Shoe Review: New Balance 860v13
What do a Honda Civic and the New Balance 860 have in common? They’re both simple, dependable choices that offer the same consistent experience year after year, according to Fleet Feet reviewer Mandy.
Road runners seeking a smooth, supportive ride have flocked to the New Balance 860 for 13 generations, and it’s listed as one of the best stability running shoes in 2022. The latest version continues to offer reliable stability and moderate cushioning in a clean, simple package, now with an updated Fresh Foam X midsole.
Fleet Feet reviewers tested the New Balance 860 to get a feel for how it fits and performs. Here’s everything you need to know.
New Balance 860v13
8.6 oz (W), 10.9 oz (M)
Brooks Adrenaline, ASICS GT 2000
Fresh Foam X Midsole Adds Lively Energy to 860v13
The latest version of the New Balance 860 features a brand-new midsole made with New Balance’s Fresh Foam X material, a softer version of the original Fresh Foam used in the previous version. You may have experienced Fresh Foam X in the New Balance 1080v12 or the New Balance 880v12.
“The cushion in the 860v13 feels energetic and engaging underfoot,” Caroline says. “It’s got that familiar bounce and pep that I noticed in the 880.”
While the Fresh Foam X midsole adds a plusher feel than previous versions of the 860, the shoe also offers stability for runners who overpronate or have flexible arches thanks to a firm, dual-density medial post.
The stiffer foam sits on the medial (inside) part of the midsole. Because it’s stiffer, it compresses less under your weight and keeps the shoe from wearing out unevenly, so you get a stable ride through the entire life of the shoe.
What are stability shoes and how do they work? Learn more here.
Reviewers appreciated the subtle support and gentle guidance provided by the 860v13.
“I noticed that the medial posting feels smoother than previous versions of the 860,” Mandy says. “My right arch is a bit more flexible than my left, causing my right foot to start rolling in towards the later stages of my runs. The 860v13 provides the stability that I prefer without overcorrecting my stride.”
If you’re unsure whether you have flexible arches, be sure to head into your local Fleet Feet for an expert one-on-one outfitting. Fleet Feet outfitters use 3D fit id® foot scanning technology to gather information about your feet and the support they need by taking precise measurements of your foot length, width and arch height.
Overall, reviewers appreciated the seamless blend of firmness and liveliness found in the New Balance 860v13.
“The New Balance 860v13 has a nice, energetic quality to it,” Kate says. “The foam isn’t bouncy or squishy, but it feels lively, helping me get into a good rhythm on the run. Sometimes a shoe is too firm and it just feels like running on cardboard—not so with the 860. The feel is stable, comfortable, and super versatile for many types of runs.”
Structured Upper Adds Support
The New Balance 860v13 offers a firm yet breathable upper that wraps comfortably around your foot, holding you firmly in place.
Extra ventilation in the toe box ensures your feet stay cool and dry, while reflective accents around the midfoot and heel add visibility. The upper material is made with at least 50 percent recycled materials, part of New Balance’s green leaf standard to increase sustainability. An internal gusseted tongue ensures a secure fit.
“The engineered mesh upper feels smooth, soft and welcoming while keeping my feet anchored,” Nate says. “The tongue has just the right amount of padding for me. It’s layered without being overly thick or soft.”
A soft, TPU-clipped heel collar slightly flares away from your heel, decreasing blistering and chafing while providing an accommodating fit for different heel shapes. Long, textured laces combined with an extra eyelet make it easy to try different lacing techniques, like the marathon loop.
“These fit like the classic 860,” Caroline says. “The lightly structured upper holds me in but still gives me room to breathe and wiggle my toes around. The fabric feels soft against my feet while providing an extra bit of structure and support. The heel collar is slightly tapered out to avoid rubbing or chafing against the back of my heel. Overall, these fit well and feel true to size.”
New Balance 860v13 vs 860v12
If you enjoyed previous versions of the New Balance 860, you’ll likely appreciate this model, too. The biggest difference between the New Balance 860v13 and the v12 is the updated Fresh Foam X midsole, providing a softer and peppier ride.
“The 860v13 feels softer and more cushioned than last year’s model,” Caroline says. “While they are cushioned, they do feel moderately firm, but definitely on the more flexible side when it comes to stability shoes.”
“The Fresh Foam X midsole certainly adds some zing to this shoe,” Nate adds.
The shoe maintains the same 10 millimeter heel-to-toe drop as the previous version and shaves off about half an ounce of weight. A reshaped medial post feels less intrusive than previous models while still providing dependable stability.
What is the New Balance 860v13 Best For?
Runners seeking lightweight stability with a lively, smooth ride will enjoy the New Balance 860v13. Its moderate cushioning offers plenty of impact absorption and protection for your feet without feeling bulky or cumbersome.
“The New Balance 860v13 is a shoe that I can grab whether I’m going for a training run, a speed workout, a walk or a long day of errands, and it will perform well for any of the above,” Kate says. “If you’re looking for a firm, stable trainer that will hold up well for the long haul, the 860 is an excellent choice.”