New Balance 860V5 General Info:
This is the fifth edition of New Balance’s 860 series of shoes. New Balance looks to cater to runners looking for moderate support with this line. It is the successor to the 860V4 and there is a generous amount of new features in this model.
When I got them in the mail and anxiously opened the packaging to see what I had in store for me, they looked great. The style is one that stands out, but still keeps some modesty intact.
Before I actually laced them up, the shoes looked and felt on the heavy side. There was about a half an ounce cut out from the last model, but it still comes in at over 10 ounces. While I like a shoe that gives me ample support, I also like having as much movement as possible. My fears immediately went away once I put the shoes on and gave them a whirl.
New Balance 860V5 Sole Unit:
This is where the most updates were made to the shoe. There is a combination of soft and hard foam providing stability but also guiding your feet forward.
New to this model, The heel unit of the shoe is asymmetrical, curving the rear part up. This helped prevent heel striking.In the middle, is a hard piece of plastic called “TBeam” giving extra support to my arches.
This was comforting to me as someone who has dealt with plantar fasciitis. Lastly, the design of the outsole helps guide my foot in the right way.
All of the tech present in the sole unit works together to give me an even ride on the pavement.
New Balance 860V5 Upper:
New Balance uses a different type of mesh that you don’t see in other running shoe brands called “soft air mesh”. It is a solid material, thus eliminating any potential issues with tearing. It is breathable, but takes a bit to get used to on your feet.
There is extra support in the mid foot, dividing the lacing unit in two. It offers extra support so the arch is nice and snug.
The fit is rather large in some areas. The toe box gives me plenty of room and it is a pretty wide shoe. Other parts help work with this however giving a firm fit. The heel and lacing system locks your foot in.
One touch I especially liked was the laces. They stretched! This helped with the overall snugness and fit.
New Balance 860V5 Conclusions:
Overall, the shoe is a great ride. It is comparable to a heavier Brooks Ravenna or ASICS’ GT-2000 line. It can definitely go fast, but I would reserve this as a shoe to build up volume and do longer runs on.
I am a little concerned about the wear of the upper part of the shoe. However, so far this appears to be just cosmetic and it did not affect my performance during testing. If you are not a fan of shoes on the heavy side you should still give these a chance.
We thank the nice people at New Balance for sending us a pair of 860V5 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.