New Balance 890 v7 review
New Balance 890 v7 is a complete revamp of the 890 v6. Someone who is new to the running game would not even be able to tell that 890 v7 is a successor of 890 v6.
The only thing they have common is the model name, and the rest of the shoe is different. Mesh upper is replaced with knit upper, and instead of full-length rubber outsole, 890 v7 has ground REVlite outsole.
Let's dig deeper and see what this shoe has to offer.
- REVlite midsole
- Knit upper
- Ground REVlite outsole
- Pronation: Neutral
- Cushion: Firm
- Offset: 6mm
- Weight: 204gm(7.2oz)
- Surface: Road
- Best use: Fast-paced runs
- Fit: True to size
Knit upper feels soft
The 890v7 features a knit upper unlike its previous version 890 v6, which had a mesh upper. On the upper's lateral sides is the 'N' logo.
This knit upper feels soft against the foot and does not cause any irritation or chafing. However, the knit is not as stretchy as the New Balance's Hypoknit or Flyknit.
The upper has different patterns of different sized laser-cut holes all over the knit, which makes the upper super breathable. These laser-cut holes are so many that one can see his/her socks through it.
I have done a total of 30 miles in these shoes. Most of the runs were in hot weather, but the upper kept my feet dry. Also, the upper hugs the foot snugly and provides enough support while taking turns.
The New Balance 890 v7 is not for narrow feet
Runners with wide feet will love the toe box of 890 v7. I have an average feet width, and I found the toe box slightly wider according to my taste. Thus, I doubt people with narrow feet will like the fit of the shoe.
Gusseted tongue provides a snug fit
The 890 v7 has a gusseted tongue, which wraps around the midfoot and provides a very secure and snug fit. The tongue feels soft and fairly padded, which is according to what this shoe is meant for
Secure heel feet
The 890 v7 has a very different shape of heel counter. New Balance has placed external plastic of very minor thickness for stability. They also wrote model number 890 on the heel of the shoe.
The heel counter kept the foot in place while running at faster paces and prevented riding up of heel. However, the curved shape of the heel counter, which is coming towards the heel, tend to cause irritation while running.
Regardless, the rest of the heel counter has no padding at all, but it did not cause irritation or chafing because of the soft knit material used for the construction of the shoe.
Experience an energetic ride
The 890 v7 features the firm REVlite midsole. This midsole foam is an upgraded version of EVA foam. The REVlite is 30% lighter as compared to its competitors.
Despite its lightweight feature, it does not compromise on cushioning and stability. REVlite foam felt very responsive and provides a bouncy and energetic ride.
I have done 30 miles in this shoe and the longest run was 8 miles, and the REVlite midsole felt responsive from the first to the eighth mile. This shoe is best suitable for faster-paced workouts or for race day. I think this REVlite midsole can easily handle distances up to a half marathon.
Not for long-distance runs
The 890 v7 has a firm ride experience, much firmer than shoes like Boston boost or Kinvara. It has a very thin sock liner, which adds very minimal softness to the shoe. Any distance above half-marathon will be harsh on legs in these shoes.
REVlite midsole is more responsive than Fresh Foam and does not lose its responsiveness over longer runs like the latter. I did three runs in them around 8 miles each and found it much lighter and lively than Zante Pursuit but less responsive than New Balance Fuel Cell Rebel.
REVlite outsole remains as responsive as it was from the first eight miles. It is more resilient than any other foam and does not lose responsiveness easily.
The 890 v7 offers a very smooth and responsive ride and will work up to its potential only when it is used for fast-paced runs.
Durable outsole but not for wet surfaces
Unlike the previous version, this version has exposed ground REVlite outsole with rubber placed at strategic places. When I first looked at the outsole, I thought that it will not be durable.
But, I was wrong. This ground REVlite midsole is very durable and will not wear down quickly. I have done 20 miles and did not find any premature wearing of the outsole.
However, I found the ground REVlite to be average in terms of traction. When I ran on dry roads, it did a great job. But when I stepped onto wet surfaces, I had to run with caution.
The outsole was not providing much traction. I also think running on wet grass with them will be a really bad idea.
New Balance 890 v7 fits true to size. It offers a wide-foot-friendly fit, but runners with narrow width might have to struggle for the desired fit.
The forefoot is shallow but not uncomfortable. This shallow forefoot provides a more stable ride when running on uneven surfaces.
Earlier I have tried Zante Pursuit, which has a more restricted fit as compared to 890 v7. In my opinion, the fit of 890 v7 is much better for long-distance runs.
Increasing stability on uneven surfaces
I don't like too much support in my shoes, and this shoe fulfills my expectation. As mentioned, the knit upper is not as stretchy as Hypoknit but not stiff at all and provided a supportive and snug fit.
The gusseted tongue also helps in keeping the foot in place when taking sharp turns. There are also medial strips of EVA foam, which aims at providing more support and prevents the foot to roll outwards when running on uneven surfaces.
The forefoot of 890 v7 is shallow, increasing stability on uneven surfaces. It has an external heel cup, which is made up of very thin, transparent plastic.
At first, I thought this heel cup will not be efficient in keeping the heel locked in. But, again I was wrong.
This heel cup kept my heel locked in, but the only issue with this heel cup is, as mentioned, it caused chafing on the ankle because of the inward curve. But, this minor problem can be prevented by wearing high socks.
The shoe is well-made!
I love how New Balance provides such great built quality and uses premium materials in their shoes without charging too much.
The REVlite outsole held up quite well while the knit upper is also very durable. The upper has not shown any fraying at all. I think 890 v7 will last for 300 miles easily.
REVlite midsole is much more responsive than the Fresh Foam. If any runner wants to add a fast shoe into their rotation, look no further and try the 890 v7.
Tip: see the best running shoes.