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New Balance 2013: I can see a rainbow!

by John Levison
Friday 3rd May 2013

The invitation said 'Bringing The Colour'. They weren't joking either. The sun was shining outside, but I could well have kept the sunglasses on as I waked through the door had I known what I was about to see, touch and - for your benefit - photograph.

Yesterday I was in central London, invited to a Press launch of the 2013 New Balance Autumn/Winter 2013 range (www.newbalance.co.uk).

Bright, bold and beautiful - if you like to live your life as if in the middle of a rainbow explosion, or hanker after going wild in the paint department at your local DIY superstore, New Balance have something for you. And probably a few ideas you hadn't thought of too. You want 'Crushed Pink' with rainbow laces? No problem, they have that:

New Balance 2013

Perhaps like me you are more used to associating the New Balance brand to descriptions like 'traditional', 'classic', 'understated', 'performance'? Those elements are still there, so fear not if you are a life-long brand fan - you haven't been divorced, sent off to find another relationship with an alternative suitor just yet. Actually, think of it more like your favourite, comfortable, reliable partner having gone off... and returned (still comfortable and reliable and your favourite), but with the benefit of a makeover and looking younger and more stylish than ever. Sort of. Ok, enough of this... on to the shoes, we are runners after all!


New Balance seems to like numbers. No Pegasus, Omni, Kayano or Supernova here... but lots of numbers. 890, 880, 1260, 1080 and the like to define their range.

I like numbers too, after all I trained as an accountant, and have a great affinity to (particularly) sporting numbers, trivia and stats. But...

...what do they all mean, and how are you supposed to work them out? I was confused. Well, I was for a while before it all clicked.

What follows isn't new as such... but it was to me, and on that basis, it might well be new to you too. If you are potentially looking at buying from the New Balance range now, or in the future, this will help you pick the right shoe. It certainly helped me think through the range yesterday once I'd worked worked out that there is a logic to the naming numbering convention.

The last two numbers of the shoe model (e.g. 90 in the 890, or 60 in the 1260) defines the type of shoe it is designed for. If you know what type of show you are looking for before you look at the huge range on offer, you'll quickly narrow your options - and get to the right choice faster! Just a few examples...

  • 00 = Competition - in our case we're talking about lightweight racing flats. New Balance truly is a 'runners' brand, and while a small market segment, still offers significant choice in this area.
  • 40 = Control - maximum control and stability e.g. for over-pronation.
  • 60 = Stability - reduce pronation while providing cushioning and comfort
  • 70 = Light Stability - a combination of stability and speed. Your typical moderate stability trainer which would suit many runners. A good combination of lightweight, performance and stability in one shoe.
  • 80 = Neutral -high mileage, light-ish weight, excellent cushioning
  • 90 = Speed/Performance - the lightweight racer/trainer type shoe

New Balance 2013


Back to that - just briefly though! The range and styles on offer clearly are designed to appeal not just to the traditional New Balance running community, but also outside of that to the fashion market. I suspect that there will be many buyers of the 890v3 for example who won't have a clue who (Andy) Baddeley is - who's name appears on the side of the shoe - or that it includes a RevLITE midsole, ABZORB cushioning and a natural last with an 8mm heel to toe drop; but they will like the colours and rainbow laces!

If that helps New Balance sell more shoes (and in turn keep the cost of 'our' shoes down), so be it. Besides, after the 'red, white and blue' britannia colours of 2012, why shouldn't runners have something bright in 2013 too? Lets have a look at some of the range


Talking of Andy Baddeley, the 890 is the performance focused race/trainer of the New Balance range, one of their biggest sellers and now in its third iteration. Yours for £79.99. For the cycling fans among you, New Balance are one of the sponsors of Team Garmin-Sharp, and also displayed a team specific option of the 890v3... which I like very much! The ladies edition carries the name of U.S. runner Jenny Barringer.

New Balance 2013


Racing shoes that glow in the dark? Yes...that's the RC1400

New Balance 2013


The 870 is the premium mild stability shoe from New Balance. In simple terms, if you just need mild stability and want a light weight, performance shoe - this is the one that will suit many runners. Yours for £90 featuring the REVlite midsole.

New Balance 2013

We've got a huge gallery of images from the New Balance launch on our Run247 Facebook page. Check out many more shoes (and colours!) from the range:

Visit www.facebook.com/Run247com and 'Like' us!

You can find the album HERE


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