New Balance have released their new all-terrain trail shoe, the 690v2. So, what are they really like? From an ultra runners point of view, I love the trails. So, to be given the opportunity to trial the new balance 690v2’s, I was all for it.
Sewn gusseted tongue
- 8mm drop
- Imeva injection Mildred Eva foam, giving firm but cushioned mid-foot
- New balance performance insert
- Speed ride
- Synthetic mesh material on the upper part of the shoe
- At tread for maximum traction control
- 293g lightweight shoe
So, on first impressions this is a good looking shoe! And with the cushion back and protective bottom layer, they look a really comfortable one. The jazzy looking tread seems like it will provide optimal traction when out on the trails, so let’s see when I put them to the test.
I decided if I were to test a decent pair of all terrain trail shoes, I needed to find an all terrain course – so I did. I trampled through rocky, loose surfaces and was incredibly impressed with the underfoot feel, along with the stability that the shoe had. As an ultra marathon runner, a good pair of shoes comes to be your best friend, and these were certainly proving themselves in my excruciating test.
The tread of the shoe handled the trails extremely well, with a mixture of rocky, muddy, boggy and hard uneven surfaces helping me keep balance on the harder terrain, and smooth on the more runnable part of the trail.
My confidence itself whilst wearing the shoes was as it is with all, however I did find that the comfort they gave and the light weight of the shoe itself made it easier to tackle harder areas of the terrain.
I noticed that the tongue of the shoe has been stitched nicely to the side of the upper shoe which reduces any debris from the trails entering the shoe and keeps the foot firm in the shoe, also reducing friction causing blisters.
I personally found the shoe a nice fit however, with a fair bit of room at the toe. This would be an ideal buy for ultra runners of say, above 50k distances, so when the feet swell the shoes don’t become too tight. However, if tackling less than marathon distance on the trails, you may find you need a half size smaller than you’d usually wear.
The overall feel of the shoe was comfortable; the mid-sole towards the heel gives quite a lot of cushion when tackling the rugged surfaces. However, it is a little lighter on the toe so you do feel sharper rocks, but then you do with most shoes.
Overall, the new balance 690v2 all terrain trail shoes have been a pleasure to test, and I will definitely be wearing them again on the trails.
Score out of 10: 7.5