looking and comes in 3 colors and guarantee you will get some comments on the design. In fact, it almost becomes the redeeming quality when you might be struggling with some of the other areas of the shoe.
The New Balance 890v8 is in a word, firm… like really firm, and if you like really stiff shoes then it will actually be a solid shoe for you. If not, then you probably want to leave these for walking or look elsewhere altogether. If you do go for it, then we would recommend leaving it for lower distance runs potentially at a higher pace as it isn’t entirely forgiving. The shoe is beautiful on the outside, but there are just a few elements we don’t love which makes it really challenging to recommend.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.