Good to know
- The 880 v9 is a member of the New Balance shoe roster. It has a smooth and uncluttered design that’s not unlike its predecessor, the 880 v8. The visual upgrades that grace the newer iteration include an upper that has a bevy of breathing pores and fewer overlays which contribute to the orderly state of the façade.
- Underfoot support is the responsibility of a soft topsole and a REVLite base, two compounds that have been stacked on one another. The result of the stacking is a soft top area that rests on a moderately firm base. Comfort and responsiveness are the goals of such a configuration.
- The outsole unit of the New Balance 880 v9 is composed of two rubber compounds: an abrasion-resistant variant on most of the contact points for structure preservation and blown rubber on the forefoot section for extra cushioning on top of traction capacity.
The New Balance 880 v9 was designed to be true to size. Runners are welcome to get a pair using their usual sizing expectations. Widthwise, both the men and women’s iterations have the Narrow, Medium, Wide and Extra Wide options. A multitude of foot types, volumes and dimensions are welcome to try on this shoe. It is able to accommodate a lot of runners because of such variety.
It is worth noting that a few testers complained of a size discrepancy of half-a-size with their regular preferences while a purchaser reported a narrowness in the regular width option.
The forefoot section of the New Balance 880 v9’s outsole unit is comprised of blown rubber. This compound provides traction and protection against wear-and-tear. It also has a malleable construction that allows it to deliver some additional cushioning to the underfoot, benefiting the transition to the toe-off in the process.
The rest of the external pad features Ndurance, a rubber that is resistant to abrasion. The purpose of this layer is to protect against the debilitating effects of surface exposure and continued use while also doling out surface grip.
Flex grooves in the forefoot section are meant to permit the proper bending of the platform, welcoming the natural flexibility of the foot as it goes through the gait cycle.
The top part of the New Balance 880 v9’s midsole is composed of a soft foam. This layer is spongy yet responsive, bringing a perception of long-term pleasantness and springiness to the ride.
A bottom layer of REVLite is used to carry the topsole. This technology is touted to be 30% lighter than the industry-standard compounds while also being sturdy, reactive and slightly firm.
The stacking of the responsive top part and the REVLite enable a comfortable underfoot experience. The slight firmness of the base aims to provide energized forward propulsion while the softness of the unit on the topmost section intends to maximize the relaxation of the underfoot. The name of this configuration is TruFuse.
A thermoplastic piece is placed in the midfoot portion of the platform. This extra piece is tasked with maintaining the structural integrity of the midsole, staving off sagging or flattening. It also buttresses the muscles and tendons of the underfoot, preventing them from fatiguing during the run.
The upper unit of the New Balance 880 v9 features engineered mesh, a cloth-like material that is light and form-fitting. The smooth and seamless construction of this technology allows the foot to experience a sock-like fit while wearing the shoe. Visible breathing holes allow environmental air to enter the interior chamber, thus giving a cool and dry coverage for the foot.
The ‘N’ logo of the brand is printed onto the inner and outer parts of the midfoot while the ‘880’ moniker adorns only the lateral part. The sparing use of overlays maintains a clean and minimalist upper unit while retaining structural reinforcement and foot-security. They also heighten brand and model recognition.
The padded tongue and collar are tasked with holding the foot in place and preventing in-shoe wobbling. The stuffing also cushions the heel, the ankles, and the bridge of the foot, protecting them from the vibrations that occur during the striking phase of the gait cycle.
A traditional lacing system is used to adjust the tightness or looseness of the cover system. Flat laces snake through discreet eyelets that are reinforced by synthetic prints. This configuration is familiar and quick to fine-tune.
Adidas Ultra Boost
The Ultra Boost is one of Adidas’ most prominent series of running shoes. The history of this line is worth remembering as it is part of what launched Adidas to the realm of style mixed with functionality. The important technology that’s present in these shoes is the boost™ cushioning unit, a licensed feature that has high rebound capacities and industry-leading shock attenuating characteristics. The industry shook because of the power of those amalgamated thermoplastic polyurethane beads.
The 2015 powerhouse that is the OG Ultra Boost model still graces peoples feet to this day, along with its 2019 reinvention, the Adidas Ultra Boost 19. Many other releases were introduced to consumers, including an all-terrain version and a sock-like Ultra Boost Uncaged that had an upper that mimicked the structure of an actual sock.
Asics Gel Kayano
Like the 880 series from New Balance, the Gel Kayano from Asics is a tried and true family of road running shoes that are meant to ensure pleasant performances. But the Kayanos are different from its neutral pronation-focused peers because of a presence of stability mechanisms. A focus on the correction of overpronation runs in the blood of this flagship Asics roster.
Models like the well-received Asics Gel Kayano 25 employ a slew of anti-pronation features like the Dynamic DuoMax® and the Guidance Trusstic® System. These elements work together to prevent injuries brought about by anatomical, positional or movement-based circumstances. One can say that the roads are much safer because of such helpful mechanisms.
The Pureflow family of neutral running shoes is one of Brooks’ most accommodating. The shoes that are part of this roster are designed to step away from the usually bulky configurations of their ilk. The midsoles of the Pureflows—though less substantial than the other Brooks models—offer quality cushioning and reactive steps; the uppers are secure and sturdy, yet they’re not bulky nor inflexible.
Like the New Balance 880, the products from this line have more than a handful of iterations, and each one aims to improve upon the last. The Brooks Pureflow 7 is an example of this relatively fresh yet well-regarded line of road shoes.