Our verdict

New Balance’s stability running shoe, Fresh Foam 860 v11, provides amazing support, which I believe is superb for overpronators. I realized that although this shoe has some catches, it’s the perfect choice to help me sustain running longer miles.


  • Excellent stability shoe
  • Good lacing
  • Looks the part
  • Comfortable
  • Consistent ride in any condition
  • Good grip
  • Perfect daily runner


  • Runs half a size small
  • Heel counter not for everyone
  • Quite heavy

Audience verdict


New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v11 review and lab test

The 860 v11 is a strong, supportive stability shoe that offers a lot of underfoot cushioning and plenty of correction for overpronators.

New Balance 860 Fresh Foam V11 tear down

If you’re someone who needs a reliable shoe to help your form, this is an amazing option. 

Who the shoe is for

The New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v11 is for the road runner that needs extra stability to help fix problems of overpronation. A great daily trainer, this shoe has a plushy midsole to help rack up lots of miles over training weeks comfortably. 

NB Fresh Foam 860 v11 on feet lacing

Who the New Balance Fresh Foam 860 is not for

It’s probably best to avoid the 860 if:

A fresh heel design

If it wasn’t obvious, the 860 v11 is the 11th iteration of the New Balance 860, and aside from the Fresh Foam midsole, the other glaring difference is the flared, sculpted heel counter. 

New Balance 860 Fresh Foam V11 heel counter

The 860s heel is hit or miss. For many, the significant cup in the heel offers a huge surface area to keep the heel in place. 

For many others, myself included, the shape of that cup doesn’t match up with the shape of my heel, meaning the lockdown is worse than a traditional heel counter.

New Balance 860 Fresh Foam V11 heel cup lockdown

Unless you’ve tried these on, or a similar shoe design like the 1080 v11, it would be impossible to know whether you’re going to struggle or not in these. 

Go half a size up for the New Balance 860 v11

Through experience, I almost always order a half size up in any New Balance running shoe from my regular size US 10. The 860s were no different. 

New Balance 860 Fresh Foam V11 toe box width

Moreover, they’re a tiny bit narrow, which might be down to the elastic knit upper, which I otherwise quite like. 

A great looking upper

As I said, the upper is a nice, eye-catching design on the New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v11. With a sock-like design to the forefoot and a synthetic material covering the moulded heel. 

New Balance 860 Fresh Foam V11 upper detail

I particularly like the continuation of the midsole design up into the heel counter. 

New Balance 860 Fresh Foam V11 rear view

The New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v11 stay classic in the lacing

One thing I really appreciate about this stability shoe is the fact that New Balance hasn’t changed anything that they didn’t feel they needed to. 

New Balance 860 Fresh Foam V11 lacing

Although it looks like a new design, and there’s upgraded foam in the midsole, the 860 has kept the same classic lacing system. No speed lacing, just good quality laces long enough to fit through the extra eyelet in the upper. 

Fresh foam isn’t too noticeable

Between the 860 v10 and the 860 v11, New Balance seemed really excited about their new Fresh foam midsole. So excited that they put it in the title. 

New Balance 860 Fresh Foam V11 stack height heel

There’s a fair amount of foam in the shoe as well, with a stack height of 21.8mm in the forefoot and 34.2mm in the heel, there’s a lot of foam between your foot and the road. 

New Balance 860 Fresh Foam V11 stack height forefoot

I’m pretty sure some people are not going to like how it feels though. Even though there’s a lot of padding, it feels a bit hard, and not as plush as many would like. 

The midsole has a durometer of 41.8 HA, which is quite hard. For me, this feels a bit more like Nike’s React foam than the Adidas Ultraboost, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. 

New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v11 running

While not the plushiest shoe out there, the New Balance Fresh Foam offers an ultra-consistent ride day in day out. What’s more is that the durometer only saw a 12% increase after sitting in the lab freezer, meaning this shoe doesn’t change much in ground feel whatever the condition. 

Noticeable stabilising in the Fresh Foam 860 v11

As with the lacing, New Balance has taken an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach to their stability. There’s a medial post in the midsole, which helps push the inner side of your foot back out when it collapses in. 

There’s also a dual-density foam fused the upper which works a bit like the bumper system in Brooks stability shoes to help guide your foot straight. 

New Balance 860 Fresh Foam V11 medial postThis is a pretty classic way of fixing overpronation, but it does work. This is probably one of the most controlling shoes that I’ve run in because of that large inner post system. 

The 860 v11 grips anything

There’s a chunky amount of rubber on the outsole of the New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v11, which is great for pretty much any surface I ran on. 

New Balance 860 Fresh Foam V11 outsole grip

Alongside the consistent feel, this outsole really staples the shoe as an all-day any-day trainer.

Definitely not a racing shoe

New Balance 860 Fresh Foam V11 weight

Thanks to all that dense foam, the medial post, and the anti-minimalist heel counter, the New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v11 doesn’t come in a lightweight package at 11.2oz (317g) there’s no escaping the weight of this shoe. 

Thankfully it usually doesn't need to outpace anyone, the 860 v11 is great at helping build a consistent running routine by protecting joints. I felt that I could run all day in these without having to stick my feet, ankles, and knees in an ice bath for weeks after, and that’s something special. 


The New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v11 tries to break out from the silhouettes of 860s past, and it sure does. While that might not be right for every runner, when the shoe fits it’s a dream to run in. 

With tried and tested pronation correction from a useful medial post and dual-density midsole, the 860 is a brilliant choice to help with your running technique.