New Balance 850 Hiking Shoes

Foot Joy

May 19, 2008
Outside Magazine
New Balance 850 Hiking Shoes

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1. The 850 simply fit and felt better than all the rest. Its deep heel pocket and snug waist created a tailored fit, and the toe box never felt confining. A web of dual-density plastic sandwiched in the midsole supports the arch and keeps the shoe from buckling yet still allows the forefoot section to bend easily. Or, as one tester put it, "It's perfectly balanced."

2. Portions of the 850's outsole are carved away to lighten the shoe, and the crescent-shaped tongue doesn't bite into ankles. Down low, the sole is upturned at the heel and forefoot, allowing for smooth landings and swift takeoffs. Weighing just 14 ounces, it's ideal for hiking with lighter loads, although we felt no aches or pains during modest runs.

3. Nubuck leather and synthetic armoring shrugged off run-ins with rocks and roots. A coated plate of foam between the outsole and midsole prevents punctures without adding weight, and the outsole's siped lugs are as durable as they are grippy. And thanks to airy mesh panels that extend all the way to the toe, our feet didn't suffer in warm weather.

14 oz; $85

Filed To: Hiking Shoes

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