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- MANUFACTURER: NEW BALANCE
- MODEL NO: 690v2
- SIZES: 7-14 D AND 4E
- HALF SIZES: AVAILABLE
- WEIGHT: 10.3 OUNCES
- COLORS: BLACK/GREY, GUNMETAL WITH BLACK AND PLASMA (GREY/BLACK), PIGMENT WITH STEEL AND MARINE BLUE (BLUE, BLACK), ATOMIC WITH BLACK AND GUNMETAL (RED/BLACK), FIREFLY WITH THUNDER AND STEEL (YELLOW)
- OUTER MATERIAL: SYNTHETIC MESH
- SOLE: RUBBER
- ALSO: INJECTION MOLDED EVA MIDSOLE, GLOW IN THE DARK RUBBER AND REFLECTIVE DETAILS, TOE PROTECTOR
- WATERPROOF: NO
- FIT AS EXPECTED: 82%
- PRICE GUIDE: $44.65-$94.99 APPROX
- OUR RATING: 4.4 OUT OF FIVE STARS
THE FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Not all running shoes are the same. And they’re not all meant to be either.
This pair of 690v2 New Balance Trail Running Shoes are designed to be worn in more off-roading situations than some of its sleeker counterparts.
So possibly, these 690v2s are not especially designed for the gym or treadmill? Well, maybe, but it does not mean that plenty of people have not purchased them with this in mind and happily worn them at their indoor workout sessions.
Despite being made for maximum outdoors usage and some rough treatment, it does not mean that these New Balance Trail Shoes have to be drab or ugly. Not in the slightest.
Unlike some of the other models, these are actually available in a wide range of bright colors.
Manufacturers New Balance like nothing better than giving their shoes some …um creative names.
If we hadn’t seen for ourselves exactly what “Firefly With Thunder And Steel” was, we are not terribly confident that we could have hazarded a guess, but as it is, it is a shade of yellow.
Likewise, “Atomic With Black And Gunmetal” could be rather confusing, but it is actually red and black. Well, there’s nothing like making you guess!
In actual fact, these trail shoes feature glow in the dark elements, as well as reflective features. So, you should be seen easily in these.
Because these are designed for slightly rougher terrain than concrete, these have some hefty looking grips on the reverse.
Although the manufacturers promise they have been made with a dual purpose in mind; to be able to deal with the smooth of tarmac, as well as the roughness of going off road.
They are a synthetic and mesh construction, which keeps them light and flexible and easily aired.
These are a lace up pair of running shoes, with an 8mm drop and a gusseted tongue. This means that the tongue won’t hopelessly roll from side to side whilst you are running.
Also, it should help you avoid the accumulation of debris in the shoe.
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The 690v2 has been designed with speed in mind and at only 10.3 ounces, they won’t weight you down.
An injection molded EVA foam sole adds the cushion you need to ensure your feet are well protected as you run and the heel is softly molded.
Because you will wear these off the road and in rockier terrain, these come equipped with a toe guard, to ward off the small lumps and bumps that might come your way.
Be warned, these will only be of use to small rocks and stones. These are not actually steel toe capped boots!
But they will leave you better protected than some of the smoother running shoes, merely designed for a city run or the gym would do.
So then, let’s try them on!
These trail running shoes are available in a range of sizes, including half sizes from a 7 to a 14. In other words, these are available in a standard range of sizes, but also with two width options, normal and wide fitting.
We haven’t heard any major problems occurring from sizing and fit.
If you have got any serious pronation issues, such as walking over considerably on either side, then these may not be the shoes for you.
They are designed more for neutral runners, but if your issues are only mild, you may be in luck.
Similarly, with any other podiatry issues – if they are not pronounced, we think that these will be a good fit.
Overall, in terms of sizing it is very good news – with a whopping 82% of people thinking that these fit just right and really only a tiny minority thinking that maybe they run a little small.
We think that ordering your ordinary size should be a fairly safe bet, with these trail running shoes.
Of course, no running shoe is any use whatsoever if it is even going to hint at discomfort.
We’re pleased to say that we have not heard any significant issues with the comfort provided by the 690v2’s by New Balance.
These are a comfortable running shoe, which should provide a decent level of cushioning for your feet, as you put yourself through total hell on your cross country run.
They won’t rub or cause you any unnecessary suffering anywhere and most wearers report total satisfaction on that score.
As the name suggests, these have been designed to be worn on cross country runs and therefore can be expected to go over a few bumps and lumps.
We are heartened to find that these will not slip and trip easily in dry off road conditions. They grip tightly to the ground underfoot in grass and other outdoor terrain.
There is only one anomaly, according to the manufacturer, these are not actually waterproof.
Because of the mesh covering, they could leak and let in water from the top, although we believe the soles are water resilient.
This is slightly disappointing for anyone who might live in wet climes, but New Balance are quick to point out that they do produce other more water resilient models of running shoe.
We do think they should withstand a small amount of moisture, though are not sure about the non-slip quality on smooth, wet, surfaces.
The bottom line is these are probably the best choice for drier, warmer climates than somewhere very wet and muddy.
WOULD WE RECOMMEND THESE TRAIL SHOES?
As a mid-priced trail running shoe, we think these 690v2 Trail Running Shoes are an excellent choice for the money.
They are comfortable, cater well for all widths and grip nice and tight. The only thing they don’t really do is wet conditions.