POTM: JULY 2016 – New Balance Numeric 868


The 868 caused quite a stir when we premiered it in Part 1 of our Agenda Sneak Peak for NB#. That alone is reason enough for naming it our Pick Of The Month for July ’16, although there’s plenty of other consideration at play here. Still, it’s not often that we see anywhere near as many opinions on a singular model as we did on the 868, and we appreciate a shoe that gets people talking.

While NB# has been relatively reserved in strutting their technical savvy, the 868 team model fully embraces and showcases New Balance’s experience in the field of making quality shoes. Pulling no punches, the 868 does not apologize for being the most technical model to date from New Balance (or any brand, for that matter). The internally reinforced toe features Ndure technology and ensures that this model will outlast any traditional upper. To add to that, a cushy dual-durometer EVA material can be found within the midsole and is accompanied by a PU insole. With these two technologies back-to-back, expect to limp back up the stairs a little less than usual.


Aesthetically, the 868 takes some risks and cues from those waiting for skate shoes to return to their technical past, including the resurgence of the runner toe that was so short-lived. If you find yourself curious enough to try these out, note that you’ll only be able to find them at your local skate shop this July. The initial offerings include black suede/gum or grey/black, and MSRP at $110. Like ceramic bearings, they’re a bit steep in price but worth every penny.


  1. #NoHashtags

    July 2, 2016 1:35am

    Don’t know, just doesn’t look like a skate shoe, pass…über pass.

  2. tomisrad

    July 2, 2016 6:33am

    First of all, I am into it. Looks like a solid fitting shoe, stable, comfortable, light and supportive. The colorway combinations though are horrid. The sparkly foam sole was never cool, and should have died in 2006 with the P-Rods. Yuck. Also the heelflip zone is mesh so Neen like skaters will be bummed. Stitch on a toe cap will ya, damn it is 2016 and I like a litting ripping here and there? Too many colors all over the shoe as well. Other than that, bravo numeric. Taking risks and I bet no matter what meterial or color this shoe skates better that you think. Pro court 212’s are still the best, shoe of the year!

  3. Screech

    July 2, 2016 12:41pm

    Had this idiot ever done a heelflip

  4. chillclinton87

    July 5, 2016 7:28pm

    Tomisrad- there is no stitching on the toe area, neither is the back part of the shoe made of mesh. it is a more durable material than mesh, i do not know what NB calls it though.

    colorway shown here sure is a bit wild but the black with gumsole colorway looks solid and the shoe doesn`t look bulky at all in clips/ photos!

  5. Dr.Graffenberg

    July 6, 2016 5:04pm

    Oh a # shoe with support and comfort? Many numerics are flat narrow and stiff. About time new balance! 👍

  6. Dr. Greek

    July 6, 2016 10:02pm

    Its grey and black with a slight touch of red/orange that your pants will cover anyways. How is this wild or “horrid”? You people need to get off the black/white vulc bullshit and expand your horizons. “Oh I can’t kick flip if my shoes aren’t all black when I look down” basically means you can’t kick flip. Penny skated in Timb’s for christsake,

  7. Actual Skateboarder Who Doesn't Chase Trends

    July 14, 2016 11:35pm

    It’s seriously fucked up that skateboarders are accepting this company and these sporty ass shoes into the community. If this shoe was shown on some hypebeast website it would make more sense and I would never in a million years think it was a skate shoe just by looking at it. Buy some Sole Tech shoes or Vans Pro Series, and if there’s not enough cushion remove the insole and put in a Footprint. If you start getting a hole in the shoe, put Shoe Goo on it. Stop supporting these sport companies and their ability to bring you the latest running shoe design gimmick. Smh…

    • skateboarder that doesn't give a fuck what other people choose to cover their body with

      July 16, 2016 6:06pm

      lol I don’t owe “core” skate companies shit, only internet fuckboys like you are still complain about this bullshit. how exactly are shoe companies ruining skateboarding? its funny to me how people like you complain about these big companies and then act like vans or sole tech are any different. you’re telling other people how to dress while trying to seem cool for not dressing like other people. do you not remember ten years ago when every skate shoe looked like this but twice as big? skateboarding is nothing more than the products you buy, if every “core” skate company went out of business would you just stop skating?

    • Mayor Grimble

      July 18, 2016 3:51pm

      I totally get the reservation that you, along with a lot of other people, have about outside companies getting into the skate shoe market. I’d recommend that you research NB# and find out how they operate within the market before you judge them fully. The Berrics did a really good profile on them recently that you could check out, or you could just simply ask your local shop how they like working with them. The thing that separates NB# from all of the other “sporty” shoes is that they are focused on helping core skate shops by not selling their shoes at NB stores or online. They were also one of the first big shoe companies to give credit to shops who weren’t able to sell their shoes, which is the exact opposite of what other shoe corporations do. I honestly think you’d have a hard time talking shit about NB#, at least from a “helping/hurting skateboarding” perspective, if you knew more about how they operated.

      As far as this the 868 shoe goes, I can see your point in not wanting to wear a sporty looking shoe. This colorway might be a bit of a stretch for most skateboarders with its prominent accents, but I have thought one thing about this shoe since the moment I saw it, and it might change how you view it: is this shoe really that different from the beloved Reynolds 1? Looking at the silhouette alone (especially on the black/gum colorway), it’s probably as bulky if not a little slimmer than the Reynolds, but the overall design of this shoe is very similar to a shoe that almost nobody talks shit on.

    • Natas

      August 6, 2016 6:49am

      I can tell you’re young looks like ever skate from the late 80’s up till the early 2000’s

  8. Blake

    July 18, 2016 5:32pm

    “skateboarding is nothing but the products you buy” ahahahahahaha yeah right… that right there exactly is the problem and the attitude of those fucked cooperate tools that ruin the industry. fuck you very much

  9. The Skateboarder That Put You In Your Place

    July 19, 2016 3:29am

    Boy… you love the taste of corpo cum. What’s the difference between Vans, Sole Tech, and sports companies? Let’s see…well the first two are actual SKATEBOARD COMPANIES and actually CARE about skateboarding. They’re not only in it for the money. How are sports companies ruining skateboarding? Talk to nearly every local skate shop near me that was fucked over by Nike and how shady their business practices are. Observe how skater owned shoe companies are struggling to stay afloat, which results in them not being able to offer the same quality and technology as a sport company shoe because they don’t have billions of dollars to do so.

    Also, I’m not telling other people how to dress. I’m just letting them know they look like jocks by putting these NB’s on their feet and skating in them. I’m sure plenty of hipster fags have added some cuffed chino’s to go along with them too haha.

    Your question, if core companies went out of business would I quit skating? What a stupid fuckin question. Let me ask you a question “fuckboy”, when the skate shops are all gone, and the only shoes that are available are sport company shoes at your local Zumiez, will you still buy them? If you answer yes, it’s clear you don’t give a fuck about skateboard culture or anything that has to do with keeping the roots of skateboarding alive. Just another spoiled brat that wants the hottest thing and the easiest way to get it. Please, go ride your penny board while playing Pokemon Go and get hit by a truck.

    • Natas

      August 6, 2016 6:53am

      What you said is true skaters never ever would of worn nikes it’s hard to believe but yea they have took over no doubt

  10. TOSH666

    July 19, 2016 9:39am

    I don’t know why but I kind of want to try them, just to get a taste of NB# and make my own opinion. Unfortunately they are not available in Europe yet I think. Any idea on when they’ll be available overseas?

  11. Boi

    July 26, 2016 3:44pm

    The new Tom Asta Es r tite

  12. Furiousmonad

    December 26, 2016 3:26pm

    Vans is not a very good example to use if you are making an anti-corpo argument considering that they are owned by the VF corporation, thus making it difficult to describe them as a core brand. This is not to say that they don’t support skateboarding, but then again so do other corporate brands to varying degrees.
    As Mayor Grimble said above, nowadays it is better to take a more nuanced view of a brand’s impact on skateboarding rather than saying Vans good, New Balance bad. I try to primarily support Lakai and Sole Tech, but as I get into my thirties I find myself considering models like the 868 because the cushioning technology could help me stave off injuries and keep skating. I would never support Nike based on their behavior toward the core shops and their strategy of total market dominance, but I will consider “corporate” brands if they’re supporting skateboarding and not merely trying to extract the maximum profit at all costs.


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