The Best New Balance Running Shoes Reviewed in 2016
Searching for New Balance Running shoes? Take a look at the best Pairs of 2017, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying them online or in a store.
Wading through New Balance’s large inventory is no easy task. There’s a whole lot of comparing when it comes to looking for the best New Balance running shoes, because there are so many to choose from. It really depends on what you’re looking for. New Balance has maximalist shoes with fantastic support and cushioning. They have minimalist shoes that feel feather-light. There are shoes made specifically for trails or roads and even more that easily move through all terrains. New Balance shoes are perhaps known most for their comfort, but they’re also increasingly fashionable and technologically advanced. The bonus? They tend to be really, really affordable, too.
1. New Balance 990V4
The 990 is a excellent combination of comfort, stability and support, wrapped up in a classic looking package. The superb stability and comfort make these a reliable choice for many different sports activities, as well as everyday casual wear. The 990 tends to work well with a variety of different foot issues.
Quality / Durability
The large amount of customer reviews are pretty good, however there are some who complain about the sole coming apart quickly. The issue could be relative to the type of use that the shoes undergo, so that may be something to consider. In all, these perform quite well
- ABZORB crash pad on midsole for smooth transitions
- Classic, attractive style in many colors
- Comfort that lasts for many miles
- Durable carbon rubber Ndurance outsole
- Reflective detailing for night runs
- Expensive for NB
2. New Balance M940V3
Very comfortable. The M940V3 is received really well, especially with those who want a minimal amount of shoe, but desire responsiveness and a bit of bounce. The shoe has stabilizing overlays, 4 mm drop and a durable Vibram outsole, all of which help with additional stability and support.
Quality / Durability
As these are lightweight shoe of a very attractive design, with very little stitching, they do have some issues with the sole peeling away a bit after constant use, for some.
- Antimicrobial features keep the foot clean and dry
- Durable and breathable upper construction
- Great option for overpronators
- Lightweight build
- Sizing runs small
3. New Balance Vibram Minimus 20v5
Highest marks in comfort, these minimal running shoes are far from a thin, compromising shoe. Runners prefer these over most minimal running shoes.
Quality / Durability
Strong quality and great feedback in terms of durability from runners that log in a lot of miles.
- Breathable lining
- Cradles foot for great support
- Durable rubber sole
- EVA footbed for comfort and support
- IMEVA midsole for comfort and support
- Some testers found them to get dirty quickly, no issues with durability.
4. New Balance Leadville v3
Intended for off-road treks, the Leadville provides great comfort, stability and support when hitting the trails. The PU foam sockliner take a little time to break in, but adds some additional overall support. These get mixed reviews, but the overwhelming majority are positive.
Quality / Durability
The Leadville come with excellent customer feedback in terms of quality and durability. They are built to last!
- Highly rated trail runner
- Comfortable foam sockliner
- EVA midsole for custom, comfortable fit
- Very comfortable for long, tough runs and trails
- AT (all-terrain) outsole makes these versatile for various terrains
- Some testers found them to be a little smaller
5. New Balance 675 v2
The 675V2 gets excellent marks for overall comfortability. With the IMEVA foam midsole, Padded tongue and collar and Memory top insert, these have good supportive properties that provide comfort and stability. These do, however, run about a half size small.
Quality / Durability
The reviews are pretty mixed with regards to the durability of the 675V2. There are some complaints about strength of the mesh upper.
- Breathable mesh
- Runners rave about their comfort
- Supportive for those with plantar fasciitis
- Versatile – great for any athletic activities
- Well-cushioned IMEVA foam midsole
- The sizing is a bit small
6. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v6
This neutral runner sports an IMEVA foam midsole, Abzorb shock-absorbing heel, Dual comfort insert and a rubber wrap for medial stability. The mesh upper allows good breathability. There are even some customer reviews that say these worked well for plantar fasciitis.
Quality / Durability
As the overall comfort, stability and support rate very high, the durability of the 560V6 tends to be a little lacking. Several customer complaints mention holes developing in the mesh upper early after use. However, it may depend on the type of activities these shoes are used for.
- ABZORB heel absorbs shock
- IMEVA foam midsole for support
- Outsole with protective, durable rubber
- Rubber wrap for stability
- Stitched overlays for customizable, snug fit
- A little expensive
7. New Balance 890V4
The padded tongue and collar, Ortholite insole, RELite midsole and Blown rubber outsole offer outstanding comfort, stability and shock absorbent properties. Overall, the 890V5 get great reviews from customers when it comes to the shoe’s comfort.
Quality / Durability
Although the comfort is exceptional, the quality has a few issues that affect the shoe’s durability. There are several customer reviews which claim that the overlays peel off and the seems begin to come undone.
- FantomFit tech upper for great fit and breathability
- Helpful for over-pronators
- Highly versatile
- Ndurance rubber outsoles are durable and resistant to rough terrains
- REVlite midsole foam for smooth heel to toe transitions
- Narrow fit
8. New Balance 1260V5
Sharing many features in common with others from the latest lines of New Balance, this version of the 1260 offers great comfort. Their ABZORB cushioning is specifically designed to handle shock from impacts, and the T-BEAM midfoot shank helps to provide added stability. These are ideal shoe for those who are over-pronators. They are a bit more narrow than the previous version, so keep that in mind.
Quality / Durability
There aren’t really any quality issues which affect the durability of these. They seem to do pretty well.
- ABZORB crash pad for stability and shock absorption
- Ortholite Premium insole for arch support and cushioning
- Stable for over-pronators
- T-BEAM midfoot stability
- Heavier than they look
- A bit higher priced
9. New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V2
With a well ventilated mesh upper, ACTEVA midsole for cushioning and compression resistance and a Vibram outsole for maximum surface contact and great multidirectional traction, these shoes possess all of the comfort and stability features that make up an excellent minimalistic running shoe. If this is the type of shoe that you like, then this one is an optimal choice. The internal construction of this shoe is supposed to be barefoot friendly, but it is really recommended to wear socks in order to avoid blisters.
Quality / Durability
In general, many customer reviews suggest that these don't hold up too well with aggressive trail running over rougher terrain. For light trails and semi-rough paths they seem to do pretty good though.
- Great grip and traction on a variety of terrains
- Outsole durability is strong
- Quick to dry
- Versatile from trails to roads
- A bit narrow in the forefoot, but only to a small percentage of users
10. New Balance 870V4
These are comfortable running shoes. They offer a good amount of support and stability to see you down the road comfortably. With its breathable mesh upper your feet should stay nice and dry on those longer runs. Adiitionally, Their ABZORB shock absorbing cushions comfortably helps to protect your feet from impact.
Quality / Durability
Although the comfortability of these shoes seems to be superb, there are some durability issues. For some, the sole seems to peel off after a small amount of continuous use.
- ABZORB shock-absorbing cushioning
- AirMesh upper is lightweight and breathable
- Fairly lightweight
- Heel counter support
- Helpful for mild over-pronators
- No-sew overlays for security and comfort
- The sizing runs a rather narrow
The jury has spoken: you can’t go wrong with the best New Balance running shoes. This list really only scratches the surface when it comes to the wide variety of shoes made by NB. Whether you’re hiking, hitting the treadmill, or just taking an easygoing walk in the neighborhood, there’s a shoe that will fit your needs.
New Balance is top-rated in many regards. For one, the comfort factor is high. Readers rant and rave about how comfortable NBs are, especially for over-pronators who need extra help. You can avoid injuries like shin splints when you go for more maximalist NBs. On the other hand, NB makes more minimalist models that really appeal to those looking for the near-barefoot feel. They’re available in all sorts of colors, whether you’re craving boldness or an understated style.
In short, there’s a New Balance out there for you, and it’s going to be comfortable. New Balances score high on durability and support. They’re appealing to long-time runners and beginners alike. They’re so affordable but so well-made, making them a total steal. It’s almost unbelievable how inexpensive yet high-quality they are! They’re a running shoe you can count on.
The Criteria Used When Choosing The Best New Balance Running Shoes:
New Balance; made with attention to quality, in the USA and UK
Craftsmanship. It’s something that New Balance prides itself in. This is why chances are you’ve never heard of someone’s New Balance shoes falling apart on them. In fact, they are the only major shoe company to make their running shoes in the US (four million pairs a year, across five factories). They also employ about 210 employees in the UK, with the same attention to quality construction and craftsmanship. While New Balance doesn’t boast about their environmental initiatives, philanthropy work, or positive social impact, they are a thoughtful footwear company that delivers on their promises. What is very clear, is that they are focused on research and development, and do not rest on their past successes. Let’s take a look at some of the highest rated models that have been put through their paces, and select the options that will be the perfect match for you!
Popularity Based On Performance
We at Runnerclick are always aware of the most popular running shoes and the latest trends. Lately, New Balance running shoes have spiked in popularity and it seems that we’re seeing more and more of the brand when we go out running. It’s important for us to provide our readers with a selection that comes with high reviews from novice runners, long-term enthusiasts, and hardcore runners in terms of how the running shoes are performing for them, not how many heads they turn. We know that style matters, and it’s a check box for our list as well, but we start with great reviews for specific purposes to ensure that you get exactly what you need for your regimen.
A Closer Look At Materials
In order to provide our readers with the best information to match their needs, we listened to what runner feedback had to say about the materials utilized in different models. New Balance likes to use a combination of synthetic material, suede, and mesh to give runners additional support and comfort. This is why is was essential to note which model sports which, so that our readers have a better understanding of what their running shoes are composed of.
New Balances patented N-ergy cushioning technology goes into every single pair of running shoes they make. We made sure to include options that have top tier shock absorption to reduce the impact on the runner’s body and to minimize the stress placed on the foot. This is why most long distance runners gave New Balance high marks on lasting and consistent comfort.
Ratings On Outdoor Terrain
Because New Balance provides running shoes for all terrains, we didn’t forget to include solid trail rated options. While some review sites focus in on treadmill and road running shoes; we feel that having a well rounded guide can help outdoor enthusiasts and trail runners make a selection from the New Balance line and be prepared for anything that Mother Nature can throw their way.
Wide Variety Of Stability Levels
We are aware that runners with over-pronation or flatter arches have a strong need for reliable, multi-layered support to compensate for the lack of natural support from the foot. When looking at each model, we took note of feedback from runners that tended to have more inward rolling when they run to determine which running shoe can be the best match. The longer the distance, the higher the discomfort inward rolling can give you, so we made sure to take the guesswork out of the selections.
That Well Known New Balance Style.
It’s subtle, but world renown. The New Balance brand has solidified their particular color combinations, design patterns and material use. We made sure that our selections are both high performing and stylish. Our buying guide is jam packed with on-trend offerings and the latest color ways to ensure that our readers can express their own sense of style.
Other Important Things to Consider When Selecting Your New Balance Running Shoes.
Selecting a pair of New Balance running shoes is a safe bet because no matter which model you choose, you are sure to get their cutting edge features and unique designs. However, before you go, take a look at the wide range of feedback and data we went through when compiling our selections. This will help you choose a running shoe that’s right for you. It’s important that you make a selection that makes sense for your purposes and what you plan to do with them. Below you will find some personal factors to take into consideration when making your choice.
Match Your Pronation Needs
There are some New Balance running shoes that are better than others for runners with over-pronation. If you have this problem, or what is referred to as fallen arches, then make a selection with higher motion control properties and higher stability to counteract a flatter heal. If you have a high-arched shaped feet, you’re going to lookout for the New Balance runners that have more cushioning. The good news is that selecting a New Balance the best matches your arches is a pretty simple way to combat any discomfort.
Select The Right Size For Your Foot Width
Novice runners commonly make the mistake of only considering the length of their footwear. Width is a crucial factor in selecting a pair of running shoes that will enhance your natural strengths and support any weaknesses in stride. If you have wider feet, or have experienced issues with the narrowness of your shoes in the past, New Balance can help you select the right pair for you by offering width size options as well. Don’t forget that feet tend to swell at the end of the day, or after long hours of working, so be sure to measure your feet after a long run and then make a size determination from there.
Will You Be Trail Running Or Road Running?
Take a moment to consider what type of running surface you will be encountering and choose a pair that is geared towards your terrain. Remember that trail runners are purposely constructed to give added traction for outdoor surfaces and more durable materials coming across rocks and dust. You want to make sure you have a lightweight, breathable option for marathon running, and a more rugged, higher protected option for outdoor trail running.
Transition From Standard To Minimalist Slowly And Carefully
Remember that safety should always come first. There isn’t any need to be kept off of your feet because of an injury or foot inflammation. This is why if you’re choosing a more minimal New Balance running shoe from our selection, make sure that you transition slowly. Especially if you are coming over from a more padded and cushioned runner with a high heel-to-toe drop. We suggest shorter distances until your leg muscles adapt to the change of bearing more of the brunt of impact forces and additional muscle group implementation. Even seasoned runners experience added stress on their legs and feet when switching to minimal running shoes.
We’re confident that by taking some of these factors into consideration when making your choice, you’ll find a New Balance running shoe that is perfect for you. Before you get out there and run, we’ve also compiled some frequently asked questions that commonly arise when searching for a new running shoe.
Q: There are a ton of New Balance models out there with a lot of versions; how do I know which one is for me?
A: This is a common concern if you are just coming to know the New Balance brand. We’re here to help, so we have done all of the legwork for you. Our buying guide is a reflection of the very best and the latest versions that the company currently has on the market. Trust us when we tell you that you will soon become very familiar with the model numbers. This is because people tend to gravitate towards a particular model and stick with it through all of its version updates. You may even find yourself purchasing several pairs of your favorite New Balance model.
Q: Is the suede on some models durable, or will it get worn?
A: New Balance suede is the most resilient that you will find on the market. In addition, the company is careful to use suede colors that are much more forgiving than their brighter counterparts. You will find that New Balance runners show off the wear on their suede as a badge of honor, not as a fragile fashion statement.
Q: What are the differences between New Balance running shoes and trainers?
A: Runners have more cushioning in the heel for impact and less protection through the ball of the foot. This is because they are meant for forward moment. When runners are in motion, they tend to generate more heat, so runners also feature mire mesh and breathable materials to keep feet cool.
Trainers in contrast, have more ankle support for not just forward movement, but lateral movement as well. They are great for light runs, weights, aerobics and similar activities. We suggest making a selection for the activity that you will be using them for. The ideal situation is to maintain a versatile rotation of footwear, much like tools on a tool belt.
Q: Are the New Balance selections good for trails that are more technical?
A: Absolutely. These are rugged and capable trail running selections. In fact, the models on our buying guide have been put through their paces and come with hundreds of positive reviews from real world users that rely on their footwear while they are out in nature and count on the durability of their New Balance trail runners. We’ve included some links to New Balance running shoes on the most grueling of trails for added inspiration.
This was our approach when selecting the right pair of New Balance running shoes. Remember that selecting the right pair of running shoes is an investment and making a selection that is based on personal use and needs is crucial. We really hope this guide provided you with all the information you need when making you choice between form and function. Thanks for following along with us. Now make the perfect selection for you and keep running!
Here are some sources used while conduction our research
It’s crucial to use a wide variety of sources to ensure quality information. We like to utilize trusted running enthusiasts and user feedback when providing our readers with the most up-to-date statistics found in all our buying guides. In addition, we are also very interested in listening to what everyday users have to say about specific products, and we perform our due diligence to make sure that quality research goes into every guide. Here are some sources which helped us with this guide: