New Balance 879 £60


Posted: 16 June 2000

This model may still be available on clearance. But we've reviewed a newer version since we published this.

Better forefoot flex grooves and a more yielding outsole give a smoother ride to this reliable cushioned shoe. (A review of the previous version is below.) Even though it has no added medial support, its broad, flat outsole helps keep it stable. A good option for runners who have orthotics designed for a neutral shoe; and fairly light at 336g.

NEW BALANCE 878 £59.99
Weight 347g
Sizes (m) 6-12.5, 13.5, 14.5, D width; 6.5-12.5, widths B and 2E (w) 3.5-8.5, widths B and D
Pros Better forefoot flexibility; familiar package that will appeal to 876 loyalists
Cons None
Evaluation If you’re looking for a straightforward cushioning shoe, the 878 is one for your list. It’s a shoe that’s more neutral than Switzerland – not heavy, not light; not stiff, not springy; not soft, not firm; not reinforced, not unstable. Just reliably ordinary – which can be a good thing. The 878 definitely prioritises comfort over performance. The cushioning is plentiful, with rear- and forefoot Abzorb inserts, but if you want speed and responsiveness you’d be better off with a shoe such as New Balance’s 828. What you do get in the 878 is a good deal of stability, despite the fact that it’s a single-density shoe with no added support features.
Anyone who’s run with the 876 will find the 878 reassuringly familiar. The 878’s forefoot is slightly softer and more flexible, with added flex grooves, and its heel is more stable. The arch area has been retooled slightly to make it more comfortable, but the only other changes are cosmetic.
In short A conservative update for a conservative shoe: the 878 is a classic understated cushioned model.
Recommended for Larger runners who don’t need added control features; efficient runners who need cushioning; women who need a well-cushioned shoe that will fit a high instep


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