Verdict from 9.4 hours of research from the internet

10 reasons to buy

  • The 860 v5 feels very comfortable right out of the box, based on most comments.
  • The price is well within the normal range for a shoe of this kind.
  • It has 5 different color combinations.
  • A good number of runners loved its trendy style.
  • The mesh is very breathable, according to several reviews.
  • An additional midfoot loop enhances midfoot security.
  • Quite a number of overpronators loved the thermoplastic shank beneath the arch.
  • The cushioning is very noticeable right at the first go, as noted by a handful.
  • Observation from a group of runners praised the grip of the 5th edition of the 860.
  • Some mentioned that it can effortlessly be used a casual and everyday footwear.

3 reasons not to buy

  • A small number of runners experienced tongue slide in this shoe.
  • Almost non-existent reflectivity coming from a shoe of this price.
  • The outsole durability is a bit frustrating to some.

Bottom line

The New Balance 860 v5 is a much-sought after trainer because of its superb stability, comfort, and cool looks. Besides the stability, mild to moderate overpronators can get their kicks out of the responsive cushioning, serious traction, and breathable coverage. It is a shoe that nails the right balance between cushioning and stability.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

  • In its 5th coming, the 860 offers a ton of updates for an even better performance. Straight out of the box, fans of the line will notice right away the removal of most of the stitched overlays. The stitched overlays are now found around the toe box and near the heel. The midfoot is basically a network of welded overlays. This change helps take half an ounce of weight without compromising lockdown feel.
  • As the overlays are not as big as before, New Balance compensates by adding a new midfoot strap between the eyelet rows. It runs straight to the midsole and is directly connected to the laces. Hence, there is an even better midfoot fit without adding pressure or constricting the foot.
  • A quick look at the outsole and modifications are obvious as well. The large hexagonal-like pattern is replaced by numerous square pods. As the pods are separated by cut outs, there is much better flexibility this time around. The crash pad in the heel has better articulation for enhanced shock attenuation. A huge heel cavity helps make heel striking a luxury in this shoe.
  • Speaking of the heel, there is now a new asymmetrical heel counter. New Balance designs the medial wall of the heel to be slightly taller than the lateral part. The idea is to add some muscle in the prevention of excessive inward movement.

The fit of the 860 v5, in relation to the prior model, is very similar. From the heel to the forefoot, the fit is quite average with just more real estate in the forefoot for the toes to splay. The added midfoot strap really enhances midfoot security in the shoe. Narrow to extra wide are the available widths of this shoe. Sizing is standard in the 5th rendition of the 860.


The outsole is predominantly blown rubber with the usual carbon rubber in the heel for better durability. Square configurations with several flex grooves characterize the midfoot and forefoot parts of the outsole. The segmented crash pad has better delineation for improved shock attenuation and cushioning. The New Balance 860 v9 also uses the same outsole material for reliable grip and sturdiness. 


Midsole setup is quite intricate in the New Balance 860 v5 to carefully juggle stability and cushioning. On the medial side of the midsole that stretches from the heel to the midfoot is a very stiff compression molded EVA to really support the arch while the lateral side is softer EVA. The same setup happens in the forefoot. In the middle of these two are the ABZORB and ACTEVA foam. Using these two, gives a nice blend of shock-absorbing features and responsiveness.


An AirMesh upper has excellent breathability. A combination of stitched overlays in the heel and toe box and welded overlays in the forefoot give the upper much-needed support and structure. As mentioned, the heel has an asymmetrical heel counter to help provide stability. The interior of the shoe is quite plush and is only enhanced by a dense Ortholite sockliner.

How 860 v5 compares

This shoe: 79
All shoes average: 86
53 98
This shoe: $120
All shoes average: $119
$40 $350
This shoe: 10.2oz
All shoes average: 9.5oz
3.5oz 16.2oz
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com