New Balance 890v7 Review | Low Drop Cushioned Road Running Shoes

New Balance 890v7 Review

When Northern Runner opened 21 years ago the hot New Balance shoe of the time for faster training sessions was the 826. It was firm, responsive and light but not cushioned enough for any easier runs. The New Balance 827 changed all that. A shoe that you could run fast in but, was also forgiving enough for some slower runs. This was a totally new type of shoe to the market. The latest New Balance 890v7 is very close to the old New Balance 827, with a modern twist.

The Upper of the 890 is knitted but unlike other shoes on the market it isn’t soft and stretchy. This is an upper designed to be light, breathable and comfortable but still hold the foot securely, even when cornering or descending at high speed. The heel counter is a firm plastic at the bottom with an elastic knitted cuff above it. This gives an adequate fit but is not the firm fitting heel of most shoes and that found on the previous 890v6.

The shoe is light, 200g M UK8. The responsive Revlite Ground Contact midsole and curved sole make the shoe feel even faster. Yet the midsole is forgiving enough for slower runs too. It’s therefore the ideal racer trainer. A more responsive faster feeling shoe than the softer cushioned New Balance Zante Pursuit but not as firm & responsive as the New Balance Impulse.

890v7 vs 890v6

The New Balance 890v7 is a very different shoe to the New Balance 890v6. Not only is the new version 60g lighter due to the knitted upper and the Revlite Ground Contact midsole being durable without rubber overlays, but it’s still durable enough for everyday running. Despite the defined curve in the 890 v7 these shoes are still more flexible than the 890 v6, which had a much stiffer midsole. This gave the v6 a very firm and stable ride but it was hard to run at any speed other than fast in the 890v6, as the stiff curve of the shoe forced you onto your forefoot.  The midsole was also responsive and a bit unforgiving. The 890 v7 works more with your foot. This gives a much smoother ride at a greater variety of paces. If you enjoy running fast then it’s still great.

The curved midsole helps the runner maintain better form. It essentially reminds them to pull their leg backwards to keep falling forward. Therefore reduces the tendency that lots of runners have to over stride when they get fatigued. This is similar to the ‘rocker’ midsole shape of Scott and Hoka shoes, which are designed to do the same thing.

The midsole is 27mm in the heel and 21mm in the forefoot, so 6mm drop. This makes it versatile enough to be used for the heel striker and the midfoot striker alike. This also works well for runners who when running fast get up onto their midfoot but when running slower like to relax back onto their heel.

The New Balance 890v7 is ideal for runners who like light, faster feeling shoes. Whilst they are better for running quicker and remaining nimble, they are forgiving enough to go slower.

Charlie @ Northern Runner Newcastle

Shoes to Consider

Altra Escalante 1.5

These have a more rounded foot shaped toe box and are zero drop. The cushioning is softer than and less responsive than the 890 v7.

Product: northernrunner.com/search/escalante-1.5

Review: northernrunner.com/blog/altra-one-v3-vs-altra-escalante-whats-the-best-lightweight-road-running-shoes

Topo Fli-Lyte 2

These have a similar rounded toe box to Altra’s. They are 3mm heel to forefoot and have a firmer cushioning than the Altra Escalante but, are slightly softer than the New Balance 890 v7.

Product: northernrunner.com/search/fli-lyte

Review: northernrunner.com/blog/topo-fli-lyte-2-review

On Cloud X

These are the more responsive training shoe in On’s range. Ideal for running fast but, with enough cushion for everyday training. A narrower fit than Altra or Topo.

Product: northernrunner.com/search/cloud-x

Review: northernrunner.com/blog/on-cloud-x-running-shoes-review

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