I’m thinking the same thing that you are thinking, I don’t typically write shoe reviews. I know, I would much rather stick to writing tennis racquet reviews and string reviews, however; I have to share my love for New Balance’s MC 851 tennis shoe.
Like many of my string reviews, I search far and wide for the less expensive tennis products and I found just that with New Balance. I mainly picked out this shoe because of the price, then the design, and finally because it comes with a 6 month out sole warranty (find other brands with the same warranty in this article). Trust me though, there is no compromise in quality with this lightweight tennis shoe.
As soon as my package arrived, I tore open the box like my 3 year old daughter does on Christmas morning, I found the New Balance box and opened it carefully so not to disturb the shoes. I was amazed at how brilliantly designed the MC 851’s were, the deep black outer with the bright yellow accents, just a really sweet looking tennis shoe.
When I put the MC 851‘s on my feet, I was amazed at how comfortable they fit (fit true to size) and how lightweight they were. Generally, new tennis shoes require a little break-in period, and I gotta be honest with you people, a shoe that requires zero break-in will make me an enthusiast. I felt like I could have gone right on out court to start tearing up the tennis court. I would have my chance at testing the shoes the following day.
On court, these tennis shoes are spectacular! The perform just like I would expect a high quality tennis shoe to perform. The tread on the out sole has enough grip to take off easily without slippage and gives the ability to stop and change directions quickly and without much effort.
Of course, the New Balance MC 851 is not a perfect tennis shoe (pretty darn close though), it has a couple of flaws that could make them the worst tennis shoe you have ever owned. First off, the shoes don’t breathe very well, so my experience of having hot and sweaty feet was not very pleasing; and the shoe is black, playing in the hot sun makes the feet get hotter. Secondly, because the shoe is low-top, the MC 851 doe not give you very good ankle support, especially when changing direction. Now, I haven’t rolled over on my ankle with these shoes, though I have come close a couple of times and it scare the piss out of me – I don’t want or need a snapped ankle.
For me, the best attribute the New Balance MC 851 has is it’s durability. I have absolutely given these tennis shoes the run around when playing, I’m a toe-dragger and have been waiting for the New Balance’s to break through and expose my feet. I’m still waiting, just over two months now and I have yet to have the toe area wear down. I have, however; run down the sole quite a bit, right where the ball of my foot is. It’s not completely worn down but I give them another few weeks.
Thankfully, the New Balance MC 851’s come with a 6 month warranty, so as soon as I wear the soles down enough, I’ll send them back to Tennis-Warehouse for a replacement pair. That’s right, TW honors every shoe warranty with the exception of Adidas warranty replacements. So if I do it right, I can get my replacement New Balance tennis shoes back in a weeks time, rather than the 6 to 8 weeks that I have gone directly to the shoe manufacturer.
With my review of New Balance MC 851 (in black and yellow) tennis shoe, I hope you give them a try, they are extremely lightweight, require no break-in, have great court grip, are inexpensive ($77.95), and are just down right comfortable. Try ’em out and you’ll know I was right.