We spent 8.3 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what walkers think:

9 reasons to buy

  • The majority claimed that the New Balance 85 was an extremely comfortable shoe for long walks.
  • The style and colorways of the trainer delighted many consumers.
  • The shoe fit perfectly, according to numerous owners.
  • Plenty of users liked its lightweight nature.
  • It did not need breaking in, as stated by several testers.
  • A handful of wearers said that it provided a stable platform for walking.
  • Some individuals claimed that using it relieved their foot and back issues.
  • The product was deemed reasonably priced by a few buyers.
  • Its ability to accommodate custom orthotics was also appreciated.

9 reasons not to buy

  • Numerous people complained that the tongue was short and constantly moved out of place, which caused the laces to irritate the instep.
  • The New Balance 85 was perceived to be smaller and narrower than expected.
  • A good number of commenters mentioned that it did not provide any arch support.
  • The insole was too thin and felt uncomfortable, which caused a good number of users to return the product.
  • The laces were also not long enough to be tied properly, remarked several reviewers.
  • There were also structural issues such as the webbed eyelets that quickly tore off, the ill-fitting insole that caused discomfort, and the mesh that developed a hole in just a few months of regular use.
  • A handful of individuals wished there were more color options to choose from.
  • Some consumers had issues with the outsole as it wore out quickly and lacked traction.
  • A few testers did not like the rocker-like design of the sole unit.

Bottom line

The New Balance 85 was considered an excellent walking shoe because of how comfortable it was when used for long on-foot travels. People generally liked its style, lightweight nature, and perfect fit. There were even claims that it helped relieve foot and back pains. However, its construction could be improved by lengthening the tongue for full instep coverage to prevent irritation. The fit and sizing were also points of displeasure, along with the eyelets that soon tore off, and the outsole that easily wore out and had insufficient traction. Though many raved about the footwear’s style and comfort, the durability and construction issues left several consumers with no choice but to return it.

For more, check our guide to the best walking shoes



A top rated walking shoe

Reviews from around the internet

User reviews:

SportsShoes, Zappos and 22 other shops don't have user reviews

  • The New Balance 85 is designed as a durable walking shoe that delivers comfort during long travels. It features a combination of mesh, textile and synthetic materials that are meant to provide a breathable yet supportive upper. The men’s and women’s versions have slight differences in appearance as there are more synthetic overlays in the men’s version of the footwear.
  • The trainer uses the injection-molded EVA (IMEVA) foam in its midsole. This material is lightweight, durable and flexible.
  • Protecting the foam from tough terrains is the rubber outsole. This durable compound is engineered to deliver traction at the bottom of the shoe.

The New Balance 85 is offered in both men’s and women’s versions and runs true to size. It is available in D - Medium and 4E - Extra Wide for men, and B -Medium and D - Wide for women. Because of the different width options, consumers are advised to try the shoe in person to get the right size and fit. For online buyers, New Balance has the Fit Finder tool which assists consumers in finding the right fit.

Rubber is used on the outsole of the New Balance 85. This material is durable, slip-resistant, and flexible. It features lugs and tread patterns that enhance the traction capability.

Horizontal flex grooves promote natural foot flexion. The outsole also has a vertical furrow that fosters side to side agility.

This walking shoe from New Balance employs the IMEVA foam. This cushioning is hard-wearing and flexible. It provides steadiness to the foot as it does not readily compress. The foam is designed to be soft enough to attenuate shock. It extends slightly upwards on the lateral and medial sides of the midfoot to provide support during lateral movements.

Inside is the NB ultra soft comfort insole. It offers another layer of comfort and shock absorption.

The upper of the New Balance 85 is made of mesh, textile, and synthetic materials. The mesh keeps the inside of the footwear fresh and cool while the textile and synthetic components give it structure and style. The men’s version can be easily distinguished from the women’s version because the former has more synthetic overlays in the forefoot section.

It utilizes a traditional lacing system with a mix of webbed and punched eyelets to keep the fit secure. The thin tongue keeps the instep area protected from irritation brought about by the laces. Tightening the laces draws the side panels closer to the foot and enhance lateral support.