New Balance 889 Multisport Review
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Maia
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
New Balance 889 Multisport Review on 04/02/2013 21:28:17 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

New Balance 889 Multisport Review

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: New Balance 889 Multisport Review on 04/03/2013 06:09:00 MDT Print View

How well do they dry after getting wet? Does it take forever?

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
men's vs women's on 04/03/2013 10:23:00 MDT Print View

So, looking at the NB web site, it looks like the brown ones are the men's model and the blue ones are the women's model. The blue ones in the NB pictures and in your article look like the ventilation holes in the front portion of the upper are larger. Are there other differences you noticed?

Mark Gallagher
(sup2u)

Locale: SF Bay Area
but no NB Rock Stop Technology on 04/03/2013 15:45:14 MDT Print View

these would be perfect were it not for the bruising potential on my favorite dried creek/sharp rock bed. Did I see somebody saying that they were going to experiment w/a milk carton plate for just such an occasion? How'd that work out, cause this would be a candidate shoe for it (at least in my mind.)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: New Balance 889 Multisport Review on 04/03/2013 15:55:09 MDT Print View

> How well do they dry after getting wet? Does it take forever?
Not the fastest for drying, but they do dry after a while.
And that never worried us anyhow.

I had better add that there is a long way between 'a bit damp' and 'dry'. They don't hold buckets of water. It'sd thge tail of the drying cycle that takes time.

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: men's vs women's on 04/03/2013 16:02:04 MDT Print View

The NB web site shows both brown and blue as colours for the Mens model. Ours are both Mens models, and they are both blue.

Yes, it does look as though the Womens version has larger holes. Dunno why. Haven't actually seen them in the hand as both of us take a Mens fitting. My wife thinks the whole idea of a separate Womens fitting is plain stupid anyhow.

Edit:
Even the NB pics I used seem a bit varied as to the holes at the front! Fwiiw, ours have the smaller holes. I think I prefer the smaller holes as I think they keep the dirt out better, but it's marginal.

Why did I use pics supplied by NB for some of the illustrations? Because for a couple of months while we were field testing the shoes my camera was in for repairs. All I had was a mobile phone which took 320x240 images. Yuk! In the end, Canon replaced my G11 camera with a new G15. Very nice.

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 04/03/2013 16:15:57 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: but no NB Rock Stop Technology on 04/03/2013 16:04:36 MDT Print View

> bruising potential on my favorite dried creek/sharp rock bed.
I would be pretty sure that the Vibram soles on these would NOT suffer that problem. The Vibram technology does not use the New Balance RockStop technology, but it does not need to imho.

Cheers

Danny Buzzell
(dannybuzzell@hotmail.com)
Vibram Company Location on 04/03/2013 16:17:45 MDT Print View

I live in central assachusetts - very close to the original home Vibram factory located in North Brookfield, Ma. Very little Italian spoken in the area.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Hmmmm... on 04/03/2013 16:44:47 MDT Print View

I still dunno about these NB hiking shoes. They seem a bit lighter in the sole than I prefer for protection from rocks. But then, I haven't seen them yet so maybe I'm wrong.

My Merrill Moab Ventilators (also W/ Vibram soles) seem just about right for sole protection. The weight is also pretty low and the durability is good.

BUT, I do like the NB leather toe. My Moabs have fabric mesh in that vulnerable area and I've had to coat a 3/4" wide area with Shoe Goo to reinforce it. I'd bet the NB is a very durable shoe.

Edited by Danepacker on 04/03/2013 16:47:23 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Hmmmm... on 04/03/2013 17:34:28 MDT Print View

Hi Eric

> They seem a bit lighter in the sole than I prefer for protection from rocks.
They are actually a bit stiffer in the sole than some of the other NB shoes we have reviewed. I really don't think you would suffer from the rocks.

my wife wears these walking, but not running. She needs a lighter sole for running.

Cheers

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Re: Vibram Company Location on 04/03/2013 20:53:03 MDT Print View

From wikipedia:

Vibram S.p.A. is an Italian company based in Albizzate that both manufactures and licenses the production of Vibram-branded rubber outsoles for footwear. The company is named after its founder, Vitale Bramani.[1]

Bramani is credited with inventing the first rubber lug soles for shoes. These soles were first used on mountaineering boots, replacing leather soles fitted with hobnails or steel cleats, commonly used up until then.

Paul Melzer
(pmbooks)

Locale: SoCal
high heels on 04/04/2013 06:32:58 MDT Print View

I was excited when I spied the passage re the midsole and footbed being flat. (100% agree) However, when I looked into them further I find that they're pretty much the standard high heel shoes that have been the norm, with a huge 12mm drop from the heel to the forefoot. Not sure why this point's not as important as the flatness of the midsole. Think about it, when you're heading downhill, those shoes are foisting extra 12mm effort (angle) onto the heels (etc). And I've never thought that the cost was worth trading for a more elevated heel on the ascents (making the step more level).

New Balance are my current faves for mountain running shoes (MT110, 4mm drop)—wish they made the 889 with low or zero drop. What you write about the medical claims for built-up insoles, etc, applies equally to high highs, imo.

Edited by pmbooks on 04/04/2013 10:34:54 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: high heels on 04/04/2013 15:19:58 MDT Print View

> those shoes are foisting extra 12mm effort (angle) onto the heels (etc).
We did not notice the 'drop'; I would not call them 'high heel shoes' at all.

Anyhow, the web site says they have a 10 mm drop, not a 12 mm one.

Me, I think that the flat heel business may have been slightly exaggerated recently: it certainly is no where near as bad as the gimmicks. Making the change from flipflops/thongs I wear most of the time (which are pretty flat) to these shoes does not cause any sensation of 'high heels', so we didn't worry about that.

YMMV

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 04/04/2013 15:54:47 MDT.

Mo Rodopsky
(rhodopean) - MLife
4E not as wide as other models on 04/05/2013 19:41:13 MDT Print View

Roger,

I ordered these in 4E width and returned them because I noticed they were not as wide as other "all mesh" NB trail runners. I haven't measured them but they just didn't feel wide enough.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: 4E not as wide as other models on 04/06/2013 03:19:05 MDT Print View

> I ordered these in 4E width and returned them because I noticed they were not as wide
> as other "all mesh" NB trail runners. I haven't measured them but they just didn't
> feel wide enough.
Hum ... odd. I did not notice anything like that myself.

It may be that you had been used to a different last with a bigger volume at the front. They exist, and this certainly can happen. Sigh - everyone's feet are different. Hey - my left foot is different from my right foot!

Cheers

Lapsley Hope
(Laps) - M
Boots on 04/06/2013 16:18:08 MDT Print View

Some of us dinosaurs still prefer the well constructed "boot" for rough terrain, but so it goes, thank goodness for choices in the matter.

Paul Melzer
(pmbooks)

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: high heels on 04/08/2013 14:40:27 MDT Print View

Thanks, Roger. You know, the human race has no doubt prospered over the course of shoes having heels, high, or otherwise (i.e., heels have not stood in the way of progress). But, fashion/beauty debate aside, I can't think of a single reason that elevated heels on shoes are of any use, athletic or otherwise. If the history were reversed, and elevated heels were the newly introduced craze, the same sense of curiosity would certainly arise.

I don't run barefoot, except from time to time in grass or on the beach, but I do run some in flat huaraches that I make (talk about cheap footwear!). I prefer shoes for my mountain running and would love to find some more serious trail shoes sans heel, since it's taken me a couple of years to strengthen my feet/ankles to not be so heavy on my heels (an obvious byproduct of elevated heels). BTW, I used the phrase "high heels" with some humor, since the phrase is so relegated to women's fashion footwear.

Anyway, thanks again for the review.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: high heels on 04/08/2013 17:31:46 MDT Print View

> I can't think of a single reason that elevated heels on shoes are of any use,
> athletic or otherwise.

Have you ever ridden a horse?
And bear in mind that the nobility always set the tone for the aspirants.
And remember that the extra inch or two in height can be very useful for dominance.

Cheers

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: Re: Re: Re: high heels and ankle stability on 04/09/2013 12:18:41 MDT Print View

The further one's heel is from the ground, the easier it is to turn the ankle, which hurts a lot. Hiking boots try to compensate with ankle support, but that introduces other problems, as we know.

Roger points out the usefulness of heel height for dominance. Cowboy boots are especially good in this regard with their high heels and their pointed toes, which are suited to kicking social inferiors. However, the backcountry is supposed to be egalitarian, and so the cowboy boots are best left behind.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: high heels and ankle stability on 04/09/2013 14:37:49 MDT Print View

I can think of several examples, including my riding boots for horses and motorcycles and my hiking boots, where having a lifted heel is better than not. But the most important thing for me with these New Balance shoes is how shapely they make Roger's calves.

John Coyle
(Bigsac)

Locale: NorCal
New Balance 889 Multisport Review on 04/12/2013 13:05:26 MDT Print View

Thanks for an interesting review. I think it would be interesting for you to review this shoe:

http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/gear/gear-of-the-year-spring-summer-2013/#/hoka-one-one-shoe_65642_600x450.jpg

I know, they look a little different from the flat shoes that are in style now, but National Geographic seems to like them!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: New Balance 889 Multisport Review on 04/13/2013 05:13:49 MDT Print View

Hoka, $170?
Come in sucker.
(They probably cost about $10 at the factory in Asia.)

> National Geographic seems to like them!
Errr ... yes, well ... um ...

Sorry, but!

Cheers

Jon McConachie
(hyker) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevada
Gusset on the tongues? on 04/15/2013 12:43:49 MDT Print View

Do these shoes have gusseted tongues to reduce dirt/sand entry?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Gusset on the tongues? on 04/15/2013 18:19:55 MDT Print View

> Do these shoes have gusseted tongues to reduce dirt/sand entry?
No, but the tongue is well-padded, and we have never had any problems with sand or dirt getting in. In fact, I think our feet have been cleaner at the end of the day with these shoes than with many others. That open mesh on some shoes does let the dust in!

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 04/17/2013 19:04:21 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
New Balance 889 Multisport Review on 04/25/2013 06:38:59 MDT Print View

"Well, I was rather pleased to see at the end of the day that neither my feet nor Sue's feet were pruny. Despite the reinforcing all around the shoes, not to mention the very hot weather in the Australian summer, they must have breathed fairly well."

I just wore a pair of these yesterday. Got up to 80 degrees.

There is no mesh and these shoes do not breath. Not like a Innov-8 Terroc 330 for example. Even the nylon outer fabric is lined inside. Hot.

That Vibram sole has zero traction (when new at least) on tile floors, be careful.

These will take too long to dry out after getting wet for me to consider them for trail use. These will be for work, in town.

Got mine for less than $70 shipped. Not the worst money I've spent on shoes. That nod goes to Brooks.


Just ordered something else for trail use.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: New Balance 889 Multisport Review on 04/25/2013 15:54:05 MDT Print View

> That Vibram sole has zero traction (when new at least) on tile floors, be careful.

I don't think the Vibram rubber is designed for tile floors.

Cheers

Jon McConachie
(hyker) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevada
grippy soles on 05/11/2013 12:14:32 MDT Print View

I've used my NB 889s now a handful of times on granite, even polished, without them feeling slick. The rubber may not be climbing shoe sticky rubber, but it does grip well in my experience. Not bad on wet surfaces either. Good shoe.

Dan D
(TXBDan)

Locale: Boston, MA
Re: Re: New Balance 889 Multisport Review on 08/15/2013 14:52:18 MDT Print View

Where do these fall on the backpacking/hiking to actual trail running spectrum? I'm looking for something with heftier soles for rocky terrain hiking/backpacking. I'm currently looking at the La Sportiva Wildcat and Salomon AX Pro Ultra. NBs generally fit my feet well, should i consider these for my needs as well?

Thanks

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: New Balance 889 Multisport Review on 08/15/2013 15:52:02 MDT Print View

> Where do these fall on the backpacking/hiking to actual trail running spectrum?
Definitely on the serious backpacking end of the spectrum. 'heftier soles for rocky terrain' is an exact match for them.

If you want something a little more towards trail running, try the 'Leadville' 1210s - we have a review coming for them as well.

Cheers

Dan D
(TXBDan)

Locale: Boston, MA
Re: Re: Re: Re: New Balance 889 Multisport Review on 08/15/2013 16:53:10 MDT Print View

Sounds like the 889s have a lot of potential for me. I'll check them out soon. Thanks!

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: New Balance 889 Multisport Review on 09/07/2013 14:41:32 MDT Print View

Just used the 889 shoes for a week long backpack in Yellowstone and they were exceptionally poor performers for the conditions. Lots of stream/river crossings and they retain tremendous amounts of water and do not dry. Spent a lot of time squeezing them out and trying to blot water out of the inside with a towel but they still immediately soaked even dry socks and stayed wet (not damp) virtually the entire time. They seem to work well in the dry Colorado conditions where I normally hike, but not a great piece of gear for wetter terrain.
Ron

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: New Balance 889 Multisport Review on 09/07/2013 16:03:05 MDT Print View

I just wear mine at work. I would never hike in them. That suede upper on the footbox. WTF were they thinking?

Ron, did you find them hot?

I find that I can feel plenty of the rocks I'm walking on through the sole.

Edited by kthompson on 09/07/2013 16:06:06 MDT.

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: New Balance 889 Multisport Review on 09/07/2013 16:19:50 MDT Print View

Hi Ken - You're right about the suede upper over the toes, after a few days of it being wet it made a large sore on top of my big toe joint. Mesh would have been fine. I didn't have any problem with them being hot, but I have a fairly wide comfort range. I'll still hike in them, but never again multi-day trips in wet areas.
Ron

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
re feeling the ground on 09/07/2013 16:27:59 MDT Print View

> I find that I can feel plenty of the rocks I'm walking on through the sole.

Yes, and in my book that is good. In face, essential.

Let's imagine you are wearing some big clompy boots which do not allow you to feel rocks and roots on the ground. What's going to happen? Pretty soon you are going to really miss a step because you can't feel the ground, fall over and sprain your ankle. Or maybe you are going to stand on a sloping rock and not be aware of it - and slip off into a hole in the scree and break a leg.

Your feet have a lot of sensor nerves which can give you excellent proprioception. That means your feet, ankles and legs can respond to the ground you are walking on without you having to make a conscious effort. An experienced walker can trundle along a rough path at some speed while apparently paying no attention to the surface. How? His proprioceptive system is doing it all for him. An ocassional glance to see where the track is going and his feet do the rest.

This myth that you need to be blissfully unaware of what the ground is like under your feet is one of the more dangerous ones floating around. Without that sensory feedback, you are blind! And will shortly be crippled.

Cheers

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: feeling the ground on 09/07/2013 17:34:28 MDT Print View

We all know this Roger. These shoes need much refinement. Where's that 1210 review.

Dan D. is looking for a beefier sole. I just don't consider these to be "beefy".

Edited by kthompson on 09/08/2013 08:13:35 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: feeling the ground on 09/08/2013 01:56:21 MDT Print View

> Where's that 1210 review.
According to the calendar, next week.

Cheers

Justin Baker
(justin_baker)

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: re feeling the ground on 09/08/2013 02:13:57 MDT Print View

Exactly why I switched to very minimal shoes. I am much safer on rocks and such.

John Schutzman
(jjoschutz) - MLife
New Balance MO 889 on 10/15/2014 12:10:35 MDT Print View

I have had the shoes for a little over a year. The exterior has held up well especially the Vibram sole. I bought these shoes on the recommendations of the Backpacking Light website. I have used these shoes more for daily use than trail use. The inside covering wears out prematurely which the exposes the foam which wears out even quicker. This occured in multiple areas.
The shoe is pushed as an ultralight hiker but I do not think it would hold up in any hiking above the timberline especially on rocky trails.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: New Balance MO 889 on 10/15/2014 14:39:36 MDT Print View

> I do not think it would hold up in any hiking above the timberline especially on
> rocky trails.
Been there, done that, worked very well thank you.

These ARE BPL field-tested reviews you know, not some desk hack.

Cheers

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: New Balance MO 889 on 10/15/2014 20:45:31 MDT Print View

Don't get all insulted Roger. Your review is your opinion based on your experience. Other persons in this thread with experience with these shoes have given opinions that don't agree with yours. Normal. I find these shoes to be sponges as well. Take forever to dry. They have been a marginal pair of sneakers. Nothing more.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: New Balance MO 889 on 10/15/2014 20:50:49 MDT Print View

"These ARE BPL field-tested reviews you know, not some desk hack."

Classic. lol.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: New Balance MO 889 on 10/16/2014 00:05:53 MDT Print View

Hi Ken

> Don't get all insulted Roger.
Chuckle. Takes a whole lot more than that to insult me! Pretty hard to do in fact.

What OP wrote was
> I do not think it would hold up in any hiking above the timberline especially on
> rocky trails.

My comment was aimed at the 'I do not think' bit, which I took to mean the OP had not actually tested then shoes in rocky terrain; he was just theorising. I might be wrong of course, but not on the words used. In contrast, if I make a claim for performance, that claim will be based on actual field testing, NOT on theorising. So ...

5953PicdAnie2014.jpg
The approach to the Pic d'Anie in the Pyrenees in France this year (2014) - very harsh abrasive limestone country. I was wearing the 889s on this trip, and they went very well. No visible damage at all. I was very happy with them.

So now you know.

Cheers

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: New Balance MO 889 on 10/16/2014 06:53:42 MDT Print View

None of this matters sine NB has discontinued these loser shoes.