'A COMPLETE REVEALATION - WISH I'D BOUGHT THESE YEARS AGO'
Strengths: Lots of torsional control
Weaknesses: Squelch for a few hundred metres after splashing through puddles
Overall: I bought these as a replacement for my NB 857s (because they were in a sale and I'd always fancied a pair). They offer all of the motion control that the 857s do without the feeling of 'clumpiness'. Its almost as if they'd carry on running if you stopped, they make the whole process of heelstrike to toe off so effortless.
I suffer from Achilles tendonitis if I don't get lots of control for my overpronation and these just fit the bill perfectly.
Apart from the squelching noise they make (water seems to get underneath the torsion bar and then needs to work its way out again) they do lack grip when venturing off-road if the going is a bit wet. For this reason I would say they are probably best for road only runners. Having said that, they make no claims to being an off-road shoe so I guess it should not be a surprise but that is an area the 857s are definitely better - but that's the only area they are better.
Strengths: This stuff amazed me because it actually seems to do what it claims. It stops my muscles aching the day after a long run allowing me to continue training sooner. I have not found another product out there that works quite so reliably.
Weaknesses: A bit thick for my liking and the banana one is really quite disgusting!
Overall: If you can justify the price (its not cheap) then this is really worth a try. Using the SiS mixing bottle simplifies things so its worth an extra couple of quid.
[Update 20/05/06] Great stability coupled with really comfortable cushioning
[Update 20/05/06] None that I've found yet
Overall: Finally a shoe that doesn't bring back my achilles problems.
[Update 20/05/06] I've always run in Saucony shoes but was tempted by the 'Britishness' of New Balance (I mean they are made in the UK so I don't need to worry about supporting less ethical shoe manufacturers). A trip to my local Sweatshop established that I needed stability shoes (I've always bought cushioning shoes because of my bad knees) and the lady recommended the 857s. Well...they are comfortable straight out of the box, my achilles problems seem to be self healing and my sore knees? I've forgotten I ever had them.
I'm sure these shoes won't be the holy grail for everyone that they have proved to be for me, but if you're looking for a new pair of stability shoes I really recommend you give these a test run.