These shoes, to be precise. The New Balance 890v2 British Miler.
First things first – to my mind and eye they look superb, both on the foot and off . I’ve not been too concerned about footwear appearance except in the case of a pair of Nike super disgusting ugly things last year which I simply couldn’t bring myself to buy, despite their possibly being a shade better performing than the Adidas I fell in love with over two pairs. But these sway me towards them simply by being clean, stylish and crisp. Before they even cosset the feet, we’re off to a flying start.
I’ve had a pair of New Balance before – their 903 lightweight. They proved to be responsive if a little hard on the feet to achieve performance. The 890’s seem nothing like them.
My first job on unpacking them at home was to weigh them. I love to know a shoe weight. JogBlog hates me doing this but since her Adidas Adizero Adios Haile Gebrselassie limited edition shoes almost floated away while still allowing her a little cushioning, it’s become something of a habit. And they really are light. Not as light as those but the lightest I’ve ever scaled. 25g lighter than my Adizero Tempo 2’s. But with the feel of a fully cushioned plodding pair of winter mileage trainers. Very intriguing.
But not so intriguing that I was going to risk them on my longer weekend run. I waited until my Tuesday hill session before a 4 mile outing got me all dewey eyed and amazed.
Nice? Hmm. Well they feel great and the forefoot cushioning feels perfect. I was springing through the first half mile before trotting off downhill towards the waterworks wondering how they’d fair on the steep downhill bit. And they seem to excel everywhere.
Heel cushioning on the steepest downhill bits where I’m simply trying to hold myself upright is great. They’re a neutral shoe and lately I’ve developed a touch of foot roll which made me nervous but looking down, my feet seem as neutral as they are in my current Mizunos. Long may this continue. And the best was for last. The steepest uphill part of the run, around a fifth of a mile up Waterworks Hill, had me thinking of nothing but how my lungs were about to escape my chest cavity. This is nothing unusual. What is unusual was my pace. Never above a 9 minute mile for any quarter mile split.
As soon as I cleared the hill I was jogging quickly, my feet being carried by someone else. The next flat bit was a treat as I recovered and the spring up the next slope (a proper hill, just over half a mile long, but made tame by the steep bit before it!) given by the shoes made it fly by.
Without going for a speedy outing, I found myself at the car after just over 4 miles in a pace that is usual for a flat run. And a subsequent outing has delivered a smilar result on the flat.
Simply my favourite speedy shoes yet. Can I hold back the pace to try them for a longer, 10 mile outing this coming weekend? Or will I simply hurt myself as I usually do and regret being so rash?
One way to find out, I guess.