New Balance 860 v6 – 50 Mile Review and more
The New Balance 860 v6 EE’s is yet another older running shoe, but I got them for a specific purpose and didn’t want to spend a fortune on them – in case things didn’t work out. I bought them at the New Balance Factory Outlet in Skowhegan, ME.
One of the many definitions of insanity, is continuing to do the same thing over and over, without changing anything and then wonder why nothing changes.
I have gone through over 70 pair of running shoes since 2012 and during that time only 1 pair made it over 400 miles.
Something had to change.
A few weeks ago I had an epiphany about all the problems I have had with my right foot in running shoes, well all shoes. I thought that I might have finally figured out why how so many different brands, styles and models just have not worked for me.
I have Hobbit feet.
You know short, but wide feet and probably fairly high arches. From what I gather most shoes get wider as the shoe size gets larger, which is why sizing up gives you a wider shoe. I know there is more to properly fitting shoes than that, but for me it is knowledge that made me stop and go mmmmm.
Although to be honest, I have been fitted, measured, poked and prodded by professional running shoe salespeople many times. They usually come up with a 7.5 or 8.0 for a size, but I have not been able run comfortably in that size shoe no matter which brand they recommended.
Unfortunately, I don’t remember anyone ever recommending that I go to a “wide” shoe and instead it was always recommended that I needed to go up to a “larger” size running shoe and a stability trainer, to get the width reasonable or at least to the point where I could run in them mostly distraction/pain-free.
Getting back to the 860’s.
So after trying on several EE models at the NB Outlet store in Skowhegan, I ended up with the 860’s in a EE width. I got them as an experiment to see if a “wide”shoe worked any better that a regular “D-width” that I have attempted to wear for so many years. I didn’t plan on getting a Stability shoe, but they were the most comfortable that the NB Outlet had that day.
How has my experiment with wearing a pair of 860 size 8.0 EE’s gone?
The New Balance 860 v6’s in EE are a traditional stability road shoe that have done everything I have asked of them in runs in cold, wet, 7.0 miles on the treadmill, an 8.0 run in nasty conditions outside. My right foot hasn’t been affected by the shoes while running in them.
Frankly, I was hesitant to get another pair of New Balance shoes, I have not had any luck running in them for the last 10-15 years. No NB shoe had made it to 50 miles in that time period, so the 860 v6 have been the positive experience I have been looking in New Balance shoes.
Overall, I like the way that I am running in them so far.
What do I like?
The 860 v6’s are comfortable.
I got a pair of size 8.0 EE and probably could have gone to a 7.5 EE without any problems – if they had been in stock. Which is a lot different from the size 8.5 to 10’s that I have regularly worn over the years to fit my feet in the toe box.
No issues with my tailor’s bunionette. I think that the side of my fourth toe doesn’t know what to do, now that the little toe is not pressing against it almost every time I put my foot in shoes after probably 40 years of doing so. Who knows maybe that permanent groove in the side of the fourth toe will go away eventually.
The 860’s have a nice heel-to-toe transition and the stability features do not get in the way of how I run. There was always that “extra shoe” beyond my toes that added another stage to take-off. In the 860’s my pace seems to be faster, without as much effort, despite them being an ounce or two heavier than the trainers I have been wearing.
For a stability running shoe with a LOT of outsole material I run pretty quietly in them and they do not slap the ground.
They should be very durable – there is hardly any wear on the outsole so far, although I have noticed that what wear there is, is on the midfoot.
What don’t I like?
They are 11.0 ounce running shoes, I think that the Disney design and vinyl overlays added a bit to the weight, since the stock 860 in a size 9 are listed at 10.2 ounces or so. I prefer my daily trainers to be in the 10 ounce or less range.
It seems that just far too many shoes nowadays have rock/pebble collector outsoles and the 860 v6 is no exception. I even got a small rock lodged in the plastic insert on my 8.0 mile run and that about drove me batty the last couple of miles – it was wedged in so hard that I had to take a key to get it out.
The 860’s v6 are not so good on slushy snowbanks, snow, mud, soft side of the road shoulders or when walking on snowmobile trails. Harold you gotta remember it is a road shoe, not an all-terrain one.
The tongue does tend to slide down a bit, which can cause the top of the foot to feel the laces if you use heel lock.
It seems like a common complaint with New Balance shoes, the laces are way too damn long. I will probably change them out pretty soon.
Really not a lot of complaints about the 860 v6 EE’s from me, more like minor annoyances.
I have been very pleased with the results so far of this experiment to see whether EE width running shoes would make much of a difference.
In my opinion they have.
So far my experience is that I have been able to wear the proper length running shoes, without sizing-up to get the correct width fit. Although I think I could easily size-down to the 7.5 EE and be quite comfortable. That extra 1/8 to 1/4″ (depending on who you believe) of width seems to be a big deal in a good way to my right foot and the extra width of the EE shoes haven’t bothered the left foot at all.
I really am not a heavy stability running shoe kind of guy, but the 860’s have not gotten in the way of how I run and have done everything I want from my daily trainers.
Often 50 mile reviews are fool’s gold, but I sense something different this time, because it ain’t the 860 v6 EE that I am really loving. It is more the width of the shoes that are letting me run distraction and pain-free with my right foot and the length being closer to my true size that is what is making the difference. The 860’s are just the shoe I found in EE
I wonder how many runners would do better in a “wider” shoe than always sizing up? I know that finding EE’s are not always that easy and what you can get is pretty limited, but I wonder if the fit and feel would be better in the long run?
I have a feeling that I will be finding out.
Overall, the New Balance 860 v6 EE is a nice utilitarian running shoe that I am able to run pretty decently in.
The 860 v6 is not a fast shoe, the most innovative, best looking, most hyped or all those other things that some other shoes have going for them. However, I can see me spending a lot of time over the next few months using them for recovery and long runs, along with wearing them to work.
I just can’t change my running and work shoe rotation to all EE overnight, so the 860’s will be doing double duty for a while, which will shorten their life as running shoes.
Although I was impressed enough that I already picked up a pair of the 860 v5 in EE and have been just as impressed with that shoe as I am with the v6 and yes it is lighter at 9.8 ounces.
Sometimes you don’t know how much something is bothering you, until it is not anymore.