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New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v13: A Lot of Big Changes
By Chief Editor Matthew Klein

The concept of how stability is executed in footwear has evolved greatly over these past few years. Many major companies have taken to dramatically updating their stability models, many of whom were lagging behind in development. The 860v13 is one of the models that has seen a drastic update. The sole, upper, and stability method are updated completely. Like many of their other performance shoes, New Balance is showcasing some forward-thinking on stability with the changes to the 860v13. They have successfully integrated both older and newer methods into this shoe, creating a balanced ride that provides both guidance and stability.

Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 10.9 oz, 309 g (men's size 9), 8.6 oz, 243 g (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 27mm / 17 mm (not including insole?)
Drop: 10 mm
Classification: Moderate Stability Daily Trainer


The New Balance Fresh Foam 860v13 is a moderate stability daily trainer for those who want a wider fitting, rockered, sturdy shoe for easy miles. A softer Fresh Foam X midsole sits underfoot, providing balanced cushioning from heel to toe. Well-designed sidewalls and an integrated medial post provide integrated and non-obtrusive stability. A wider fitting, but secure upper sits up top, providing room for those who either want a wider fit or have wider feet. The 860v13 maintains a similar weight that keeps it mostly for easy mileage, but the updated midsole and stability improve comfort in the long run. 

SIMILAR SHOES: ASICS Gel-Kayano 29, Brooks Glycerin GTS 20


The New Balance Fresh Foam 860v13 fits me true to size in my normal men's US size 10. The width is definitely on the wider side in the forefoot and midfoot. The rearfoot fits more normal, although it does have room that is offset by the solid security. Despite the wider fit, I have not had any heel slippage and did not have to lace lock the shoe. This is thanks to a stiff, tall and forward-reaching heel counter that integrates well with the tall sidewalls. There is only a little heel collar cushioning, so those with heel sensitivities to rigid heel counters should approach this shoe with a large amount of caution. Those who want stiff heel counters will enjoy the design of the counter in the 860v13.

While I did not have heel slippage, I did have some sliding side to side while turning. The fit is wider in the midfoot and forefoot, which required me to tighten down the laces. This did help the security but those interested should be aware that this shoe does fit wider up front. The tongue is gusseted in the midfoot and with its medium thickness, stays secure. The forefoot has extra volume and width that allows for toe splay. It does feature a stiff toe guard that caused some chaffing on my 1st toe. This was minor and has gone away but is one of the major reasons I recommend wearing socks with this shoe.

As a whole, the fit is secure in the heel with a wider midfoot and forefoot. The upper is a lighter mesh but has plenty of reinforcement from the heel counter, logo and toe guard. 


The New Balance Fresh Foam 860v13 is a daily training shoe meant for easy miles. The updated cushioning is moderate, providing a balance between firm and soft. There is a 10mm drop in this shoe, which is offset by a large and well-placed posterior-lateral heel bevel which provides great heel landings and transitions. The full ground contact and greater width through the center makes for smooth transitions through the midfoot. There is a moderate amount of flexibility in the forefoot. This is combined with a moderate amount of toe-spring/forefoot rocker, makes for a solid transition off the front. The transitions are not fast; the moderate cushioning, rockered ride and higher weight make this shoe better for easier and longer efforts. The shoe has gained size, which does get in the way of any faster runner. This again makes it best for slower runs and an excellent choice for walking.

The outsole has been fairly durable after 35 miles of road running. I am seeing a normal amount of wear at my usual spot (posterior-lateral heel) so expect an average number of miles for a daily trainer from the 860v13. The traction on wet ground is average for a road running shoe and while it can handle mild trails, I would not use this shoe for technical terrain. Overall, the 860v13 is a moderately cushioned, rockered shoe for those who are looking to walk or run in a comfortable easy day shoe.


The New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v13 is a moderate stability daily training shoe. Version 13 maintains the medial post, but elongates and smooths it out. The medial post integrates with large sidewalls that peak in the rearfoot and travel into the midfoot. The post is noticeable but not intrusive. The sidewalls combined with the stiff heel counter do a great job of providing centered guidance from heel strike through the midfoot. There is also a decent amount of medial and lateral sole flare at the heel, which is offset by the well placed posterior-lateral heel bevel. The sole is full ground contact and the midfoot stays fairly wide. The forefoot also features decent sole flare and combined with the wider shape provides more natural guidance.

The New Balance 860v13 provides a moderate to high level of guidance/stability in the rearfoot and midfoot. It will work best for those who want multiple methods of stability rather than one that integrate together to facilitate a smooth forward progression.

Thoughts as a DPT: Center of Gravity
By Chief Editor Matt Klein
The 860v13 does a great job of integrating both new age and older stability methods together. The medial post is lower and longer, providing less of an intrusive push into the foot and more gentle pressure. The sidewalls are the best part, coming up high and providing a high level of unbiased guidance. Integrating these together can be challenging and reminds me of balance in the human body.

Regardless of age, balance refers to the ability of an individual to maintain their center of gravity within their base of support. The center of gravity is the point of the human body where the majority of mass is concentrated. A base of support is the outermost area of a body that is in contact with a surface (usually the ground). In the human body, balance is a balance. People that have limbs that are kept too rigid often cannot adjust to changes in their base of support, often resulting in a loss of balance. People that have limbs that are too flexible and do not have enough rigidity are often difficult to control and easily fall outside the base of support. Due to the difficulty controlling the excessive motion, a loss of balance may occur, although for the opposite reason for those who are too stiff. Footwear stability is similar in this regard. For those that need more rigidity for flexibility beyond what they can control, there is an optimal amount. Too rigid of a shoe is often uncomfortable and prevents motion so much things may compensate above the foot. Too flexible of a shoe provides too much motion for those who already have difficulty controlling, causing issues or tissue strain.

A great way to balance this is to use multiple strategies for stability or balance. In individuals with balance issues, a single balance strategy is often use, which limits their ability to adapt. Having multiple balance strategies, such as using compensatory motion at the ankle, knees, hips and trunks integrated together, is optimal for adjusting to whatever situation or force might adjust their center of mass and base of support. Footwear is similar and the 860v13 is a great example of this. Instead of only relying on an extremely rigid medial post, the medial post is longer and less obtrusive than previous. It provides a little less pressure while allowing the high sidewalls, wider sole and solid rocker to work together. These different components form different methods of stability and guidance, yet when integrated together at moderate levels work extremely well without overdoing any one of them. It is for that reason that the 860v13 is a balanced moderate stability shoe.


Avers, D., & Wong, R. (2019). 
Guccione's Geriatric Physical Therapy. Elsevier Health Sciences.

O'Sullivan, S. B., Schmitz, T. J., & Fulk, G. (2019). 
Physical Rehabilitation. FA Davis.


The updates to the New Balance Fresh Foam 860v13 have all been positive.  My only recommendation is to consider dropping the weight a little more. 10.9 oz (men's size 9) is now on the heavier side for most shoes. The majority of stability shoes in this category are now dropping into the mid to low 10 oz range. The Vongo v5 (v6 is coming soon), which is supposed to be a higher stability shoe than the 860, is over an ounce lighter. My challenge for New Balance is to maintain the fantastic improvements while decreasing weight and not sacrificing any of the gains they have made. 


The New Balance Fresh Foam 860v13 is for those who want a moderate stability daily training shoe with a wider fit. The ride is moderately cushioned, sitting nicely between firm and soft. The fit is on the wider side, making it best for those who want a wider fit or have wider feet. The weight is on the heavier side, making it best for slower/easy miles. The balance between traditional and new-age stability makes for a great system that feels comfortable. A sturdy, stable and well-rockered shoe, the 860v13 is not only a solid easy day running shoe, but also an excellent walking shoe.


Fit: B+ (Wider fit with stiff heel counter overlay security. Some sliding in the midfoot/forefoot that requires additional lockdown, but will fit great for those with wider feet. Toe guard is a little thick though and caused some chaffing)
Performance: B/B+ 
(Moderate cushioning with rockered ride. Heavy and best for easy miles, but smooth rocker makes weight more manageable at slower paces)
Stability: A (Excellent multi-source stability from smooth medial post, high sidewalls, wider platform, wider midfoot and well rockered sole. )
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Excellent integration of multiple stability methods while making the shoe softer and smoother. Everything is balanced well, although weight is still on the high side. Will work well for runners and walkers)
Personal: B (Comfortable except for the higher weight. This makes me reach for them more as a walking shoe than a running shoe, although it can do both well. I see this shoe doing extremely well for a variety of paces and will be one I consider clinically. Just not for me since I prefer lighter and faster.)
Overall: B+


Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your
local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at New Balance USA for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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