All the shoe talk lately—still!–has been about minimal-this and less-is-that. “Minimalist” running shoes, or whatever we will call them, are not just the latest fashion or technology trend, they are the future of running specialty footwear. Believe it or don’t, the world is always flat to some people (and not in the Thomas Friedman way.)
That is not to say that everyone is ready to try something new. New Balance is arguably at the front of minimalist design, and they understand that some are not quite ready to make that leap of faith to a more biomechanically appropriate shoe. And for those people, they have the 890.
Drawn with more traditional lines—heel/toe differentials and stack heights—the 890 is an unusually lightweight, clean looking neutral shoe that feels much faster than it already looks.
New Balance was in a position that could only really be described as DFL. Their market share had dwindled to barely even registering on the radar, and their product was arguably as archaic as it gets. Quite obviously, warning bells were ringing loudly, as quick shifts in marketing and product design signaled that New Balance wants still to be a player. And because of their position at the bottom of the totem pole, they really had little choice but to make bold and aggressive changes in footwear design.
The NB Minimus Trail and Road models are about the hottest things on the wall, road and dirt at the moment, but the 890 deserves some props for sure. This shoe has instant street cred. It would be easy to go into hyperbole about the 890, but we’ll leave that for the more biomechanically appropriate offerings.
The feel of the 890 is soft and responsive, two characteristics not often seen together. Most of the time, responsiveness is sacrificed for the benefit of a higher marshmallow count to the mid sole, but NB has done well to blend the two together well. The simple, lightweight upper, free from superfluous overlays, is deceptively snug. Without the overlays, first feel is often that the upper is too roomy, loose even. But after a quick jog, the upper shows to be much snugger and more supportive than expected.
So far, customers have been really pleased—ecstatic almost, in some cases—at the feel of their new 890’s. We are equally as happy. When was the last time you bought a New Balance? Seriously. That’s what we said. The 890 is what neutral shoes really ought to have been all along.
(Come feel it for yourself! Rogue Equipment has the shoe and the shoe experts, right here in Austin, Tx)