New Balance MR800

New Balance Chi running shoes 800

New Balance MR800 from 2008

The New Balance MR800 (or MR800MF, for midfoot) was a New Balance model available in 2008 for almost 2 years. The shoe is no longer available. It was one of the few shoes specifically designed for midfoot strikers with a softer foam (Abzorb®) under the lateral side of the midsole to aid the cushioning of impact there and to help ease the transition of the foot through the gait cycle.

The lanuch and initial marketing of this running shoe was done in collaboration with the Chi Running community whose running technique promotes a midfoot strike. New Balance promoted the shoe at the time as “The shoe for the midfoot strike, the core of the ChiRunning and ChiWalking technique“; “For neutral runners with a midfoot gait and a desire to spend long tough hours with running.“:

The recommended shoe for ChiRunning, the 800 is revolutionary to the running world. Specifically designed for midfoot strike runners, the 800 packs outstanding shock absorption and cushioning into one highly innovative shoe. Get ready to go the distance!

NB MR800 Chi running shoe

Soft foam bridge along the lateral midsole for midfoot strikers

The shoe weighed 312 grams (11 oz) and had a 8mm drop. For this shoe they used their SL-1 last and it come only in a D width.

Technical Video from New Balance on the MR800:


  • The ChiRunning community got quite excited at the launch of this shoe as they mostly seemed to think that it validated their approach to running. Interest in the shoe and ChiRunning did not last long.
  • No explanation was or has since been forthcoming from New Balance as to the official reasons that the model was dropped.
  • Runners are often wrong when self identifying their own foot strike pattern which may have been problematic with the retail marketing of this shoe.

External Links:
Archive of New Balance website on the shoe from August 2009
Chi running shoe from New Balance (Podiatry Arena)
Page last updated: @ 9:39 pm

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