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New Balance 880v9 Shoe Review

New Balance 880v9 Shoe Review

It’s funny; I thought I had written a review of the New Balance 880v9. I’ve been running in the shoe for a few months now, but when I looked back at previous blog posts, I realized I have not.

Before last year, I didn’t run a lot in New Balance. For whatever reason, New Balance didn’t feel that comfortable to me. Recently, however, I’ve found myself enjoying a lot of New Balance shoes, including the New Balance 1080v9 and the New Balance Fuel Cell Rebel.

The New Balance 880 is one of the most popular neutral shoes out there. The updated New Balance 880v9 is equally as good.

The New Balance 880v8 got a big update with looks and feel so the NB 880v9 didn’t get a drastic of an update. If you like version 8, chances are version 9 will feel similar.

New Balance 880v9 Shoe Review

New Balance 880v9 Quick Stats:

Weight: 8.9 ounces

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 10 mm

New Balance 880v9 Fit

If you’ve never worn the New Balance 880, it fits true to size. There is plenty of room to spread your toes. Typically I wear between a women’s 10-11 wide, and the 10.5 fits well.  The upper is seamless so that if you have bunions or wider forefront, it fits well.

The New Balance 880v9 continues to use the engineered mesh upper, which allows your feet room to breath. This year, the 880 has less structure in the toe box, so your feet have more room. You always want your toes to have plenty of space.  The general rule of running shoes is you want a secure fit in the midfoot and heel, but plenty of space in the toe box.

New Balance 880v9 Shoe Review

New Balance 880v9 Ride:

The Ride of the New Balance  880v9 hasn’t changed much since the New Balance 880v8. If you like the New Balance 880 series, you will probably appreciate the v9. New Balance still uses their “TRUFUSE foam midsole” The “TRUFUSE” combines or fuses the New Balance foams: “Abzorb” and “Acteva.”

The bottom layer, Abzorb, is thicker with a higher compression resistance. It’s designed to absorb shock better. The top layer, Acteva, is 12% lighter than EVA and provides cushion without weight. Throughout the last few years, New Balance shoes, especially the New Balance 880, has gotten lighter and “less clunky.”

What does this mean?

The New Balance 880 is a lightweight and responsive shoe. You’re able to do easy runs or faster runs. For me, it fits well into a daily run shoe. I like the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel for speed work, and a bit more cushion like the New Balance 1080v9 for recovery runs.

New Balance 880v9 Conclusion:

The New Balance 880 has remained similar from v8 to v9. If you’ve liked previous versions, you’re likely to appreciate the 9th version too. It reminds me of the staple running shoe; you know won’t change much. You can rely on it.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Hoka Mach 2,

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Mizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races:  Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked all about hydration.

In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

What is one of your running shoe staples?

Have you run in New Balance before? 

 

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Hoka Clifton 6 Shoe Review

Hoka Clifton 6 Shoe Review

I’ve run through most of the Hoka Clifton versions. In fact, way back when the shoe was first released, I got to try them in NYC. The Hoka Clifton is Hoka’s flagship shoe. It’s incredibly light but also extremely cushioned. It makes it a good shoe if you’ve never tried Hoka before.

I’ve put nearly 200 miles on my Hoka One One Clifton 6. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to write a Hoka Clifton 6 review.

Hoka Clifton 6 Shoe Review

Anyway, on to the review. Hoka streamlined the Clifton 6 to make it lighter and more durable than ever. Hoka’s words not mine, but I agree it’s more durable than previous versions. If you love the Clifton and previous models, you should still appreciate and like the Hoka Clifton 6.

Hoka Clifton 6 Shoe Review

Hoka One One Clifton 6 Quick Stats:

Weight: 7.4 ounces

Heel to Toe Drop: 5 mm

Hoka Clifton 6 Fit:

The updates from the Hoka Clifton 6 came primarily in the upper. It’s a much more simple design. The upper has been stripped of the printed overlays. It still has the engineered mesh upper (which makes it light and breathable). The shoe is lighter, but you still feel secure through the midfoot and heel. It’s become the perfect combination of soft and light material, but still durable.

The brand Hoka has generally run a bit big this year (the only brand that comes to mind doing so), that being said it’s not big enough I would go down a half size. I typically wear anything from a women’s size 10-11 wide. The 10.5 fits well and there is plenty of room in the toe box.

Hoka Clifton 6 Shoe Review

Hoka Clifton 6 Ride:

If you have never used the brand Hoka before, it’s a lot of cushion, but that is why they are popular. You can’t go wrong with “too much cushion,” but it also isn’t for everyone. All models of Hoka use a Metarocker, which makes you feel as though you are rolling forward.

The Hoka Clifton 6 uses “an early stage Meta-Rocker.” Hoka’s Early Stage Meta Roker shoes give the Clifton 6 shoe a quick transition from heel to forefoot.  It allows the shoe to feel smooth but not clunky.

The Hoka Clifton 6 has a large stack height (I talked about that previously in the newsletter). That large stack height is made entirely of foam which compresses under your feet.  This absorbs the shock and impact of running. It’s like a giant marshmallow under your foot.

For me personally, the Hoka Clifton 6 is a good recovery running shoe. I can run easy mileage in it without feeling weighed down. It’s not as bulky as the Hoka Bondi 6 but also not as responsive as the Hoka Rincon, Hoka Cavu 2, Hoka Carbon X, or Hoka Mach 2 (Can you tell I’ve been running in a lot of Hokas lately?).

One last note, that throughout the last few models Hoka has added more durability and traction to the bottom and high abrasion areas. It performs a lot better in bad weather, plus there is not exposed EVA that some other models like the Rincon or CarbonX have.

Hoka Clifton 6 Shoe Review

Hoka Clifton 6 Conclusion:

The Hoka Clifton 6 is a pleasant update and similar the previous version (The Hoka Clifton 5). It’s a great neutral trainer for recovery runs. If you are running in a higher cushioned shoe like the Hoka Bondi 6, it makes for a great lightweight workout or racing shoe.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Brooks Ghost 12

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProHoka Rincon, Nike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell RebelMizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races:  Reebok Run fast Pro

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

The Racing Flat.

As most readers know, I like to train in heavier and more cushioned shoes. When I do speed work, I’ll train in my flats but other then that I prefer the heavier shoes.  Since I’m doing higher mileage, I like the extra cushion and weight to keep me healthy.  It makes me feel more comfortable while training.  This is obviously not the everyone’s taste in running shoes but it is mine.

One of my coworkers always says: “Running shoe cushion is like money and you can never have enough money”. Isn’t that the truth?

Right now my high cushioned shoe of choice is the Saucony Triumph. After having an issue with the Asics Nimbus 17, I’ve found the triumph to be a great training shoe for me (I’m on shoe number 2).

This post, however, is about racing flats!

I don’t race in the same shoes I train in.

I think racing in a different shoe comes from beginning to run in college.  In college we raced in spikes.  A spike is just a a very light weight shoe with spikes at the bottom. Since most of college was on cross country courses, the spikes served to grip on dirt better.

It’s similar to a soccer cleat.  You can’t run on pavement in spikes or the spikes will wear down and break.

Throwback to college racing

Throwback to college racing

When I entered the world of road racing, I also went after a light weight shoe. It just seemed normal to me.  The average weight of my trainers have been about 10 ounces. The average weight of my flats have been about 5 ounces.

The first flat I ever purchased was the Nike Waffle. It was the exact platform of the spike I used to race in (but without the spike plate in).

4 years ago with my first flat.

4 years ago with my first (muddy) flat.

I’ve run every distance from a 1 mile race to my first marathon. To be honest, I raced my marathon in that shoe because I didn’t know any better. While I didn’t get injured from it, I will never do that again.  Most people (myself included) need more cushion during a marathon.

Hashtag so dumb.

Hashtag so dumb.

After realizing I liked a little bit more cushion in my racing flat I graduated to the Nike Streak LT racer (I’ve gone through several models of both 1 and 2). The shoe is much softer and only weighs an ounce more then the waffle flat. I raced my last full marathon in that shoe and had no issues.  You can see at the bottom there is a little bit more cushion to it.

Just crossing the finishing line like a bird...with my flats.

Just crossing the finishing line like a bird…with my flats.

I’ve never had any issues with it and it’s a great weight flat.  It’s one I recommend for anyone who likes more cushion but a very light weight shoe to race.

streaklt

This Spring I decided to try a completely new racing flat all together.

Maybe it was because I’ve been injured for so long or maybe it’s because I decided to live life on the edge.

My friend Austin and I in our matching Saucony A6s.  Bright colored twinning!

My friend Austin and I in our matching Saucony A6s. Bright colored twinning!

Either way I’ve raced the last few 5ks in the Saucony A6 and honestly I really like them.  I haven’t had the opportunity to race anything longer in them but I plan too.

So now that I’ve given a bit of my personal background, why racing flats?

A lighter shoe improves turn over. With less weight on your feet, it’s easier to run and increase your turnover. Think about it, less weight (to an extent…) produces faster times.  Carrying an extra few ounces thousands of strides really adds up.

Disadvantages of Flats:

  • You are more prone to injury: since there is little to no cushion in a flat, you are more susceptible to injury.  Think about those who train solely in Nike frees or minimalist shoes…that is why it’s a bad idea to train in flats.
  •  It also takes longer to recover because your feet are taking more of a pounding from the pavement. I’ve always found myself more sore after racing in flats.

How to go about racing in flats:
Honestly I tell people the same thing whether it’s kids going to their first XC race, customers at work, blog readers or whomever…you have to work into them.  

Don’t go run a 5k, half or run marathon in new shoes. 

I recommend first trying a few SHORT training runs and seeing how they work. First try a mile, then 2 miles…then race a 5k. Once you have raced a few 5ks try longer distances. It’s not something I would just jump right into. Not only are they a brand new shoe but it’s a drastically different shoe than what most people train in!  If you go from never running in a flat to racing, you have a high chance of getting injured.

I love the feeling of racing in a different and lighter shoe.  I have no plans to change that!

If you have anymore questions feel free to ask away.  I really enjoy the benefits of racing in flats.  I do alway feel faster and stronger.

Questions for you:

Do you race in flats?

What advice would you give someone beginning to race in flats? 

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