Strengths: The main strength I find with New Balance shoes is the great amount of cushioning and support - I personally prefer a harder ride and the Abzorb cushioning is a great buffer on hard surfaces. I have a pair of 858s but suffer from rubbing on the instep on longer runs.
Weaknesses: The problem i have with the latest version - used a wider fit but then found my foot now rubs on the outer of my little toe joint at the widest part of the foot. I also note that my heel was slipping about - I had to go up an extra half size as the 8.5s were far too cramped! Go figure!
Overall: I think the shoe has actually gone backwards in that the fit isn't the greatest, looks 'boxey' on the foot and not sure the overall design has improved. Still think a few tweaks required - mostly with the actual shape inside the shoe - these are great shoes if only they weren't so spacious in the heel (despite various lacing techniques!). Can someone please tell me how a wider fitting shoe then rubs on exactly the same point where it's designed not to???!