The New Balance running shoes that the Bicolano Penguin has recently purchased are the NB 880.
|The NB 880 looks cool in blue|
Here are the details of the pair I bought:
Weight: 10.9 oz (309 grams)
Size: 9 (USA)
Width: 2E (wide)
Prize: Php 4,795. This was the prize indicated but
Riovanna gave me a “happy hour” discount.
Here are the technology features of the 880 as indicated in the NB website:
Ø ACTEVA LITE premium lightweight midsole provides optimal resistance to compression set - 24% lighter than standard foam.
Ø ABZORB cushioning in the midfoot provides exceptional shock absorption.
Ø Stability Web delivers midfoot support and reduces the weight of the shoe.
Ø Synthetic/Mesh upper provides lightweight comfort and support
Ø N-ergy in the midsole provides NB's most advanced shock absorption and cushioning.
Ø Ndurance® rubber compound for maximum outsole durability.
Ø Dual Density Collar uses both a softer density foam against the foot for cushioning, and a firmer density foam for support.
Ø Blown Rubber Outsole is extremely flexible, light, and helps provide cushioning.
|A view of the sole of the NB 880|
|A view of the stability web|
|NDurance rubber compound|
Why did I pick this model from all the other New Balance offerings?
My feet are not flat-footed nor are they of the high arch type, so naturally I was looking for neutral shoes with some generous cushioning. Here in the Philippines, the New Balance models available are 880, 890 and 1080.
First to be eliminated is the 890. It looks cute and is the lightest. However, I am looking for running shoes to use for ultra-running event like the T2N and the BDM, and the long weekend runs that are required in training for such events. Going light simply will not do for a relatively heavy runner like me.
We are down to the 880 and 1080. This is where economics comes into play. Given its more generous cushioning, the MR 1080 is a thousand peso or so more expensive than the 880. Would I be needing more cushioning ? Are 2 pillows better than 1 pillow? I don’t think so. In the same way that I chose the Cumulus over the Nimbus, I also went for the 880 over the 1080. The couple of thousand pesos I saved goes to supporting the raffle drive of our fiesta in the Ascension of Our Lord Parish in Paranaque this coming weekend.
What are my first impressions of my New Balance 880?
Off the bat, or shall I say even when it was still at the shoe rack at the running store, it seems to be calling to me and saying “Take Me. Take Me. I’m yours!”. As can be seen in the first picture of this article, the NB 880 looks super cool in blue. New Balance did a good job of mixing blue and green quite beautifully, something that is very rarely done in our college hoops-mad country.
|Blink by Malcolm Gladwell|
I immediately had a good vibe holding the pair of blue 880. My thoughts went to the book “Blink” by Malcolm Galdwell, a book about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or read the first few sentences of a book or in my case right now of looking at a pair of running shoes for the first time, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Some might call it irrational thinking but Gladwell believes that there are lots of situations when our snap judgments and first impressions offer a much better means of making sense of the world. This is because of the power of “thin slicing” which says that as human beings we are capable of making sense of situations based on the thinnest slice of experience.
And now, my thinnest slice of experience of the NB 880 is just by looking at it and holding it. I already feel good about the shoes. What if I try it on?
How does the shoe fit?
In the words of Jazzrunner in his Shoe review of the NB MR 880 (http://jazzrunner.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/shoe-review-new-balance-880), the experience of wearing the NB 880 is “love at first fit.” The running shoe guru (http://www.runningshoesguru.com/2011/09/new-balance-880-running-shoes-review/)talks about “the snug but unrestrictive fit felt natural from the start.” I agree with the both of them. There is that comfy feeling when wearing these babies. The comfortable feel stems from the luxurious tongue and the sock-liner. New Balance was generous in adding extra cushioning in the tongue and around the collar that enhanced its overall comfort and wearability. The roomy space of its toe box cannot be discounted as well.
|My new NB 880 has a roomier toe box than my Asics Cumulus 13.|
My first impression of the NB 880 is that it is a running shoe that is pleasing to look at and more pleasurable for my feet to wear. I expect no blisters in wearing these shoes. They feel light, airy and well-cushioned.
How does the shoe feel during a run? (the ride of the shoe)
I got to first use the NB 880 a day after I purchased these babies. I had my long weekend run at Camp Aguinaldo with my 83nean running buddies Ernie Badong and Ed Balcueva and we targeted 28 kilometers. This meant 4X around the 7-km loop of the camp grounds. On the first 3 loops, I was wearing the Asics Cumulus 12 but shifted to the new NB 880 on the last round. Given that I had been running for 21 kms already, I was expecting that my last round would be a bit more tiring. But wearing the NB 880, with its airy snug comfy feel, made me feel less tired actually. It helped me finish the 28-km long run with a smile and even a fartlek burst of speed at the last 100 meters.
In action, the NB 880 feels light, airy and well cushioned. Just right for my feet.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. For me, the real eating of my new NB 880 is in an ultramarathon. I bought this New Balance running shoes to see if it would make my ultra-running experience a bit more comfortable .
And the ultra in the near horizon is the T2N: 50 kms of sun-baked, mostly downhill road from Tagaytay to the Batangas municipality of Nasugbu. See you guys at the T2N this May 20.
In a blink, I have a feeling my new NB 880 will not disappoint me.