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Please include any relevant information such as skill level and style of play.
Comments: I have used the 851 since August of this year. It's the best and lightest tennis shoe I've yet owned. The
wide toe box fits my feet perfectly. I am lighter on my feet than with any shoe I've yet tried. I've used them exclusively on clay, so
I can't address its durability on hard courts.
From: Tim, 12/12
Comments: Usually the durability guarantee for NB shoes are legitimate, but my pair was a dud. I wore a hole into
the bottom of my shoe just three months after wearing them. So, I can't recommend this model for durability.
From: Dave, 11/12
Comments: These shoes are great, but I wore through them in 3 months, thank goodness for the guarantee.
From: Chris, 10/12
Comments: I'm exclusively a clay courter and these shoes are almost incredible. I say "almost" because I have a very
wide foot and the max width on these is 2E. I need a 4E. But I love the shoe so much that I order it, put it in shoe trees for a week
to force widening, and then put them to work. I play five or six times a week, on average two hours a session, all on clay, and they
last about 6 to 7 months before the plastic slit on the left side of my right shoe begins to split. Otherwise, there is no discernible
wear on the heel, toe or anywhere else. I might add that I threw them in the washing machine a few days ago with a little liquid
bleach and they came out looking as if they just came out of the box. And, no, the bleach had nothing to do with the splitting on
the side. It's my feet! I'm resigned to buying a new pair every 6 or 7 months and I will continue to. However, if you execs at NB are
tuning in here, please start making this shoe in a 4E. Merci beaucoup.
From: Charlie, 10/12
Comments: These shoes are very light and fast, but the durability is not good. I play about 10-15 hours per week
on hard courts and it took me about 3 weeks to wear through the sole into the black foamy portion in the toe section. They're still
wearable but won't be for long, and would certainly qualify for a warranty replacement in their current state. Having said all that,
you can't beat the price, and they do have a 1 year warranty. They look nice, and they feel nimble. I bought two pair because the
total cost was still comparable to one pair of many of the warranty shoes from other manufacturers.
From: Justin, 10/12
Comments: Very light, but my pair feels narrower (I ordered a size D) than they should.
From: Dave, 10/12
Comments: I just ordered them and got the shoes in two days. Thanks to TW for their prompt shipping. These
shoes are light as many mentioned. They are also tight compared to my other NB shoes for some reason. I just played a few
times in them and already noticed some sign of wearing out. I hope they last. Overall, they've been good. Especially with the new
sale price from TW, you can't beat it.
From: Anon, 9/12
Comments: These are excellent mid-width shoes. They are much lighter than the Court Ballistics and there's more
room in the footbed. There's less ankle support so you need to adjust your approach which takes a few minutes. They are much
more comfortable due to extra range of motion in the ankle for me. The wear doesn't appear to be much worse than the Court
Ballistics but I'm not particularly hard on soles or a big toe dragger. I love these for light practice and just hitting balls.
From: Anon, 9/12
Comments: Comfortable, light, and good looking. I play both tennis and squash, and I like this shoe better on the
wood squash courts than the hard courts. It does not have enough cushioning for me when playing serious tennis. I like the price
and will them buy again for squash and casual wear.
From: Jon, 9/12
Comments: This is my first pair of NB 851's. They fit well and were quite comfortable right out of the box. They
are definitely the lightest shoes I have yet used and they enhance my ability to move. I play mostly on clay and the sole holds up
as well as any shoe before. I am pleased with the quality and price.
From: Anon, 9/12
Comments: What a perfect shoe out of the box. It's nice and low feeling with great support. I am a size 8 and love
this shoe. I can't speak much yet for durability since I have only had the shoe for a week, but I would definitely buy this shoe
again. Great price. For under 90 dollars, I don't think you will find a better shoe.
From: Bobby, 9/12
Comments: I purchased these shoes because I have had success with other New Balance shoes in the past,
and they had good reviews (comfort and cushioned, etc.) What a mistake. I wore them to work out for a couple weeks in hopes of
breaking them in. They felt tight and lacked cushioning out of the box. Yesterday I played tennis in them for the first time. Not
only do my feet hurt after playing on soft courts, my knees feel like I played all day on concrete. I wear a size 14, and I cannot go
into most stores to try on shoes, so I depend on reviews. What a mistake in this case.
From: Dennis, 9/12
Comments: These shoes fit great and are extremely comfortable. They didn't last more than a month before there
were totally worn out. Tennis Warehouse was great and replaced them under the performance warranty - unfortunately less than a
month later they wore through again. Not for anyone that plays more than a couple times a week.
From: Austin, 5/12
Comments: I progressed through the New Balance 544, and 1002 Tennis shoes. I am a 220 pound 5' 10" tennis
player with a fullback/linebacker body type. Been playing very competitive singles and doubles tennis for 10+ years. Usually play
2 to 3 hours at a session on Saturday and Sunday and weather permitting 2 days during the week. Purchased 2 pairs of NB 851
Black/Yellow from TennisWarehouse. Have worn the shoes numerous times for 2 to 3 hour stretches and they are comfortable,
lightweight and durable. They have improved my footspeed and consequently endurance on the hard court. I am extremely hard
on shoes, and completely ground down the soles on the NB 544 and 1002 (2 pairs). The NB 851 although lightweight shows very
little wear and its construction with the rounded soles prevents one from tripping and grinding down the sides of the soles. I've
ordered 2 more pairs and give my highest recommendation to the New Balance 851 for comfort, durability, breathability and
From: Pete, 3/12
Comments: Great light-weight comfortable and responsive tennis shoes! One of my favorites ever. I play 2 - 3
times per week and most shoes wear thru in a few months. It looks like these will be about the same...2 months of play and may
make it to 3 so a new pair will soon be on the way!
From: Steve, 2/12
Comments: I bought these shoes because how light they were advertised to be. They were indeed very light and
comfortable. The first pair I got had some issues with one shoe being shallower than the other. Tennis Warehouse exchanged
them for me (Thank you Tennis Warehouse). I wore them to play the first time today. I did feel that they were very light on my feet.
However, these shoes have way too much traction on the outsole and I often felt my feet were stuck on the court. I was having
trouble doing small step adjustment because how sticky those shoes were. Also when I pivot, I could not easily rotate my body
because I was having trouble changing my toes from pointing sideways to pointing ahead while finishing up my strokes (again
because of the excessive traction). Those shoes are great when you don't have to change directions when running, but I had a
hard time changing directions. When I got home, I compared them with a pair of Nike and Adidas I had. These New Balance shoes
definitely had a lot more traction than the Nike and Adidas. Additionally, when you put the shoes on, if you are not careful, the
part behind your ankle gets squished quite easily. I think these are very comfortable shoes to wear and look great for
casual/running shoes. They do have good cushioning and feel very light on your feet, but I don't think they are designed for
serious tennis players. I will unlikely wear them to play tennis again because I think I have injured my hip/lower back during
pivoting today (my feet got stuck pointed sideways instead of becoming pointed ahead after I finish my swing, so my hip and feet
probably got twisted a bit).
From: Rick, 2/12
Comments: I'm liking these as match shoes: they are really lightweight and I feel very quick on my feet. They also
feel like they have good cushioning, but it must not be up to par with the Wilson's I used previously, because my legs feel a little
sore after practicing. For matches though I prefer these. I had bad problems with my previous Wilson shoes jamming my toes
into the toe box, but no problems with these New Balance at all. Good fit for my narrow feet. Sole durability is probably average,
so need to take advantage of the Tennis Warehouse warranty. Highly recommend.
From: Stephen, 11/11
Comments: Great shoes! Real out of the box comfort. No real break-in period. Just walked them around for a day or
2 just to get the feel. First tried them out on a hard court surface. Nice, light and stable. People thought they were running shoes.
From: Arge, 11/11
Comments:I found these shoes to run a half size smaller than normal, including other New Balance shoes.
From: Richard, 10/11
Comments: I have now played one singles match and one doubles match in these shoes and I really like them. They
are very light, but reasonably stable. They felt good right out of the box, even playing singles. For doubles, I really felt light on my
feet. Durability may be an issue. However, with a 12 month warranty and a reasonable price point, I think they will be okay for me.
Aesthetically, they are nice too. I had several teammates take notice of them the first time out.
From: Mike, 10/11
Comments: This is a very light,speedy and comfortable shoes. The cushioning is marginal. Heavyset players should
use quality orthotics to prevent ankle injuries. I love these shoes.
From: Bakthan, 9/11
Comments: I play tennis for my high school and am going to play Division III tennis and will start in doubles. These
shoes are wonderful and have great support with the nice lightweight feel. Obviously they are made for people with strong ankles.
For anyone who wants a light weight pair of shoes and doesn't wear them out to quick, then these are perfect. I just play too much
and wore these out in less than 2 weeks cause I play for about 4-5 hours every day.
From: Ryan, 8/11
Comments: They are very light, and very lightly constructed. New Balance advertises them as a cushion shoe, and
they do have good cushioning. However, I can't believe that anyone could play tennis in these, they are street shoes at best. They
most resemble the Nike Free type of shoe, very lightweight and low to the ground. The cushioning is too soft though, and this
may depend on how much a person weighs, but for me, every time I tried to pivot or move laterally, I had to be very careful
because the soft cushioning and the lack of any support from the uppers made for a very unstable feel. Even with the low-to-the-
ground ride, it was way too easy to come over the top of these. The foot bed is virtually flat with no arch support whatsoever.
These are bedroom slippers with sticky soles - to say they are a successor to the Adidas Feather II is ludicrous. I like lightweight
shoes, and feel that most proline shoes are overbuilt and too heavy for club players. I wear the Asics Challengers and have several
pairs of Adidas Tirands (which are great, lightweight shoes). I would find it hard to believe that anyone who actually plays tennis
had anything to do with the design of the New Balance 851.
From: Barry. 08/11
Comments: I previously posted on the 2E shoe but decided to get the D when I purchased. This is by far the most
comfortable tennis shoe I have ever worn. They feel like bedroom slippers. The cushioning is incredible for a shoe this light. I
played a mixed doubles match last night and felt like I had to double pull my foot up on my first step to the ball to make sure
my foot was moving. I wear adidas when I get an occasional run of plantar fasciitis (heel spur) in my right foot. I felt nothing after
playing in these. Unsure if this is a new midsole composite for New Balance but whatever it is combined with this last it works.
The sole is grippy as well and the upper is supportive. I have a few pairs of the adidas Feather II that I still play in. The current
Feather's have added weight and don't perform as well as the II's did. The 851 feels like a natural successor to the adidas Feather
From: J, 8/11
Comments: These are great shoes, they feel very light and very comfortable. It took me one match to break them
in and now they are my favorite shoes to play with. I do a lot of running on the court, speed is one of my strengths and these
shoes help a lot. Thanks New Balance.
From: Dave 8/11
Comments: I've only had a chance to wear these to the gym to break in doing some cross-training, but from my
initial impression I'm loving them already. They felt stiff for about 10 minutes, then broke in very nicely. Very light and low
profile but surprisingly sturdy feel for such a light shoe. My previous shoe was Court Ballistic 2.3. These are so much less clunky
the the Court Ballistic 2.3's. I won't be able to get them on the court for another couple days, can't wait. And the price is great
considering the quality and outsole warranty!
From: Dave, 8/11
Comments: So far so good! I have a wide forefoot, so no Nike or adidas
for me. Plus I like that these shows are extremely light and comfortable. Other manufacturers have tried, but usually aren't
successful. Only thing I need to worry about is how the out sole
durability holds up.
From: Hank, 8/11