New Balance 574 Review Facts
New Balance‘s 574 running shoe has been one of the brand’s most popular designs since its release in 1988. Fans were made even happier when it was re-issued in the early 2000s in several new colorways. Though a number of updated versions have been released over the years, buyers are still drawn to the original design. Its simple yet comfortable design works well in many different casual settings. And its wide range of color options offers something for everyone. As an added bonus, it’s also available in three different widths to provide the best fit possible for all foot types.
Because it functions mainly as a casual running shoe, the 574 doesn’t need a specialized rubber
compound to create its outsole. So a simple, non-marking
rubber is all that’s needed for this re-released classic. Its asymmetrical tread pattern features gripping lugs that are mostly placed around the perimeter, with extra ones placed in the middle of the forefoot for a better grasp. It also has a more textured area at the heel which makes it easier to avoid accidental slips. This shoe can be used on all everyday surfaces and won’t leave scuff-marks along the floor.
material is one of the most common technologies used to create midsoles for running shoes. Though it already provides a great deal of cushioning and responsiveness on its own, the midsole that’s featured in the 574 has been enhanced with ENCAP technology
. It’s fixed into the heel, and marked by a different color than the rest of the shoe, providing the runner with even greater cushioning and support, as well as a higher level of durability against constant impact. It also comes with a removable insole, which can easily be replaced by a custom insert if it’s needed.
New Balance used their very own SL-2 last when building the 574, ensuring that it would have a much wider toe box and slightly narrower heel than other running shoes on the market. The brand has also brought back the classic suede
upper for this classic model. While the suede gives much-needed structure without the need for standard overlays, the mesh provides breathability to the forefoot up towards the instep. And its textile lining ensures a comfortable wear throughout the day. Unfortunately, it does mean that this particular shoe is not intended for those who are vegan-friendly
. It also means that it may not be as breathable as the more modern running shoes that are currently on the market.
Though the wide-set 574 may look a bit clunky to some, reviews indicate that it's actually very lightweight and easy to wear. Online listings estimate that men's sizes weigh a little over 9 oz, while women's are 8.6 oz. Considering that this is meant to be a versatile everyday running shoe, this model has to keep the runner light on their feet throughout the day in order to maintain its comfortable, casual wear. Reviewers state that they have worm this model for running errands, casual gym sessions, and even a day full of site-seeing without feeling fatigued at any time.
Based on looks alone, it’s already quite obvious that the 574 is not going to be quite as breathable as many other running shoes on the market. With that said, its upper’s mesh material is still very much visible along the forefoot, ankle, and instep. When combined with the textile lining, it allows the proper amount of airflow to control hotspots where they most occur. Though it may not be as ventilated as running shoes that are primarily made with mesh or textile, it’s still enough to provide reasonable comfort.
Everyone needs a comfortable and casual shoe for everyday wear, and the 574 definitely serves that purpose. Though its EVA foam midsole already gives enough cushioning and responsiveness, it's been enhanced with New Balance's trademarked ENCAP technology for greater support and durability. And its insole is removable, allowing the runner to use a custom insert if needed. The inside of the shoe feels perfectly soft and plush which allows breathability across the forefoot. Best of all, its sizes come in standard, wide, and extra wide to better accommodate all foot types. It should be noted, however, that some reviewers still claim that this model doesn't always fit true-to-size. Whether or not this is because they are choosing the wrong width-size
The re-released 574 features the same general design as the original model that was released in 1988. It’s made with the same suede and mesh materials, although the old version’s rounded laces have now been replaced by flattened ones. New Balance’s signature ‘N’ logo is prominently stitched onto both the medial and lateral sides of the shoe. Of course, what everyone is most thrilled with is this model’s wide range of color options. Though grey
, black, and off-white seem to be the most popular options, there are also red, blue, green, and yellow options. Some retailers also sell a few multi-colored options.
For the most part, reviewers seem to be generally satisfied with the 574’s level of durability. However, there are a few reviewers who have noticed that they start to look worn out after being used only a small handful of times. Some say that the stitching begins to come apart along the forefoot. Others say that they found holes in the upper, or that the rubber outsole wears out far too quickly.
Not surprisingly, the 574 isn’t really known for being a very protective shoe. It’s not equipped to take on rough terrains, it can’t safeguard against jagged surfaces, and its upper isn’t meant to be waterproof in any way. That said, the suede material that constructs much of its upper does keep out dirt and debris while the mesh allows airflow and reduces the possibility of foot odor or infections. The EVA foam midsole cushions the foot as it absorbs each impact, making sure that the runner feels much less pain and fatigue by the end of the day. And the inclusion of ENCAP technology only enhances this even further.
The 574 responsive
features don’t exactly stand out to most of its reviewers. However, their comments do indicate that it makes an enormous difference in their levels of comfort. The EVA foam that constructs its midsole is used so frequently because of its shock absorbing properties. It takes in each impact and works to transfer it into energy to keep the runner moving forward for longer. Though it may not be on the same level as a number of updated materials, it still works perfectly fine for a casual running shoe. The fact that several reviewers feel less pain than usual after a full day of wearing this model indicates that it definitely works.
The use of EVA foam for the midsole already provides the 574 with a great deal of supportive cushioning. However, this model has been enhanced with ENCAP technology placed in the heel, ensuring that the runner gets plenty of support where it’s needed most. There’s no indication of how supportive the removable insole is, replacing it with a custom insert
could definitely improve its wear. The overall design of the shoe is wider at the front and narrower at the heel, following the foot’s natural shape for a better and more comfortable wear. Its collar also comes with padding to support the ankle and ensure that the foot stays in place.
As a casual running shoe, the 574 was made to function best on everyday surfaces. The asymmetrical gripping lugs along its outsole were created to give a firm grasp on concrete and cement, making it ideal for simple outdoor jogs or a day full of errands or site-seeing. It also handles most indoor gym equipment perfectly well. And the construction of its upper makes it equally fit for both warmer and cooler temperatures. However, its design and materials also mean that it’s not intended at all for wet weather or harsh terrains.
Many of New Balance's running shoes are noticeably more affordable than those sold by other brands such as Adidas or Nike, and the 574 model follows this pattern with a price tag of just $80. Considering that this is a re-release of such a classic design, its relatively low cost is especially welcome to many of the brand's loyal fans. And its high level of comfort and versatile wear ensure that it truly does become a bargain for those who choose to purchase their own pair.
Though reviews don’t provide too much detail about how strong the 574’s level of traction is, this particular quality can be estimated based on both product photos and the shoe’s intended usage. Low-profile gripping lugs are placed around the perimeter of the outsole, while the heel area is primarily textured. Not only does this ensure a secure grip on cement or concrete, but it also prevents slides and slips while walking around on tiled floors. There is, however, no indication of how well this shoe can perform on wet or slippery surfaces.
Like most casual running shoes, the 574 gives the runner a reasonably flexible wear. This is thanks mostly to its EVA foam midsole, which is made to be pliable and easy to walk around with. Its heavy use of suede throughout most of the upper does impact the runner’s range of motion a bit, at least in the beginning. However, the additional use of mesh material and a short break-in period makes sure that this stiff feeling quickly goes away.
The 574 is quite limited when it comes to its stabilizing features, as it doesn’t really provide any sort of correction. Most of this quality lies in its EVA foam midsole, which cushions the runner and provides enough responsiveness to keep them moving easily and not succumbing to any sort of pain or tiredness. And the inclusion of an ENCAP midsole only enhances this feature by being positioned in the heel, where it’s needed most. The suede segments of its upper also help by allowing the shoe to maintain its shape and providing a sturdy frame for its lacing system, which is outfitted with flattened laces for a more secure fit. And despite its wide toe box, this shoe is designed to be narrower at the heel to ensure that the foot really stays in place.
Though no online listings or reviews detail the 574's exact heel-to-toe drop height, this particular feature can easily be determined by looking at product photos. The average running shoe has a drop height of 10mm, which gives the runner plenty of heel cushioning without impeding too much on the natural gait cycle. Because it looks similar to other shoes with this same feature, as well as other models within the same line, it's safe to assume that the 574 also has a 10mm drop.
-EVA foam midsole
-Multiple color options
-Affordable $80 price tag
-Fits standard to extra wide
It's easy to see why the New Balance 574 has become one of the brand's most classic designs. Its simple design is comfortable yet functional and can easily be worn for work and in almost all casual settings. The use of EVA foam and ENCAP technology for the midsole gives a great deal of supportive cushioning while still being flexible and durable. Its suede and mesh upper is still present, just as it was in the original 1988 model, and still gives just as much comfort and stability as it did before. Of course, this shoe won't be nearly as popular without its wide range of both neutral and bright color options. Though there are some notable drawbacks, as there is with every running shoe, it would still make an excellent addition to most footwear collections.