New Balance Upgrade the 990v5 with Trail TreadRelease: 12 March 2021
This is not the first time a New Balance 990 series runner has been modified to go off-road. Back in 2019, the 990v5 was melded to an OG NB trail runner in the 801. Now, the still-incumbent v5 returns with its standard ENCAP midsole, but the tread’s all new.
But there’s a little bit more to this update than the proverbial Malibu Stacy’s new hat. The cleated, almost ripple-like rubber outsole is sharply slanted to grab as much grip as possible. However, it stays quite low profile, sticking out only slightly more than the usual flat tread. The heel tread is oriented backwards to the forefoot to aid with heel strike grip, especially in downhill (read: slippery) terrain. It’s all small updates, but now the 990v5 is ready to be tested in even more situations.,
Of course, this all assumes the 990v5 Trail does actually leave the sidewalk. Its dark grey suede and mesh upper is a little laissez-faire for any surfaces with even a drop of liquid, but it certainly does help the ‘Cobalt Blue’ accents on the toe box overlay, heel hardware, and ENCAP crash pad look pretty.
So pretty, in fact, that it’s almost sold out from New Balance’s online store. But keep an eye out for other NB retailers to get their stock in soon.