I’ve been running in Nike Pegasus shoes for most the last 6-7 years. Every once in a while I tried a different running shoe, but I always reverted back to the Nike Pegasus running shoe as the shoe of choice. Last year I started running marathons and with the expanded demands that running marathons comes with I started looking at finding a better running shoe. I tried the Mizuno Wave Rider, but reverted back to the Nike Pegasus after getting hurt from the Mizuno Wave Rider shoe due to the way how the seams were located on top of the shoe.
This summer the local running store had a clearance sale and I picked up a heavily discounted pair of the New Balance 880 running shoe. I actually did not do any big research on the show and simply picked it up because it was so heavily discounted – can’t complain about a shoe discounted from $114.99 to $50 flat.
I started using the New Balance 880 running shoe in August 2014 and now in November it is still going strong. I did put about 280 miles on the New Balance 880 so far and the shoes still feel very good – especially compared to the Nike Pegasus shoes which seemed to give up after around 250 miles.
The New Balance 880 that I got is the 880v3 is the eagerly awaited update to the popular New Balance 880 v2 running shoe. The cushioning is firm enough for long runs, but it still feels very comfortable even when using it as a day to day shoe (which I did for one week). New Balance made major changes to the sole from v2 to v3 and even though I never had the chance to try the New Balance 880v2, I can definitely confirm that the 880v3 has a great sole. Being a runner for so long you get a feel for how a shoe performs fairly quickly and when I bought the shoes this summer I felt comfortable right away when trying the shoe on inside the local runners store. I did do a few short sprints and some jumps inside the store when I bought the shoe and I felt comfortable in giving this New Balance shoes a try.
Since using this shoe I ran with it mainly on road, but I also did quite a few trails run with it – including a half marathon earlier in September. The New Balance 880 shoes provide great traction on trail and road – including wet and muddy roads and trails. I have used them on my normal training runs, but I also used for some speedier runs and I have been really happy with the cushioning. Never did my feet hurt and unlike the Nike Pegasus these shoes are still performing well at a point where the Nike’s gave up on me.
The 880v3 has a 12mm drop from the heel to the toe. This really helped me with running style. Last year I had started to run more on my forefoot to improve my running. It is not easy to change your running style and it takes a lot of effort to do so, but I have seen quite an improvement with my running since doing so and having a shoe that “naturally” supports my efforts is a great thing. Since running more on my forefoot I have been able to improve my pace and even run a marathon in under 4 hours. The way how the New Balance 880 shoe is designed I have firm contact with the surface I am running on – but in a really good way. However, I noticed some major wear and tear on the sole and I am not sure if that is due to my running style or the way how the sole is designed and built. You can see the worn out section on this picture. I know that some of this comes from the way I land on the ground when running, but I never had the sole of my other running shoes being worn out as dramatically as it has been with the New Balance 880v3.
The upper part of this running shoe is extremely light weight and thin. The design shoes a mesh style for the outside which I guess is done for air circulation and breathability. The same part feels different from the inside and I assume it is a more traditional upper part in that perspective – meaning it is needed to provide support and stability while being soft enough so that it does not hurt your feet on long runs.
This was my very first pair of New Balance shoes ever. The 880v3 has me really surprised in many ways. I bought it because of the discounted price, but when I buy it again it will be because of how this shoes has performed for me. This shoe fits perfectly into my running which is usually made of road (80%) and some trail running (20%). I just checked pricing online and still found some of these being advertised for around $75 which in my opinion is a great price for the New Balance 880 running shoe.
PS: This is not a paid review and these running shoes were purchased by myself.