The Lightest Neutral Cushioning Shoe on the Market — New Balance 890 Review and Giveaway

First off today, I just want to take a minute and say thank you for your incredibly supportive comments on my Boston Marathon post.  You guys blew me away with the words of encouragement, and I really appreciate all of you taking the time to do that.

With the time I would have spent writing a weekend link post yesterday, I chose instead to respond to as many of the comments as I could.  I wasn’t able to respond to all 100 or so of them, but I’m trying to make more time for this sort of thing, so please keep it up!

Thanks again. icon smile  Onto the review, and a giveaway I know you’ll like.

I have a problem

At first, it was just something I tried because it seemed like fun.  But it felt good, so I did it again.  And again.  And now I don’t know if I can stop.

Okay, here we go.  This is hard to admit in public, but…

I am addicted to buying brand new shoes and wearing them to races. And I don’t just mean a fresh pair of the shoes I’ve trained in — I mean brand new shoes, models I’ve never even tried before the race.

  • On the way up to the Vermont 50 last fall, my friends and I stopped at the Adidas outlet.  I had never worn Adidas, but I fell in love with a pair of adiZero trail shoes.  Two days later, I ran 30 miles in them before switching to road shoes for the last 20 miles of the race.
  • Then a month after that, at the Marine Corps Marathon, I was seduced by the Brooks tent at the expo and walked out with a pair of the Green Silence.  The next day, I ran the marathon in them.
  • And last week, at the Boston Marathon, I tried out a brand new pair of New Balance Badelley 890’s.  I didn’t actually buy this pair; New Balance was nice enough to send me them to review.  And even better, one for you to win!

Why, why, why?

Maybe it’s a backlash.

For years, I tread very carefully when it came to marathons — I took every precaution and tested everything beforehand, just to make sure there were no surprises on race day.  Oh yeah, and I prayed that nothing went catastrophically awry during the race, when it seemed like even the slightest equipment malfunction could leave me with a something bleeding that you really don’t want bleeding.  Or a nutrition mistake that could turn the race into a 26.2-mile Porta Pot tour.

But as you do more and more races, you start to learn that you’re not that fragile.  And the more long runs you do, the easier they seem to get, even when you’re not in peak condition.

Maybe that’s a mental thing, maybe it’s physical, maybe it’s both.  If you’re new to running, this probably seems hard to imagine, but I bet some others will back me up here.

My wife hates this habit of mine, as well she should.  It’s stupid — maybe it’s my very lame attempt at thrill-seeking.  But for now, the sky hasn’t fallen as a result of my wearing new shoes to races.

My defense is that this way, I’m assured of maximizing the amount of cushioning left in my shoes. icon smile  And the shoes I’m reviewing today offered plenty of that.

New Balance Baddeley 890 Review (+ Giveaway)

detail hero template 400x400Over the past two years or so, like a lot of runners I’ve gotten away from heavy, clunky shoes in favor of something more minimalist — even if not to the extent of doing all my runs in Vibram Five Fingers or even completely barefoot.

I’ve settled on the Brooks Green Silence, and been very happy with that compromise between cushioning and feel.

So I was little skeptical about the New Balance 890’s since they do, in fact, fall into the “neutral cushioning” category.  And that means a thick sole, especially at the heel, which is exactly what I noticed when I first walked around in them.

The difference, though, is the weight.  The 890’s weigh in at only 9.65 ounces (roughly the weight of an apple), thanks to the REVlite material that makes up the midsole.  And that makes them the lightest shoe of their kind.  (Significantly heavier, though, than racing flat type shoes like the Green Silence.)

New Balance’s aim here was a shoe that’s lightweight, but durable and cushioned enough for everyday training.

I like this description New Balance wrote about the 890’s: “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.”

That’s perfect.

So how did I like them?

I must say I was surprised to really, really like these shoes.  It’s been a while since I’ve run in anything this cushioned, and I’m not gonna lie — the cushioning felt good.  So did the weight, and so did the upper of the shoe, which softly and seamlessly hugged my foot in a cozier manner than what I’ve grown accustomed to with the Green Silence.  And the lacing system is much better.

My one complaint about the 890’s is that the toe box isn’t very big.  My toes felt sort of jammed into the shoe, not front-to-back, but laterally.  It wasn’t really noticeable once I started running, though I did develop small blisters on the second toe of each foot, which doesn’t happen in shoes with a larger toe box.

By the end of the marathon, my feet still felt great (much better than my quads, after hammering 15 miles of downhill to start the race), and I’ll attribute this to the substantial cushioning, after I’ve been training in less-cushioned shoes for well over a year now.

Oh yeah, and they look pretty sweet.

Will the 890’s become my everyday trainer?

I’m at a crossroads here.  One one hand, it was really nice to run with cushioning again.  But the barefooters will tell you that’s deceptive — by letting you land hard on your heel without pain, cushioned shoes set you up for injury (they’ll say).

But consider another take on it, from someone with just a tiny bit of credibility — when I got the chance to run with Scott Jurek last weekend, he said something interesting about barefooting that I took note of.

I don’t have an exact quote, but what he said was something to this extent:

Just because you’re not wearing minimalist shoes or running barefoot, doesn’t mean you can’t still be conscious of your form. If you can run with proper form and still lessen the force of your impact with cushioning, you’re getting the best of both worlds.  (For the record, Scott does some barefoot training but not every day.  He said he likes to run barefoot around the inside of a track after a speed workout, for example.)

With that in mind, I’m happy with the Green Silence as my compromise.  But on days when I want something just a little more forgiving of my sometimes-heelstrikes, the New Balance 890’s will be it.

More info, and your chance to win a pair!

You can check out New Balance’s website for some more specs that I’ve left out of this post, or check out the reviews on Amazon (my affiliate link).  Also, they’ve got a few promotional videos that are sort of fun, like one where they show how 13 helium balloons can carry the shoe away.

The New Balance 890’s retail for $100, but guess what?  If you leave a comment on this post between now and next Monday, May 2, you could win a pair when I select one lucky winner at random!

To enter, just leave a comment on this post.  Leave me something good, like an opinion on the whole minimalist vs. cushioned debate, or what you think of the promo videos.  Or something else, just not, “I want them and you vegetarians are weird.”

And I’ll tell you what.  Since this is a pretty cool prize, you can get a bonus entry if you share this post on Facebook and let me know that you did in your comment.  So for those of you who are still staunchly anti-Twitter, this is your time to shine.

Alright, that’s it.  Share this post on Facebook, leave a comment, and you’ll have two chances to win a pair of these shoes that I really like.

Thanks to New Balance for sponsoring the review and giveaway.

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Comments

  1. My comment on minimalist vs cushioned debate: if it feels good, do it.

    Hedonism is my shoe philosophy.

  2. I want them and you vegetarians are weird.

  3. I’m torn right now between paying the $$ for minimalist shoes, or a hybrid like the NB. I’ve been plagued with plantar fasciitis for the last 8 months or so and so many people keep telling me to try barefoot running and how it cured their PF. Might have to bite the bullet and just try it!

  4. I’m a neutral runner, and I would LOVE this pair. I used to wear New Balance all the time back before I was a runner, so I’d love to see how they feel now that I go 12+miles for fun. As for the minimalist debate, I’m very interested in it. I’ve run a few times barefoot, but I’m not sure I could go very far like that.

  5. Lauren Giannullo says:

    I’ve been running between two shoes lately, an XC pair (Saucony Kilkenny 2) and a lightweight cushioned shoe (Asics Tarther). I’d love to try another pair of the lightweight cushioned shoes like these NBs!

  6. I have been running in the Saucony Kinvaras (which are pretty minimalist I guess) since last summer and I love them. I have run up to 30 miles in them without any problems, and I love the light feeling. I have never run barefoot, but my husband runs exclusively in Vibrams and loves it. I think it depends on the person and what works for each individual.

    And I shared on FB!

    • I tried the Kinvaras as an alternative to the Nike Free Run+ I was wearing before that, but found that they still felt a bit too padded for me and I couldn’t stop heel-striking. I’ve since switched to Vibram Bikilas and couldn’t be happier, though admittedly I’ve gotten so used to toe blisters and calluses since starting in them :)

  7. Jadon Ross says:

    I really like that you put what Scott Jurek said in your post with the giveaway. One of the things that I have been focusing more on with my running is my form and stride and landing mid and forefoot. I don’t have any super minimalist shoes yet, but I am running in Kinvaras and I can tell the difference when my form starts getting worse. So I would love to try the new 890’s from New Balance. I also posted it to facebook. Thanks for the chance to win free stuff!

  8. Hey – I have been working through the vegetarian athlete stuff – enjoying the discipline – now if you say I need to try a lighter shoe – I am game. Teach me meatless Jedi!

  9. I think if it works for you, go for the minimalist route. But don’t do it just because it’s the latest fad. Feet are too sensitive a body part to injure just because your friends are running in webbed, rubber shoes. I myself have tried the minimalist route and have found a little bit of cushion goes a long way.

  10. I like to mix it up between cushioned shoes and vibrams. I use my vibrams for shorter 3-4 mile runs but I still love my well cushioned adidas runners. Running in my vibrams has helped me change my stride so now even when I wear cushioned shoes I have a midfoot strike.

  11. Shared on facebook! As for this debate, its one I’ve been on the fence about. I run about 3 weeks in a pair of Bikilas and really like them, but my standard shoe is still my old Brooks Adrenaline, which is like the anti-christ to the barefoot community. I’ve been reading about moving to a more mid-foot strike, but want to go cautiously; back in February I went at mid-foot full-tilt and the quick transition blew out my Achilles. My instinct is to like the minimalist and barefoot movement because a) I tend to be a natural, crunchy guy, and b) I tend to be suspicious of big corporations that crank out constant “innovation,” like toothbrush makers and shoe companies. What I want is a reduced running shoe, like the Green Silence or the Minimus but I’m cursed with 3E feet, and not a single company makes minimal or reduced shoes in widths. The Minimus is supposedly launching widths in the fall, so I hope to try it out then, but in the mean time if I have to choose barefoot or old-fashioned, I’m too cautious to go fully naked (besides, I live in Brooklyn, and that’s just asking for trouble). I honestly think Jurek’s ideas make a lot of sense, and (as in most things in life) some happy median is probably called for.

  12. I want the shoes because I know where you live.

  13. I would love a chance to win!

  14. Kim in MD says:

    Thanks for a chance to win!

    As my 60 year-old father has run 50+ marathons & ultras and he refuses to go anywhere near the minimalist running, I’m in the cushioned camp. But I am always interested to hear how others feel about this issue. It’s a pretty big commitment to transition over, if you’re unsure.

  15. I love minimalist shoes – I’m a big fan of the Saucony Kinvaras, although I only wear them for runs under 12 miles or so. For longer runs, I like a teeny bit more support, so I wear Lunarglides. I’d sure love to try these New Balance shoes though – they sound great!

  16. I like the idea of minimalist shoes as a training tool, but am way too afraid of injury to actually try running in them. The 890 is an interesting next-step towards lighter, more minimal shoes!

  17. I’m having a hard time finding the shoe of my dreams. I’ve never run a marathon, but I signed up for Chicago this year. So far, I’ve tried 4 different shoes and the first didn’t feel cushioned enough (they died at 150 miles…) and the other three give me mega blisters on my arches as I am told I need motion control shoes which have high arches and I am incredibly flat-footed. Since I’m wanting to try a neutral cushion shoe and am trying to improve my form this would be an awesome opportunity… :)

  18. I’d like to try the shoes as I’m not ready to go to a Vibram or minimalist shoe but would like to try something closer to that but still in the neutral-cushioned category that I wear now.

  19. I’m relatively new to distance running and I haven’t really tried anything other than standard running shoes. These look interesting though.

  20. Chris H. says:

    I can definitely sympathize with you on buying new gear before races. I am a kid in a candy store at pre race expos especially for the latest goodies.

    Barefoot running is just a passing fad for recreational athletes and weekend warriors. If you are running 70-100+ miles a week, doing intervals, and speed/tempo work you need to run in something more or you will get injured. Unless you have been running barefoot since you were born, injury immune, or running at a really slow pace, good luck. However, minimalist shoes like racing flats are perfect. I love training and racing in lighter shoes like the K swiss and lunarlights

  21. I would love these shoes! I’m just about due for a new pair and being a road-runner (mostly) I could definitely use some cushioning. I personally am not a fan of the barefoot-running trend that’s going on lately; however, to each their own, right?

    Everything you’ve described about these (and what I’ve read on the New Balance site) makes me definitely want to give them a try!

  22. jr seaman says:

    I have been doing the the minimalist thing for a year now and have found barefoot the way that brings me (not everyone) the most joy but I am always up to try a pair of shoes.

  23. I recently switched to Brooks Green Silence too. Was baited by the environmentally-friendly aspect, the minimalist aspect and the fact that they look so cool. I’ve only logged a few runs in them but those few runs have been wonderful: I feel light and aerial. I can’t imagine wanting more cushioning, though. How exactly does the need for more cushioning manifest itself in you, veggie-man (reference to vegetarianism inserted because called for in the article)?

  24. Since I’ve been running, I’ve been in stability shoes. And since I’ve been doing long distances, I’ve had custom orthotics. Lately, the inserts have kind of been driving me crazy. It’s hard to find a good fit, and I’m not really sure they’re even helping me. I’m even wondering if a minor foot injury was caused by them!

    When I tried on the NB Minimus Trail a couple weeks ago, they felt really good. I always thought my body wouldn’t go for minimalist running, but you never know until you try! I’m working on a very slow transition. Still have my stability shoes for my other runs, but would live to try out the 890s!

  25. Tess Moore says:

    I am lovin’ these shoes!!! Vibriams look too weird! They bring back memories of multi-colored, striped toe socks from my teenage years, ugh! I sure don’t want to spend my hard earned $ on shoes I have to wear only on certain terrain or for shorts amount of time. I DO want a shoe that is light weight and flexable but protects my tootsies. Sounds like I’ve found my shoe! Thanks for the awesome review.

  26. joshwarrun says:

    I just ran Boston barefoot! I would love to do it again, in free shoes!

  27. I recently switched to NB and have been very happy. For a few years I ran exclusively on Mizunos, which I loved, but as I started shifting to the more minimalist shoe, New Balance fell into place. My favorite shoe right now is the MT101 which I’ve been running trails on regularly.

    That said, I’d love to try a NB shoe that isn’t of ‘minimalist’ style. Thanks for the writeup.

    Oh, and I shared on twitter! Thanks Matt for the giveaway!

  28. Vegetarians are weird but so is everyone else. (It’s okay that i said that because im veg) ANd besides that I really want those shoes! I can’t afford a new pair of shoes.

  29. Ah I’m in need of a new pair of running shoes so this post came along in perfect timing! Though the idea of a small shoe box kind of scares me because I’m the type of person who loves to have wiggling room haha :) I posted it on facebook though! Specially hearing such a great review from a marathon+ runner is great incentive to get a pair since I have hopes of one day running a marathon myself (if I can get past the 10k ha!).

    Thank you no meat athlete and New balance =DD

  30. I’ve always wanted to give the minimalist shoes a try, but I don’t have the funds to buy another pair of shoes just to experiment, especially if I decide it’s not for me. I’d love to try them out!!

  31. Shared on Facbook!

    I read recently that you can get the same injury preventing benefits from barefoot running if you increase your turnover and shorten your stride. I haven’t figured out how to work on my steps-per-minute yet (wthout a gps/pedometer/similar gadget), but it’s definitely on my to do list.

    These look like nice shoes~!

  32. Well, the give away is tempting, so is the shoe, even though I don’t really prefer NBs but this sounds innovative!

  33. Julie Jones says:

    I’m very giddy about these shoes. I love that they weight as much as an apple. I’ve have made the transition to only buying light comfortable shoes. Heavy Skecher type shoes are a thing of the past!! Extra bonus is these shoes look awesome!! Thanks!

  34. Julie Jones says:

    I shared this post and giveaway on Facebook
    Julie Jones
    http://goo.gl/6V99C

  35. Hey Matt,

    Do you think a wider model would solve the toe box issue, or would it just leave you swimming in the rest of the shoe? I’ve had that problem with other shoes in the past, but can usually solve it by jumping from D to E. Just curious.

  36. caroline m. says:

    When I was in the city yesterday, I saw a man run by wearing FiveFingers and I got really curious about running barefoot. He was in shape and was kicking San Francisco’s hilly ass – clearly something was working! Maybe I can ease my way into the minimalist thing with this giveaway! :)

  37. I’m a bit torn on the minimalist issue – I’m running in Nike Frees right now, and they are great for pavement or the beach, but for the old, uneven cobblestone streets… I think I prefer more padded shoes. always fun to try something new :)

  38. love barefoot!

  39. I would like to try a shoe with less of a heel. I feel like it’s a waste of material since I try to strike with the midfoot. All my shoes wear right through on the front before the heel even looks somewhat worn.

    I’m interested in how a minimal shoe could improve my arch strength and how it would affect mild over-pronation.

    But I’ll save this self-experimentation for the time between this year’s half marathons.

  40. I am vegetarian.

    I like shoes.

    The end.

  41. Interesting that your one dislike about the shoe was the toebox- I was a diehard NB shoe wearer. I would always order the same make every time I needed a new pair of shoe (I dont remember which one…). One day I got my new shoes, and guess what? They were a good 1.5 cm narrower at the toe-box than my last pair. I know, I measured. It seemed like this could be a negative byproduct of NB’s seeming transition into a Nike clone by going abroad for all labor, bringing on the drop in quality since I noticed the same thing when I went to stores. Needless to say, I am not sure if they switched it, but I just bought a pair of the MT101 and I am loving them, and it seems like at least this pair isn’t too narrow… needless to say I would like to see what the 890’s feel like :D

  42. I have been very very very very against the barefoot thing, because I get injured enough as it is. But my husband runs in vibrams (or barefoot, ugh) and loves it, so I’m interested in trying it. Just don’t tell him. :)

  43. I think minimalist shoes are a good reminder of how you SHOULD run. If you want a little more comfort and cushion use a “regular” shoe, but pay attention to your form and foot strike. I think you can work both into your training

  44. I’m fortunate enough to have the kind of salary that would allow me to splurge $100+ on running shoes every few months, but I choose not to. Minimalism is not only about having a thinner sole, it’s also about owning fewer items. For this same reason, I do not want the free NBs. I’m already happy enough with my current shoes and I don’t really need an extra pair. Give it to someone who wants it more badly than I do.

  45. I’ve actually never run as a form of fitness before…but reading your blog inspires me. Now that it’s getting consistently warmer her in NYC I’m going to give it a try!

  46. I haven’t tried minimalist running but I’m very intrigued by it. I have a lot of foot/arch issues which has prevented me from trying it in the past but I’m getting more adventurous :)

  47. I’ve been debating trying a new shoe as I have been a Brooks girl through and through. But, after a long run one of the things I think to myself is “geez, my shoes felt really heavy” after I take them off, so I would love to try a new brand and a lighter shoe.. maybe it will help me improve my speed and form!

  48. I personally think that barefoot, minimal, and cushioned each have their place – no one method is always appropriate to the exclusion of the others.

  49. Shared on FB

  50. I need new shoes! To be honest, I’m not ready to switch to Vibrams or another non-cushioned shoe, but my current pair is just not working for me. I’d love to try a new brand and style! The whole super-lightweight thing sounds really cool too.

  51. Considering I just got into running in the past couple of months and am still trying to figure out what “works” for my feet, I have been wanting to try a pair of minimalist shoes! I had a bad experience with shoes when I first started running, aka, I didn’t realize how important good quality and proper fitting shoes are…and my black toes that I have are proof of that! I’d love to have a chance to try this new “trend” of shoes!

  52. We just ordered a pair of these for my wife who would like to get back into jogging. I think the category NB has created here will fit a good portion of the population. Lightweight, but not ready to jump right into a flat. There is still a bit too much heel there in my opinion, but we’ll see.

  53. My Nike Frees just aren’t doing it for me anymore, so I’d love to try these!

  54. I tweeted too – @almostveganchef

  55. gah i need new running shoes! these are perfect!! hmmkay.. im trying to think of something clever to say, but nothing is coming out- but vegetarians are NOT weird- im vegan and it ROCKS!

  56. Renee D. says:

    I was actually intrigued by your commentary about marathon prep, since I’m running my first in June. I’m trying not to make myself overly anxious about it, but I’m deathly afraid of that ‘one wrong move’ that could make the whole race blow-up in my face. Your comment about not really being that fragile is going to be my new mantra. I won’t be able to shake off all of the anxiety, but taking it down a few notches will probably do me loads of good in the long run (pun intended. HA!).

    Oh, and I want those shoes and I love being a ‘weird’ vegetarian.

  57. My fiance is all about his Vibram Five Fingers, and has run the past two half marathons we’ve completed in them. I bought myself a pair too, but in thinking I could keep up with his super strong leg muscles (he didn’t have to ease into them at all), wound up really injuring myself in the fall. So needless to say I haven’t tried the VFF again. But I really do want to get back to trying a minimalist approach to running, and I think a minimalist sneaker would be a good stepping stone before going down another notch to the VFF.

    Plus, I’m obsessed with bright colors and I LOVE the neon on them!

  58. Stephanie F says:

    I’ve always worn New Balance, and I was thinking of getting the 890’s as my next pair of runners! Glad to hear a good review of them. I’m not really into the barefoot running thing, although some friends of mine have been getting into it…
    PS – I shared this on Facebook!
    PPS – I’m a vegetarian, and I don’t think you’re weird :D

  59. I’m a neutral runner, and I would love to try these shoes. I buy about two new pairs of shoes a year (sometimes 3) and I find myself still looking for the perfect fit.

  60. I’ve been working at moving to a mid-foot strike (I’ve always been a heel-striker and am experiencing major knee problems) but feel like my cushioned shoes that were recommended for me are making it difficult! The heel is too big to keep off the ground! I would love to move to a more neutral cushioning.

  61. As a PhD Student studying nutrition and exercise science it is in my nature to not jump on any “fad bandwagons”. Instead, I carefully evaluate the scientific research – and by that I do NOT mean information distributed by companies or newspaper/magazine articles. What I mean is by reading PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES! In regards to barefoot running – the scientific evidence is this: People who run with traditional shoes tend to heel strike. People who run barefoot or with minimalist shoes tend to forefoot strike or midfoot strike. Heel striking results in a large impact transient, where as forefoot striking hardly does. However, the claim so many barefooters love to make is that heel striking makes you more prone to injury than forefoot striking. Unfortunetly for them, the scientific evidence to support this in both amatuer and elite runners has not shown this! Until it becomes clear that barefoot running provides an advantage in terms of injury prevention I will stick to wearing shoes!

    Speaking of shoes, it would be GREAT if you chose me as the lucky recipient of that pair of New Balance 890s. Why?
    1. I posted on facebook.
    2. I am an overworked, underpaid PhD student working 12+ hours a day in a building that does not even have windows…so I can’t even see the outside world (aka take pity on me)
    3. My current running shoes should have been retired before my last half in February, yet I am still running in them due to the lack of income associated with being a graduate student.
    4. I am an advocate of a plant based diet for my clients/patients who consist of athletes, recreational exercisers, and non exercisers alike due to the associated decreases in chronic diseases associated with being meat free (I work as an RD in my spare time).

  62. Love the green and black.

  63. Miguel Lopez says:

    Seriously debating getting on the minimalist shoe bandwagon. A few running buddies have switched over and have been trying to convince me. A little scared of getting injured but they tell me if you take it easy and give it time you’ll be OK.

  64. Those sounds pretty cool to me, although the toe box might be a problem. A lot of things changed in my running this year, so I decided to have the local running store re-evaluate what shoes were best for me. I was running in Saucony Progrid Omnis, and I mostly liked them, but running with a more forward-foot strike is easier in a lighter shoe. I switched to Brooks Defiance and I like them a lot more. They aren’t as cushioned, but I find I’m more prone to running with better form in them and paying closer attention to my foot strike. I haven’t tried actual minimalist shoes, but I have really enjoyed running barefoot, say, in a soccer field with nice, soft grass. :)

    Also, I shared your blog post on Facebook!

  65. john pippen says:

    Hey NMA

    I’ve been running in a pair of Asics Gel Nimbus 11 and, while I do like them, I would love a lighter shoe. The Asics are heavy MFers (12.4oz). I’ve been working on my speed a lot and have gotten my mile whittled down to a consistent 7:10, which I’m happy with, but I’d like to lower it even more.

    As far as minimalist running, I agree with many of the above comments: if you like it, and it feels good, go for it. I’m not sure I would go as far as a pair of Vibrams, but I think the way the industry is rethinking foot strike has a lot of positive connotations. At the very least, it’s more options, which seems like a great way to encourage more running.

  66. Great review. I look forward to trying these out when I see them in the store. Several of my friends train in minimalists shoes but have a pair like the 890’s that they wear for long runs on the road / asphalt.

  67. I’m loving minimalist shoes right now. My form has totally improved because of them.

  68. These sound great! Maybe a lighter shoe will convince me to finally try something closer to minimalist shoes.

    Could you possibly give a rundown of the mileage at which I should be throwing away my shoes for really cushioned, less cushioned, and this 890 level of cushioning?

    Great post! And I loved the marathon post. very inspirational!

  69. Casi Crawley says:

    Neat giveaway! I am researching to buy my first pair of running shoes right now. I signed up for my first marathon in Tulsa in November. I want to make the right choice for training and am thinking of trying something along these lines: cushioned but light. Minimalist is something I might like to explore a bit later.

  70. I’m still struggling to shift away from heel striking by wearing minimalist shoes. I have the Nike Frees, love them, but when I do more than a mile or two in them my feet hurt.

    Need to find a way to ease into healthier running mechanics.

  71. Meredith says:

    I just bought some Newton’s and I’m curious about other “minimalist” shoes! The Newton’s are cool, and only feel a little weird.

  72. Good write-up. I’m in the market for a new pair of trainers and I’ve been looking at the Nike LunarGlides. Right now I use New Balance 100 trail shoes, which have really helped me with my forefoot strike. Thanks for the info.

  73. I used to wear New Balance and switched to Saucony a few years back. I’d be interested in seeing how neutral cushioning feels. I land more on the ball of my foot when I land. I’m going to need new shoes in the next few weeks and was planning on talking to the guys at the running show store about neutral/minimalist running shoes. And I LOVE the green and black on those NB’s.

    Mina

  74. I’ve just started toying around with more minimalist shoes. I like it so far, but I’m alternating with cushioned shoes. I also still use the more cushioned shoes for long runs. I feel like you just have to go with what works for you!

    I loved the marathon post as well! Well done…you’re an inspiration.

  75. Excellent, thanks for the review of the NB 890. I have been considering the shoe. I think you may have sold me on purchasing a pair, unless you want to give me a pair, just saying. I love your website.

    Thanks again,

    David

  76. Paul Shultz says:

    Honestly, I thought my fiancee was weird when she bought a pair of fivefingers. I thought she was weird sending me all this scientific data do back up running barefoot and that running shoes are bad. It took Born To Run to convince me. Honestly, I have never had much pain from traditional running shoes except for the bloody blister on my foot after the Philly marathon. I got a pair of fivefingers myself and I really do like them a lot. I’ve done some trail running in them and that was the best experience of my life. The down side to fivefingers is that my shorter toes don’t fill the toes of the “shoe” completely, so they get caught and I have now twice smashed my big toenail through the end of my toe. Looking for some more toe protection so I’m think of the Altra Adams, which have yet to be released but I’m chomping at the bit to place my order.

    Veg folk, check out Sport-O water. It’s like gatorade or powerade, but half the cals, no food coloring or other nasty junk and tastes way better…

  77. For my next running shoes, I’m thinking of following your lead and buying a pair of Brooks’ “Green Silence.” I may also get some Vibram Five-fingers at some point — maybe alternating between the two. I also just shared your post on FB and Twitter. Thanks for all your good work on this site.

  78. Green Silences are the only shoes I’ve ever worn that don’t give me blisters after mile 6. I’d be interested to see how these stack up, since it sounds like blisters are something we both have battled.

    Also, what mileage are/were you retiring your Green Silences at? I was told at the store that they don’t last nearly as long as thicker, heavier shoes. Even so, I’m probably at 500+ miles in mine and don’t see much wear.

  79. I bought these shoes as soon as I heard about them–I’ve been running in them a month now and I LOVE them!!! The most comfortable running shoe I’ve ever worn. I had tried other minimalist shoes, but after several injuries I’m returning to neutral cushioning. My legs are very happy in these shoes and I’ve been able to recover from the injuries that occurred wearing the other shoes. I also find the toe box roomy enough for me as the shoes seem larger than my other NB styles (I actually had to go down a 1/2 size for these).

  80. I am also addicted to trying new shoes! I currently am running in the Brooks Green Silence, the Brooks Cascadia for trails and trying out the Newtons for longer distances. I would love to try the New Balance 890, but my wife would kill me if I bought another pair of shoes right now!

  81. Making the ‘minimalist’ transition, myself…Slowly working more VFF miles in each week and interested in these shoes now, too!

  82. I’m very interested in the minimal cushioning shoes. It makes a lot of sense that it would better mimic natural foot strike. I’m excited to try them!

  83. I have a shoe problem-I can’t help but constantly buy them! I’m a recent convert to minimalist running, well and actually a new convert to the joys of running, I’ve run forever, just recently started to enjoy it-love my vibrams but I have been concerned what I will do when the weather turns cold. I know, it’s only getting warmer right now but I like to plan ahead, don’t want anything to get in the way of this new love.

  84. I’m a no meat athlete who ran my first marathon in January in a pair of NB 1012. Training for my second marathon in June in NB 1012. Just got done reading Born to Run and how could it not cause me to think about the minimalist approach to shoes. A pair of 890s would be great to give it a go.

  85. Katie V. says:

    I’m proud to be a no-meat athlete! As far as shoes go, I’ve only ever bought Brooks, and I’m ready to try something different. NB sounds like a wonderful choice!

    Also, shared this on Facebook! :]

  86. My personal take on minimalism:

    I started training for a marathon a year ago but was sidelined for months with an injury. I went to physical therapy where I was prescribed hours of boring exercises for my feet and ankles. After doing a lot of blog “research,” I began to suspect that minimalist running would do the same strengthening work for my ankle stabilizers as reps with a resistance band.

    I bought a pair of VFFs and started slow walk/run training on the treadmill. As my runs got longer I transitioned out of the VFFs (they give me toe blisters over 3 miles), but I’m running my first marathon on Sunday!

    Even though I haven’t touched my VFFs all winter, I’m now a believer in minimalist running. It taught me to be conscious of my footstrike even when I’m wearing trainers.

    I’d love some new shoes as well, but I wanted to add my personal anecdote on minimalism!

  87. Sorry to have missed you in Boston, but then, you are a bit faster than I am and started 2 waves ahead of me so we had little chance of meeting on the course. Congrats on your race.

    I ran Boston in a pair of AdiStar Ride. Definitely not a minimalist shoe, though I do like them alot. I’ve tried the 5fingers, but didn’t ease into them and ended up with messed up calves for a few weeks. I’ve run in Nike Free 2.0s and like them alot. I have a pair of Newtons in the box that I’ll ease my way into once a couple of races are over with in a few weeks.

    Would love to try the 890s given the chance.

  88. Rule #6 of Running Your First Marathon – “Get yourself a new pair of kicks. Good running shoes last 300-500 miles, but they lose 50% of their cushioning much sooner than that. Get some new ones and BREAK THEM IN during your tapering period. I ignored this in one marathon and got a nice stress fracture in my foot to remember it by.”

    You’re gonna have me running in circles Matt….lol. (bonus points for quoting another post in this one?….LOL). I just dicovered Saucony and I would LOVE to try a pair of NB. Thanks for everything matt!

  89. The only minimalist shoes I run in often are Vibram 5 fingers…I stick mostly to Mizuno Wave Elixirs for longer runs. I would love to try these out.

  90. Natalie A says:

    I am getting back into running after a couple of years (and unrelated injuries) and definitely feel most comfortable in neutral shoes.

  91. I’ve never tried New Balance but would love to give them a go!

  92. I don’t know what I think about minimalist running. I guess I have always been scared of it because I don’t even like the feel of walking barefoot on pavement and I always seem to stub my toes. So I guess for me, some cushioning at least gives me piece of mind. I always love trying new shoes though!

  93. I’ve always run in cushioned shoes,and have always had toe issues; at the end of one summer, I lost almost all of my toenails. There’s some great info here and when I’m in the market for some new ones, I may try a minimalist pair.

  94. I had tried these on in the NB store, and I found them to be “squishy in the heel”. But it’s so hard to judge a shoe just by trotting back in forth with only 12 feet of space. I was looking for the happy medium between my Kinvaras and my ASICS Nimbus, and ended up with the Brooks Launch. Yes, I’m the Goldilocks of running shoes, always looking for “just right” :-) I’d like to give the NB’s a road test if you’d just pick me me me!

  95. Great article. I didn’t realise that you didn’t have to compromise cushioning for lightweight!

    I re-posted on FB too! Hope I win!

  96. Charlotte says:

    A month ago I was in need of a new pair of shoes and decided I wanted to make the transition to minimalism. I picked the Saucony Kinvara as my transition-to-minimalism trainer of choice. I wore them on 5/6 runs a week but my shins got sore quickly and I decided to scale back to 2/6 runs a week, from the advice of my roommate who is a Collegiate Division-1 runner. She encouraged me to run in something more neutral most of the time as a precaution against stress fractures. I think it will take a while for me to go completely minimalist while maintaining an endurance running training regiment…I’d predict maybe even a year or two. But until then, I’d love to be able to alternate between my old cushioned sneakers and this more lightweight neutral trainer like the NB890 as I work my way back to the Kinvara and hopefully later try Vibram Fivefingers.

    S.O.S.!!! Save Our Shinsplints with the NB890!

  97. I actually just bought the women’s version, they are pretty awesome and comfortable, but only for runs five miles or under. I ran 10 miles in them and I could feel a blisters starting to form on my first few toes. (I’m guessing because of the lack of cushioning on the ball of shoe). I love them for short training runs, though!

  98. I’m a new runner, so I can’t believe that you change shoes all the time!

  99. Really liked your review and I am definitely intrigued by these shoes. Not a fan of the whole “minimalist” movement and really think its just the latest fad in running so I’m more of a cushion kinda gal!!

  100. Maybe they’re an option to those weird looking/cartoon-ish Vibrams. And I’m vegan. And I like them. Give me them and nobody will get hurt.

    Peace out =)

  101. I thought that the video was pretty cool. It makes me want to go get 13 helium balloons and see what else around the house it could carry off. As far as cushion vs minimalist, I am all about cushion. I am still carrying to much weight and I need all the fluffy goodness of clouds under my feet to keep me running. I could also really use an alternate pair of running shoes.

  102. I am relatively new to running, one full marathon and 5 half marathons, and not new to being a complete shoe whore. I would love to get my hands on a pair of these and see if they drive me to a new PR, perhaps for my first half ironman this season.

  103. great review, and I love the TV ads. I want to try these shoes.

  104. And I did post to fb and retweeted twice. I really want those shoes

  105. george wilkey says:

    Yeaaaa for shoes!!!

  106. I would love to win these! I read just about everything I can get my hands on abot running. I’ve been reading about the minimalist craze for years, but I’ve been afraid to try the minimal shoes because I’m a heavier runner and I like a little cushion. These might be the perfect compromise!

  107. Every time I go to get new sneakers – because of my planar facilitis, flat feet and fallen arches – I am usually fitted with thick, motion control or stability shoes – Since I don’t know any difference, I thought they feel great until one day I tried on a pair of Saucony Kinvara shoes – I would not say they are mininalist shoes but they have less stuff holding the shoe.My knee, my legs would be sore trying to run in these so I figure it must be the way i am landing. So to make a long story short – I would like to get back to basics – I remember Earth shoes where the heel portion is lower than the soles – And I remember wearing these to school and my legs would never hurt and I was a lot heavier- maybe there is something said about making shoes back to basics

  108. Elizabeth says:

    I’m undecided on the minimalist craze. I think it works for some people, but it’s become so trendy, and barefoot runners are so evangelical, that I almost feel like a dinosaur for preferring actual shoes. I do mostly ultra runs on trails, and I definitely need protection from the gnarly terrain and hours and hours spent on my feet. That said, I love the lightweight Inov-8s I have, and I would love to try these NBs!

  109. Scott reoch says:

    Where do you get your protein!? ;) I sure likes them shoes.

  110. I love New Balance, plus they are an American company and some of their shoes are American made.

  111. I’ve tried running in vibrams but I don’t think I’m making the transition properly because I always have pain in the tops of my feet. However I love wearing them for weight training and general walking around. I’ve been sticking with my Nikes for running but am interested in the idea of wearing a lighter but still padded shoe as a compromise between the two.

  112. Robert Estep says:

    I’m posting on Facebook!!!
    I’ve been on the fence about buying new running shoes. The Asics I currently have are heavy and my feet are beginning to get sore for hours after I run. I saw your recommendation awhile ago for the Brooks Green Silence and have been considering them ever since. Then I read your review today for these New Balance Badelley 890s and thought they might be a nice compromise between my current Asics and the Green Silence. But I was eventually won over by your comment about the weight of these New Balance shoes. Yes, they are lighter than what I currently have, but I think I could do better with an even lighter shoe. I basically run for recreation and staying in shape. I don’t run races and don’t really care how fast I run. I just want to run. I’m really looking forward to getting my new Brooks Green Silence running shoes…and wearing my ‘No Meat Athlete’ shirt!

  113. Brian Hagan says:

    I have been training with the Brooks Green Silence for about 5 weeks now, and they are a big change from the stability shoes I was previously wearing. I really love them, but the left shoe rubs the top of my foot a little bit. I know I am using different muscles, becuase my calves were very sore at first, but I have worked my way through that. I really enjoy the light feeling of the Green Silence.

    I got hit in my calf with a puck last week (playing hockey) and was tempted to go back to my old shoe (Asics Keyano), but I did not like feeling of the extra support from the heel hitting the ground, so I put my Green Silence back on and did my run. It hurt for a few days, but went away after a week.

    Anyway, they are starting to wear, and I need a new shoe for my marathon (May 28th) and was wondering what you thought of the shoe you wore to Boston. It’s amazing you sent this post….. I was thinking of either the Green Silence or that shoe you did a video post (Nada) or the New Balance 890 (you should get commission for my purchases….). My decision would be a lot easier if I win the New Balance 890, but if not I think I may stick with the Green Silence.

    By the way… After reading your post on the Green Silence and all the comments, I bought a half size bigger than normal. It turned out to be a good call, so thanks to everyone who left comments.

  114. I would LOVE to try the 890s. I’ve been eyeing minimalist shoes for a while now and what a better way to start than free!

  115. While I’d love to try minimalist, cushioning would be great if I can keep up on my form work. I’ve always wanted to try NB for my running shoes and a super light cushioned shoe sounds awesome!

    Bonus for mentioning this on my facebook page :)

  116. I am a no meat athlete myself, and I always run in my trusty, trusty Adidas Supernovas. Slightly cushy, big toe box, a leeetle bit of instep support for my slight overpronation problem…. However, all of that being said, I am very interested in trying one of the new pairs of minimalist shoes. I am half tempted to buy some Vibram five fingers. I’d love to win those 890’s!

  117. I like the idea of minimalist, but I like the comfort of a cushion shoe. I try to stick to the lightest cushion shoes I can find.

    Love your website! My sister just got me one of your shirts too.

  118. I have been running for 2 1/2 years. And 70 lbs later ran mostly in court shoes. bought a pair of asics the day before a 5k. A year 1 1/2 later. Several. 5k a couple 10k 2 half Marathons and a full marathons later running in Nike vomero 5
    Learning more about running the more I run. I would like to try the new shoes. @nowaide

  119. Hmmm…I have to say “something good.” Well the pressure is on now!

    Haha…these shoes actually do seem to be exactly what I’m looking for because even though I do like the whole idea of barefoot running and I do some short barefoot drills on grass after my normal runs, I’ll admit that I’m terrified to commit to really making the switch to something more minimalist. Hopefully these shoes can help ease me into it!

  120. That written description of the shoes sounds like a good fit for me. They’re pretty stylin’ too.

  121. Flora Kwong says:

    I love living meatless, I love running, and I love New Balances.

    No lie! I’ve been running in New Balances for several years now and am currently on my fourth pair in a row. I have been sticking with the NB 850 series, but actually have been thinking of getting a pair that isn’t as heavy as the ones I’ve been running in.

    I shared this on facebook!

  122. Thank you for the change to win these shoes! I would like to try them, I’ve been running in Newton’s since the first of the year but prior to that ran in NB. Ran my first 5k and my first half marathon in them. Thanks again!!

  123. Running is a simple activity; put one foot in front of the other, repeat until finished. But there are an infinite number of variables that complicate what would otherwise be a straightforward endeavor. It’s because of these variables that I think the minimalist/traditional shoe debate is something of a false dichotomy. That is, it’s not an either or proposition. If I’m running a 5K on a golf course, something close to barefoot might be preferable. If, however, I’m trying to run at threshold pace for a half-marathon on pavement, I might want some cushion and support. All of this is to say, I think I would enjoy the 890’s, as they seem a versatile shoe – light enough to handle fast running, soft enough to handle distance.

  124. Oh little green shoe, I really want you! I know I’ll run quicker, and faster with you on my feets! A perfect complement for the chick that quit meats! Love this shoe, and posted on my facebook page!!!

  125. Cleric Costes says:

    While I prefer running barefoot or in my Vibrams I found that, living in Ohio, once winter comes – I’m screwed. I couldn’t go out and run for several months because I don’t own a treadmill or a pair of warm shoes (Im a starving artist – literally). I only have my dress shoes and the one pair of Vibrams to run in.

    I briefly considered running in a pair of dress shoes but decided against it. I’ve been saving up money to splurge on a pair of shoes like these for the winter months (and cold rainy days when VFFs and bare feet are implausible). Thanks for the review!

    (Shared on FB too!)

  126. I have been running in the Nike Frees for almost a year now, and I like the minimalist feel a lot. Some shin pain if I run too much in them, but they feel so much better than my traditional shoes.

    Thanks for a great blog!

  127. i kind of have the same opinion on minimalism that i do on a lot of other things that involve changing the way your body operates- by all means experiment, but be objective and careful. i think a lot of people get dazzled by the whole “our ancestors ran barefoot across the plains in loin cloths! vibrams et al are a way to reconnect with your primal side!” thing and seriously underestimate the potential for injury when they go full steam ahead with it right out of the gate. it’s all fun and games until someone fractures a metatarsal, ha.

  128. I just bought the New Balance Minimus road shoe and I like it. I’ve done a couple of 3 mile runs and my longest 22 miler training run in them. They seem to be much better for me than a heavier shoe, and I especially like the lower heel height, as it seems to be easier on my body than other shoes.

  129. I transitioned from running in Brooks Glycerin 8’s to the Green Silence after my last half marathon and I have never felt better. I have had heated debates with co-workers over the minimalist running shoe theory (I work in a gym), and despite what anyone else thinks, it works for me. I can see where people can find fault and disagree, but the proof is in the outcome and I have never felt stronger or run faster.

  130. Susan Kelley says:

    I put in most of my miles on muddy trails, where I worry that “barefoot” shoes wouldn’t give me traction. That said, I’m pregnant and due in one week, so I feel like I need the cushioning (for now). I’d love to try this hybrid as a compromise.

  131. That is a great video.

    I was in PT for peroneal tendonitis earlier this year, and the therapist blamed it on my non-heel-striking. I think the issues were coproduced – my muscles (especially my calves) and tendons were already tight, and I tried to stop heel striking, cutting a huge part of the stretching out of the picture. They got tighter and more painful, and I didn’t stretch them (because I am lazy. and sometimes dumb), and I ended up going to PT and sitting on the couch for two months. I’ve been looking for something in between, which will forgive my heel strike to an extent but won’t force me in the other direction – toward knee issues, and which is sturdy enough to support my feet, and hopefully also flashy enough to get me motivated again.

  132. NBs are still made in the States. That is neat.

  133. Joshwarrun says:

    Just shared this on my FB wall. Also got yelled at, for saying I ran the Boston Marathon barefoot. I ran it in Vibram Five Fingers! Ooops. I have another Marathon this weekend and one in VT at the end of may. These shoes would look great in the green mtns.

  134. I have a friend who runs going down the minimalist / barefoot / Vibram road. However, he’s more and more coming back to wearing his Asics. There’s a fine line between minimalist and being able to maintain speed and comfort on the road, in my opinion. With that said, I wear Brooks Launch currently and find that I like a shoe that’s lighter and neutral, but still provides a enough cushioning – let’s me ‘feel’ what’s going and think about form, but feels quick and speedy.

    This shoe looks like it could be good for racing. Good review!

  135. great review. tick looking shoe too!

  136. I shared the review not in hopes of winning the shoes but i just found it entertaining and wanted to share it with friends… have a great day.

    oh! but if you wanna give something away i’ll take one of those cool t-shirt.

  137. In January I hurt my knee on a 10 mile hill run and when I finally gave in and sought some medical attention with the PT, one of the issues was my shoes–he switched me into lighter shoes and THIS is one of the models he suggested I run in!! :D I would LOVE to win a pair. Very nice looking shoe too–
    I am currently running in Saucony Fastwitch and the Pearl iZUMi Streak. I loving running in less shoe and I have not had any more knee issues

  138. I’d love to try out those shoes… partly in that I have an interest in trying some lighter shoes, but am reluctant to try barefoot or 5-fingers because the track on which I run is covered in small stones, gumnuts, and other items that I don’t want lodged into my soles. I’d also love to try them out because I know I don’t have the money for new sneakers, heh. :)

  139. Ugh. I have been lloking for some really great running shoes and have had no luck. These sound really great, I would love to try them out!

  140. I’ve never found shoes I loved. These sound totally up my alley, I always weigh my clothes and equipment to check on how much extras I’m carrying. With these, I can shed a few ounces.

  141. I tried the 890s on in the store and they are definitely a move in the right direction of how all neutral trainers should be – lightweight and with some cushioning. I’d love to try a pair. With that said, I’m pretty sure the Nike LunarFly is the lightest neutral cushioning shoe on the market, coming in around 9 oz. In fact, the 890 feels an awful lot like the LunarFly. Not that there is anything wrong with that, since they both seem like good lightweight neutral options.

  142. Kristopher says:

    I’d love to try them.

  143. I’m a naturalist with most everything in life … including running. I began wearing VFF’s last year. With trial and error I’ve discovered my legs/body feels best if I wear them on grass, sand or trails. I believe natural running (ie: barefoot running) needs to happen on natural surfaces, so on roads I wear minimalist running shoes. I first ran in Nike Frees, now wearing Saucony Kinvara and would love to try New Balance Baddeley 890s.

    Thanks!

  144. Only minimalist/barefoot shoe I’ve tried is the pair of Vivo Barefoot shoes I bought on a whim. I like running in them, but I’ve been wanting to check out some other options.

  145. Joe Kanaszka says:

    Hey Matt – just shared on Facebook! Would love to give these a shot! Been running in neutral + Brooks Glycerin 8s for almost a year now and would love to get a lighter shoe. Really wanted to switch when i was due for a new pair a few weeks ago but I have my first marathon this week and didn’t want to take the chance of screwing anything up!!
    Ran almost an hour on the beach in the Dominican Rep last November and aside from the blisters on my big toes it felt awesome!!
    I also agree with Scott Jurek’s comment that you can still run with proper form in a cushioned shoe and get the best of both worlds. The NB 890 might be the perfect compromise between a highly cushioned shoe and a racing flat.
    My 4 cents….

  146. Jon Weisblatt says:

    Hey Matt,
    I dog on what you’re saying about long runs getting easier even if you’re not in the the best shape. I’m training ofr the VT City Marathon in May and thought I’s lose the weight I usually lose when training.Not ahppeneing. But funny thing, I feel light while I run lately for the most part. I used to carb load 4 days before a marathon and cut out all veggies and fruit. Fpr the last couple marathons I still carb load pretty good but stopped cutting out the fruit and veggies. It has made it much easier to be “productive” when in the Men’s special reading room.
    Oh ya, can I have a pair of those shoes?

  147. Definitely for cushion. My feet cannot take the slapping against the ground. I shared this on fb! Great giveaway!

  148. I wear minimalist trail shoes and aisics for road shoes. I must say i prefer my trail shoes more than my road shoes. But i may just enjoy the beauty and challenge that trail running gives me.

  149. Good review and very nice looking trainers!

  150. Mum was definitely on to something when she pointed those shoes out in the shop window!

  151. Julianne says:

    I’ve been looking for lighter shoes that still provide some support, these sound great and would love to win these!

  152. Hey Matt,

    As one of your newer male readers, I’d like to personally invite you to run the Mount Desert Island Marathon with me up in Bar Harbor, Maine, on October 16 (No, I’m not a spokesperson. I just love the race.). I ran just under 3:30 in ’08 and ’09. Then, I gave up meat (and most dairy) last August, and my performance skyrocketed. I ran a half in September in 1:28:30, and I returned to Maine in October and ran a 3:20 at MDI. If you want a beautiful course with killer hills, you’ll get it with this one:

    http://www.mdimarathon.org

    Check out the course comparison with Boston:

    http://www.mdimarathon.org/course_info_mdi26.2.html

    If you feel the need to leave me in the dust around mile 20, go ahead.

    Oh yeah, and I really want those 890s. Two months ago, I bought new Mizuno Wave Rider 14s without knowing that Mizuno padded up the heel and bumped up the weight from the previous year. I hate ‘em with a passion.

    I feel like I’m running with concrete blocks on my feet.

    One month ago, I bought the Vibram Bikila LSs. So far, I like ‘em for track workouts and trail running, but I can’t ever see myself running a road marathon in them.

    Last week, I tried on the Green Silence after reading your review, and they seemed comfortable. But my wife said I have to wait a month before dropping another hundred bucks on a running shoe.

    And now, you’ve provided us with this intriguing look at the NB 890s…

    Either I need to stop reading your running shoe reviews, or I need the free running shoes (I’d prefer choice 2).

    Anyways, thanks for all of the great information you’ve put together on this website.

    And if you give me the shoes, I promise I’ll buy a t-shirt. (Oh, who am I kidding. I’ll probably buy one anyway… )

  153. I’m pretty new to running and I’m not going to lie, I’m scared of the minimalist shoes. I have dreams of one day running a marathon, but I’m not anywhere near there yet.

  154. I’m a new runner. Training for my first 5k and having a really difficult time finding shoes. Would love to be able to try a shoe like this out!

    THANKS!

  155. I would love to try these shoes and I wore the “No Meat Athlete” shirt in Boston last week to race! Thanks!

  156. I have run two marathons in the Saucony Kinvara’s. I like them pretty well. The NBs look cool though and we all know how important it is to have cool looking shoes!

  157. love your website. I’m a vegetarian so your updates are really helpful. I haven’t converted to the whole minimalistic running approach yet but curios to try more minimal shoes.

  158. Personally, I’m a fan of the minimalist shoe lifestyle to a certain degree. I’ve been running in Five Fingers for a year now and only use them or very light weight hybrid style shoes (EVO IIs, Saucony Kinvaras..love em). Hope I can win these pair of shoes! :)

  159. I agree that minimalist shoes/lighter racing shoes are ultimately better for us to run in, and there is no doubt that when you wear them you feel fast. But the average person should make the change gradually, as a sudden change in heel to toe drop can cause serious damage to your calves/lower calves. Especially considering the fact that many runners wear trainers or heavier shoes with inserts and do a lot of their running on treadmills. Switching to lightweight minimalist shoes and doing long runs on the roads is a big change, and I think its best to make that change slowly. In any case, I would love to try these shoes. Thanks for such a great blog!

  160. I’m a weird vegetarian and I’d love these shoes. :)

    I’m intrigued by minimalist shoes but haven’t tried any yet because I do love cushioning. These would be a great compromise and good motivation for signing up for the first 5K I’ve run since college.

  161. I would love to have a pair of these.. I have covered hundreds of miles in the two pairs I have that are now five years old.. I will keep my fingers and toes crossed I come out a winner here.. Love and light

  162. Still undecided on the whole minimalist running but I’ve been doing a bit of barefoot work and race flat work on the track to help fix my terrible heel striking tendencies. It’s worked a little bit so now I’m looking for a good trainer shoe that will help me continue this without looking like a goof running barefoot on sidewalks (sorry barefoot runners).

  163. Here are my scattered thoughts on the matter.

    1. form is more important than shoe. A midfoot strike in a heavily-cushioned shoe is less injury-prone than a heel strike in a minimalist shoe.

    2. Variety is good. Just like with other forms of exercise, our bodies are good at adapting to repetition, so keeping a variety is good. Doing some runs barefoot and some runs in cushioned shoes is likely to strengthen the foot/make it more injury-resistant than either method alone.

    3. It’s pretty individual. Everyone’s feet are different, everyone’s stride is different, and everyone’s personality is different. Some people love running because it’s sort of primal, just you and the trail. For that type of person, there is a mental benefit to barefooting regardless of its relation to injury prevention. For other people, running is a constant battle, and the security that having some extra cushioning provides them can give peace of mind.

    4. The type of runner is important. Some one who runs once every couple weeks and does the local 5k once a year has very different needs from a 15 miles per weeker who has different needs from a 50 miles per weeker.

    I’d like to try these shoes for the variety item mentioned above. I have a pair of crappy bulky trainers that I do most of my runs in, a pair of water socks for barefoot style training, and a pair of the green silence for races and track workouts. I’d like to try these as a lighterweight version of my every day trainer, and to work my feet in different ways to improve their overall strength and durability.

  164. Richard Attfield says:

    I have high arches and ran in super cushioned shoes (Nike Vomero’s, Mizuno Wave Creations, New Balance 1063’s on the advice of more than one sports oriented PT) and just about always had some kind of niggle – whether it was a sore knee after 20K, or a sore hip or whatever. Started reading about using “less” shoe, worked hard on improving my form and successfully transitioned to a mid-foot strike over the course of 4 months or so. Then about a month ago, on a bit of a whim, I bought a pair of Brooks Green Silence the night before my last marathon, took them around the block that night and used them to run a niggle free PR in the marathon the next day. (See Matt, you’re not the only one who engages in risky running shoe behaviour :) ).

    Since then I have run in the Green Silence exclusively, including a 50K training run (I’m training for a 55 mile ultra, which I plan to run in Green Silence), and a few runs beyond 30K. My calves were a little sore after the 1st week of Green Silence running, but settled down at about 12 runs into the Green Silence experiment. I know they’re not VFF’s but they are pretty minimalist, especially for a guy coming from Nike Vomero, and I love them. In fact, if I win these Baddeley’s I’ll probably only wear the Baddeley’s casually :)

    Posted to FB and tweeted it too ;)
    PS. Matt, not to influence the random nature of your draw, my wife and I are both vegan distance runners, big fans of what you’re doing here, love Scott Jurek and Brendan Brazier and are generally ecstatic about how the endurance world has become an amazing showcase of the incredible health benefits of running your motor on plants! (and the environment and the animals love you guys for the work you’re doing too!!)

  165. I think it really depends on what your body is like, and how well you handle the physical stress from running. I’ve had stress fractures before, and would never consider barefoot running. I have high arches and need the cushioning from shoes.

    Also, I want these shoes. And vegetarians (and vegans, like me!) are weird.

  166. I am in desperate need of new running shoes and have recently been looking into a NB pair. For the past couple of years, I’ve been using Saucony and do think it’s time for a change. I’ve tried some of the bare minimalist shoes and they just don’t feel right as compared to a bit of cushioning – maybe because I have a high arch?!

    Nothing weird about vegetarians, I am one too! :)

  167. I’m relatively new to running (started last August), so exploration of shoes hasn’t really been something I’ve done yet. However, I do know I started my running with New Balance, and loved them. I’d be interested in trying out this shoe.

    As for barefoot running, I’m not sure where I stand. I have REALLY soft feet (no really, it hurt to walk on a smooth pier at the beach last year), so I know it would take me a long time to work up to it. However, I tend to have sore shins, and just recently hurt my knee a little, so maybe it’d be nice to try something to change my form. It’s something I’d have to look more into, for sure.

  168. Sweet looking shoe! Pick me! Pick me!!!

  169. I would love to try these! I have experimented with minimalist shoes over the past couple of years…I trained for and ran 2 marathons in Nike Frees, and I own a pair of Vibrams (although the toe “sleeves” tend to pull my toes into an uncomfortable position, so I haven’t worn them much). However, I ran a marathon this past Feb in my Nike Frees and ended-up with a stress fracture in one of my feet; not sure whether the shoes contributed to that or not. So, I’m back in a traditional, cushioned pair of shoes for now, but I want to begin incorporating more miles in minimalist shoes again. This shoe sounds like it just might fit the bill perfectly.

  170. I’m a minimalist shoe skeptic. I bought a pair of FiveFingers last year, didn’t like them much and never really used them, and ended up giving them to a friend of mine who I thought would use them more. (I’m not sure if she does, but they weren’t doing any good in my closet gathering dust.) I like the idea in theory, but I’m too risk-averse (and poor) to buy a new or different pair of shoes now that I’ve found the pair I like and that work well for me. If they were free, I’d be willing to give them a try, but money isn’t one of my strengths right now.

  171. hi! i’ve been reading your blog for a while now and i always find great suggestions for food and running on it!

    i’ve been a runner since 7th grade (i’m now 26) and i have always done my runs and races in traditional running shoes. this past year, i have been considering buying a pair of lighter minimalist shoes, but i am worried that i won’t enjoy the feel of them. this sounds like a great opportunity to try them out without losing any $ if they are not my preferred choice of shoe.

  172. Antonetta Riedmuller says:

    I ran my last race in brand new shoes! I went from Air Pegasus TR to the Saucony Kinvara. Fortunately I run midfoot so this wasn’t a problem and I ran my fastest 10 miles so far! I have found for me that less really is more. While I will never go totally barefoot or even in Vibrams (I say that now of course) I do believe that a traditional running shoe which promotes a heel strike is the cause of a lot of problems. Once I went midfoot all my pain went away! I also posted about this on Facebook punkin4675…Thanks for not having a giveaway with multiple entries…I hate entering those!

  173. I bought a pair of the five fingers. I love them. I do not think that I will ever go back to regular shoes. (I have never like shoes to begin with. I only wear them to protect my feet, and because businesses will not serve me if I do not wear them.) I have started to run faster, and farther in them. They will be coming with me to my first half-marathon in May!

  174. Tasha P. says:

    Thanks for the review post on these new New Balances and for sharing your experience at the Boston Marathon. I ran my first 5k on April 9th and am preparing for my second one on May 7th. Thanks again for the daily encouragement.

  175. Daniel W says:

    I really love my Brooks Racer ST5s, but this would be a great addition.

  176. I am a vegetarian and love the site. Lately I have become obsessed with trying out new “minimalist” shoes. I didn’t really dig the five fingers. I LOVE the green silence and they were my go to for a long time. The Adidas zero trail shoes were awesome, but they don’t make them any more :(

    I recently got a pair of Kinervas that are bright orange and I love them. I feel like I run like a Kenyan in them, though my times don’t really reflect this :)

    I’ve also been using the New Balance 101 Trail Shoe and love it! (plus it looks super cute with jeans)

    PS, I shared your post on Facebook!

  177. Hi there! I couldn’t believe my eyes reading about you wearing new shoes to races without breaking them in first! And wearing minimalist shoes at that? Man, it sounds like you’re breaking all the rules over there!

    I have to admit that this latest pair of kicks are really eye-catching, and I love that New Balance has finally allowed us high-arched people who need a little extra spring under our step to experience something lighter and more freeing in the way of footwear. For those who have done the minimalist shoes before, is it REALLY like running barefoot? Does it make you faster? And most importantly, how do I get footwear companies to start sending ME shoes to review? :)

  178. I’ve been training almost exclusively barefoot for a while now, but i’m not a purist at all. sometimes i do want to wear some shoes give my feet a chance to relax. I agree with you and scott jurek, you dont need to be barefoot to concentrate on form and have good form.
    These shoes look good i would love to try a pair. I was actually looking into them recently.
    Great review matt :)!

  179. RunnerBrett says:

    I had been running in Vibram FF for about a year when I started getting a little bit of heel pain on the left foot. I discovered the New Balance Minimus (very low heel to toe drop and very little padding). Exactly what I needed.

    I had a new found appreciation for New Balance products and the company.

    I’d like to experiment with these too (if I win them) and see what they are like. I enjoy running in several different shoes over the week.

    Thanks for doing this Matt!

  180. Thanks for the review. I love New Balance but have not found any local stores that carry the 890 for a test run. Glad to hear they are living up to their reputation!

  181. Tammy Smith says:

    I became vegan in March 2010 and felt so good that I got it in my head that I wanted to run a 5K. I’ve never ran in my life! So I started the Couch to 5K program and made it up to 2.5 miles when I suffered a stress fracture in my ankle and I couldn’t run for 4 months! :-( It was horrible. I finally got the green light from the doc that I was healed and could slowly start running again, so a few weeks ago, I started fresh with the C25K program again and now I have knee and calf pain! I thought, “maybe it’s the shoes I’m wearing” so I ordered a pair of Green Silence shoes, since I’ve heard so many great things about them, and I’m waiting for them to arrive. I’m hoping they help. I want to run a 5K so badly. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to keep trying new pairs of shoes until I find the right one. So if you don’t pick me to get these free shoes, at least say a prayer that the Green Silence shoes are my ticket to running a 5K! ;-)

  182. RunnerBrett says:

    Oh Yea, I posted the link on my Facebook wall.

    Thanks Matt.

  183. I want those shoes because if I had them I would be faster and more likely to catch Pete up above there in the comments who say he knows where you live. Sounds like a life or death situation. I’m a solid choice as designated Chuck Norris of your comments. Plus, I like vegetarians even if they’re weird. Now…gimme those shoes. Please. :^)

  184. I always enjoy the focus of your newsletter, particularly since I too am a vegetarian (though not vegan). I have never commented though, BUT you definitely got my attention with the word “Giveaway” on some NB shoes, since 1) I critically need new athletic shoes and 2) my budget doesn’t agree! So here I am, shamelessly vieing for the giveaway!

    Thanks for your unique contribution to the blog world!

    Shine,
    Maha

  185. Sounds like a good compromise- I’d love to try them. But I have been trying to work on my form- shorter strides, mid-foot strike. Hoping to get rid of the chronic plantar fasciitis that I have!

  186. Shared on FB. Thank you for sharing this review. I just (an hour ago) hired a running coach to train for my first half marathon.I am really in the dark about what shoes to buy and appreciate this feedback very much. Thanks Matt.

  187. Ryan Wachter says:

    Vegetarians want them, and I are weird…how about that?

  188. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately in the minimalist running movement. It definitely interests me and I think could be something I want to explore. However my current thought process on this is I’m concentrating on so much right now in my training, I feel like taking the time to build up proper minimalist strength would slow down the progress I’ve made in my training on my good ‘ol Nike Pegasus. I have no doubt that I’m sure I would see amazing progress on my form with a minimalist shoe – it’s just do I have the time to devote to that now and maintain my training for my first marathon?

    BUT – all that being said…if I won this pair…I could find out :)

  189. The thought of minimalist running is very appealing to me, but as a Clydesdale runner, I’m not sure my joints could take it. The McDougall book, which I just read, gives me hope for all things minimalist running and better nutrition. Loved you Boston stories. Thanks for all you do.

  190. Last year I was training for my first triathlon and I thought it would be really cool to swim, do the bike leg on a fixed gear, and do the run barefoot. So all winter I ran barefoot on the treadmill. Spring came and I took my first training run outdoors in the Vibrams – 2.5 miles, not a big deal. The stress fracture I got that day knocked me out of that triathlon. My podiatrist then said something that clarified a lot for me (paraphrasing at best): “In the span of human history and the evolution of the human foot, concrete is a very tiny blip only recently seen.” It was a game changer for me. Suddenly being a purest had a different meaning. There must be balance between old and new. If we had nothing to run on but meadows and beaches I suspect Nike would not exist in it’s current form. Balance is key. So much so, that I still go barefoot on the treadmill, but lace up Kayano’s for the road. Vibrams for grass and track. Extreme? Perhaps, but I haven’t been knocked out by injury since I started finding my own balance.

    Lift weights, lift spirits.

    Peace.

  191. I love light weight shoes and prefer more cushioning for our rocky terrain — these look great!

  192. Sounds like a good middle ground between being born Kenyan and us real folks :-)
    Love to give them a shot!
    Keep up the great post!
    Brian

  193. Amy Korman says:

    Oooh! I like the black and purple ones. Do you think getting a wider width would help with the blistered toe issue?

  194. julie mac says:

    So far, barefoot running has been like standing on the side of a really cold swimming pool – I really want to take the plunge and get into it already, but I hesitate every time. I’m so used to running in cushioned soles that it’s hard for me to take time from training to try going feet-commando. But now that it’s getting warmer outside, and my marathon is 6 months away, maybe it’s time to jump in and try barefoot running! I definitely want to see how it helps my form, compared to running with heavy cushioned clodhoppers.

    Thanks for all the great posts. I shared this one on Facebook, as I have with many of your other posts!

  195. Roland Blais says:

    I wonder if these would make a good transition shoe from a traditional to a more minimalist style?

  196. I can’t say I’m well versed in the minimalist vs traditional running shoe debate, other than what I’ve read online. Perhaps having a nice new pair of shoes would help enlighten me? ;)

  197. As a newbie I love to read your input because the options are more than a little overwhelming as are the debates and advice. The lighten up and roll with it attitude is much less daunting. I can’t really add my two cents yet, but us vegetarians are weird. :o)
    Congrats on Boston, I really enjoyed your recap.

  198. my vegan feet want these shoes :)
    thanks for the great post on being brave and trying new things during a race, and congrats on Boston!

  199. Great article…I recently switched to the Saucony Kinvara a minimalist shoe and I LOVE them. I have been wanting to give the NB Minimus trail shoes a test run. Shared you link on facebook to increase my chances of winning….go me. :)

  200. The toughest part about the minimalist transition is that every shoe comes with a warning saying it takes time to build up the strength and become comfortable with running without cushioning. That is a hard leap of faith for someone who needs to fork out ~$100 for a shoe that can’t have a lot of confidence in after trying it on in a store.

    The 890’s are extremely comfortable and light though…

  201. I’m pretty much a virgin in the way of minimalist vs. cushioned yet I have to say that I am learning to embrace barefoot running! I recently ran 2x farther barefoot than I normally do with my neutral Brooks. I think that was partly because its time to replace the Brooks…many miles on them and its TIME…

    So, that said, I could definitely use a new pair of neutrals. And yes, I posted via FB, too!

  202. I think my stance on minimalist running is weird considering my stance on all other things health. I love eating simply and cleanly and doing straightforward workouts – but I still have the cushioned-y-est shoes ever. I have bad knees, so I’m afraid to break out of that, but do wonder if I tried barefoot running then my knees would be fine (or better) – just like eating cleaner food straight from the source rather than eating low-fat, low-cal, low-carb “diet” food improved my health to be so much better.

  203. Mary Ellen Reimers says:

    I truly believe in the minimalist concept… just haven’t made it to barefoot yet! I’d love to try these new very lightweight shoes!! (PS: love the blog!)

  204. Katherine says:

    I would love these fancy running shoes, but I could never afford something like this. I do believe the neutral cushioning is the way to go though.

    katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com

  205. So, since discovering this site about a month ago, I have renewed my goal to become a runner. You have given me the confidence to continue with this goal, as well as a renewed confidence in my decision to become vegetarian. I’m well on my way to both.

    I recently bought a pair of neutral running shoes; I had no idea at the time what that meant, exactly, but they fit, were comfortable, and didn’t cost too much for my budget. And I absolutely love them! I forget the specific model, but they’re Adidas.

    I would love to try these New Balance shoes, because they look just as cool and comfortable as mine.

    Thanks for the confidence, and keep on running and writing!
    –Rachel

  206. I’m new to running, and honestly, I find the whole cushioned/stabilizing/minimalist/etc. debate rather daunting.

  207. Thanks for the review! Got a link to your site from sister in law who just went vegan. I have just taken up running after a 20 year absence and a knee injury. Having trouble finding a decent shoe store where I live who can help an athlete pick shoes. Will have to search these out!

    PS commented on FB took!

  208. Debbie Anbinder says:

    “I want them and vegetarians…..”

    Hey, wait a minute. I am a vegetarian (almost vegan). And, we’re pretty cool, not weird at all. Regardless, my entry for the shoes is: although I am of slight build, I am a heavy strider. So, cushioning helps to keep my feet comfortable, both during and after my run. Fingers crossed and thank you for the chance to win!

    debbie

  209. First, I love your blog. It’s full of really great information for a long-time runner turned vegetarian.

    My thoughts on minimalist running is as follows: Advertisements talk up the notion of minimalist running like our oldest “ancestors.” (I usually picture the caveman from the Geico commercial going for a run.) The problem with the idea that we are somehow getting back to our natural roots by pursuing barefoot-like running is that people fail to take everything into consideration. It’s silly to go out and buy a pair of FiveFingers to run on the pavement. Our “ancestors” ran on natural surfaces: dirt, grass, sand, etc. Most people are like myself and run on the sidewalk or in the street, a very unforgiving surface. While minimalist running shoes do have advantages, such as increased strength (I do have a pair for cross-training and soft-surface running), wearing them to run on hard surfaces can cause big problems. Running is hard on the body as it is, minimalist road running can compress the vertebrae of the spine causing back pain and wear down cartilage at a faster rate.

    I will say it one more time. Minimalist running is beneficial but only when it is done in the correct manner. Traditional running sneakers are intended to create a cushion between your feet (and consequently the rest of your body) and the tough, un-natural surfaces of roads.

    Thank you and I hope I didn’t get under the skin of any dedicated minimalist runners!

  210. I prefer less cushioning, but I guess it depends on what I’m doing. During runs, I like to have some cushion but at the gym I like it flat.

  211. JL Zoeckler says:

    I am getting tired of the minimalist footwear debate. So many devisive comments that make it difficult to come into minimalist conversations without feeling like you have to convert to the religion. I’m a barefoot runner that also runs in Hoka oneone’s from time to time. Happy running everyone!

  212. I would like to try out a couple of the shoes you mentioned in your blog. The give-away shoes sound like a shoe worth checking out. Yes if you would be so kind as to let me win them, I will definitely put them to good use, and take up the challenge for my feet to feel good after the run is over.

  213. I’ve been a vegetarian for 38 years. I posted this on Facebook. I can always use a new pair of shoes.

  214. Omg, I would love to get these for my fiance!!! We both put off getting new shoes for far too long (mostly for $ reasons -stupid, but true) and his are really in bad shape. Fingers crossed!!

    Also, I’m not vegetarian, but I love this site as a newbie runner…I’ve been basically lurking and used it get me through my first marathon this past year! Thank you!

    No comment on minimalist running – I just don’t know enough to make an educated opinion…

  215. I have mixed feelings on both kinds of shoes. I was a religious trail shoe wearer for years and loved them. I wore them out, literaly, so I guess I went to minimalist….
    I started marathon training last year and had to switch shoes due to feet injuries and running tendencies. I have always wanted to go to minimalist but never wanted to spend the money on something that could injure me with the high milage I was doing at the time. But on the other side of that my friend ALWAYS had IT band issue but switched to minimalist shoes while training for a marathon and had NO issues. She was so surprised because her IT band always plagued her.
    I would love to try them and see if my feet and hip pain would be relieved from going the other direction….

  216. shared on facebook! I want a new pair of shoes!! I am currently wearing my old shoes from marathon training from last march!!!

  217. AWESOME NEWS! I am a diehard New Balance fan. Buying pair after pair of the 759’s and the 1064’s. BUT they are heavy….UM, but I have a bum hip. See my dilemma? This shoe looks like it could rock my world! And… it’s from my fav, NEW BALANCE!!! Give me a try and I’ll report on every flying step I take.

    Gladly posted on my facebook page.

  218. Christine says:

    I’ve always been an old-school, no-frills kind of runner. I’ve been interested in trying these new paired down shoes.

  219. I recently picked up a pair of Brooks Cascadia 5s which also fall into the “neutral” category. My normal shoes are La Sportiva Raptors which are pretty close to the ground. I followed in your footsteps breaking the shoes in on a big run right out of the box. They feIt really squishy and loose. This made me think of my form in a way I don’t have to in the Raptors. So I have to concur with Scott J that the shoes don’t determine our requirement for attention to how we run.

  220. I’ve been dying to try some minimalist shoes but I just don’t think I’m there yet. Reading this I’m pretty sure I’d love to try these out!

  221. I’ve heard these are pretty cushion-y. I run with almost nothing, so I’d be curious to try these out!

  222. I am over weight I have RA and problems with my feet I cant not go without shoes. I now wear new balance 844 and they do well on my feet but still hurt at the end of the day. I would like to start walking can’t run as my knees are also bad but maybe with these shoes I would be able to do more walking. I sure would like to see and then report on how they are working. Thanks for giving me a chance to discuss this. New balance shoes are the best for people with my problems/

  223. Nice review. You didn’t mention it but I assume there are no animal products used to make the shoes? Maybe you already have one but I would like to read a post about how to have a good running form.

    • David, I realized after I wrote this post that I didn’t check about animal products. (A month into being vegan, I’m still not good at remembering to check if clothing is vegan-friendly.) I’ll try to find out.

      Thanks for the post suggestion. I’ll see if I can come up with a boiled down version of my take on running form.

  224. Michelle says:

    I feel like I want to put helium balloons on everything to see how many balloons it takes to lift them off the ground. My current running shoes probably need a lot more than 13 balloons too. (Why did they pick “unlucky” number 13 though?)

  225. Cristina says:

    Nice to read suggestions for good running shoes… though I can’t believe how shoe companies are taking advantage of us yet again. Let’s see… for years they have been selling outrageously-priced cushioned and padded shoes, telling us that is THE way to go if we wanted to prevent injuries and become great runners. Now, said companies are developing minimalist shoes, equally outrageously priced, saying those are much better for our running, posture, feet, etc. Ha!!! Can you have it both ways? What drives up the cost anyway? If there is less cushioning, less sole, supposedly less science behind producing minimalist shoes, why in the world are they so expensive? Why not get plain canvas sneakers for $10? Even Tarahumara-like sandals–just rubber sole and laces–sell on the Internet for $50.

  226. I’ve always worn Nike shoes, but I would love to try some new shoes. I always have the problem of getting into running and increasing my mileage, but then getting injured and having to cross train for awhile. It’s a cycle that keeps repeating (and is so annoying) and I think my shoes have not been helping, I’ve been using the same pair for a few years now…yikes! It doesn’t help that I’m a broke college student and all the ‘good’ shoes seem so expensive!

  227. I have the same problem with shoes. I ran my last Half with a pair of Newtons I had bought at the expo the day before. No harm done and I love the shoes…but I know it will come back to bite me one of these days.
    As for the shoe giveaway, I am participating in my first Fat Ass 50K in a month and thought it would be nice to have some new trail shoes to try out that day :)

  228. KevHead McHead says:

    It took way more than 13 balloons to get me off the ground, but when your head weighs 178lbs, you come to expect that. On a more serious note, do you feel more impact in your knees when you wear “minimalist” shoes? I had knee surgery last March and I’m still not 100% when running. I figure that’s going to be a battle for me for the foreseeable future, but I feel like the more cushion I have in my shoes, the less pain and swelling I feel in my knee.

  229. I would love to try these- you don’t even want to see what I’m running in right now… I thought it was great they looked at the shoe with a runners view outside of the industry. Congrats on Boston! I am a newer runner but old vegetarian and am loving all the info you’ve shared.

  230. I haven’t really given the barefoot running trend a solid go yet, but I have done a couple treadmill runs in shoes with minimalist padding, and even tried one in socks, and walked away ambivalent. It got me to change my gait a little, but when it comes down to it, I like shoes and shoes like me. :)

  231. Thanks for sharing that statement from Jurek about the benefits of focusing on form even when wearing cushioned shoes. I don’t know if I’ll try minimalist shoes and barefoot probably isn’t for me. I will try to focus on my form, even when in cushioned shoes, though.

  232. Katherine says:

    New Balance is the best! I have big feet, I have wide feet, and I don’t wear leather. NB consistently has sneakers that fit me perfectly. I might have to buy a pair of these when my current pair are ready to retire. (Also, I shared this on Facebook :) )

  233. I wear nothing but New Balance, and my boys get nothing but NB. I would LOVE to give these new ones a try!! Thank you!!

  234. Though I’ve been trying to move toward more and more minimal shoes, I’d love to give these a try.

  235. I would really love to try some lighter shoes! The ones I have now are really uncomfortable!

  236. Would love to try this shoe, I am looking for a new shoe since Brooks stopped making my ghost 2.

  237. Steve Harding says:

    I’ve wanted to try running in minimalist shoes, but over the past year, I’ve been plagued by a foot injury. Things, for the most part, have been good lately, and I’ve been reluctant to risk anything–been running in my trusty Asics Landreths and have a marathon this weekend.

    I like that this New Balance model is a lightweight cushioned model. Might be a nice introduction to me for more minimalist running.

    Anyway, loving the blog and the tweets.

    Thanks!

  238. Ahhhh… Wish I had known about these before I tried Kinvara. That description is exactly what I want out of a shoe.

  239. I’ve been wearing Brooks Adrenaline for about as long as I can remember. They work for me and (for the most part) they’ve been pretty good at keeping me injury free. Could be all the press and the hype, but I’ve really been leaning towards going a bit more minimalist these days. I’ll probably never jump on the Five Fingers train, but I do love the look and feel of the lighter models out there. In fact, I’m planning on taking a walk over to my local running store to chat with someone more wise than I about my thoughts. I’ve got a marathon this weekend and what better way to reward myself than with a new pair of kicks waiting for me next week?

  240. Nathaniel says:

    I have been using a stability shoe now for years but would love to try a minimalist shoe. There is so much talk about them today and I’m not sure how much is just a fad or really is a good thing to do. Winning a pair just in between would be a great start.

  241. Janice Phillips says:

    I shared this on FB! I haven’t moved to the minimalist side yet, but think it would be helpful with these nagging little injuries that have been showing up as I get older :-)

  242. Nike Free Run’s are my shoe of choice for all running, but I have been looking for a more cushioned shoe to intersperse with the Free’s. These could be worth a look although the hint of a small toe box does not bode well. Blisters are not cool.

  243. Becky Richardson says:

    I run with the Saucony Kinvaras and love them, but I feel that some days I need more cushion and these may be worth a try. The videos on the site were entertaining. I liked the scale test. I will post this on facebook.

  244. Matt, funny thing, I hadn’t seen your post but had read good things about these shoes elsewhere so bought a pair. I’ve done two runs in them and love ‘em. Like you, I do a lot of running in much, much more minimal shoes — especially when I run on dirt or grass. But I was feeling like I could use a little cushioning for my street runs. My assessment of them is right in line with yours, except regarding the toe box. Maybe the difference is that I ordered the EE width? But the roominess up front was one of the things I really loved about these shoes.

  245. I postedthis on Facebook. I could use new tennies. Mine are ages old. Thanks for the chance to win some!

  246. I am the opposite of you when it comes to shoes!! I wait as long as humanly possible to get a new pair — I can’t tell you how often I will force myself to work out and ‘deal with’ blisters just because I am too plumb lazy to go to the effort of finding a new pair I like!

  247. I’d love a new pair of shoes! pick me!

  248. One thing I don’t understand is why they don’t use cool kevlar (sorry for my English, I’m not a native speaker, trying hard though) “stuff” to tie shoes like Salomon does in XT Wings for example. It’s a real time saver and kinda minimalist approach too. Plus, it’s really annoying to tie normal shoes when you’re dehydrated or hallucinating during endurance race ;)

    I suppose such shoes may be good for some not so crazy running but thanks to my adventure-racing addiction I run mostly in mountains/forests full of rocks, water and dirt. So here’s a question: how about running/walking 100km (~62miles) in it, in very slow pace of course? And then riding a bike with it for another 200km? Isn’t that just “look how light shoes we built, of course it’s suitable only for places/races where you’d as well run barefoot without any problem, nothing more” ?

    I’ll try to get a pair and give it a try in a month at some 100km race. In worse case I’ll just hurt my legs a little bit ;)

  249. Courtney says:

    I have gotten into multiple discussions lately at my local running store about minimalist vs. cushioned shoes. I can’t decide if I want to get involved in this “fad” or if it’s really the right way to go to prevent injuries. I’d be excited to give these a try!

  250. I would love to win these shoes! I’ve never had a pair of super lighweight. I always go for the more cushion the better. Right now I need some new shoes desperately. I just ran a marathon and I told myself my reward would be new shoes. I love your blog…it’s my favorite=running+no meat=how I run!

  251. I’m not quite ready to strip down to bare feet…but this might be the next step for me.
    AGREE with correct form regardless of foot-covering.
    Check out Chi Running by Danny Dreyer. LOVE IT.

  252. And I SHOUTED OUT about my love of NMA on Facebook.

    Love love love.

  253. Hey Matt, so when will your first marathon in the Vibrams be? I run in the “minimalist” Saucony Ronins and love them…but I’m a forefoot striker so going minimal wasn’t too far a stretch. These new NBs look cool though! Great article!

    • Kevin, I’m not sure I’ll ever run a marathon in Vibrams. I do really like them for trail running, so I could see myself doing a trail 50K in them, but I don’t really think I run any differently in them than I do in normal shoes on a trail, since the trail alone causes me to run with a shorter stride and a midfoot strike.

  254. It’s your running form and not the shoes (as long as the shoe fits correctly). I’ve been running in all types of shoes to barefoot. My friends think I’m nuts running in one pair of shoes for 3,000+ miles (only reason I got rid of them is because the sides ripped). The NB looks okay, I’m not to keen on the yellow.

    • That’s crazy, but interesting. I remember in Born to Run someone mentioned how their track athletes seemed to get better (or avoid injury) as their shoes got older and worn out. So when you run 3000 miles in a pair of shoes, I guess you’re wearing it out so much that it’s essentially turning into a minimalist shoe?

  255. minimalist all the way… the lighter the better! just don’t give my toes individual spaces (5 fingers)… it freaks me out.

  256. loved the older model. nice and light. can’t wait to win this pair! thanks!

  257. Count me in, Matt. I’m a sucker for new shoes as well.

  258. liked on facebook too :)

  259. i want them! and vegetarians are weird, but only because they aren’t vegan ; )

  260. I’m fairly new to this running world, i only started running last october when my wife decided she wanted to run a marathan before she turned thirty. (which i guess meant i was running one too!) as it turns out, i really enjoy it, running that is, and can’t get enough of it. i still don’t run very far, 5 miles is my personal best, but i do what i can. i started running in a 10 year old pair of nb 901’s that my dad bought me when i had plantar fasciitis that i wore for a week back then and then threw in the back of my closet. within a few weeks i was having knee pain and read everything i could to figure out why. right when i was about to give up running i read Born to Run (i’m one of those people) and decided to change my form to land midfoot/forefoot. guess what? no more knee pain! i’ve debated the pro’s and con’s of barefoot running against the fact that most of my running is done on roads and have come to the conclusion that form is the most important part. nothing fixes your form faster than barefoot/minimalist running which i like to do on trails in a pair of merrell trailgloves but for long runs on roads i run in a pair of sauconney kinvara which help me maintain the form i want (the NB 901’s felt like there were giant marshamllows on my heels) but still give me cushioning in all the right places. i don’t think one type of shoes is necessarily best for everybody and they all have their place. i think you really need to pick the shoes that compliment the form you run with and the surface you run on. although i do think there’s something to the correct form that was described in the book.

    • I do agree with you that nothing fixes your form faster than minimalist shoes or barefoot running (trail running helps, too). But I think a mistake some people make is to think that you can’t run with good form in traditional shoes. I’ve learned from running in VFF’s what the midfoot form feels like, and I now prefer to do that in traditional shoes (or at least, more traditional than VFF’s, even if still minimalist).

  261. Meghan says:

    I want them. And I’m a fellow vegetarian, so I *know* you vegetarians are weird.

  262. I’m running my first half-marathon on Saturday, May 7th. That will be the last time I wear my current Saucony running shoes, and I would LOVE to run throughout the summer with a new pair!!

  263. GetBetterer says:

    I’ve been a huge fan of the Green Silence ever since they came out, but would be willing to give these NB’s a try if the start align and I win!

  264. The commercial is cool. I’m vegan so I was wondering if these shoes have leather or some other animal porduct. Thanks.

    • Emma, I’m not sure if they use leather. Someone told me New Balance doesn’t, but I haven’t verified this. I’ve got to get in the habit of asking about this. I’ll let you know if I find out anything.

  265. PS always loved cushioning, always will.

  266. I am a cushioned girl. I can’t run with out tons of arch support and cushioning, especially since I run on on cement, concrete, and hard surfaces for the majority of my runs.

  267. I started my running with END shoes – but of course now the company sold out & I’m looking for a new favorite shoe. I’d read about the 890s & am intrigued.

    Don’t have enough experience with minimalist shoes to really form an opinion yet, but sm, again, intrigued – and keeping an open mind!

  268. Neat! I would like to transition to a lighter shoe, but I’m a little weary of the barefoot thing for mostly selfish reasons – I like where my mileage is now and really don’t want to give it up and start over. These definitely seem worth a shot. I’ll just have to be sure they don’t get carried away by a flock of rogue balloons.

  269. Ashley Vance says:

    I have always been a minimalist shoe gal, but for Christmas I got some bulky Nike’s. I love the feeling of the minimalist shoe and I NEED TO GET THEM BACK! MY feet feel cramped in the bulky shoes and everything feels better with the minimalist shoes.

  270. hope i’m not too late to enter!! after finding out i have flexible joints in my feet my foot guy suggested me away from more barefoot styles (like the newtons i was wearing). this might be the perfect compromise!

  271. TriNuts says:

    How bout the color? I like yellow.

  272. Aaron bard says:

    I am a lifelong cyclist and just learned to run! Could use some shoes.

  273. Taylor Mucaria says:

    I am most likely a few days away from my doctor finally giving me the go ahead to start running again after 10 agonizing months of recovering from a second stress fracture in my foot. I am 23 years old and have been running for over 9 years and this will be the longest gap between runs since I started running. This long time on the sidelines has given me plenty of time to think about my running and what I want from it.

    I’ve been injured pretty much my entire running career and am feed up with it as I’m sure many other people are with there injuries as well. The whole minimalist debate has really hit a cord with me because of my injury history and I am definitely at a crossroads in my running. I am want to take the best from all these thoughts and ideas I have come across in the past 10 months and hopefully get back to just enjoying running instead of dreading the next injury. I want to improve my form, diet, mindset, and attitude so that I can get back to how running made me feel when it first gripped me. Hope everyone can find that special place running can offer and I really want to win these shoes lol!

  274. Taylor Mucaria says:

    I also posted this review on facebook! Good luck to all

  275. I’ve been wearing Asics for years. I’ve been wanting to try these New Balance shoes but haven’t had the guts to branch out yet. I’m a creature of habit…I would love to try out these light cushion shoes.

  276. Robbin says:

    I appreciate what you say about coming to the realization that you’re not that fragile. I’ve been doing crazy things after running 6 marathons since the end of 2008, like running long runs without socks (gasp) and even wearing a brand new pair of shoes (and a size-up), after only running 3 miles in them, in a marathon.

    I wore New Balance for years and years. I had three pairs of the exact same shoe. Then, recently at a running store someone told me that “New Balance are more for fashion than running.” I felt self-conscious and ended up buying Brooks for the first time ever. So I bought a new shoe, not because of how it felt, but because it wasn’t going to make me appear just into running for fashion…so ironic!

  277. Heather says:

    I want the shoes! And I LOVE your website! I am a mother of four, and our family made a decision last month to throw out ALL processed foods. There were tears, and crying, and screaming….and those were not from the kids :) My body has been going thru withdrawals. BUT we are doing well, and we all feel better. We are working towards vegetarian, sllloowwwllyyy….down to 2 meals a week that include chicken or fish. Our teenage son has turned into a different person, the mood swings are gone. I am a wannabe runner-running 3 to 4 days a week, and looking for ways to better fuel my body-plus, we live in Okinawa Japan on an AirForce base, so I would have to order them online. Thanks again for your website!

  278. When I started realizing that I would pronate my right foot as I ran I tried the new balance runner. It felt good, and was impressed by how the shoe grabbed onto my ankle rather than squeezing my whole foot and impairing the circulation. BUT THEY WERE HUGE… and make them white too, I was the last one in the room, the runners were the first and got the most attention. I would love to try the new runner with the minimalist concept. I have also got to say that I have lost 45 lbs since November of last year and owe it to a responsible eating routine, and a huge increase in physical activity. My food now consists of fruit, veggies and some more veggies. Meat is not necessarily an everyday thing. This is a huge turn around from previous habits. I look good, feel great and my stomach is thanking me. I have never run a foot race, but have a 5 km race on my bucket list. IM READY, I just need some real good shoes to do the job.
    Thank you
    Brenda

  279. Definately reposting on FB! I am still searching for the right shoe, maybe this is the one!

  280. sounds like an awesome shoe I will have to try :)

  281. My kids got me these for Christmas. Love them and need a new pair!

  282. I like the review of the NB 890. The toe box being cramped actually makes me think it may be perfect for me since I notice the minimal type shoes have too much toe room in them for me. I feel like I’m wearing clown shoes when I wear merrels or even the inov8’s . Just too much toe room. Kinda like if I was gonna sprint would I want a sloppy fit to the front of my shoe/ foot? not really. So I’m gonna check them out next time I’m at movin shoes in San Diego where I’m from.

  283. Penny Huynen says:

    I bought these shoes on an impulse buy when I was buying my Brooks
    I have only worn them inside for training so and once on the dreaded treadmill. Working through Plantar Fasciitis and I my feet love life when I put them on. Hoping to take them on the road soon.

  284. Collie Murray says:

    Oh my aching feet ………… After running and training 80 mpweek my pigges (sorry veggies) are screaming for a little cushion :)
    HELP!!!

  285. Thank you for the great review. This is the type of shoe I have been looking for, for the last few years of battling stress fractures in my L forefoot. I like the feeling of minimalist mid foot strike running, and adding a little quality cushioning in there cant be a bad thing, right?

    This is my first time on your site, and judging by the look of things, will not be my last!

  286. Linda Boyer says:

    Yes, it is hard to resist trying all the new shoes out there. So many weights, heel to toe drops, colors…. I generally wear Mizuno but was intrigued by the little lobsters on the special Boston edition of this shoe.

  287. I actually have a pair of these (450+ miles) and was looking for a review to see the general consensus on these shoes before I purchased a new pair. I also have Vibrims and was hoping to find a shoe somewhere in between the two to help myself adapt to the Vibrims (lower heel to toe drop but with cushion). I think everyone needs to find the right shoe for them. Thanks for the review.
    Shared on FB.

    • Brian, I’d say the Brooks Green Silence is more an in-between shoe (by between, I assume you mean between a cushioned shoe and a minimalist shoe). I love the 890 for higher-mileage training and it’s the shoe I wear most often, but the Green Silence is farther from a traditional shoe than the 890 is.

  288. This is my year to focus on getting healthy. Just started my weight loss Journey Jan 8th. I am 55 years, mother of 5, grandmother to 10. Also have 77 pounds to lose. It has been 3 1/2 years since I last smoked. My 10 year old daughter also has a weight problem because of her inactivity. We joined a website called MyFitnessPal and started going to a nutrition support group. I posted on my facebook for the world to see, my goal of running my first marathon this fall. Since I have never done anything like this before I researched running shoes and have chosen the New Balance 890. This has been very therapeutic for me to tell my friends my plans to run.

  289. Natalie Celuch says:

    I found your site because I was researching New Balance running shoes. I am not a runner, but a walker, and I have a sore metatarsal area in need of major cushioning. Most shoes talk about heel cushioning, with very little mention of the forefoot padding. I’d like to give the New Balance running shoes a try! I’ve never tried the brand before.

  290. I love the feel of the 890s, they are pretty much all I run in lately and I am totally okay with that. They are light and comfy, doesnt get much better than that! I just started running again, after about 3 years of injury/quitting and these are definatly a great shoe to help you get back in!

  291. I’m in desperate pair of new shoes & still searching for the shoe of my dreams. Been a Mizuna fan for years, but they keep changing the design of the models I like and they no longer work for me.

  292. I’ve been researching about getting a new pair of shoes for the last two days. Like you, I tend to pick up a new pair of running shoes before a race, and rather than test them out/break them in, I just go with it. I have a 1/2 in two days… hoping to get a nice new pair of kicks by then!

  293. mark w says:

    I would love to try these out.

  294. The search for my next pair of running shoes culminated here. Last evening,I received my packet containing the New Balance M890BR2. I put it to the road straight away and simply fell in love with the feel on my feet. Thanks for the sage advice.

  295. I’ve been running in slightly minimalistic shoes for about 8 months now (Newtons) after spending the better part of the year before running in some pretty cushy Nikes (Air Pegasus). The Newton’s helped me learn proper form by feel and eliminate some pesky PF issues. But, I wonder if running with something with a little more cushioning will give me some better (and less painful) endurance on runs past 15 miles?

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