Pushing the limits of technology is the way that we in the world are truly able to know what’s possible in the present in the future. For instance, who knew that processing peanuts might make peanut butter possible, or that experimenting with milk might yield cheese and synthesized protein? Those are but a couple of examples of taking a product of discovery and making more discoveries from within its natural capabilities – and it is the very basis of the genius of the New Balance Minimus Ionix 3090.
Though the second incarnation of the shoe has already been produced, the 3090 (pictured in greater detail here) is a running shoe that a great example of a product that has taken a long-existing tool within, isolating it, and pushing it to the limits. Taking the brand’s innovative REVlite midsole foam and applying it to the 3090, the shoe highlights the foam, unleashing its capabilities to be a major element of support for the entirety of the last, while allowing it to sit with traditional midsole foam to act in concert as an outsole; this very application of the REVlite gave the 3090 the distinction as one of the lightest running shoes in New Balance’s history, while distinguishing the 3090 itself as a kind of prototype model for the future.
In reality, the 3090 is a shoe which is best defined by its lightweight character. A capable runner, the 3090 is a 7oz shoe made mostly of various kinds of mesh and foam. It’s not for everyone, but I was fortunate – I experienced one of the best runs in my personal history of running in the 3090, and there are several reasons for that, which follow.
The comfort of the 3090 is ever-present, with credit due to the shoe’s lack of more traditionally-oppressive material overlays, the absence of actual stitching over the bridge of the foot and the toebox, and mainly, the Ionix Minimus REVlite sole.
To touch on the benefits of the absence of the usual overlays and stitching, I experienced great toe-off flex and there were no points of pressure or pinches in my runs in the 3090; and the shoe held tremendously well, thanks to its closer fit (which is not a fit best made for those with wide feet) and the strong, synthetic laces which secured my feet within the shoes. Not only did the aforementioned contribute the comfort I enjoyed, but also the lining of the 3090 was impressive; it was very smooth and well-padded in my runs around the heel and collar, particularly.
Just as well, the 3090 benefits from its engineering, where the sole is takes inspiration from the anatomical structure of molecules, which allude to strength and endurance for the shoe’s life and overall build. It is not just that the 3090 is a runner that features a full-length REVlite platform; it is that the shoe is a product that performs at a high level based on what it lacks, which in its case, is lots of rubber and extraneous foam. The Ionix midsole/outsole cuts out gobs of weight with its molecular design (visible here). In reality, the 3090 is podded in exact strike zones, voided in the right places for efficient ground contact, and adaptable for the majority of foot types (with its removable insole). However, that is not to say that the 3090 is a perfect shoe.
The beauty of the shoe’s lightweight nature is that it employs foam to take up a heavy load of friction during footstrikes; foam can only hold up so long, which is why rubber always predominates as the outsole of choice. The 3090 is not a shoe that may be able to keep discernible traction for runners who log strong, long miles, because of its foam-based build underfoot. On the contrary, another upside of the 3090 is its relative bounciness and slipper-like feel, so the give and take is present in the shoe.
In short, the 3090 is a runner that is not only just an innovation product; it is a product that can feasibly enhance your running experience, as it did my own.
Disclaimer: For clarity, there was no payment given or distributed from the product company to the author in the production and composition of this piece, which is the true and honest expression of the sole opinions of this author.