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sponsored: #Runnovation – The Evolution of Running Shoes

When New Balance released the original 990 cushioned trainer in 1982, it was revered as a groundbreaking shoe...

That Was Then

When New Balance released the original 990 cushioned trainer in 1982, it was revered as a groundbreaking shoe. At the time, shoe companies were starting to develop models that were both highly flexible and reliably supportive. Materials were basic — suede, leather, nylon, foam and plastic — not to mention relatively heavy and inflexible, and manufacturing processes had yet to evolve.

Still, the 990 was a breakthrough model because of numerous innovative aspects, such as a dual-density foam midsole, a rigid rear-foot motion-control device, a grippy Vibram rubber outsole and a slip-lasting construction that improved flexibility. It was also the first running shoe with a $100 price tag.

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This is Runnovation.

Running shoes have evolved considerably in the past 30 years and the changes have all been for the better. Lightweight and more dynamic materials and new manufacturing techniques have made shoes like the New Balance 890v3 lighter and livelier than ever before. Not only does the 890v3 weigh in under 9.6 ounces, it has a responsive ABZORB foam crash pad and a featherweight REVlite midsole foam from heel to toe.

Other stylings include no-sew welded support bands on the lightweight but durable synthetic mesh upper, a smooth, seamless interior, a modern 8mm heel-toe offset and a flexible blown-rubber outsole. For added flair, this special edition model of the 890v3 ($115) has a bold purple and orange color motif with yellow accents that glow in the dark for added safety.