New Balance 880v7 Review – Light But Certainly Not Ultra-Light

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“The men’s 880v7 running shoe is designed to support you for the long haul. Great for going long distances…offering ultra-light support and fit.”

Terrain – road
Arch support – neutral
Weight – 11 oz
Heel to toe drop – 10mm
Blown rubber outsole
Breathable mesh upper
No-sew material application
Synthetic/mesh upper
3D resin screen print on upper

My New Balance 880v7 review. When opening the box, I loved look and design of the shoe. My colors were (according to NB) Reflection with Black and Hi-Lite. The eye test told me gray & black with yellow & lime green accents. The uppers looked sleek and fast though the extra cushioning is visually noticeable.

The Fit

The New Balance 880v7 felt incredibly comfortable and the construction seems very solid and durable. The seamless upper means a better fit and one less thing to come apart in the future. The upper is also soft, supportive and well made (yep the fits-like-a-glove feel).

The collar and tongue had plenty of padding to keep my foot secure without any heel slippage. Sometimes I wear inserts, to prevent plantar fasciitis, so heel slippage is usually an issue. Not so with this shoe!

Walking around, I could feel the 880v7’s extra cushioning but it wasn’t too plush and shoes felt stable with no wobbling (which I’ve experienced in other big cushioned shoes). Okay, enough talking and walking…now it’s time to take these babies on a run!

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Test Drive

Unlike what others of have said, there was no break in period needed with this shoe. They went from the box, onto my feet and out the door with no foot fatigue, soreness or blisters. The New Balance 880v7 felt as comfortable and nearly as responsive as any of my other shoes regardless of mileage.

Some other users complained the toebox was too narrow causing blisters for those with a wide forefoot. Well, I had no such problems (after 90 miles of running) and I have a wide pancake of a forefoot. If you have a wide forefoot, buy a 2E and not the regular D width.

After a month of 20 to 25 mile weeks there was no noticeable wear to any part of the shoe. Though the NB 880v7 is built for the road, I also ran on grass, dirt, coral and once in the mud! The reputation, of durability, in the 880 line seems to hold up in this current version.

Now you may think the generous amount of cushioning and the 10mm heel to toe drop would force you to heel strike. That is not the case. I am a mid foot striker and was able to continue this method with the NB 880v8. This version has less of a heel than previous variants.

Conclusion

Now the New Balance 880v7 may not be the fastest or most responsive out there but the ride is buttery smooth. Running long distances will not be a problem with the excellent breathability of the upper. The NB 880v7 is a solid training shoe with the possibility of dabbling in some races.

So if you are on the lookout for a durable, long distance, neutral trainer with a minimalist upper and a little extra cushioning, give the New Balance 880v7 a try.

New Balance Tester Running Shoes – Unboxing

If you want to become a New Balance, please click on the link to join. I test running shoes only and I’m on my second pair of shoes as a product tester! Below are sample forms of the feedback you will need to provide. The first form is the Initial Survey (2 pages) which pertains to the fit of the shoes. The Final Survey (3 pages) is to completed after you have used the shoes for the three to four week testing period. Both of the forms are to be filled out online.
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Become a Product Tester – New Balance

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I published a post, a few months ago on Get Free Running Shoes – Become a Product Tester. Well, the only shoe company that responded with a product testing offer, was New Balance. I was stoked cuz 90% of the running shoes I purchase are New Balance! I encourage you to give New Balance a try and sign up at New Balance Product Testing.

A couple of months after signing up with New Balance, I received an email with an offer to take part in a prototype test. I accepted the offer and NB shipped the test shoes which arrived in about a week. Along with the shoes, came a return UPS shipping label 🙁

I had approximately three weeks to test the running shoes (neutral, cushioned) running 25+ miles a week. For initial feedback, I had to rate such items as: Fit (toebox, midfoot and heel), back heights/achilles area, tongue length/width, lace length and eyerow opening. NB also wanted to know if there were any irritations.

After the testing period, I had to answer a survey and rate the following: heel & forefoot cushioning, flexibility & stability, weight, traction, breathability, transition/ride, underfoot comfort and performance. NB also wanted to know if there were any irritations or durability issues along with total mileage and surfaces the shoes were used on.

Sadly, after the test, I had to bid the shoes adieu (farewell). The cushioning was so comfortable and the upper so breathable, it was really difficult to drop them off at UPS. One positive was UPS being right along one of my running routes so guess what I did afterwards? RUN!

I will fully review these shoes when they are officially released. One of the terms and conditions is that “You will not disclose any Confidential Information to any third party.” This means no sharing on any type of social media…forums, blogs, YouTube, Facebook, etcetera.

Other Shoe Companies I Tried

I signed up for Asics in which you fill out a short form and explain, in less than 50 words, why you want to join their road testing program. Unfortunately, it’s been four months and…nothing!

I wanted to sign up for Brooks but testers have to reside in the 48 continental states which leaves my state of Hawaii out!

With Reebok, you have to be a daily runner (I’m not) to qualify!

I keep wanting to sign up with Nike but I’ve been too lazy fill out the dang form!

Brooks Pureflow 5 Review – A Good Bang for Your Buck!

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Construction: Stroebel
Upper: 3D Fit Print
Midsole: Biomogo DNA Layout
Midsole Drop: 4mm
Arch: Medium, High
Support: Neutral
Surface: Road/Track
Weight: 9.2 oz
Imported: China
Price: $110
Cheapest place to buy: Amazon + free shipping!

pureflow Spiel

“These neutral men’s running shoes deliver a lightweight, agile ride that matches you stride for stride. Lace up this hyper-flexible men’s running shoe that connects you to the pure joy of running.”

My Thoughts

My Brooks Pureflow 5 review! Brooks has always produced a quality shoe and I have rarely been disappointed. This version has an upgraded upper (3D Fit Print) and midsole (DNA LT). Warning: if you loved the Pureflow 4, these shoes have a considerably different feel.

I love the seamless upper which is comfortable, snug and envelops my foot (cliche coming) “like a glove.” The fit is reminiscent of a sock. The upper looks better and feels better than the previous variant.

The new DNA LT midsole is 10% lighter than the previous version but for some reason the Pureflow 5 is 0.6 ounces heavier. No worries it’s still a lightweight trainer! The midsole and outsole provide plenty of cushioning for road running while still retaining that minimalist feel (only 4 mm heel to toe drop).
pureflowThe Stroebel construction makes the Pureflow very flexible giving the shoe an efficient and fast feel on the road. Though it weighs in at 9.2 ounces (a little heavy), the shoe is still light enough for speed workouts which makes the Brooks Pureflow 5 very versatile.

My only complaint is that the shoes feel a bit more narrow, than usual, though I do have a wide foot. This could make your toes feel a little squishy and cause blisters. According to Brooks, the Pureflow 5 runs smaller than previous models and recommends choosing a half size up.

Conclusion

Overall, the Brooks Pureflow 5 is a great buy at $110 and is designed for neutral runners who want a little cushioning but still want a lightweight and responsive shoe. Long runs, intervals, speed training…the Pureflow covers them all!

If you have any questions, about this shoe, or any other related running stuff, please leave a comment below or email me at kenneth@runningshoesadvice.com

Adidas Men’s Ultra Boost – The Cadillac of Running Shoes!

boost2-3Specs

Weight: 10.7 ounces (size 9)
Upper: Seamless Adidas Primeknit
Midsole: Heel to toe Boost™ foam
Midfoot: TORSION® SYSTEM
Outsole: STRETCHWEB rubber
Runner type: Neutral; Stack height: 30.5 mm / 20.5 mm (10 mm heel-toe drop)
Imported: China
Price: $140
Cheapest place to buy: Amazon + free shipping!

boostProduct Spiel

“Strength and endurance build with each run. These men’s running shoes are designed to help you log more miles in comfort. The shoes’ plush boost™ midsole works with the STRETCHWEB outsole to return energy to every step, helping you run farther with less fatigue.”

My Thoughts

Here’s my Adidas Ultra Boost review. Right off the bat let me say these shoes look good and feel great! The seamless mesh has that glove feel I like and the knit material is very breathable which will keep your feet cool.

The fit is comfortable with plenty of room in the toe box. I’ve heard some complaints that the shoe is too big with sliding feet and blisters on toes. I have a wide forefoot so I had no problems.

The Adidas Ultra Boost seems to run a half size big so I ordered a size 9 instead of my usual 10 and the fit was perfect. The cushioning felt soft and luxurious and I was afraid this would hamper responsiveness.
boostThe shoe has a lot of cushioning and feels a little heavy when you hold them but looks can be deceiving. On the road, the shoes felt light, responsive and fast. The shoes feel stable due to the fact there is a piece of plastic in the midsole.

Tried some short and long runs (none over 8 miles) and my feet were just fine. No pain, no raw feet, no blisters on my toes. The shock absorption, of the Ultra Boost is amazing! I had no problems running on sidewalks which I usually try to avoid (shin splints).

Conclusion

In conclusion, at $180 there is sure to be sticker shock but give these shoes a chance. The Adidas Ultra Boost has striking looks, is comfortable, responsive and fast! The shoe is well made material looks durable. Remember, you get what you pay for.

If you have any questions, about this shoe, or any other related running stuff, please leave a comment below or email me at kenneth@runningshoesadvice.com