Saturday, 15 December 2012

New Balance 880V2

The nice people at New Balance have sent me a pair of shoes to review. Now, I'm not sure does that mean I am now a sponsored athlete? (if so I'm gonna have to put a link somewhere on this blog)

I've got to lay my cards on the table, I've been wearing New Balance shoes for the last few years and they are my shoes of choice. I'm not saying I'm some kind of fan boy, but yes I do like them

The retail price for these shoes is £84.99, but with a little bit of shopping around you can get them for about £70

This is what New Balance have to say about them

The New Balance 880v2, the second edition of the popular 880 running shoe, is built on the ACTEVA® LITE midsole with groundbreaking T-Beam® to provide a lightweight, supportive, and well-cushioned ride. Perfect for a runner with a neutral gait, this comfortable trainer is packed with premium features but still weighs in at only 11 ounces.

Type: Cushioning

Weight: 311 grams (11 oz)

Synthetic/mesh upper provides lightweight comfort and support
Blown rubber outsole is extremely flexible, light, and helps provide cushioning
Abzorb® Strobel Board runs full length of shoe to maximize shock absorption and comfort

And this is what I have to say

The first thing I noticed is that the shoes come in pairs, which is handy because so do my feet!

I find the shoes to be very appealing to look at, obviously I'm not going to wear them to a high society function, but they are suitable for purpose. A subtle use of red and blue on a mesh of grey, very understated.

I usually run with elastic laces, but for the purposes of this road test I ran in laces supplied. I was pleased to find out that the laces gripped well and that stayed tied for the whole run (one of the reasons I use elastic laces is to stop them undoing during races).

I chose to run on a route that I run quite regularly, which meant I'd be able to make a comparison. The shoes initially felt nice and light compared to my current shoe, and I was running at a good speed (for me).

Now I know that when you run, sometime you have good runs and sometimes they are bad. But whilst running in these shoes I was averaging a speed of 5 minute kilometres compared to my usual Z2 running speed of 5:30ish. I'd be very surprised if this gain was purely down to the shoe but I can only assume that they contributed.

The day I ran was in November, so obviously it was cold and wet. I didn't experience any issues with regards to slipping on steep sections or going around corners. But my feet did feel a bit colder once I'd finished the run.

So to the crux of the matter, would I buy these shoes? And the unequivocal answer is yes.

Keep up the good work New Balance, and if you can find out who stole my 1080 Chilli Peppers I'd be eternally grateful