We spent 10.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

7 reasons to buy

  • Several people stated that the upper unit of the New Balance 860 v9 was suitably breathable, especially during extended running sessions.
  • People generally liked the underfoot experience of this running shoe, claiming that it was comfortable and responsive.
  • The stability mechanisms of this product were appreciated for being able to avert overpronation and tendon strain.
  • According to some testers, the in-shoe chamber was spacious enough to welcome custom orthotics.
  • Some consumers felt that the weight of this product was lighter than most stability shoes in the market.
  • Purchasers welcomed the variety of color schemes that were available for this model, stating that the aesthetics allowed them the chance to express themselves visually.
  • The multiple width profiles were lauded by runners who wanted shoes that could accommodate an assortment of foot types.

3 reasons not to buy

  • According to a tester, the outline of the tongue unit irritated the top of the foot.
  • A few people stated that the 860 v9 had a narrow interior coverage, causing them to experience discomfort while running.
  • Some consumers lamented the lack of a protective toe cap as they experienced some surface abrasion and fabric tearing during their runs.

Bottom line

Many people were happy with the New Balance 860 v9. This addition to the global roster of stability running shoes was apparently able to provide precise steadiness during the run. The breathable upper, the eye-catching aesthetics, and the accommodating width profiles similarly received praise. On the other hand, there were complaints about the irritating structure of the tongue, the lack of a toe cap, and the apparently narrow in-shoe experience.


Expert Reviews

86 / 100 based on 8 expert reviews

  • 93 / 100 |

    New Balance 860 v9 - Comfort & rock-solid stability mile after mile

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    I’m a tall, medium build, fore-midfoot striker and I train mostly in barefoot/minimal shoes. But I’ll try anything once!

    I suffered from shin splints a while back. I almost went for some stability shoes at the point in my running to try and help with my issue but ended up trying out barefoot shoes. I've never looked back.

    Having said that I am always intrigued to try out stability shoes to see how I get on with them and to see if I think they’re actually any good for reducing the risk of injury. The 860 v9 seems to be halfway to an out and out stability shoe. None the less I wanted to see just how good this solid road shoe from New Balance was.

    I wasn’t expecting much from these initially I have to be honest. They felt really stiff and weighty, but they didn’t half prove me wrong!


    Tech Specs

    • UK11 weight 380g
    • 10 mm drop
    • Blown rubber outsole
    • Dual density midsole
    • No-sew material application
    • Synthetic/mesh upper


    I really like the look of the 860v9. The colours are nicely understated and they don’t seem like they’re trying too hard. Which I much prefer! I really like the embossed style 860 on the heel and the fact that there are not loads of hideous reflective strips all over the upper.

    I’d happily wear these as a day to day shoe (if I didn’t already have a day to day shoe of course)!



    The 860 v9 has a very breathable mesh upper. It’s comfortable and has enough given in it that it allows my feet to spread. It’s not too padded which I really like and I really like the overlays on the outside of the shoe. All in all, I really like the upper of this road shoe.


    These are just, meh! Yes I know that’s not really a thing but I’m sure you get the picture. Nothing special here. Nothing bad, just nothing good. Moving on.


    Heel counter

    The 860 v9 has a very solid heel. I’m not usually a fan of this as I prefer a more flexible sock-like heel. Having said that I really like how secure I feel in these shoes. I didn’t once feel any movement and my first run in them was 13.2 miles long! Stellar performance.


    Whilst more padded than I would usually like I can’t really complain too much about the collar. It’s soft and comfortable and locks my ankles firmly in place.



    It does what it says on the tin really. Soft and padded enough to provide comfort across the tops of my feet yet light enough that it doesn’t add to much unnecessary weight. It also does a fine job at keeping out the crud (grit etc.. from the road).



    Very little to say about in terms of safety on these stability shoes from New Balance. On the upper at least!

    They have a very slight reflective N on their sides however it’s not very reflective so I don’t think it’s there to make the shoes more visible. That’s about all there is, to be honest. More on ‘safety’ in the next section.


    The 860 v9 has a very flat sole. It is clearly aimed towards road use however it seems suitable for use on some light trails and gravel tracks too.



    There’s something called a T-Beam moulded into the midsole.

    New Balance says that this technology “features a lightweight, flexible TPU shank designed to deliver greatly enhanced torsional stability and arch support. This is achieved through a unique central beam structure.”



    I’m not completely sure what that means but I think it could be why the shoe feels a stiff in the sole as it does. Usually, I’d say the more flexible the better, but for some reason, the 860 v9 feels great because it’s so solid.


    This is where this shoe really, really shines. What New balance has done with the midsole on the 890v9 is something else!

    The inner edge of the midsole is stuffed with not only a harder compound of foam but more of it too, look at the photos below. You can visibly see the height difference. This means it’s virtually impossible for your ankle to roll inward too far and cause an injury. It’s brilliant!

    100 times better than the technology used on the Kayano 25!



    From the best feature to the worst. This shoe is not flexible.

    I mean it doesn’t try to be or claim to be. It almost makes not being flexible a plus point. But for me, it never will be. I had to push pretty hard to get the toe to flex. Better than some, worse than most.



    Designed for the road the 860 tread isn’t aggressive at all. It is however very durable.

    When I checked the bottom of these beasts after my first run I honestly couldn’t see any wear. None! This is a first for me as I usually wear the outside of the midfoot on most of my shoes very quickly. More plus points to New Balance!


    Grippy enough for roads in all conditions. It does pretty well on the light trail too. I can’t fault it! Hard wearing and grippy. What more could you ask for?!


    Fit & Comfort

    I can’t really stress this enough, these shoes are really comfortable. One thing that let them down slightly is that they did seem slightly too small. I’d probably suggest going a half size bigger in these than usual but it wasn’t a killer, just marginally too close on the toes of my bigger foot.

    There’s not a tonne of arch support unlike other stability shoes or even conventional running shoes for that matter. This is a welcome surprise and it certainly doesn’t limit the 860 in any way. It makes them far more comfortable!

    Other than this they’re pretty great! They hug my feet at the same time as locking them down. It’s a win-win.

    Toe box

    The toe box is adequate, though not the roomiest. I’d prefer a bit more space in there though I didn’t feel overly constricted.

    I didn’t get any toe pain on any of my runs which is a good sign and the upper material provides enough flex that my feet could splay a bit more than in other conventional shoes.



    As I mentioned in the heel counter section, the heel on the 860 v9 is great. More structure than I would usually like but I can’t knock it for comfort or performance. No heel pain whatsoever!


    I’d say that the focus for these road shoes was longer distance runs. You’re not going to break any speed records in them anyway, let’s just say that.

    They perform admirably over most distances but I really enjoyed running in them at slow paces for long runs. My first 13.2 mile run in them was brilliant.

    I didn’t notice their weight whilst running and actually think that they helped me to maintain a good steady pace. It’s hard to explain but perhaps the technologies built into the 860 v9 really do work!

    • On road

    Ideal for the road, the flatter the better but they can cope with pretty much anything and any weather. Top scores!

    • Off road

    If you’re looking to hit some light trails and paths these are fine. Though they certainly shouldn’t be your first pick. You’d be much better off with a dedicated trail shoe like something from Inov8 for example.

    • For speed

    No, no, no!

    • For distance

    Great! I could run in these all day long and still keep going. I’m not sure if I’ve run in a shoe that’s better suited to long slow runs as these before!

    The good

    • Durable
    • Supportive
    • Brilliant technology
    • No gimmicks
    • Highly Comfortable

    The bad

    • Quite a lot of padding
    • Not very flexible
    • Slightly undersized

    Dear New Balance

    The technology in the 860 v9 is without a doubt the best I have come across for stability shoes. One thing that I would love to see would be a racing version of this shoe with all the padding stripped out, a flatter sole but the same great midsole technology. That would be something else.


    New Balance has managed to create a stability shoe that bucks the trend of stability shoes. The arch isn’t overly intrusive, it’s not too heavy, it doesn’t try to force you to run in a certain way, it’s not painful to run in.

    It quietly does it’s a thing and it does it brilliantly. I really can’t rate these shoes highly enough. If you’re looking for a stability shoe, look no further!!

  • 90 / 100 |

    New Balance 860 v9: The accidental favorite

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    I wasn’t meant to be receiving these. When New Balance in partnership with RunRepeat offered me the chance to review the new 860 v9, I thought I had decided to pass, since the shoe is rated a stability road shoe and I run mostly in neutral shoes.

    However, when the shoes arrived in the post anyway due to a mix-up, I just accepted that as fate. After all, any running shoe is better than none! Having spent the past few months and a lot of time and miles in them, however, they have become a firm part of my shoe rotation.

    Despite stability features, they worked well for me and the fit and ride is great. The understated colorway means they also work great for casual use. Read on for my Likes and Dislikes!


    The shoes came in a black and grey colorway that was nicely understated. I could see myself using these for casual wear with jeans and indeed that is exactly what I’ve been doing. That is when I’m not running in them.


    Nicely understated colorway


    My size UK 10 shoes weighed in at 346 grams, which is not bad for a stability shoe, and with a heel-toe drop of 10mm.

    The upper is of engineered no-sew mesh and nice and airy. A dual density midsole incorporating a medial post for support is complemented by a robust blown rubber outsole, with Ndurance hard-wearing rubber at the heel.

    For a support shoe, 860 v9 felt light and slim. Not in a racing flat sort of way, since this is a cushioned support shoe after all, but the shoe certainly felt no bulkier than the New Balance 1080 v8 which I reviewed last year, and which is rated a cushioned neutral shoe.

    The laces are of the flat variety, which I’m not a huge fan of, since my OCD nature gets the better of me and I always seem to struggle to keep the laces untwisted, but they do their job just fine, which is to stay tied for the duration of the run!

    Notable features

    One thing I noticed right away was the perforated upper in the toe box area which makes the 860 v9 nice and airy. The upper consists of an outer layer and an inner lining, with different perforation configuration for each layer.


    Asymmetric and unmatched perforations on upper


    While for the most part, this means that toe box is still shielded from elements while staying breathable, I did notice that some of the holes did overlap, meaning one could see straight into the shoe.

    This was most evident on the medial side of the left shoe and on the lateral side of the right shoe, basically resulting in asymmetric and an unmatched pair.

    While not a major issue, it did make me wonder if I had a rogue pair. In practice, it just means your bright colored socks (if you’re so inclined) would show through on the right half of both shoes!

    The other notable feature – and much more important – is the medial posting of the dual density midsole.


    Dual density midsole support


    A key feature of any support shoe is the support on the medial side to prevent pronation of the foot and on 860 v9 this is achieved by a wedge of firmer midsole material which runs underneath the midfoot through to the middle of the heel area.

    In the photo below it shows up as the area with “marbled” pattern in the midsole. A third notable feature of the shoe is the T-Beam, a TPU shank which sits midfoot and ostensibly provides both rigidity and flexibility.


    The midfoot T-Beam


    Very little is available both on New Balance website and elsewhere explaining the technology, but one can only surmise that the feature adds to the stiff feel of the shoe (while also providing torsional strength).

    But many other support shoes have similar features, including Asics Gel Kayano 25, which has the Guidance Trusstic System.

    Fit and sizing

    On foot, my UK size 10 (US 10.5, EUR 44.5) felt immediately comfortable, roomy but not too much so and with the right amount of snugness. As I am EUR 44.5 in most running shoes, I would say these are “true to size.”


    Great fit, sizing and looks


    As mentioned above, the toe box area comes with perforations on both of the layers of the upper, making 860 v9 very breathable. Almost to a fault, since on colder days, your feet will certainly feel the coldness, right through to the end of the run.

    Both the heel padding and tongue are generous without being obtrusive.

    In sum, 860 v9 is a very comfortable shoe right out of the box and the fit only seemed to improve over subsequent runs.

    On the road

    The ride of 860 v9 is on the firm side and quite responsive, but not as firm as, say, 1080 v8 with its Fresh Foam.

    Perhaps in a key distinction with Fresh Foam, which we know is higher energy return, 860 v9 seemed to soften up somewhat on subsequent runs. Very subtly, but I did sense a drop off in the firmness and along with that, some responsiveness about 150 miles in.

    Of note, stability features come across as very unobtrusive, meaning the shoes are also suited for neutral runners as well as mild pronators. In this regard, the 860 v9 is very similar to Asics Gel-Kayano 25, which I also had a chance to review last year.

    As mentioned above, for a shoe loaded with stability features such as medial post, dual density midsole, and T-beam, the shoes felt light, nimble, and not over-constructed in any way.

    This was evident in the gait cycle, with a nice heel-toe transition that is hardly noticeable, the sign of a well-engineered shoe.

    The blown rubber outsole provided more than adequate grip and felt reassuring on tarmac, wet or dry. The relative robustness of the outsole meant I could also use them on moderate trails such as dirt tracks.

    Recommended usage

    Having said that, the heel cushioning is relatively substantial compared to neutral shoes and slimmer shoes designed for faster racing.

    The 860 v9 for me is a very typical daily trainer for slower runs of 6-10 miles. While I would have no issues running a half marathon in them if I wasn’t out hunting for a PB, it is quite telling that I found myself reaching for them for the slower recovery jogs the day after a long run or a race.

    As a shoe which accommodates heel strikers, 860 v9 is also a very comfortable shoe for walking in, and the understated black/grey colorway complements casual wear just nicely.

    Lesson learnt: never judge a shoe by category or description alone – there is always room for a potential positive surprise!


                Likes                 Dislikes
      Understated colorway and styling   Unmatched toe box perforations
      Sizing and comfortable fit   Unsuited for colder days
      Great balance of cushioning & responsiveness  
      Not-overstructured for a stability shoe  
      Relatively light  


  • 90 / 100 | Phidippides | | Level 4 expert

    While the new version feels less stable in the heel due to an improved landing and transition, it doesn’t seem to have any less guidance than previous versions. It seems that the 860 remains as stable as it has traditionally been.

  • 70 / 100 | Running Shoes Guru | | Level 4 expert

    The New Balance 860v9 is a moderate stability trainer that has undergone an impressive visual redesign. They are a good stability trainer, but have a few shortcomings which prevents it from being a great daily trainer.

Become an expert

  • Stabilizing overpronated foot motion is the purpose of the New Balance 860 v9. This road-companion retains most of the designs of the previous iteration, the New Balance 860 v8, save for a redesigned upper that focuses more on the use of tightly woven sections than printed overlays.
  • The outsole unit of the 860 v9 uses two rubber compounds: abrasion-resistant Ndurance™ for the high-wear areas and blown rubber in the forefoot for propulsion.
  • Underfoot cushioning is the responsibility of the TruFuse midsole, a one-piece unit that came from the amalgamation of two foam compounds. This full-length technology offers flexible and responsive performances on the asphalt. Anti-pronation is provided by a stability post that is integrated into the medial side of this stability running shoe’s platform.

The New Balance 860 v9 was created using the standard measurements. When it comes to size, runners can get a pair with their usual choices in mind. Widthwise, the available options for men are B - Narrow, D - Medium, 2E – Wide and 4E - Extra Wide for men; for women, the variants are A - Narrow, B - Medium, D – Wide and 2E - Extra Wide. A variety of foot dimensions and volumes can enjoy a pleasant in-shoe experience due to the diversity of width profiles.

The forefoot section of the New Balance 860 v9’s outsole unit is composed of blown rubber. This material protects against abrasion, yet it also provides surface control. It also has a spongy nature which means that it offers extra cushioning and responsiveness. This material is also used in popular NB shoes like the 880 v8 and 890 v6.

The high-wear areas of the heel and forefoot are layered with Ndurance™ rubber, a durable and abrasion-resistant material that is able to protect against wear-and-tear. The extra-robust nature of Ndurance™ allows the external pad to be efficient at doling out traction for a long time.

Flex grooves in the forefoot section are meant to make the platform more flexible. These trenches are helpful during the toe-off, a stage that encompasses the bending of the toe joints. A flexible underfoot platform translates to an energized and well-rounded step.

The deconstructed heel is a design element that involves the separation of the crash pad from the rest of the platform. Such a configuration isolates the impact forces to the initial contact point while also heightening flexibility.

The TruFuse technology is a full-length unit that offers cushioning and reactive steps. It is composed of a mixture of two proprietary components: ACTEVA and ABZORB. The firm-on-top-and-soft-at-the-bottom approach of this feature aims to deliver constant comfort throughout the run.

The medial side of the platform has a stability post. This wedged-in piece is tasked with correcting overpronation. It fundamentally acts as a foundation for the arch of the foot. Being supported permits the foot to neutralize pronation, thus stabilizing the gait and preventing unsavory injuries.

The T-BEAM technology is comprised of a thermoplastic unit in the midfoot section that serves as a supportive plinth. It props the tendons and muscles of the foot-pad, saving them from strain when taking each step.

A breathable, cloth-like mesh serves as the upper unit of the New Balance 860 v9. This form-fitting textile provides a wrap that is snug yet unrestrictive. It has open holes on the forefoot for airflow. The sides have a more closed construction to contribute to a secure fit.

Thin, printed overlays guard the instep and the throat of the upper. These add-ons place a bit more health to the structural integrity and sturdiness of the materials. They also help with foot security because they assist the fabrics and the lacing system in customizing the fit.

A traditional lacing system graces this stability shoe. Semi-flat laces snake through discreet eyelets, and they cover the majority of the bridge. Adjusting the tightness or looseness of the fit becomes effortless because of this feature.

A lace-anchor stabilizes the tongue unit of this product. It is basically another loop through which the laces go. The resulting device prevents tongue deviation, thus maintaining an irritant-free shoe-hug.

The tongue and collar are padded. These parts of the shoe are designed to cushion the ankles, the Achilles tendon, and the instep. They also prevent in-shoe quivering during the run while also staving off impact shock during each footfall.

An external counter is placed on the heel section. The purpose of this fused inclusion is to hold the back of the foot in place and prevent accidental shoe removals. The ‘860’ branding is emblazoned on it.

Asics Gel Kayano

The Gel Kayano series is one of the premier Asics stability running shoes designed for overpronators that are neophyte runners or aspiring athletes. But this line of footwear has also endured contests and speed training sessions. Its versatility is one of the hallmark aspects that allow this family to thrive over the years. Though most of the Kayano shoes look visually identical to each other, the changes lie in the midsole as increments of 3 or 4 versions change foam compositions or number of features. The stability mechanism that links these shoes together is the DuoMax™, a dual-density wedge that is placed in the medial side of the platform. The prominent members of this series include the Asics Gel Kayano 25, the Gel Kayano 24, and the Gel Kayano 23.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS

The Adrenaline GTS family of anti-pronation shoes is known for the lightweight builds of its products. The midsole units of these shoes feature a bevy of technologies that aim to maintain comfort give a customized in-shoe feel. DNA foam (and its variations) is a full-length unit that accommodates the natural curves of the underfoot, thereby ensuring support for the arch and other crevices. Prior Adrenalines like the Adrenaline GTS 17 and the Adrenaline GTS 18 utilize the DRB Accel thermoplastic piece and Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar® to correct pronation. The Adrenaline GTS 19 takes a step forward as it uses the GuideRails Holistic Support System which brings stability to the entire foot, not only the medial section.

Nike Air Zoom Structure

The Air Zoom Structure group of stability shoes has enjoyed being the go-to for many consumers. The long-running history of this series is proof that the market has gotten used to the existence of anti-pronation products from Nike. The affordable prices, the dual-density midsole configuration, the inclusion of Zoom Air cassettes in the forefoot section of the platform, and the highly appealing façades became the selling points. User feedback hasn’t been very consistent as the iterations rolled out, but the Structures are still considered to be approachable footwear to combat overpronation. The Nike Air Zoom Structure 22, Air Zoom Structure 21 and Air Zoom Structure 20 are examples of models that encompass the current-age renditions of this series.

Mizuno Wave Inspire

Mizuno’s most revered line of stability shoes, the Wave Inspire, has dutifully made its rounds as a reliable option for those who want to perform well on the roads. The brand’s signature Wave Technology (in this case, the double fan wave) is the element that neutralizes flat-arch structures. This thermoplastic wedge is also tasked with steadying the foot in the interior chamber and attenuating impact shock during the landing phase. It works together with the foam technologies of the platform to deliver a stable yet reactive ride. The well-known models in this series are the Mizuno Wave Inspire 13, the Wave Inspire 14, and the Wave Inspire 15.

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.