Size and fit

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

New Balance 850 Style

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.

Notable Features

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.

New Balance 850 History

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 of 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 shoe 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.

Nice to know

  • 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


The current trend of New Balance 850.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.