I’d had folks suggest New Balance shoes to me for a while as a way to deal with the Morton’s neuroma in my right foot. That condition (you can read my post here for details on treatment) provided nearly a year of pretty significant pain. It’s finally clearing up with the sclerosing treatments (alcohol injections directly into the nerve), and buying larger and larger shoe sizes seemed to be helping, but at the end of the day my feet are just… wide.
So as my last pair of Brooks Ghosts came onto to its last legs, I finally got myself over to the New Balance factory store in Merrimack. I walked in and gave my criteria, neutral runner, 12 mm heel drop (I have been wrestling with some calf soreness), lightweight for performance but well-cushioned enough for distance running, and WIDE IN THE TOE!
So here’s the thing about New Balance that I didn’t know – they have a lot of width options for each model of shoe, ranging from 2A (extra narrow), to 6E (XX-wide). I got myself into a pair of 4Es ( extra wide), and it was like scales falling from my eyes; an awakening. My forefoot doesn’t have to feel like I’m wearing a climbing shoe! Or at least I don’t need to go up a few sizes to have my foot feel good – no more having to size up so much it feels like I’m running in clown shoes. Night and day. Wow.
So if the forefoot fit was my big discovery, the performance of the 880 V3s has also been solid. I’ve done an 8 mile tempo and a 12 mile easy pace run in them so far, and they feel really good. They are not overly cushioned or squishy, they feel light, the toe box is extremely roomy, they cup my heel nicely and my foot doesn’t slide around at all.
Overall, these shoes know their role, they are a supporting player, and they are light and unobtrusive enough to disappear into the run; I don’t feel them or think about them pressing my foot here or squishing there, which is exactly what I want.
- Weight: 11.3 oz
- Heel drop: 12 mm
- ACTEVA® LITE midsole
- T-Beam support and torsional stability in sole
These go for $115 retail, but I got them for $79 at the New Balance factory outlets store in Merrimack, New Hampshire.
If I had to relate them to another shoe I’ve worn extensively, I’d say they have a similar feel to the Mizuno Wave Riders, which I ran several marathon training cycles and marathons in and loved. I ended up abandoning them after the Morton’s really got bad. (I now know that these are also available in two widths, standard and wide, but wide was never offered at any running shoe store I shopped at. I may someday have to go back and try on the wides – if I can ever find them in a store.)
You can find both of these shoes on Amazon, too. Prices vary.
Other reviews of New Balance 880 V3: