The 811 and 926 are two styles of walking shoes produced by New Balance, which are available in both men's and women's styles. Both shoes feature New Balance's ROLLBAR and Walking Strike Path technology, which are designed to lend support and correct the gait of people who need additional support of the heel, sole and ankle while walking.
The main difference between the New Balance 811 and 926 walking shoes is the materials used to construct the upper part of the shoe. The 926 upper is made of full grain natural leather, according to A Perfect Dealer (aperfectdealer.com). The 811 upper is made of synthetic material, which makes it more appealing to vegans and other consumers who refuse to use animal products, according to ShoeBuy (shoebuy.com).
Both styles are similar in that they feature a relatively straight, sturdy-looking sole. The main style difference is that the 811 has hook & loop closure tabs to fasten the shoe, while the 926 has standard shoelaces. Different patterns are featured on the rubber soles, in addition to the upper materials being sewn together in different patterns.
The NB 811 walking shoe meets U.S. guidelines for diabetic customers, which means that the shoe can be outfitted with custom inserts depending on their particular needs. Because the shoe meets this guideline, customers who purchase it may qualify for Medicare reimbursement if they have a medical condition that meets the specific requirements, according to Shop New Balance (shopnewbalance.com). While the NB 926 offers plenty of support, it does not meet any specific medical guidelines.
Style 926 has been discontinued by New Balance and replaced with Style 927, which is an updated walking shoe similar to its predecessor, according to Shop New Balance (shopnewbalance.com). As of May, 2011, the 926 shoe is still available wherever New Balance products are sold, both online and in retail stores, but supplies are limited as the shoes are no longer being produced. The 926 is no longer available for purchase directly from Shop New Balance. Style 811 is still in production as of this writing and is available for purchase from Shop New Balance and other distributors and retailers.
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