New Balance 890 V5 Review


Color: Blue with Navy and White

New Balance's marketing pitch: Engineered to stand fast.

Surfaces tested on: Road, ambient temperature of 21° C/70° F

Upper: Mesh, no-sew overlays+welds, stitched on synthetic leather.

Midsole: Dual density foam - softer Revlite EVA over firmer Abzorb crash pad. 8 mm heel to toe offset.

Outsole: Carbon rubber under heel, softer blown rubber under forefoot.

Weight: 272 gms/ 9.6 Oz for a half pair of US11/UK 10.5/EUR 45/CM 29

Widths available: B (narrow), D (medium - reviewed), 2E (wide), 4E (extra wide)

US MSRP: $ 115

The New Balance 890 V5 dishes out cushioning and support in well proportioned servings, yet ends up being at curious odds with its 'fast shoe' positioning. 
Nike Pegasus 32, Saucony Ride 8
Lightweight, cushioned+supportive ride, plush tongue
Internal midfoot seam is unnecessary, pointy toe-box, lazy transitions goes against the 890's 'fast' labelling
New Balance 890 V5

Just how well do you know your New Balance numbers?

For whatever it is worth, here’s a quick primer on New Balance’s numerical nomenclature. Take the last two digits out of any model’s name, and here is what they are supposed mean, according to New Balance.

XX40: Optimal control, blend of maximum stability, control, support and cushioning.
XX50: Fitness running models for road or indoor use.
XX60: Shoes with pronation control features, while including cushioning and support.
XX70: Light stability, combination of support and speed.
XX80: Neutral. Lightweight plus superior cushioning.
XX90: Lightweight models meant for speed and distance running.
XX00: Competition models for performance and speed.

The ‘XX’ or ‘X’ part generally hints at the performance level; higher the number, more features the shoe is supposed to pack in. Think of the prefix as kind of a premium performance badging, but without compulsorily  linking to retail price.

For example, below the most expensive 1080, there exists a 980, followed downstream by a 880. And on the motion control side of things, a 1260 will be paired with a 860.

But all this is on paper, and in real life, things can get a bit blurred. The XX40, 60 and 70 sound non-exclusive. And just how different is the XX50 from the XX80 series?

Of course, people in the know (with a long history of wearing NB’s behind them – not us) can defend this hierarchy and explain the subtle difference(s). But for someone new to New Balance’s equivalent of a periodic table, successfully mastering the dark art of deciphering numeric cryptography is a time honed skill.

New Balance 890 V5

On the consumer facing side, New Balance has now started calling its shoes by names, and not numbers. Examples? Zante, Boracay and Vazee Pace/Rush/Coast.

The recent turn of events points at an evitable shake up of the old order. By which we allude to New Balance’s strategy to switch to names instead of numbers – Boracay, Zante, and now a whole new spawn of the Vazee Pace, Rush, and Coast. There’s also this thing going around that the Vazee Pace is the new 890.

While this move is great – it is easier for many to relate to a shoe’s character (or the lack whereof) with a name, a temporary confusion of transition will ensue. Case in point is that the Boracay (980 V2) and the Fresh Foam 980 Trail (but not called the Boracay) exists alongside today, so runners accustomed to good ol’ numbers will take some time wrapping their heads around the change.

Our guess is that New Balance will gradually switch all their models to the new naming system, while retaining the numbers for internal use. Behind the scenes, most brands use numbers to identify their models – development (dev) code – in industry speak, so the switch won’t be a break from tradition. It will be chaos if the numbers and name continue to exist side-by-side in the long term.

We’ll also love to play a part (unofficially) in bringing clarity to to the transition. So with the next non-numbered NB review, we’ll include a small chart which matches the earlier numbers with their new assigned names. This is of course conditional to the probability that the numeric identification still comes printed on the sizing label.

New Balance 890 V5

In NB’s numeric ecosystem, how does the 890 fit in?

Anyway – based on the numbering template, we had a pre-weartested assumption about how the 890 V5 should feel like. Our review experience with the XX80 and XX00 series has been the 1080, 980 and the 1500 respectively, and the ride experience aligned (more or less) with how New Balance said they would.

Hence in theory, the 890 should vaguely sit between a 980 Fresh Foam and a 1500 V1, along with some speedster leaning, correct? This seems like a legit line of thought, unless we’ve tied ourselves in confused knots. New Balance’s description of the 890 – ‘built to withstand fast’ is a nod to our thinking too.

And how does that match up with our post wear-test opinion?

New Balance 890 V5

The 890 is supposed to feel fast. Which begs the question: is it?

New Balance 890 V5

The 890 V5 is more cushioned than what New Balance would have you believe.

Curiously, the 890 V5 is at odds with its ‘fast shoe’ positioning. Because the 890 V5 feels very much like a cushioned trainer meant for easy workouts, not very dissimilar from our impression of the 1080 V5. There are shared design aspects, like the under-heel cavity with a silver material which aesthetically mirrors the N2 construction of the 1080. Or the network of midsole pods flaring out around the sides.

So in a way, it feels like a baby version of the 1080, and not a shoe which is supposed to bridge the performance tiers of the XX80 and XX00 series. If this is how the 890 feels like, can’t wait to try the 880 and make sense of it all.

So what makes the 890 V5 what it is? A quick round-up of construction basics would be nice, yes?

New Balance 890 V5

The Revlite sure works on the 1500 V1. What does it do for the 890?

New Balance 890 V5

The firmer foam pods cup the softer Revlite layer.

The 890’s midsole material is dual density. The top layer is New Balance’s Revlite EVA, yes, the same foam used on the excellent 1500 V1, except that there is a lot more of it here.

Under the heel, there’s a firmer EVA foam which New Balance calls Abzorb, and this cradles the upper Revlite foam by means of its pod like outriggers.

New Balance 890 V5

The ubiquitous Ortholite insole, home to blown foam squish-ness.

New Balance 890 V5

The 890 V5 uses a soft foam lasting, increasing the level of cushioning softness.

Inside, there’s a cushy, independent Ortholite insole, and under that is the foam lasting, also called the strobel layer. This heaps on another few millimeters of cushioning softness over the main Revlite+Abzorb composite.

New Balance 890 V5

No dearth of outsole rubber on the 890; the front uses a grippy blown rubber material.

The outsole has a copious amount of rubber applied over it, and the layout is full contact. Meaning that there’s no plastic hugging the midfoot, and the rubber takes on 100% of ground contact duties.

The set-up is typical of many models – harder rubber under the heel, and the forefoot is shod with softer blown rubber slabs.

New Balance 890 V5

If you’ve read up our 1260 and 1080 reviews, you know what this design term means. Basically a construction which relies on a no-sew overlay technique, minimizing the extent of stitching.

New Balance 890 V5

The toe bumper has a stitchless overlay, and may we say, is a little pointy.

New Balance 890 V5

Standard mesh design; New Balance hasn’t made the transition to ‘engineered mesh’ yet.

New Balance 890 V5

Fused synthetic layers do their thing here. Which is provide structural support and some design coolness.

The going-ons upstairs is familiar New Balance scenery. There’s the ubiquitous ‘Fantom fit’, a term thrown around by the brand to describe a design which melds minimal, no-sew layering with a mesh base.

In this case, the toe bumper is stitch-less synthetic leather, reminiscent of the Fresh Foam 980. Coming to think of it, the toe bumper profile of the two models look similar in shape and treatment. Like the FF 980, the 890 V5 also has a pointy toe box.

New Balance 890 V5

No sleeves here; a straight up tongue just connected to the forefoot.

New Balance 890 V5

The familiar (also on the 1080, 1260) elastic section of the tongue, which allows the latter to be properly stretched over.

New Balance 890 V5

A lot of foam in the collar, pretty much at traditional trainer levels.

Tongue and heel sections of the 890 are relatively very plush. Tongue top is open air mesh, followed by lots of foam packing, and finally a soft lining, which is used on the heel as well.

And like some of the New Balance models we’ve recently reviewed – the 1260 and 1080 come to mind – the front end of the tongue has an elastic panel, which helps in better spread over the foot. Collar lining utilizes the tongue fabric lining, and is generously plumped up with foam.

New Balance 890 V5

The heel counter uses a molded stiffener inside. On top, there’s a welded design (more aesthetic than function) which Peter Parker would be proud of.

New Balance 890 V5

This is the solitary reflective piece which keeps the 890 company.

New Balance 890 V5

Here’s a low light simulation of the heel reflectivity.

New Balance 890 V5

Welded Urethane logo adorn either sides. Not reflective.

Upper heel has a full size internal counter, and on the outside, there’s a combined layering of stitched synthetic, web-like welding and the only piece of reflective insert. Though night-time visibility is limited to this triangular sheet, it shines very bright when it needs to. In case you’re wondering, the side ‘N’ logos are just silver colored, and not reflective.

Few foams are truly responsive – the ability of a material to ‘spring’ back – and cushioning materials and technologies like adidas Boost and Nike Zoom are able to deliver on that cushioning promise. But the level of responsive behavior is also tied closely to how much material is used in the shoe. Let’s take adidas Boost foam. Use it in moderation, case in point being the Glide Boost, Boston Boost and adios, and the ride character delivers a cushioned plus responsive quality.

On the flip side, if the shoe packs a lot of Boost foam, then the dial slides from responsive to soft. Like the Ultra Boost and Energy Boost. They are still responsive, but the softness of cushioning becomes the overbearing sensation, and not the responsive part.

Nike Lunarlon? In shoes such as the LunarGlide, LunarTempo, this foam is effective in its role as a responsive element. But take a shoe like the Lunar Launch, where the entire midsole is Lunarlon, and the midsole tends to flatten out.

New Balance 890 V5

The midsole blends support and cushioning resulting in a comfortable ride, but the 890 is no ‘fast’ shoe.

The take-away is, too much of a good thing has a bearing on a shoe’s character, and if you haven’t got the message yet, we’re talking about the Revlite foam. When used in moderation, as it has been on the 1500 V1, the shoe feels fast with snappy transitions.

Mold a bigger Revlite piece and glue it on the 890 V5, and the shoe ends up contrary to New Balance ‘built to withstand fast’ promise. So what do you end up with?

If we had to group the 890 V5 with a broader assortment, the other shoes would be model such as the Pegasus 32, Saucony Ride 8, UA Gemini, adidas Glide Boost and Ghost 8. Which translates into a ride quality which blends cushioning and support well, but minus the tempo leaning you get from shoes such as the Zante, Boston Boost or Lunar Tempo.

New Balance 890 V5

The 890’s under heel cushioning is at par with heavier trainers, but stays away from being mushy.

The 890 V5’s heel is quite soft, though not so much as the 1080. Some of this cushioned effect is produced by the combined set-up of the thick Ortholite insole, the foam lasting, the segmented heel crash pad and the Revlite foam.

Yet in the larger scheme of things, the under-heel cavity makes its presence felt substantially.

New Balance 890 V5

There’s an exposed foam area under the heel, and this compresses during landings or general weight loading during the gait cycle.

You recall the 1080 V5’s outsole design, right? Flip the shoe over, and there’s a vacant expanse of space right under the heel. It’s flanked on either sides by rubber mounted on Abszorb Foam pods, and upon impact, these structures take the brunt of the weight. So in effect, the whole area tends to trampoline quite a bit, and heightens the cushioning sensation.

What we’ve just said clearly shows up in form of compression creases on those pods, and dirt scuff marks on the center of the cavity. That’s the extent of collapse, and depending on how much you weight, one could experience less or more of this trampolining action.

While we don’t have miles on the previous version – the 890 V4 – we assume that the heel cushioning would have been firmer on that one. Why? Because the chasm between opposite sides of 890 V4 heel pods wasn’t as wide as this time around, hence leading to potentially less compression and splaying. Readers who’ve had miles on both the V4 or V5 could pitch in below with feedback.

New Balance 890 V5

There’s a significant variance between heel and forefoot cushioning, making transitions a mite lazy.

New Balance 890 V5

This you’ve seen for the umpteenth time – the Ortholite insole.

New Balance 890 V5

Low density foam structure with semi-memory foam characteristics.

This also implies that if you’re a rearfoot striker, transitions will feel slightly sluggish, a inconsistency arising out of the pocket of heel softness. A trait which we called out on the 1080 V5 too.

Not surprising, given the fact both these models adopt an identical approach to heel midsole design. In the same vein, this does not apply so much if you’re a forefoot striking runner. Regardless, even though forefoot is quite cushioned, it’s found lacking in the ‘quick’ feel department.

New Balance 890 V5

Even with all the heel cushioning, the 890 manages to muster adequate support owing to its protruding side (firm) pods.

And that’s that about the ride, really. This is a shoe which is great for what it is; a ride which mixes in comfortable cushioning with a supportive feel to it, thanks to the firmer Abzorb foam pods working together with more cushioned Revlite EVA . The foot doesn’t get tossed around because of the firmer foam base, and the transition is undeniably neutral in its delivery.

Which makes the 890 V5 good for the long and slow ones, the easy runs, call ‘em whatever you will. Yet this isn’t the shoe to go fast, regardless of what New Balance claims – a firmer and/or consistent density midsole would have helped greatly here. Even the Boracay feels faster than the 890, even though that’s supposed to be a lesser 980 going by NB’s numeral mumbo- jumbo.

New Balance 890 V5

Typical NB fit which makes for well proportioned accomodations, except for the pointy front.

Upper fits nicely, as most New Balance shoes do. And if it does not, the width options range from a corset narrow B to a cavernous 4E, so you’re covered either way when it comes to forefoot fit.

Then perhaps the only thing worth underscoring then, is the pointy toe-box, constructed in the manner of the original Fresh Foam 980.

New Balance 890 V5

The forefoot room is alright, just that there’s little to no space adjacent (medially) to the big toe.

It’s not like that the toe area is cramped or something. Just that there’s not much margin on the medial side of the big toe, and you can sense the lateral upper sloping forward over the heads of the smaller toes.

And the sizing fits extremely true to size with borderline thumb’s width of space ahead; this is one shoe you should try before buying. Like some of the other shoes we’ve reviewed, the firmer heel molding tends to push the foot forward by a few millimeters of interior space.

New Balance 890 V5

The 890’s tongue is plush for what the shoe is. Lots of foam quilted in.

New Balance 890 V5

The front stretch gusset has foam embedded within.

New Balance 890 V5

Tongue top uses a spongy air mesh which helps lock it down, reducing slide.

Rest of the upper has a plush feel to it, an impression created mostly by the foam packed tongue and lining. The tongue is long too, enough to comfortably insulate the foot from the last row of optimal heel-lock lacing.

The foam gusset helps stretch the tongue over, and while we were expecting tongue slide to happen owing to the non-sleeved/gusseted design, none of that ever happened.

New Balance 890 V5

The flap is long enough for the heel lock lacing maneuver to be successfully executed.

The tongue’s uncanny ability to lock itself down can be attributed to 1) the generous padding over which the flat laces can better sink into; 2) the spacer mesh on top which provides enough friction/grip for it not to slip.

This logic seems solid, because the 1080 V5 came with a mild case of tongue slide. No prizes for guessing, the tongue mesh had a smoother surface and felt relatively less padded.

New Balance 890 V5

Why should ANY shoe have a stitched-on material over an interior seam? We’re talking about the black strip on the left.

One thing we’d like to see fixed on the 890 upper is the seam inside. The upper mesh splits into two just around the place where the forefoot and midfoot meet, and while the seam isn’t visible outside (it’s turned over), there is a seam inside with a synthetic overlay, no less.

An interior seam is our pet peeve, really. No self respecting running shoe should have an inner seam with a backing material stitched over. Edge-to-edge flat lock seams or welded/taped ones are very ok, because they have a smooth surface. Of all brands, New Balance should get this right – pretty much footwear basics 101. On the 890 V5, the seam did not irritate or chafe, but you felt it as a distinct layer inside. But would have been much better if we hadn’t.

In the end, the 890 leaves you with the feeling that it’s somewhat of a two-face. One side of the story relates to seeing the 890 as an well oiled machine which makes good on blending cushioning and support. Conversely, that same ride character will have runners scratching their heads, for the 890 V5 is anything but ‘fast’, in true running shoe sense of that word.

(Disclaimer: For this review, Solereview bought the shoe at full US retail price.)

We make a small commission every time you make a purchase through any of the promoted retailers in this review.
  • Charles

    It´s interesting in which direction the 890 is heading. The older 890v2 had a different outsole design and felt quite fast to me – not racing flat fast but like a light weight trainer. Somehow with v4-v5 it´s gotten weird. Many people found the outsole pods in v4 to be quite noticable and in the way of a smooth ride. Do you have some information about whether the 890 series is being discontinued and will be replaced by the Vazee Pace?

    As always, thanks for the great insightful review 🙂

    • Wanted to ask you, whether the V4 felt firmer than V5?

      And we have only heard (like everyone else) about the 890 being replaced by the Pace. But there’s a clue in the retail pricing – we bought this shoe in March, and now it is selling for nearly half the price, even though it is a 2015 release.

      • Charles

        Hard to tell because I don´t have any 890 vx anymore and haven´t tried the v5 – sorry (as there is no way of getting the wide version in europe anymore). Only thing I remember clearly is that the 890v2 felt very different from the v4.

        v2 was firm and fast when new but got softer and more flexible over time.
        There was more smotheness and shall I say “pop” to it. I had
        the impression of a soft but resilient (dense) midsole – quite a sweet ride.

        So I don´t know anything about the v5 but from what I read in the review it doesn´t seem to be much different than I remember the v4. The v4 was kind of soft and unresponsive out of the box and got only slightly softer over time. The sensation of resiliency was missing and the huge outsole “pods” gave a jarring ride. (and New Balance changed the last from v2&v3 to v4&v5 – the new last didn´t fit quite as well). Please don´t forget that I´m talking about mid- to forefoot only, I have no clue about the abzorb crash-pad in the heel.

        • Tim Tognolini

          Hi ,

          I’m looking at getting a new stability shoe. Is there a review coming up for the new 1260 v5?

        • Appreciate the feedback! Great background info on the 890 V series.

          • Charles

            You´re welcome 🙂 From the photos it seems the forefoot rubber design has slightly changed in the V5. V4 had more discrete rubber pods on the medial side of the forefoot. So maybe the V5 could actually feel a smidge smoother, don´t know. Hope it doesn´t sound like I would have “abhored” the V4 – I had 2 pairs, 10.4 in 4e and 11 in 2e, none fit perfectly 😀 But it still was a light weight and flexible cushioned trainer – and they came in wide versions… The worst part was how easy the outsole rubber came off (lateral forefoot). Oh, now I´m ranting again…

            Good news is that I have ordered the Vazee Pace and hope it´ll arrive next week.

          • The Vazee Pace… so many shoes, so little time.

      • Tim Tognolini

        Hi ,

        I’m looking at getting a new stability shoe. Is there a review coming up for the new 1260 v5?

      • Steve

        I ran in the V4, and yes I do believe it was a touch firmer ride. I thought, as you did, the holes under the heel area was moved closer together giving the V5 ride a slightly more springy and cushy ride in the heel area. I think it helped with transition.

        • Thank you for validating our assumption, super helpful.

  • El Zanque

    To everyone at Solereview : a massive thank you from Paris, France. Your reviews are impressive, I read loads of reviews (including some about music, movies, soccer, rugby (I’m french, you have to remember this…) or books). I have seldom seen reviews that deep, and yet that readable. Every one of them is a moment of pleasure, and, may I say that, they have changed my vision of the whole running shoes industry !

    Now, I’m waiting for the Pegasus 32 review. I have run with the NB 890 V5 for 3 months, The shoes are not a failure, but i’m a bit frustrated, I thought I had bought a Porsche and ended with a comfy Volvo. But, for a lightweight guy like me (127 lbs), they’re great for long runs, at medium pace. Not what I intended, but you always find use for a Volvo, you know…

    Anyway, any chance to read a review of the Asics Tri Noosa 10 ? They’re triathlon shoes, for sure, but look great for short distances, and i’d love to read what you think of them colors !

    Keep a ‘goin, like Haven Hamilton would say !

    • Hi there! Appreciate the kind words – we still think we have a long way to go 🙂

      The Pegasus 32 review was due after the Lunar Tempo review, but photograph processing messes up our schedule. So the Pegasus is around two reviews away. Not much has changed vs. last year; there are only minor tweaks here and there over the 31, which will take pleasure in covering. But they feel ‘faster’ than the 890, that’s for sure. But you should really considering trying the Lunar Tempo if you want cushioning+lightweight+fast. For speedier workouts, it is better than the Pegasus and 890.

      No plans to cover the Noosa yet; due to limited resources we end up prioritizing which ones gets reviewed.

      And great analogy – the Porsche and Volvo one. We probably use it in a review sometime soon.

      • Tim Tognolini

        Hi ,
        I was wondering whether you have a review coming for the 1260 v5

  • Ditsch

    Thanks, once again a very good and insightful review, especially about the aspects of cushion and related responsiveness in general. I wish such one existed when the 890 v4 came out (you may remember our thread/discussion about it). Although i never ran in the pre v4/v5 versions, i think NB messed it up with the overhaul regarding the midsole. There seems to be at least a group of runners who where quite puzzled or disappointed about the “lazyness” of the podded midsole used in v4/v5. By the way: within the UA Gemini review i asked about suggestions for an easy/long run comfort shoe, because i always struggled to find one that doesn´t bother me. Tried the Nike Vomero 10, it was ok, but i ended up with … the Brooks Transcend! It´s the first maximum cushioned beefed up shoe that i really like to run. Quite the opposite to what i am used to as i solely use (neutral) fast lightweight trainers and racing flats for all kinds of purposes and distances. But yeah, the Transcend somehow works for me and i am happy to have found a “heavy cushioned” easy run shoe that just disappears at my foot and cruises smoothy along! I must say i really like the quite exotic approach of the Transcend, it runs extremely stable (not meant in relationship to pronation issues) with a good transition and its even nicely responsive /dynamic for all the weight and bulk (of course not a racer). Jeez, the ways to the personal favoured running shoe are quite mysterious sometimes … At least there is Solereview with enlightening help, keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for the feedback. We don’t have any runs on the 890 V4, but assume the shoe to be similar to the V5, with the exception of a firmer heel.

      We love the Transcend, more for the V1 than the V2, which felt less plusher. While we don’t think that shoe is fast (something you’ve pointed out), but it serves extremely well for long mile cruising. Would be interesting to see what Transcend 3 is like, because we weren’t a big fan of the T2.

      • Ditsch

        Got a Transcend V1, can´t say anything about V2. With fast i mean´t not literally fast, more in context of the shoe category (quite heavy, built-up and very cushioned). The Transcend didn´t slow me too much down with its bulk and plushness, i found the ride decently efficient. Normally, the efficiency or running economy is my biggest issue with heavy and max cushioned shoes. I have usually the feeling that my feet and legs have to work much harder, in that sense i don´t find plush cushioning very supportive. For some reasons i don´t mind it with the Transcend. Another thing i like is that it works well with my forefoot/midfoot – strike, 8 mm drop and the fact that the heelpart is smaller and not too pronounced, according to my taste other competitor shoes in that category are much more orientated for heel-striking. Can´t say for sure, but my feeling is that the Transcend is very underrated because it´s a quite exotic or even awkward package. The classic target group would maybe maybe other shoes (like Asics Nimbus, Brooks Glycerin and so on) and other folks wouldn´t even look at the Transcend. I hope Brooks doesn´t discontinue the Transcend (wouldn´t hesitate to try V2 and of course interested in V3). It´s not my every day or most used shoe, but when i grab it out for some easy/regeneration runs i love it for what it is! Just a note: purchased a NB Vazee Pace, after one run it makes a very good impression to me – fast and snappy lightweight trainer or long-distance racer! But that seems to be very likely if someone already loved the Zante, though the Vazee Pace feels different with the Revlite midsole. The Vazee Rush would be interesting as it should be more a successor of the 890. I would bet that the Vazee Rush shouldn´t have this unresponsiveness that the late 890 versions suffered from. Looking forward to your test.

        • Completely agree with your comment with regards to Transcend’s target group.

          The problem with the Transcend’s marketing has been its positioning, which runs contrary to what the shoe actually is. Exactly a year back, we spent a lot of time in our review on this topic:

          Thanks for the feedback on the Pace. If we weren’t neck deep in shoes-to-be-reviewed already, we’d have go straight to reviewing. So unfortunately, it would have to wait.

  • Kaspar Pflugshaupt

    Thanks a lot for this write-up.

    I own the 890 v4s and consider them lightweight neutral trainers with a bit of additional comfort built in. I happily used them for fast training units and even a 10k race, since they feel light on my feet.

    Until I found the Adidas Boston Boost (based on the review here, actually). They are just as light, but much more direct, yet still comfortable enough for me to use on everything up to Half Marathon distance. Since I own them, the 890 v4 haven’t seen much use any more. In direct comparison, the 890 feel kind of… mushy.

    Based on this review, I’ll pass on the v5 then. It seems they went into the opposite direction from what I think the shoe needed to make it more interesting to me.

    • If the 890 V4 felt mushy, then we’re guessing that the 890 V5 will be even more so. Good call on the Boston Boost, and we also suggest that you try the Nike LunarTempo too. Extremely lightweight, and goes fast as you want it to.

      • Kaspar Pflugshaupt

        Thanks for the tip!
        I’ve never run Nikes so far. My feet appear to be made for Adidas (long and narrow), but I’ll give the Nikes a try next time I’m in the market.

  • Robb

    “It’s not like that the toe area is cramped or something. Just that there’s not much margin on the medial side of the big toe, and you can sense the lateral upper sloping forward over the heads of the smaller toes”

    For myself this has been an issue in all of the 890 series requiring a half-size up.

    I only purchased the V4 but returned them due to my knees not feeling normal (burning), I am tempted to try the V5, but can’t find them at my normal stores. From what I have read the biggest change is the placement of the pods on the sole. Look forward to comments by those who are familiar with the V4/V5.

    Your “best guess” on my knee issue with the V4 ? (187#, underpronator) Thanks !

    • Thank you for sharing your experience with the 890. That said, very hard to say what’s causing your knee discomfort – there are so many things acting together when it comes to even minor injuries. A personal session with a physio/equivalent is likely to pinpoint the reason.

  • Mike

    Thanks for another great review. Have you please had a chance to run in the Vazee Pace yet? I wonder how its Revlite midsole feels compared to the 890’s?

    • Hello Mike, we have not had a chance to run in the Vazee Pace. Would love to review that shoe, but that’s likely to be end August, early September.

  • Steve

    Yeah, if New Balance is doing away with the 890, a review on the Pace line would be great! I read the last is different along with the drop (6mm). Seems like a Zante with Revlite? I really like the 890 for easy to Tempo runs, so I got 2 pair. The Zante last just didn’t work for me. Love your detailed reviews! Keep up the good work. 🙂

    • Yes, a Vazee Pace review would make much sense, and supply additional context to this review. Hopefully soon, August-September timeframe, we think.

    • Dave

      Hi Steve, I have both the Zante and Vazee Pace. They are completely different shoes. The Zante has a more compliant upper and the sole is very soft – almost plush. When I wear them I often feel tempted to break out into a sprint…LOL…as fast as a sprint would be for me anyway.

      For me, I can get up to six miles in the Zante. After that they start to beat my lower legs and knees up. If I am running a sprint tri or 5/8K I use the Zante.

      The Pace – with the revlite, is a more substantial shoe that I will use when I get beyond that six mile mark. I weigh about 185, and am a heel striker that slightly overpronates Probably why I can’t use the Zante for long runs. The Pace has some arch support, whereas the Zante has none. The Zante is a bit snug in the toe box, but you don’t mind because the material is so compliant feeling somewhat like a sock. The Pace does not have such “stretchy” material in the toebox, but its design offers a lot of space in the forefoot so it works just as well.

      My Zante’s are a size 12 regular and weigh 8.9 oz. on a Pitney Bowes USPS metering scale. My Vazee Pace are size 11.5 regular and weight 9.3 oz. on the same scale.

      Hope that helps.

  • Firdaus

    Ran about 30k in the shoes so far. Usually tend to land on the lateral side of the shoes. Is the wear pattern on the lateral pods normal? Seem rather premature to me.

    • Charles

      I had some premature wear on the lateral pods of the 890v4 (it´s the same as with the v5) too but as long as it doesn´t affect the ride you´ll be fine (I still got 350-400 miles out of them).

      • Firdaus

        Thanks for your reassurances Charles. I think with another 10k, that red rubber would be sheared off already. Red rubber a midge softer compared to the black ones?

        • Charles

          Yes, red rubber is soft blown rubber. By looking at the photo I doubt that another 10k would be enough to wear down the red rubber completely, but it depends. I would say that supinating mid-to forefoot strikers wear down these shoes a lot faster than efficient heel strikers. If you are not happy with the wear of the outsole (and it will get worse), maybe you could bring them back? Otherwise, you can really live with this wear pattern for a lot of miles – like I said, I “lost” these red rubber patches (they are glued) and I still got my miles out of them.

    • Ditsch

      Interesting, i can only speak for the 890 v4: although i really hated the ride of the 890 v4 , i found the outsole durability pretty good. Probably one of the best i have seen so far (ok, most of my shoes are lightweight trainers and racing flats that wear out faster than the average shoe…). I got approximately 250 km on them (mainly on road) and the outsole with its rubber pods looks almost like new, showing only very minimal signs of wear.

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  • Can Akso

    A great review as usual. I would like to share my experience as I love this website. I have goretex version of this shoe. I use it for my trainings and also run with my dogs. I love the shoe but as the review says, its light, comfertable but definitely slow. I instantly dropped from 5.40 to 6.40 pace. I ran 150km with these, 20km in snow, 15km in trail all were great. Sadly it got a deformation at the front and its not waterproof anymore but I am totally satisfied with the product. Just dont use it as a race shoe as it is not a record breaker.

    ps. I have a long lasting knee injury which limits my sport life but the shoe protected my knee perfectyl so far.

    • Thank you for the insightful feedback!

  • Ellen Gerstein

    This is the shoe that got me running in the first place. When I lace them up and head out I NEVER THINK ABOUT THEM AGAIN. I’m having a hard time finding a shoe that’s going to give me the same feeling. Tried the Ride from Saucony but when I started walking around in them I could feel the arch supports, and that’s a no go from a flat footed perspective. I’m using the 1080s in a mens size now and they’re good, but I still miss the 890s, which are getting way too hard to find in the market. Any suggestions for other NB shoes like this?

    • Hello Ellen,

      The 890 V5 is pretty unique as far as its ride character is concerned, so our advice is to stock up while you can! Seeing some pretty good deals on the 890 online.

      Else the second best option is the 1260, though they ride differently from the 890.

      • Ellen Gerstein

        1260 eh? I will give that a run. Thanks!

        • Would love to hear your feedback once you do!