Verdict from +100 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • A handful of wearers express their satisfaction with the style and comfort that the New Balance 850 provides.
  • Many shoe hunters describe that this retro release closely resembles the OG.
  • Several collectors love copping this kick simply for the history and interesting features it possesses.
  • Not only is the 850 nice-looking, but it also provides ample support, shares a couple of wearers.
  • Some sneaker aficionados share the likeness of this low-top to the Adidas FYW S-97.
  • Numerous buyers find this classic-looking shoe at an affordable price point.
  • The colorway selection looks cool on the 850, notes many reviews.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A couple of reviewers point out that the mesh material easily crinkles up on the toe box.
  • On some hues, a few users find it too colorful or too fruity color.

Bottom line

This re-release of the New Balance 850 features a timeless silhouette that fits the shoe fanatics of today. Not only is it aesthetically beautiful, but the proprietary ABZORB midsole also ensures stability and support through shock-absorption and energy displacement that guarantee maximum comfort.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

Much like New Balance’s running-inspired shoes, the 850 is available in men’s and women’s sizing. For a quicker and easier putting on and off, the NB850 features a speed lace webbing closure through the rope laces.

Whether one is more adventurous to fashion or just out looking for a shoe that can keep up with the daily hustle of life, NB 850 delivers.

To match the timelessness of this historical model, one can wear classic skinny or straight cut blue denim jeans, a basic round-neck white tee, and a pair of either the white/classic blue or multi-colored green/pink/yellow NB850 on feet for that pop of color.

One very glaring feature in the 850 is the absence of the typical “N” logo on the sidewalls which New Balance is known for. Instead, the “NB” is embroidered on the tongue and heel. 

An off-white Rollbar® TPU is visible on the medial side to provide medial support stability. The Rollbar® aids in preventing the foot roll inward.

While not seen, the NB850 also boasts of heel and forefoot comfort and cushioning through its shock-absorbing, energy-returning Abzorb midsole. This cushioning system allows one’s feet to be protected from the rigors of impact.

After years of successfully penetrating the running enthusiasts, New Balance decided to take on another challenge of reaching out to the younger market. 

To achieve this strategic move, the Boston-based manufacturer turned to the youngest member in the creative team, Stephanie Howard. 

Noting all the necessary performance criteria of a runner, Howard came up with a bold move in departing from the typical New Balance model.

Nineteen nighty-six saw the release of the 850 to the shock of many. Gone was the iconic leather “N” logo on the sidewalls and replaced with a flying “N” embroidered on the heel and tongue. With a bigger canvas to work on, Howard was able to push the envelope with the upper materials and orchestrated-chaotic design.

With its completely new look, the New Balance 850, which is a successor of the NB750 was an instant success and catapulted Howard to become the lead designer of the company.

In June 2019, New Balance re-released NB850 in the OG colorway. Aesthetically, it fits in the dad-chunky category. The retro issue features a slimmer midsole and a running “NB” logo embroidered on the heel and etched on the tongue. 

Since the re-issue, different colorways for both men and women have been released. It even saw collaborations with artists, athletes, among others.

  • It has a padded tongue and collar for added support and cushioning.
  • Tongue branding is etched on rubber.
  • The heel and forefoot feature reflective details.
  • NB 850 has collaboration models with No Vacancy Inn, Ronnie Fieg, Ron English, Kawhi Leonard


How New Balance 850 ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 25% sneakers
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Bottom 34% New Balance sneakers
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Bottom 24% low sneakers
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The current trend of New Balance 850.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny McLoughlin is a researcher for RunRepeat covering football, sneakers and running. After graduating with a degree in computer science from The University of Strathclyde, Danny makes sure never to miss a game of his beloved Glasgow Rangers or the Scotland national football team. He has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.