New Balance has put together yet another quality shoe with the 860v5. Strongly situated in the stability category, it’s geared toward runners needing stability, support and cushioning. The 860v5 offers firmer foam on the inner edge making it perfect for mild pronators with solid arch support using their TPU shank technology.
As is typical with stability shoes, the 860v5 isn’t a fast shoe, but under toe, you’ll find stiff, but springy foam that adds a little bounce as you toe off. The 860v5 weighs in at a relatively light (for a stability shoe) 10.9oz with a 12mm heel drop, same as the 860v4.
New for 2015 the 860v5 offers improved cushioning and style over the 860v4. New Balance used a soft air mesh and no sew upper that has a bit of stretch. Interestingly, you’ll also find the shoes laces have a bit of stretch, helping you to get that perfect hugging feeling. The toe box has plenty of room for wide footed runners and breaths quite nicely. Kudos to the design team, the shoe is eye catching and looks great.
The New Balance 860v5 is price well for a stability shoe, retailing at $115.
Overall Comfort: 8
New Balance did a great job designing a comfortable stability shoe. The 860v5 has plenty of support, the right amount of firmness where you need it, and a soft good fitting upper. You’ll be happy to put on for every run. While the tongue and heel cup are over padded, they seem to provide enough to maintain a high level of comfort.
The shoe feels true to size and fits well. The heel cup held my heel in place and the upper felt snug against my feet.
Given that this is a stability shoe, it is not a fast shoe (purposely built that way). New Balance has added features to increase its fast feel, such as the foam under the toe to help with toe off and a relatively low weight (10.9oz); however, it’s not a pair you want to reach for to take on fast track workouts or intervals.
Energy Efficiency: 6
I found running in these shoes to be fairly energy efficient. It seemed with each step the shoe transferred my energy to the ground nicely and nothing was lost in the cushioning. I believe this is partly due to the content of the foam underfoot.
Keeping in mind that this is a stability shoe and this rating is for shoes in the stability class, the 860v5 is on the lighter side. I was surprised at how light it felt compared to other shoes in it the stability category. If I were to rate this across all shoe categories it would be a 3.
Best for: Midfoot strikers, Heel strikers, Long runs, Serious & Mild pronators, Heavier runners and Wide feet.
Bad for: Speed runs
How I Tested It: A series of runs ranging from 4 to 8 miles at varying speeds. Terrain includes gravel, paved and gras