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10 Best New Balance Running Shoes

last updated Jan 17, 2019
New Balance has been in the shoe business since 1906, but these aren't your great grandpa's running shoes. Nowadays New Balance running shoes use state of the art design, fabrics, and manufacturing technologies to offer you some of the highest levels of comfort, support, and performance in the industry. Their shoes are known for being extremely durable and for offering the buyer tremendous value. The company takes pride in putting their customers first and taking their feedback into consideration. To help you get started with this great brand, or to find your new favorite pair, we evaluated the New Balance running shoe lineup and brought you the best they have to offer.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

icon
  990 v4
94.8/100 our score
Comfort
98
Stability
96
Durability
95
Value
95
Size
90
990 v4
Why is it better?

Comfortable

Great stability and support

Great price

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
  990 v4
Test Winner: 990 v4
Researched Sources
5
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1200
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By EJ Callanan:

Our most recent update does not bring any new additions to our list, however, we have made sure to adjust our rankings to reflect the best of the best in the right order based on the most current models and reviews. We have also added some additional information to other portions of our page and we recommend you take a look to learn more about our research process.

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Comfort Stability Durability Value Size By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Comfort
98%
Stability
96%
Durability
95%
Value
95%
Size
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$149.91
$164.95
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$174.95
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2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Comfort
96%
Stability
91%
Durability
90%
Value
92%
Size
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$59.99
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Comfort
95%
Stability
95%
Durability
90%
Value
85%
Size
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$61.73
See Deal
$97.26
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
Comfort
95%
Stability
90%
Durability
81%
Value
89%
Size
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$84.00
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
Comfort
96%
Stability
90%
Durability
83%
Value
82%
Size
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$62.59
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Comfort
94%
Stability
96%
Durability
70%
Value
73%
Size
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$64.95
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$88.95
$149.95
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7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.6
Comfort
90%
Stability
90%
Durability
83%
Value
70%
Size
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$99.95
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$149.75
$159.95
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$159.95
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8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.2
Comfort
91%
Stability
90%
Durability
80%
Value
70%
Size
70%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$64.95
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$89.95
$99.95
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$99.95
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9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78
Comfort
88%
Stability
79%
Durability
64%
Value
79%
Size
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$59.95
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.2
Comfort
90%
Stability
71%
Durability
85%
Value
70%
Size
60%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$49.73
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$54.97
$99.95
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In Depth Review Top 10
  • 990 v4
  • 610 v5
  • Leadville v3
  • 870 v4
  • 560 v7
  • Fresh Foam 1080 v7
  • 1260 v7
  • Fresh Foam Zante v4
  • Vazee Rush v3
  • Vazee Summit V2
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best New Balance Running Shoes

1. 990 v4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
  990 v4
Comfort
98
Stability
96
Durability
95
Value
95
Size
90
best offer for today
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$149.91
$164.95
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$174.95
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Pros:

Comfortable

Great stability and support

Great price

Cons:

Durability issues

These running shoes have thousands of reviews out there, and everywhere, they’re just short of a perfect score. They’re a bit expensive for NB, but they’re some of the best New Balance running shoes for so many reasons. You can get these in almost any color from gray, black, and beige to red, light green, and royal blue. They’re supportive for mild-pronators and offer great stability for road running. Think daily trainers that will last you a long time.

Read more

Comfort / Stability

The 990 is an 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

A large number 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

Cost

Not too pricey, pretty average

2. 610 v5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
  610 v5
Comfort
96
Stability
91
Durability
90
Value
92
Size
91
best offer for today
$59.99
Pros:

Comfortable

Designed for wide feet

Cushioning system for additional comfort

Responsive shoe

Great traction

Durable

Several color options available

Cons:

Too large for those without wide feet

Upper is not as durable as the rest of the shoe

The New Balance 610v5 shoes are marketed as trail running shoes, but they are also a great option for indoor and outdoor runs as well as long and short distance running. They provide optimal comfort, protection, and stability.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

The comfort and stability these shoes provide makes them an ideal option for a variety of athletic activities, not just running. They are designed for wider feet, so they will definitely provide enough room for those longer runs. The 610v5 shoes provide exceptional cushioning as well as optimal stability and support—without sacrificing the responsiveness of the shoe. These shoes also provide adequate traction—perfect for the tougher trail runs!

Quality and Durability

The quality and durability of these shoes are exceptional. They were designed to provide your feet with optimal protection on trails and uneven grounds as well as prevent the wear and tear that comes with running on these types of terrains.

Price

Great price as is typical of New Balance.

3. Leadville v3

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
  Leadville v3
Comfort
95
Stability
95
Durability
90
Value
85
Size
85
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$61.73
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Pros:

Comfortable

Highly durable

Cushioned

Provides great stability

Excellent for technical trails

Fits great

Cons:

Long break-in period

Bulky

If you’re looking for trail running shoes, the Leadville by New Balance might as well be classics. As is the case with a lot of the best New Balance running shoes, these babies are unparalleled in affordability. These shoes are particularly popular for runners looking for great arch support and stability for tough terrains. The outsole is really strong and durable, which means you can hit the trails for a long time in these.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

Intended for off-road treks, the Leadville provides great comfort, stability, and support when hitting the trails. The PU foam sock liner takes a little time to break in but adds some additional overall support. These get mixed reviews, but the overwhelming majority are positive.

Quality and Durability

The Leadville come with excellent customer feedback in terms of quality and durability. They are built to last!

Price

These are pricey for a New Balance shoe but well worth the investment.

4. 870 v4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
  870 v4
Comfort
95
Stability
90
Durability
81
Value
89
Size
88
best offer for today
$84.00
Pros:

Lightweight

Comfortable

Breathable

Great price

Lots of color options

Cons:

Narrow fit

Not enough support for overpronators

The N symbol is big on the 870s, and this could be because New Balance is so proud of these running shoes. For such high-quality shoes, the 870s are highly affordable. They’re just lightweight enough to allow runners to endure long distances. With their arch support, they make great trainers for neutral and slight over-pronators as well. To avoid injury and feel comfortable for long runs, these are a good pick.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

The New Balance 870 v4 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. Additionally, Their ABZORB shock absorbing cushions comfortably helps to protect your feet from impact.

Quality and 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.

Price

Pretty average price, which because they're from New Balance means they're affordable and offer you a solid value.

5. 560 v7

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
  560 v7
Comfort
96
Stability
90
Durability
83
Value
82
Size
80
best offer for today
$62.59
Pros:

Breathable

Comfortable

Injection-Molded Ethylene Vinyl Acetate mid-sole foam

Incredibly durable

Cons:

Size runs small

Additional waterproofing measures would have been preferred

Not lightweight enough for the preference of some runners

The New Balance 560v7 running shoe (replacing the 560v6 previously on our top 10 list) is the best affordable option New Balance has to offer. Their competitive pricing paired with the quality, durability, and comfort this shoe provides makes this one of the top shoes they have to offer this year.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

These running shoes utilize mesh and synthetic materials, which makes the shoe both breathable and comfortable. They also incorporate an Injection Molded Ethylene Vinyl Acetate mid-sole foam—which provides runners with both cushioning and increased stability.

Quality and Durability

The 560 v7 running shoes have proven to be high quality, incredibly durable, as well as long-lasting. Their outsole comes equipped with an additional protective layer that consists of a rubber—this protects the shoe from wear and tear as well as diminishes the effects of running in rough terrain.

Price

Pretty averagely priced for a pair of New Balance kicks.

6. Fresh Foam 1080 v7

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
  Fresh Foam 1080 v7
Comfort
94
Stability
96
Durability
70
Value
73
Size
90
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$64.95
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Pros:

ABZORB heel absorbs shock

IMEVA foam midsole for support

Outsole with protective, durable rubber

Rubber wrap for stability

Stitched overlays for customizable, snug fit

Cons:

Expensive

The Fresh Foam 1080 v7 running shoes are another highly rated running shoe from New Balance. An extremely breathable upper mesh keeps your feet nice and cool even on longer runs. The OrthoLite sock liner and padded tongue and collar were very comfortable according to testers.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

These shoes sport 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 and Durability

While the overall comfort, stability, and support rate very high for these, the durability 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 for which these shoes are used.

Price

These come at a heftier price than others on this list, but they are well worth the investment.

7. 1260 v7

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.6
  1260 v7
Comfort
90
Stability
90
Durability
83
Value
70
Size
80
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$149.75
$99.95
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$159.95
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Pros:

Lightweight

Sleek design

ABZORB crash pad for stability and shock absorption

Highly durable

Several color and design options

Ortholite Premium insole for arch support and cushioning

Glove-like fit

Adequate cushioning

T-BEAM midfoot stability

Cons:

Narrow fit

A bit higher-priced

This model has undergone significant improvements over the previous model, the v6. These highly durable shoes provide runners with a comfortable and supportive shoe, while also delivering a sleek design that everyone will love.

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Comfort and Stability

These lightweight running shoes provide an optimal comfort level that allows runners to run long distances without feeling overworked and tired. Their “glove-like” fit molds perfectly to the foot, providing the runner with a shoe that caters to their running needs as well as keeps it in place during their runs. The 1260v7 running shoes also deliver adequate cushioning that increases comfort during runs.

Quality and Durability

The quality and durability of these shoes is exceptional and they prove to be long-lasting and keep their effectiveness over the many miles you'll put on them.

Cost

Pretty average price for a New Balance shoe, while still offering their famous durability, comfort, and performance.

8. Fresh Foam Zante v4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.2
  Fresh Foam Zante v4
Comfort
91
Stability
90
Durability
80
Value
70
Size
70
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Pros:

Comfortable

Really stable

breathable

lightweight

Responsive

Cons:

Long break-in period

Previously on the list was the Zantev3, the previous model of the v4. The Zante v4 running shoes come equipped with everything the previous model has to offer and are also exceptionally more lightweight, softer, cushioned, and more responsive than their predecessor.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

This extraordinarily lightweight shoe is perfect for every type of running—short, long, indoor, outdoor, etc. The shoe utilizes a single piece of Fresh Foam, thus providing just the right amount of cushioning. The perforations along the side of the shoe, combined with the hexagonal side pattern, makes this the softest Zante version yet. This shoe is both comfortable and responsive, which allows for more efficient runs.

Quality and Durability

The Zantev4 is also a durable and long-lasting shoe. Its upper is made of New Balance’s unique Hyposkin material as well as the traditional mesh. Hyposkin keeps your feet secure while also increasing the shoes overall durability and protection

Cost

Pretty average price for New Balance, which is to say affordable and a good value for the money spent

9. Vazee Rush v3

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78
  Vazee Rush v3
Comfort
88
Stability
79
Durability
64
Value
79
Size
80
best offer for today
$59.95
Pros:

Lightweight

Comfortable

Rapid Rebound Midsole

Great shock absorption

Cost efficient

Cons:

Sizing runs a little small

Not as durable as other options on our list

The Vazee Rush v2 running shoes are perfect for neutral runners looking for a shoe that provides them with both comfort and stability during their runs.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

These lightweight shoes come equipped with several features that provide optimal comfort and stability runners. Their Rapid Rebound mid-sole, paired with additional underfoot cushioning, delivers additional launch assistance as well as increased shock absorption

Quality and Durability

These shoes come equipped with rubber outsoles, which improves their durability. Overall, these shoes are a durable and long-lasting option.

Cost

Very cost effective which is in keeping with the New Balance ethos of great shoes at a great price.

10. Vazee Summit V2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.2
  Vazee Summit V2
Comfort
90
Stability
71
Durability
85
Value
70
Size
60
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Pros:

Comfortable

Supportive

Flexible

Highly durable

Perfect for trails

Cons:

Not great for high arches

The Vazee Summit v2 shoes are New Balance’s best trail running shoe option. They are perfect for long-distance running and, of course, fully reliable and well suited for trail running.

Read more

Comfort and Stability

These fast and responsive shoes are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable. The shoe’s upper consists of a mesh material which provides runners with optimal breathability during their runs. The shoes overall design also provides trail runners with adequate stability during their runs on an uneven or rough terrain.

Quality and Durability

New Balance incorporates Toe Protect material in these shoes, which provides your toes with adequate protection during your trail runs. The outsole also consists of a durable material to slow down the natural wear and tear that results from trail running.

Cost
Pretty averagely priced for a pair of New Balance shoes.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

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. Many shoes from other brands seem to lose cushioning ability much sooner than New Balance shoes do, so they're an especially good choice for runners who consistently log heavy mileage and go through running shoes like a bull in a china shop.

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 high-arched shaped feet, you’re going to look out 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.

Stability

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 for over-pronators. 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 by doing the research for you.

Each shoe on our list offers the runner slightly different levels of support and stability. Not everyone is an under or over-pronator, and especially nowadays lots of people are getting into minimalist running, which focuses on simple shoe design with less support than ever before. The idea behind this is that by giving the foot minimal support, it's forced to adapt and become stronger and move and flex more naturally over time. These types of runners will want to be sure to check out the shoes on our list that score lower in the stability factor and we think you'll find a shoe that will meet your needs.

Durability

New Balance shoes usually use a combination of synthetic materials, suede, and mesh to increase durability and breathability. Running shoes should allow for some level of airflow to help keep the feet relatively dry while running. Warm, damp environments are a great breeding place for things like athlete’s foot, which you obviously don't want, and excess levels of moisture can also contribute to causing hot spots and blisters that can severely hamper your ability to run.

The shoes that made the cut for our review list are made out of both durable and comfortable materials, something New Balance has been known for since they started making shoes. In fact, New Balance aficionados take great pride in their well-worn but still functional shoes, and see the wear and tear, especially on any suede part of the shoe as a badge of honor, kind of like a black belt in karate that started off white and is now black after years of hard, sweaty training.

So since your New Balance shoes will probably be around for a long time, we encourage you to take your time selecting the right pair or pairs for you, since once you get hooked on shoes from this wonderful company, they'll be with you a long, long time, and relationships like that deserve the utmost consideration.

Value

Price is a factor we often look at when putting together our lists. But price alone doesn't determine the value of a product. To tell a product's true value one has to look beyond the mirage of the dollar sign attached to something and instead focus on several factors to determine the intrinsic value of something. We've been trained to worship the almighty dollar, but if you can look beyond that for a moment you'll find that the best things, running shoes included, transcend the field of mere financial considerations to a place where your overall health and well-being take precedence over mere material considerations.

All of us have different budgets and we need to make sure we are buying the features that we specifically need. If you're a minimalist runner for example, it would be silly to pay for extra materials and features that will only hamper what you're trying to accomplish as you move towards a more and more minimalist style over time. We hope this example will encourage you to think about your true wants and needs before you choose a pair of shoes from our list, and only spend what you need to to be satisfied with your purchase. To help you reach that end we looked at the price of the shoes and compared it to the overall value the product offers the user and assigned it a score based on that equation.

Size

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.

If you have a specialty running store near you it might be a good idea to pay them a visit. Even if you don't end up buying a pair of shoes there, they should be happy to help you get an accurate size measurement as well as evaluate your foot shape and movement tendencies so that you know what you're looking for in a pair of running shoes before you buy. For example, you might be an under-pronator and not even know it, and just by visiting some experts they can easily point this out to you.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Comfort
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3
Durability
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5
Value
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Select the correct support

You're going to want to choose the type of support that works for your particular feet, but also consider your activities. Will you be running or walking? What is the ground or terrain like? Are you running off-road, or on the pavement? First ask yourself these questions. Second, buy a sweet new pair of New Balance running shoes.

It's okay to stick with your favorite brands

Some people are loyal to certain brands, which is okay as long as your brand keeps up with your growing demands.

Far too often, some manufacturers drop on quality to keep a lower overhead, which of course, turns out products that don't satisfy like before and the company gradually goes downhill. On the other hand, there are also companies that stay away from those practices. So put simply, go with what works.

Other Factors to Consider

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.

Drop

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: There are a ton of New Balance models out there with a lot of different 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 easily?
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 cross 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 movement. 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 not just for forward movement, but for 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 New Balance running shoes 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.

q: Do New Balance shoes run true to size?
a:

As far as length, there are many people who have suggested to order their shoes half a size bigger than your average shoes. As far as width, New Balance also has great options for wide feet. To make sure you order the correct size, be sure to check out New Balance size charts for both length and width that can be found on their website for their size chart and activity guides.

q: How do I know what the numbers mean in each model?
a:

This is a very basic question that we all wonder when we look at New Balance model numbers. New Balance established the numbers to differentiate between “more technology” in a shoe. The higher numbers have more technology than the lower numbers. However, this is not true 100% all of the time, so make sure the shoe you get is exactly what you’re looking for in both needs and personal preferences.

q: How do these shoes perform in wet terrain?
a:

Because of their breathability, it’s not recommended to use them in wet terrain as the water and other wet elements can easily make its way inside the shoes. Though the suede, mesh and other outside quality elements of the shoe are carefully selected for running, walking and good performance. If you really need New Balance shoes in wet terrain, then be careful in selecting the right New Balance shoe, but don’t bet on staying dry.

q: Will these shoes stretch out as they break in?
a:

They usually stay true to its size and do not expand. Therefore, when you try them on make sure they feel comfortable. Not too tight and not too loose. Make sure you try them on later in the day as feet tend to swell during the day or after a workout.

Sources

  1. Peter Larson, Run Blogger, Running Blog,
  2. Editorial TEam, New Balance, New Balance Blog,
  3. Editorial Team, Runner’s World, Running Magazine,