First, the sizing is kind of weird. I normally wear a men's 9 in Brooks shoes but an 8.5 was actually the same length in the New Balance. Lengthwise the shoe was fine but has people have complained of before, the toebox is wayyyyy to short. As in, the top of the toebox squeezes the top of my foot. Oddly enough, the right shoe seemed to be okay and actually had some room to spare but the left shoe was ridiculously tight. I could feel the overlays pinching the top of my left foot. For this reason, I plan to send these back as I've had issues with tight shoes causing extensor tendinitis in the past (not fun).
But aside from the horrible toe box (don't know what they were thinking, the toebox is just so dramatically tapered height-wise), my impressions of the shoe are generally favorable. First of all, the shoe is light! When I got the box I thought it was empty, haha. Also, the upper is not very structured. Especially the front of the toebox, where most brands have some sort of pleathery bumper, was made of a soft suede-like material. Can't see this being too durable but it was definitely comfortable. Weirdly enough, the heel collar of the shoe was extremely padded. It made the shoe kind of look funny, cause there was just so much material around the heel and then the toebox was so tapered. But, toebox nonwithstanding, the upper was pretty comfortable.
One thing I noticed was that there was extremely little arch support in the insole. But, the shoe didn't feel particularly unstable. I love the midsole on this shoe even though I've only jogged across my living room in it. The midsole is full contact and lowish drop so I felt in contact with the ground at all times, but at the same time the midsole was cushioned. Definitely a very unique feel to it. I'd say this is the epitome of responsive cushioning. Not squishy but not jarring or excessively firm. Probably one of the better midsoles I've seen, as it seems to provide enough cushioning for solid miles but is responsive enough for faster running. Of course, keep in mind I haven't really run in these and don't plan to since I will be returning them, so these are just brief first impressions. Reading around online though, it seems that most people agree with me in that the midsole is great but the upper just doesn't fit well if you have anything but low-volume feet.
Well these are my impressions of the 890v2. Sad to say I won't be keeping them as the toebox is a complete dealbreaker, but if the 890v3 (out February 2013) fixes the toebox you can be sure I'll be getting those. But if you have low volume feet and are a neutral runner, I'd highly recommend looking at this shoe. Incredibly light and the cushioning/midsole is unlike anything I've ran in before. The 890v2 is a great shoe, but sadly the toebox design prevents it from appealing to a larger crowd. I hope New Balance changes the toebox in the 3rd version of this shoe because they have a potential Kinvara-killer in the 890.