New Balance 890v7

New Balance's 890 line of running shoes is meant for those who prefer more their footwear with more lightweight cushioning. Its seventh release proves to be the most lightweight version to date, thanks to several updates that have been made. The outsole has done away with a rubber compound and now features a tread pattern that resembles laid bricks. A single layer of engineered knit is used for the upper, with a no-sew construction for less skin irritation. The shoe's only overlay is printed over the heel, forming a type of counter to lock the foot into place. It also features no lining and no padded collar, allowing greater breathability and an easier insertion. Not only is this model an excellent choice for racing, but it also works out perfectly for daily life.

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Pros & Cons
Pros

-Lightweight wear

-Highly breathable

-Responsive midsole

-Fits true to size

-Incredible comfort

Cons

-Not for long distance runs

-Midsole is a little stiff

Key Features
Outsole
When compared to the previous model, it's clear to buyers that the 890v7's outsole has undergone some major updates. It's gotten rid of the rubber compound and now relies on ground-contact REVlite, enabling a wear that's more lightweight and pliable than its predecessors. The toe and heel areas are also more textured than the rest of the sole to enable a better grip where it's needed most. Even its tread pattern has been changed drastically, with New Balance swapping out the more curved design from before for one that resembles a series of bricks for a more stable grip and better flexibility.
Midsole
As with the 890v6, New Balance once again relies on its specialized REVlite technology to create the full-length of the 890v7's midsole unit. Although its wear isn't as cushiony or flexible as the brand's Fresh Foam technology, it's able to provide an incredible amount of responsiveness while being 30 percent lighter than most standard materials. This makes the shoe an even greater fit for both competitions and everyday wear, and it's especially useful during short-to-medium distance speed races. With that said, some reviewers are surprised by its overall stiffness and claim that it's not intended for long distance runs.
Upper
The 890v7’s upper has also undergone some major changes. Mesh has been swapped out for a single layer of engineered knit material. New Balance has also done away with the lining in order to increase airflow and ensure better drainage and sweat-wicking. Its only overlay is at the back, forming a heel counter that helps maintain structure and ensure a more lock-in fit. Even the padded collar has been replaced with one that has more stretch for easier insertion, and its tongue is now gusseted for greater stability. Buyers are pleased to learn that it still features a no-sew construction, meaning that they’re still guaranteed a non-irritating wear. A traditional lacing system is still in place, as are the flat laces that stay tied throughout competitions and training sessions.
Weight
The New Balance website lists the 890v7's average weight as 7.2 oz. for men's sizes and 5.6 oz. for women's sizes, meaning that it provides runners with an incredibly lightweight wear. This can be attributed to the engineering of its REVlite midsole, lack of rubber on its outsole, and the lack of overlays, padding, and a lining within its upper. In fact, reviewers and product listings show that this model is significantly more lightweight than any of its predecessors. As a result, buyers feel that it's incredibly effective during speed running, workouts, and everyday activities.
Breathability
Reviewers are very impressed with the 890v7’s increased levels of breathability. While the upper’s engineered knit material does feature a number of air holes throughout, especially along the forefoot and sides, it’s this model’s lack of overlays and any sort of lining that really enhance this quality. Runners are able to stay completely cool throughout their races and workouts, and its sweat-quicking properties work perfectly with the no-sew construction to provide a wear that’s free of irritation and possible infections.
Comfort
Across all platforms, reviewers have praised the 890v7 for its surprisingly comfortable wear. Although it does not provide the soft cushioning of Fresh Foam technology, the full-length REVlite midsole still offers plenty of firm support and responsiveness. It successfully lessens the amount of pain that the runner will feel afterward while being 30 percent more lightweight than most midsole materials. Its engineered knit upper is able to wrap securely around the food for a stable sock-like fit, and its no-sew construction and highly breathable wear means that there’s less risk of skin irritation or infections. And the fact that it generally fits true to size is an even greater bonus for consumers.
Style
The multiple changes made to this latest 890 model has given it a more minimalist design that still fit in both on the race track and in everyday settings. Its lack of a liner, limited overlays, and stretchy color are definitely the most standout features, as is the texture of its new engineered knit upper. Both men’s and women’s sizes are available in three different colorways, which is quite limited yet doesn’t seem to be an issue for buyers. Men can choose between Dark Agave/Orca/Bleached Lime, Energy Red/Black/Bleached Lime, and White/Black/RGB Green. Women’s options consist of Dark Neptune/Eclipse/Neon Emerald, Crystal/Dark Agave/Bleach Lime, and White/Guava Glo/Bleached Lime.
Durability
Reviews don’t seem to indicate how durable the 890v7 may or may not be. Its firm REVlite midsole can maintain its shape for longer than something that’s more flexible, yet it still has enough of a give to prevent cracking and peeling. Its engineered knit upper is also more resistant to wear and tear than standard mesh, but its lack of overlays still means that it’s susceptible to damage. And while its outsole manages to stay sturdy even without a rubber compound, it still limits its usage quite a bit.
Protection
The 890v7’s REVlite midsole offers a firm yet responsive wear that safeguards against chronic pain, fatigue, and possible over-flexing. Despite its lack of any rubber compound, the new design of its outsole is still able to provide a secure and stable grip to properly carry the runner through intense races and workouts. Even its new minimalistic upper is protective in its own way, as its lack of a lining and no-sew construction actively prevent skin irritations. And the material’s sock-like fit comes complete with a stretchy collar and gusseted tongue, which work with the heel counter and lacing system to prevent over-flexing and accidental removal.
Responsiveness
Aside from a lightweight wear, competition shoes also have to have incredible responsiveness in order to keep the runner powering forward through their races. The 890v7’s REVlite midsole does exactly that, providing shock absorption to ensure smoother movements and less pain at the end of the day. Although its energy return is strong enough to help runners reach their optimal speed, reviews indicate that it may not be enough for those who run long distances. Instead, it’s designed more for short-to-medium distance speed races as well as training sessions. Even its engineered knit upper has some responsiveness to it as well, wrapping around the foot and adapting completely to its every movement.
Support
The 890v7 definitely provides a supportive wear, but not in the same way as its predecessors. It still relies on the same REVlite midsole as before, ensuring the same amount of firm cushioning that fans of the 890v6 are used to. Its upper, on the other hand, as undergone to most significant changes. A single layer of engineered mesh includes no padding, lining, or overlays, and wraps securely around the foot like a sock in order to adapt to its every movement. Its stretchy collar and gusseted tongue also provide the runner with a decent amount of ankle support.
Terrain
Since the 890v7 was designed for competitions and everyday life, it’s intended mostly for use on paved roads. Its brand new tread pattern is better able to grip onto concrete and asphalt, and the REVlite midsole sufficiently protects the underfoot from constant impact against hard surfaces. Although the new design of its upper does make for a comfortable wear during the summer, and it enables proper draining, it also means that it’s unfit for much cooler weather. Furthermore, there’s no indication of how well this model can perform on wet or loose surfaces. Overall, this would definitely be a very poor choice for trail running of any level.
Price
The 890v7 is definitely on the lower end of average when it comes to its price range. Across all online retailers, from Zappos and Road Runner Sports to the New Balance website, this particular model is listed for $120. Even though this still might be on the pricier side for some consumers, reviews indicate that this shoe is absolutely worth every dollar spent. The responsiveness of its midsole, its upper's breathability and support, and the extremely versatile wear that it provides are all more than enough to attract buyers and keep them satisfied for a very long time.
Traction
Since its outsole has been changed drastically from those of its predecessors, the 890v7’s overall traction has changed as well. The rubber compound is now gone, being replaced by ground-contact REVlite, and its curved tread pattern has been swapped out for a blocky and more linear design. The tip of the forefoot and the end of the heel are also more textured than the rest of the outsole, enabling a stronger grip where it’s most needed. While this new tread pattern is more adept at grabbing onto paved road surfaces, it’s not intended for use on rugged terrains. There’s also no indication of how well it can perform on wet surfaces.
Flexibility
Reviews seem to be quite mixed when it comes to the 890v7’s overall level of flexibility. On one hand, some buyers have noticed that the lack of any rubber compound has improved their overall movements and makes competition running much easier. On the other hand, REVlite is known to be less pliable than New Balance’s Fresh Foam and may feel stiff to certain buyers. With that said, a short break-in period should get them used to its wear and make it easier to use.
Stability
The 890v7 is noticeably lacking when it comes to its overall stability, especially when compared to its predecessors. Since it has fewer layers and no corrective features, its design focuses more on keeping the foot inside the shoe. The firmness and responsiveness of its REVlite midsole actively prevent accidental movements and over-flexing, as does the snug fit of engineered knit upper. Its new stretchy collar wraps around securely and works with the shoe’s gusseted tongue and lacing system to ensure a lock-down fit. Finally, its only overlay forms a heel counter at the back to really keep the foot in place.
Drop
The 890v7 features a low heel-to-toe drop height of 6mm, which greatly adds to its overall easy wear. Low drop platforms are known to encourage better posture and a greater sense of balance while still providing a decent amount of heel cushioning. Even though it's noticeably shorter than the average height of 10mm, reviewers don't notice any negative effects on its comfort level. However, it's still not quite fit for those who prefer zero drop platforms.
Key Features
-Full-length REVlite midsole
-Ground-contact REVlite outsole
-Breathable engineered knit upper
-No lining for increased airflow
-Traditional lacing system
-Overall minimalist design
-6mm heel-to-toe drop height
Bottom Line
All-in-the, the updates that New Balance has made to the 890v7 have been incredibly well received. The lack of rubber on its outsole, new upper materials, and elimination of linings and padding make this the line's most lightweight version to date. These changes also bring on a much higher level of breathability, as well as a slight increase in overall pliability. Reviewers not only feel more able to reach their optimal speed while wearing this shoe during races, but they also feel more comfortable wearing it as everyday footwear.
Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
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Holabird Sports Link
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Road Runner Sports Link
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By Jessica Pilla
Last updated:
Marko
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Best offer on: Jul. 28. 2021

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