The very popular and very impressive New Balance 890 running shoe is back in its fourth stage of evolution.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get much better with the v3, a leading light in the very busy running shoe market, New Balance have gone and given it a go with the sparkling new v4.
The new version is certainly an eye catcher with some dazzling, discotheque colourways and those bulging outsole pods.
So what’s new? The V4 is the lightest of the four versions with a male shoe tipping the scales at 240g. This is quite an achievement given that the V3 was a sleek and slender shoe by anyone’s standards.
The V4 also looks as if it’s carrying a bit of extra timber with the aforementioned bulky looking foot pods and a rather sizable and plush tongue.
However, New Balance have been particularly clever with their use of REVlite technology composed of EVA foam which is incredibly light while maintaining a very high level of response and performance.
The bulging pods are accommodated by an intricate pattern of cutouts on the outsole to save precious weight and provides the added bonus that this shoe, built predominantly for the road, actually performs quite well on the trails.
But it is on the roads when the miles are being racked that this show performs best.
The v4 is clearly crafted with comfort over long distances top of the agenda. The no-sew welding in the midfoot almost eliminates friction hotspots and makes them suitable for sockless runners.
The ABZORB crashpad is a valuable component for heel strikers, acting as a cradle while the new PL-8 last towards the front offers a little boost as the foot completes its roll with a flick of the toe.
Then there is that luxurious tongue which looks like something straight out of a furniture catalogue and should be obtrusive but the reality is very different. The cushion it offers is in fact very comfortable and very welcome as the miles tick by.
The 890v3 was good. A high performing everyday neutral shoe for long distance training and would even make for a useful ally on marathon day.
The v4 has all of those qualities as well as undergoing a tidy facelift making softer, lighter, sleeker. What’s not to love?