This model may still be available on clearance. But we've reviewed a newer version since we published this.
The 851 was a classic, but the first update – the 852 was relatively disappointing. The deterioration was due mainly to a heavy, sloppy-fitting upper, and New Balance loyalists abandoned the shoes in droves for the 762.
The 853 was partly a return to form, and the 854 goes further. It’s essentially a return to basics. It uses the same upper pattern – snug fit and simple understated cosmetics – of the 851, and keeps the combination-last which many orthotic-wearers prefer. The two-density midsole with the graphite rollbar for stability is the same as the 853’s and so is the outsole. Wear testers loved the
heel-to-toe transition of the 854 and felt it was responsive and flexible. The only significant addition to the 854 midsole/outsole package is a stability web that reinforces midfoot support.
If you were a big fan of New Balance’s 851, you’ll be delighted to know that the 854 is the shoe for you. If you’ve never run in either, you’ll find that the 854 is a responsive and protective, yet relatively lightly cushioned, day-in day-out workhorse. On the down side: it’s rather heavy.
Try it on if you liked
New Balance 851/853; Asics Gel-1050 (£60); Nike Air Span Triax (£60)