Rating: 4 / 5
After a year of trail running, hiking, and other forms of abuse, I just today bought my second pair of New Balance 907OR's. This is the first time I've ever bought the exact same shoe twice.
The 907 has much more torsional resistance and arch support than its closest kin, the BPL-adored 872. The two shoes share a lot in common: fit is similar since they're built on the same last, they have nylon uppers covered in loose mesh, and and quite lightweight (just over 12 oz. per shoe). This shoe is cut a bit narrow, so I wear a size 8.5 EE and it's just about perfect, even with synthetic sock liners and wool outer socks. The toe box is roomy with a squared-off front; I returned a pair of Brooks Adrenaline ASR's because of toe damage when on downhill inclines, but the 907 has comfortable room to spare while securely holding the mid-foot.
The 907, however, has several features that make it a better shoe for me. First, the tread is far more aggressive. My usual runs are through unulating ridges totalling 1400' up and 1400' down, each over three miles. I've not once lost footing or traction on these hills, even in muddy conditions. The extra support offered by the rigid "Stability Web" under the arch of the foot makes for much more comfortable hiking with a pack, and shields one's foot from sharp, irregular rocks. It pairs perfectly with ultralight backpacking, although for lightweight backpacking a more rigid shoe on mountain trails might be advisable. The tongue is sewn with an anti-debris gusset that is adequate...but I find most debris enters the shoe around the ankles, making these shoes a good candidate for gaiters or simply wearing calf-height hiking socks and doubling them over around the ankles, which works pretty well (your ankles and debris intake may vary).
That said, it's not a bombproof shoe. You can absolutely feel really gnarly, uneven terrain through the soles. My previous pair ultimately had to be retired due to compression/collapse of the midsole...which seemed to take between 250 and 300 miles of use (short for road shoes, perhaps not so bad for trailrunners). The Abzorb insoles are uniformly awful, as is true of so many sneakers/trainers, so a more supportive or cushioned insole is suggested.
What can I say; it's the shoe so nice, I bought it twice! :-)