New Balance 870v3 vs. 870v4 review

New Balance 870v3 offers flexibility, stability, and cushioning in a lightweight package. New Balance 870v4 introduces a nice modern and sleek look in addtion to more support.

The New Balance 870v4 is the updated version of the New Balance 870v3, which is a lightweight stability running shoe from New Balance.

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While the look of the New Balance 870v4 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com is different from that of the New Balance 870v3, they have a lot in common.

The New Balance 870v3 has mainly no-sew overlays in its upper with sturdy stitched on overlays at the front and back of the shoe in addition to underlays that wrap the midfoot.

The New Balance 870v4 has something similar going on with no-sew overlays wrapping the midfoot and part of the forefoot, sturdy overlays at the back and front of the shoe, and underlay bands that wrap the midfoot and that can be adjusted through the saddle. So all in all, both running shoes provide enough support in their upper to keep your foot in place.

There are differences, though. The mesh of the New Balance 870v4 is a little bit more open so more breathable than that of the New Balance 870v3.

The New Balance 870v4 now also has an asymmetrical heel counter like other New Balance stability running shoes that is higher on the inside than on the outside to help stop your ankle from twisting too far inward. This is an extra stability feature that the New Balance 870v3 does not have.

While both running shoes come close to the amount of support they provide in the upper, the New Balance 870v4 can be seen as providing a bit more support than the New Balance 870v3 in addition to looking sleeker and more modern.

The midsole composition has not really changed when going from the New Balance 870v3 to the New Balance 870v4.

The New Balance 870v4 has a RevLite midsole just like the New Balance 870v3 with an Absorb crash pad under the heel that runs till the midfoot.

The midsole of the New Balance 870v4 is just 1 mm thicker for men, but has about the same thickness as that of the New Balance 870v3 for women.

Running shoe lab tests have shown that for women, there isn't much difference in the amount heel cushioning provided by the two running shoes, but that the New Balance 870v4 has a more cushy forefoot than the New Balance 870v3.

For men, the New Balance 870v3 turns out to provide much more cushioning than the New Balance 870v4 in both the heel and the forefoot.

Because these are stability running shoes, they have a piece of firmer foam on the medial side of the midsole that stops your foot from rolling too far inward after heel-strike.

This medial post differs between the two running shoes and reaches till under the foot in the New Balance 870v3. In the New Balance 870v4, there is a thin layer of softer foam between the medial post and your foot.

This means that while the degree of pronation control may differ a bit, it is more gradual in the New Balance 870v4 than in the New Balance 870v3.

Both running shoes provide a good amount ground contact, so are stable and should be able to deliver a smooth ride. Note that the New Balance 870v4 provides just a bit more ground contact (so more stability) than the New Balance 870v3.

The rubber outsoles of the New Balance 870v3 and the New Balance 870v4 differ quite a bit. The New Balance 870v3 has smaller rubber pods with a good amount of separation between them to help with impact absorption and flexibility.

The New Balance 870v4 on the other hand, has larger rubber pods with flex grooves that do not run straight but rather curve around the rubber compartments in the forefoot.

This may be one of the reasons why the New Balance 870v3 turns out to be a very flexible running shoe according to lab tests and the New Balance 870v4 still a flexible running shoe, but much less flexible than the New Balance 870v3.

The women's version of the New Balance 870v3 for women weighs approximately 7.9 oz (224 grams) and the New Balance 870v4 for women weighs approximately 7.7 oz (218 grams).

The men's version of the New Balance 870v3 weighs approximately 9.5 oz (269 grams), while the New Balance 870v4 for men weighs 9.6 oz (272 grams).

New Balance has done a really nice job with the New Balance 870v4. It is a much more breathable and supportive running shoe than the New Balance 870v3, while still maintaining most of the features of the New Balance 870v3.

If you are after a somewhat softer ride, the New Balance 870v4 may be better for you if you are woman and the New Balance 870v3 if you are a man.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

The two links above will take you to Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


This review falls under: New Balance

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