Historically, lightweight running shoes have been made with a specific kind of runner in mind. They’ve been developed for the kind of runner who graces the cover of a magazine — the lithe, efficient, competitive runner for whom each ounce of unnecessary weight has performance implications. The shoes these runners required were minimal footwear designed to be run-in and regularly-replaced. That dictated that lightweight shoes evolved with a minimum of heel and midfoot cushioning, and placing a low premium on durability.
As running has enjoyed its second wave of popularity, new kinds (and shapes) of runners have taken up the sport, and they’re changing the nature of the way we think about lightweight footwear.
“What’s happened is that neutral shoes — meaning a shoe without any kind of built-in stability device — are growing in popularity because running speciality stores, and people in general, are fitting runners a lot better. This comes as the industry has begun to concentrate on a shoe’s entire geometry, not just a component that creates stability. At New Balance we believe in engineering inherent stability into all of our shoes, neutral or not.” says Claire Wood, Running Product Manager for New Balance. “So combine these two things: the growth in neutral-cushioning and the interest in lightweight trainers — and we wanted to come out with an everyday running shoe that’s not scary to run in, is safe to run in, and is substantially cushioned.”
The result of this approach is the new 890 — designed for everyday use, and well-suited to the needs of both the technical and novice runner. At its core is REVlite — a New Balance Design Innovation Studio technology that was designed to deliver the lightest everyday trainer on the market without sacrificing durability or cushioning.
“The 890 delivers a really unique experience, and obviously the REVlite midsole foam is a big part of this,” says Wood. “It’s very durable and responsive, and it’s not going to break down like a shoe of that weight normally would, because it’s an everyday training shoe. The upper continues to deliver that experience over the foot, with super-soft, no-sew seamless welding and a surprisingly light experience top-to-bottom. ”
While New Balance continues to develop lightweight alternatives, like the performance-oriented 905, and the forthcoming NB Minimus, the 890 delivers a new experience suited to runners not necessarily in search of something closer to barefoot, or even the podium, but rather a lighter, more invigorating take on the running experience they already love.