New Balance 860: Our Complete Shoe Review

Support Type: Stability     Purpose: Everyday Trainer

This shoe has started to become a fan favorite for those who train for longer distances. Similar to its sister shoe, the New Balance Fresh Foam 880, the New Balance Fresh Foam 860 is a classic daily workhorse which can sustain the heavy mileage of everyday running. However, be sure not to confuse the two models. While the New Balance 880 is a neutral shoe, the New Balance 860 is a stability shoe and one that has been one of New Balance’s most popular models for years.

The New Balance Fresh Foam technology in the 860 offers a soft, plush cushion in the midsole designed to provide a more comfortable and enjoyable ride in order to reduce impact strikes and fatigue in the legs.

Often referred to simply as the New Balance 860, this model is best known for its comfort while providing the extra support needed for those that require a stability shoe. The upper consists of a supportive, yet breathable mesh while the cushioned midsole is perfect for absorbing the impact when your foot lands. The lacing system, just like the 880, proves a secure, snug fit and the outsole is designed for both durability and traction, providing reliable grip on a variety of surfaces. If you’re looking for a stability shoe that provides a responsive ride with a small hint of bounce, look no further than the New Balance Fresh Foam 860.


What is the difference between the New Balance Fresh Foam 860 and the New Balance Fresh Foam 880?

While similar in style, the New Balance 860 and New Balance 880 are very much designed for two different types of runners.

The New Balance 860 is a stability shoe designed to provide additional support and control for over pronation – meaning the arch of the foot collapses when it rolls inward. Then New Balance 860 is an excellent choice for those looking for a little extra support.

The New Balance 880, by contrast, is a neutral shoe making it most suitable for runners with a neutral gait – meaning the middle/slightly outward part of the heel strikes the ground first and the foot rolls inward slightly to absorb the shock. Those individuals with a neutral gait typically have a medium arched foot.

How many miles will the New Balance Fresh Foam 860 last?

The New Balance 860 is often used as a daily trainer meant for any distance at any pace. With all things considered (terrain being one of them) you likely won’t see much wear until after 50 miles. Most shoes last usually 300 plus miles before starting to break down. With the New Balance Fresh Foam 860 we’ve seen individuals get 400-500 miles of use.

Is the New Balance 860 good for training?

Absolutely. After all, this is New Balance’s flagship stability shoe. The New Balance 860 was designed as a traditional daily training shoe. It’s moderately soft, durable, and great for your weekly miles. This is also an excellent shoe for walkers as well. We get a ton of referrals from our medical partners who refer their patients to get this shoe when they require this type of stability.

What are other shoe brands/models that are similar to the New Balance Fresh Foam 860?

All brands have their standard neutral daily trainer. The other shoes most similar to the New Balance 860 would be the Asics GT 2000, Brooks Adrenaline, Hoka Arahi, Mizuno Wave Inspire, and Saucony Glide. While these shoes may all be similar in purpose (all stability trainers), they will also feel very different from one another to each individual.

It’s important to note that when it comes to shoe preference, it’s very much subjective. What feels good and works well for one runner/walker, may not be the case for another. For the most accurate review, we highly recommend coming into the running shop and having one of our staff walk you through the fitting process. This way you have an opportunity to try on multiple brands and models and compare/contrast them against one another. If you’re unfamiliar with our fitting process, click here to learn more.