First Impressions

An off again, on again favorite at GearGuide, New Balance got their start in the 1970s in New England. The company embraced the minimal shoe movement over the past several years, innovating with products like the Minimus line. They also are serious about the lightweight category with a range of products in their line up. At the top of the heap is their new 890v3, a third-generation product that’s squarely aimed at the fast of foot.


New Balance bills the 890v3 as “built to meet the demands of world-class runners.” We like the quality of construction, no-nonsense feel and bright color scheme. It’s one of those shoes that looks fast just standing still. The 890v3 fits into the minimal drop category with only an 8 mm differential from heel to toe. Strangely enough in our sample, that drop felt quite pronounced, potentially because there is such minimal cushioning under the forefoot – approximately 20 mm. It wasn’t a problem on our runs, just surprising. Heel stack height is 28 mm.

New Balance constructs the shoe using a combination of sewing and sonic welding. This allows for a seamless toe box. Nicely done and very comfortable.

Weight: 19 oz per pair
Drop: 8 mm
Materials: Synthetic upper, blown rubber outsole

The outsole of the 890v3 provides good grip on both the road and loose gravel. Rain slicked pavement proved a little more problematic, but this also was not a major issue.


New Balance builds the 890v3 on its PL1 last. It feels pretty normal through the heel and mid-foot area. The toe box, however, is a little tight. If you need a little more room, you might check out the ASICS GEL-Lyte33, another shoe we reviewed in this category.

Final Verdict

The New Balance 890v3 looks fast and delivers great lightweight performance. Cushioning is sufficient in both the forefoot and heel, not overwhelming. The toe box runs a touch tighter than most, so pay attention to that area when getting fitted.

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to New Balance for providing product for this review.