New Balance 3190 v2 Review Facts
The first update to any line of trainer often reveals significant detriments of the first edition. While some eager runners may snatch up the latest line the moment they hit the market, the more experienced wait until the second or even third edition of a line (if they get that far) before taking the purchasing plunge. Some updates may feature drastic revisions while others just tweak an already successful formula. With this in mind, the New Balance 3190 v2 is the update to the starting series that had found a solid support base of runners who found the first edition a quality trainer.
As such, the updates to the 3190 v2 are minimal; if it ain’t broke, after all. One major update is in its upper’s synthetic mesh construction, where the ventilation holes have become smaller but more numerous. In addition, the mesh has become softer, providing more durability while still retaining the excellent breathability of the first edition. Also improved is the protection afforded for the toe. In the first edition, it was made of a rigid plastic. In the 3190 v2, it has been replaced with a rubber material that allows for flexibility. This improved toe protection also lessens susceptibility to hot spots or irritation thanks to the new stitchless design in this area. Speaking of stitching, version 2 has gone stitchless in the overlays on the forefoot, which lessens potential irritation to the foot.
Lightweight, sturdy, and supportive, the good reputation of New Balance remains in their 3190 v2. This efficient trainer also features the REVLite midsole that weighs 30% less than most New Balance midsoles and provides sturdy cushioning and a responsive ride. While some have complained of tightness for wider feet, overall, runners have found the v2 to be yet another solid addition to the New Balance legacy.
The New Balance
3190 v2’s outsole is covered by durable blown rubber and fitted with tame treads that provide great traction. The runner will feel secure as they pound the pavement mile after mile knowing their tread is keeping up with their pace. In addition, small flex grooves line the outsole from heel to forefoot, adding flexibility to aid in keeping a natural stride. Read also about best running shoes for sprinters.
Although New Balance kept the upgrades to the 3190 v2 to a minimal, the midsole was one area of major improvement. Showcasing one of the company’s best foams, the RevLite, runners will appreciate the responsive material that provides a firm but comfortable cushioning
. This midsole is 30% lighter than most other cushioning materials New Balance uses in their shoes, and the consistent heel-to-toe RevLite foam provides a soft step-in feel that is durable and retains its integrity long after purchase and wear and tear.
Even with the solid reputation of its first edition, the 3190 v2 found some areas to tweak and improve upon, and the upper is one of them. Now featuring New Balance
’s Fantom Fit technology, the upper is constructed by fusing a lightweight performance mesh with a thick supportive layer. Seamless, this construction is engineered to provide targeted support while keeping the upper lightweight and breathable. Welded seamless overlays across the midfoot also promote superior support and keep the structure of the upper intact while also reducing potential irritation to the foot. In yet another upgrade, toe
protection is provided by a rubber material, replacing the plastic of the first edition. Additionally, the plush tongue and padded ankle collar provide further comfort to the upper.
Keeping in line with the lightweight construction of the midsole and upper, overall the New Balance 3190 v2 keeps its weight under 10 oz, weighing in at just 9.1 oz/258 grams. Although not a super lightweight trainer, the New Balance is light enough to satisfy most runners’ desire to keep the drag on their foot down without losing comfort or support
Thanks to the Fantom Fit technology, the 3190 v2 is a well-ventilated shoe. Although the mesh is tighter than the first version, it is also more porous as it features smaller, but numerous, holes. The new synthetic mesh
upgrade from the first edition retained the breathability of the first while also making the mesh more adaptable and durable.
One of the best features of the 3190 v2 is its superior comfort. Thanks to the major upgrade the midsole has undergone from the first edition, this version features the RevLite foam midsole. A sturdy, responsive material that’s 30% lighter than most of the cushioning material New Balance has in their shoes, this heel-to-toe cushioning provides step-in comfort. The upper is similarly constructed for maximum comfort, with a well-padded tongue and ankle collar that keeps the foot secure and comfortable throughout the ride. Additionally, its removable insole
aids in both comfort and guaranteeing a secure fit.
In keeping with the kinetic style that many trainers are imbued with, the New Balance 3190 v2 is a riot of color and accents. Depending on the particular style, it features a two-to-three colored outsole, multicolored mesh upper, and large New Balance
logo emblazoned on both sides, this is a colorful, vibrant shoe. The low-cut trainer’s thick outsole that rises at the toe and its seamless upper gives the appearance that the 3190 v2 is in movement even when sitting still. If the runner wants a more subdued look in their running shoe, they’re in luck. Unlike some trainers that only come in two or three color palette variations, the 3190 v2 comes in fifteen, ranging from the wildly colorful to more neutral palettes.
From its full-contact blown rubber outsole to its synthetic mesh upper, the 3190 v2 is a durable trainer. While the outsole’s construction thoroughly protects it from wear and tear, the upgraded upper is now composed of the Fantom Fit technology, where a seamless, breathable synthetic mesh and thick supportive layer delivers a durable shoe that won’t start coming apart (literally) at the seams after some wear and tear. Flexible without ever being flimsy, the 3190 v2 will perform long after first lace-up.
Keeping in mind that the 3190 v2 is a running shoe, and is not made for extreme conditions, its durable outsole will provide a fair amount of protection from the hard running surfaces most runners will encounter. Its toe protection has been upgraded to rubber, an improvement over the hard plastic that the first edition had in place, and offers durable and flexible protection to the toe. However, this is a running shoe that can at best be used for light trail running
. Its mesh upper provides little protection in inclement weather. However, for the average runner who needs a trainer to wear in dry conditions on average running surfaces, the 3190 v2 will provide adequate protection.
The 3190’s responsiveness has been markedly improved by its midsole upgrade to the RevLite midsole, which is a firm yet responsive foam that provides both cushioning and a little bounce to each lift-off. In addition, the flex grooves on its outsole allow the runner solid control over surfaces while its tame treads provide dependable traction, making each footfall contact with the ground a productive one.
With neutral arch support
, the 3190 provides standard support for the neutral runner. However, its lightweight RevLite midsole foam provides a responsive cushioning while its new external heel counter provides excellent heel security without ever feeling too stiff. In addition, the flexible Fantom Fit tech that the upper is composed of provides a snug fit after lace-up, keeping the foot secure throughout a ride.
As with many running shoes, the 3190 v2 is best when on smooth running surfaces, such as pavement and asphalt, as well as springy track materials. However, some wearers have also commented on how they wear the 3190 v2 for light trail running. Considering its lightweight mesh upper, this is not a shoe for all-terrain running or for running in harsh conditions, but on dry surfaces it performs well.
Depending on outlet and style, the New Balance 3190 v2 varies wildly in price, but for those eagle-eyed shoppers out there, this can be a very affordable running shoe, with some outlets selling this edition at the bargain level of running shoe pricing. Prices tend to depend on the actual style of the shoe (color palette difference), so for the runner who already enjoys the basic color palette the 3190 v2 seems to come in--an attractive blue/gray crossfade on the upper with a white-rimmed outsole with an orange base--a runner can pick up a pair at a very reasonable price.
The 3190 v2 aims to keep lightweight and durable without heavy lugs on the outsole, instead preferring lighter treads and flex grooves to keep the runner agile. Although it doesn’t feature thick pods or particularly tenacious tread, on dry running surfaces the 3190 v2 performs well, with many reviewers noting its fine grip on surfaces while its flex grooves allow a solid measure of control and flexibility for the well-attuned runner that knows their gait well.
By providing a solid but not stiff trainer, New Balance struck a good balance between flexibility and firmness in the 3190 v2. With flex grooves lining the outsole and a flexible but one-piece seamless mesh comprising the upper, the runner will feel secure but not constrained by this trainer. Aiming for comfort and durability, the 3190 v2 also kept in mind the necessity for control and flexibility a runner must have, and with these two elements, New Balance provides both in this shoe.
Well-balanced, the 3190 v2 offers excellent security of the foot in its flexible upper after lace-up while also providing a comfortable support in its RevLite foam midsole. Similarly, its snug fit keeps the foot in place throughout a ride. However, this is not a stability shoe. It features a neutral arch support and has been designed with the runner with a neutral pronation in mind.
The 3190 v2 features a 12mm drop, slightly above average for today’s standard running shoe. For the heel-first runner (which is to say, the majority), this trainer will keep a healthy roll in their stride without the discomfort that a low or zero-drop may cause.
- RevLite midsole foam provides a responsive, lightweight cushioning
- Upper is made of Fantom Fit technology that provides a seamless, irritation-free ride
- Durable outsole covered in blown rubber is highly resistant to wear and tear
- Sharp design that is available in numerous color palettes based on aesthetic tastes
- Improved synthetic mesh of the upper is more comfortable and very breathable
New Balance has a good reputation in the running world and the minimal upgrades in their 3190 v2 show that their initial design had already gotten much of it right the first time. Boosting this edition’s appeal, however, are the improvements: an upgrade in the midsole to the lightweight REVLite foam provides even more comfort while also remaining responsive, while the upper now employs their seamless Fantom Fit technology that reduces potential irritation. With a sturdy outsole that features numerous flex grooves to provide for more flexibility on the runner’s part and improved toe protection that has replaced the hard plastic with rubber, New Balance identified the small kinks in their first edition and smoothed them out, making the 3190 v2 an improvement and upgrade to an already solid all-around trainer.