Shoe Review: New Balance 860v11
By Chris Hughes, Director of Retail Operations at Track Shack
For years the New Balance 860 has been a staple of the moderate stability running shoe category and that looks to continue with their latest and greatest update the 860v11! Moderate stability means structure in the arch for light to medium levels of over-pronators so if you fall into that category, this is a great option for you.
While there are a few noticeable changes in this newest 860, it still maintains the important structural qualities that has made it a New Balance stronghold for past decade plus. So for this review let’s start with what has stayed the same and move on to the new.
• Upper: the upper of the 860v11 is made with New Balance’s engineered mesh as was the version 10; this mesh is light, breathable and elastic, giving you a seamless formfitting upper that will stay cooler than most in the Florida heat.
• Offset: the heel to toe offset or drop (how raised the heel of the shoe is relative to the forefoot) of the 860v11 is at 10mm, this is the same as previous years so if you’re used to this shoe you should not notice a change there.
• Structure: the 860v11, like its predecessor’s is reinforced or “posted” through the arch and heel on the medial (inside) side of the shoe with denser foam than the rest of the shoe, this is to prevent over-pronation. So, like the heel offset if you’re used to the support structure of the 860v10 or earlier the 11 should still hit the right spot!
I always say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and New Balance seemed to take that approach on this update, the 860v10 was an awesome shoe and they have not strayed much from its design but there are two changes different enough to point out.
• Heel: on this newest 860, New Balance has incorporated their “ultra heel” which is slowly being added to all of their shoes. While its looks a bit unique (the heel collar scoops out at the top), this design allows for easier entry into the shoe for your heel as well as better heel security while you’re on the run!
• Fresh Foam: New Balance is also starting to incorporate their Fresh Foam midsole material in all new updates, the 860v11 being the most recent recipient of this upgrade. Fresh Foam is a bit lighter, softer and more durable than the EVA foam of old.
So to summarize, the 860v11 will have the support, fit and heel offset that repeat 860 customers are used to but with a slightly lighter and softer ride plus a more secure, easier to get in and out of heel!
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