Wednesday, August 24, 2011

new balance shoes- two reviews

I've run in a few brands of shoes. I started in Mizuno (and tried two styles of those), then moved to Brooks,  and then had some love for Nike (until the disastrous Vomero 5- I seriously hated those shoes). While my trail shoes are Adidas, I have a new love when it comes to my other running shoes- New Balance.

I started with a pair of 759s.
The 759 is a great choice for the neutral or supinating runner. The 759 provides a responsive ride in the midfoot without sacrificing any cushion in the heel. New Balance has updated the 759 with an aggressive open mesh upper that provides the runner with optimal breathability. Did I mention its good looks? It has them too. The 759 is the go to shoe for everyday running or weekend long hauls. (From Running Warehouse)
While for me this shoe is not good for "long hauls" (I'm a bit of a princess and I need more cushion- I have lower than normal bone density after all...), it is a great lighter shoe for training and racing. I do all of my speed work in this shoe and I've run both 10K and half marathon races in them. I ran the Ottawa half marathon in a pair that was probably a few miles past their life cycle, but I was way happier in them than in the stupid Vomero 5s I was training in.

Thumbs up: light, comfortable, responsive!
Thumbs down: DISCONTINUED! RENAMED! (now I have to remember a new number) I know there's an update- so I hope I like the 880 as much as the 759.

As I've said twice already, I was in Nike Vomero 5s this spring and I despised them. So when I was looking for a new cushioned training shoe in June, I decided to continue with New Balance and went with the 1080s: their "premium" neutral cushioned shoe.
NB 1080s about to go for a run
Have I mentioned that I have narrow feet? New Balance is known for having multiple widths, so this is a huge thumbs up for me and the 1080s come in AA. The cushioning is pretty much exactly how I like it- soft enough so that they feel pillowy on my feet, but not so smooshy that I feel like I'm running with sponges strapped to my feet.

I've done all of my long runs in this training cycle in these shoes and have had no problems. My feet feel happy and light. My only complaint would be that they aren't quite as airy and vented (if that's the right word?) as some others so my feet sometimes get hot at the start of my runs.

Thumbs up: cushioned, supportive, perfect fit
Thumbs down: I can't get the fun red ones in the AA width, they are NOT cheap (thank goodness for online shopping)

Overall, I love that New Balance has improved their styling in the last few years. I think they've always made good shoes, but they've just been ugly.

I know that I shouldn't discount a pair of shoes that work for my feet just because they are ugly, but in the past, if another pair of shoes has been as comfortable than NB, I've always gone with the other shoes because New Balance reminded me of nurse shoes. Or old lady shoes...or just everything you don't want to wear or look at.  But they're so much better these days and now, they've come up with something that looks like this:
Special NB 890s
Since I've always had a sea of white-ish shoes and Jordan has shoes in every colour of the rainbow, I kind of want to run out and buy them before they've all been snapped up.
Jordan's technicolour dream shoes
Now if only I didn't have such an aversion to paying full price for running shoes. I wonder if I can get them on sale yet?

What is your favourite brand of running shoe? Do you go for the plain looking ones or do you hope you can find a pair in flashy colours?

*Note- I bought all the shoes mentioned here with my own money. I'm reviewing them because I like them and because I thought you might need some new shoes.


Anonymous said...

You a neutral with a narrow foot that likes cushioning? You should try the asics cumulus.

I hate when they discontinue or change the shoe. I'm in the nimbus and they changed the design. it's not as good for me. Grrrr. Good luck!

Derek said...

I recently went to my running shoe store with only sandals on so I could start from scratch. They did a great job and I probably tried out about 10 different pairs but settled into the Brooks Trance, and they've felt great from the first step.

I like the white/silver/blue look to them so thats an added bonus for me, color doesn't play into the decision.

Heather said...

Not discontinued, just a new name. Same shoe, new name, with updates as they do every year. Don't fret. The 1080 is in the same boat, as it used to be 1064 and got the new 1080 name. The good news, next year it will also be called the 1080. And the 880. So no need for confusion.

This years cummulus isn't narrow, so it probably wouldn't work too well for you. BUT, the new nimbus that's only been out for a month or so is a little closer to the one two models ago. Run for wine might like it!

Marlene said...

I'm a Saucony girl!!!

Love Jordan's collection of kicks. Looks a lot like my husband's!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I love Asics. I was in the Kayano's but then downsized to the GT-2160's and was a fan. I'm looking to downsize even more with my next pair as I'm trying to get myself used to running with less padding! Also, Asics are $$$, especially the Kayano's. I once paid more than half a months rent for TWO pairs of shoes and that was with one being half off. Yikes.

Nicole @ "Haute Runner" said...

I have only worn asics. I have thought about venturing out to other brands but figured why fix something that isn't broken?

I would totally get some flashy shoes if they were the right fit and price!

Laura said...

I'm a Nike Lunarglide girl..and if they change it I will be screwed...

hannah yu said...

For me New Balance is one of my favorite brand of running shoe because it’s super light weight and extremely comfortable! In my opinion it's very flexible and pretty solid shoes.