New Balance 574 Sport

Truly a modern twist on an old classic, the New Balance 574 Sport is an updated redesign of the brand's popular 574 model. Originally created in 1988, it was once considered an advanced piece of footwear intended for both competitions and recreational running. Now, instead of races, this modernized version serves as a finishing touch to a number of casual outfits. Its one-piece bootie construction comes complete with an attached tongue and greater ankle support, while the inclusion of New Balance's Fresh Foam midsole provides even greater cushioning. Vegan-friendly runners are also happy to see that a synthetic and mesh option is available as an alternative to the original suede material.

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Backcountry Link
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Holabird Sports Link
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Road Runner Sports Link
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Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
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Holabird Sports Link
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Road Runner Sports Link
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Pros & Cons

-Wide range of color options

-Good for those with wide feet

-Lightweight and breathable

-Pairs well with many casual looks

-Affordable price tag


-Lacks breathability

Key Features
The 574 Sports outsole is constructed using a long-lasting rubber compound, which holds up to extensive and repeated usage on paved roads. It’s molded into a chunky tread pattern that enables a surprisingly firm grasp on these surfaces and also carries the runner smoothly over wood floors. Reviewers on a number of different platforms have praised this feature’s durable nature, saying that it resisted any wear and tear even after being used for several weeks.
One of the most obvious and best-received updates to the classic 574 is the use of New Balance’s trademarked Fresh Foam midsole. Featuring an eye-catching geometric pattern, it offers more enhanced cushioning and shock absorption than standard materials. Enhancing this further is an ABZORB technology crash pad placed into the heel, which also works to disperse energy more evenly. An injection molded insole is also in place for greater cushioning and added flexibility.
The 574 Sport’s upper has much of the same design as the original model, along with some very obvious updates. Though mesh and suede are still used in its construction, those who are more vegan-friendly are now offered a version that’s made with a synthetic material instead of suede. The tongue is also attached to the rest of the shoe, permitting easier insertion, and its reshaped collar now offers even greater ankle support. A TPU heel stabilizer now wraps almost completely around and forms the last hole of the shoe’s lacing system, ensuring a more stable and secure fit.
Despite a great deal of digging, the average weight for the 574 Sport doesn’t seem to be listed on any online retailers. What is known, however, is that this model is incredibly lightweight. As a shoe that was initially designed for both competitive and recreational running and jogging, its lightness was always needed to help the runner achieve their highest speed possible. This quality still remains just as important now that it's been redesigned for casual wear, making it an excellent choice for a long day out or a simple game of basketball.
By looking at its overall design, it’s quite obvious that the 574 Sport isn’t as breathable as other running shoes on the market. Today, carefully engineered fabrics and synthetic overlays construct the uppers of almost every shoe that’s released. While back in the 1980’s, leather and suede were primarily used along with mesh to ensure greater structure and protection. One version of the 574 Sport kept this aspect of the design, while another option uses synthetic instead. Still, as with the original model, the top of the forefoot is completely aerated. Though they wish this feature had been improved, reviewers are still glad to know that they’re being offered some form of climate control when it comes to the foot chamber.
Across all online review platforms, consumers can’t stop raving about how comfortable the 574 Sport is. The addition of New Balance’s Fresh Foam midsole has brought a new level of plushness to this model’s wear, with some saying that these have become their go-to shoes for long shifts at work. And the feature’s responsive nature also means that the wearer will be left with far less pain at the end of a miles-long walk or run. Though it may not offer as much breathability as other shoes on the market, thanks to the accompanying suede or synthetic, its mesh upper still does a fair job at ensuring that the runner gets substantial aeration.
One look at the 574 Sport and it’s clear that it has all the appeal of the original model from the 1980’s. Yet the updates to this shoe make it more than fit for the present day. Its silhouette is described as a one-piece bootie, with a long tongue and heel tab for easier insertion and a dip on either side to better support the ankles. Buyers have their choice between suede/mesh or synthetic/mesh for the upper, making those who are vegan-friendly very happy. As with all New Balance shoes, its logo still features prominently on both the lateral and medial sides. Depending on the upper material, they’re either stitched in or fused onto the synthetic material. Of course, what really make reviewers happy is the wide variety of color options that are still available. Aside from basic black or white, both men and women can choose from multiple shades of blue, green, grey, yellow, red, or pink.
As long as buyers know when and when not to use this shoe, the 574 Sport could last them quite a long time. The rubber material that constructs its outsole is made to be long-lasting and holds up incredibly well on flat surfaces. And the entire midsole unit, particularly the Fresh Foam and ABZORB technology, stays completely resilient even after multiple wears. Though the upper does have some reinforcements, its design is obviously not intended for any rugged outdoor activities. Therefore, it’s best to put these aside when it comes to hiking or trail running.
While it’s obviously not meant for rugged environments, the 574 Sport still provides enough protection for everyday use. Its rubber outsole is made to withstand constant usage on roads, sidewalks, and wood floors. Plus, its amazing traction on these surfaces means there’s a reduced risk of accidental slips and falls. The shock absorption offered with the Fresh Foam midsole and ABZORB crash pad means that the runner will experience less chronic pain and fatigue by the end of the day. Breathability offered by the upper’s mesh sections help to control the temperature within the foot chamber. And the use of suede and synthetic give additional structure and safeguard the foot from minor hazards. There’s no indication, however, that this shoe can withstand rain or wet surfaces.
The 574 Sport has gained a number of amazing benefits since being equipped with a Fresh Foam midsole. Aside from comfortable cushioning, a more responsive wear is definitely one of its better qualities. Reviewers have noticed that the amount of shock absorption it provides has greatly reduced their level of discomfort by the end of the day, even if they only wear this model for work. They also appreciate the energy return that’s enhanced by the ABZORB crash pad, believing that it contributes greatly to the shoe’s lightweight feel. Though it does not have the traditional tongue and collar design, making for an easier insertion, a traditional lacing system is still in place to better customize the fit.
For the most part, reviewers were very satisfied with the amount of support that the 574 Sport offered them. With its long-lasting rubber outsole serving as a protective base, the ultra plush Fresh Foam midsole keeps the foot cushioned for hours on end. And the inclusion of the ABZORB crash pad and injection molded insole enhances this even further. Suede or synthetic material on the upper not only maintains the shoe’s shape but also hug the foot as the laces are tightened. And the shape of the padded collar and attached tongue enables even more efficient ankle support.
Because it is designed to function as a casual running shoe, it’s quite safe to say that the 574 Sport is strictly intended for use on everyday surfaces. The tread pattern of its long-lasting rubber outsole holds up amazingly well against long runs or walks on asphalt and concrete. And its performance on wood surfaces also makes it a terrific option as a basketball shoe. In fact, those who partake in any casual indoor sport would get a great deal of use from this particular model.
For an updated version of a classic model, the 574 Sport is actually very well priced. Most online outlets sell it for only $100, which is a bit below the average running shoe price of $120. It’s an especially good bargain when one considers its level of lightweight comfort, versatile wear, and amazing traction on everyday surfaces. Of course, those who are still in search of a lower price can easily find some reputable listings on Amazon or eBay.
Reviewers were quite happy with how well the 574 Sport performed on flat surfaces. Its tread pattern is designed to give a firm grip on concrete and asphalt, and reviewers state that it’s also great for wooden floors. As its name suggests, this feature makes the shoe especially good for indoor sports or even skate parks. Unfortunately, there is no information that indicates how well it functions on wet or uneven surfaces. So it’s best to take precautions and go with another model when it comes to more high-intensity outdoor sports.
Though reviews and product descriptions don’t go into great detail, its materials still indicate that the 574 Sport provides the runner with a decently flexible wear. Its Fresh Foam midsole and injection-molded insole are both designed to be extremely pliable. And the design of its outsole was clearly intended for constant everyday use and indoor sporting activities, both of which would require a great deal of flexibility. When it comes to the upper, however, it’s logical to assume that the version made with synthetic would be a bit easier to move around in than the one made with suede.
While it does not include any corrective features, the 574 Sport is still able to offer a very secure and stable run across all intended surfaces. The tread pattern provided by its rubber outsole gets the runner safely across most types of flat surfaces. The midsole’s responsiveness and impact absorption enable the runner to continue smooth movement no matter how hard they run. Of course, the use of suede or synthetic maintains the overall structure of the shoe and prevents any sort of wobbling. And the combined effort of the padded collar, TPU heel stabilizer, and lacing system ensure that the foot stays in place all day.
No online listings or reviews seem to point out the 574 Sport’s heel-to-toe drop measurement. When it comes to casual running shoes, this particular feature typically comes in a 10mm. This is high enough to provide a decent amount of heel cushioning yet still doesn’t impede on the runner’s natural gait. When comparing product photos of this shoe and similar models with a 10mm drop height, it’s safe to conclude that this model has that exact same feature as well.
Key Features
-Long-lasting rubber outsole
-Fresh Foam midsole for cushioning
-ABZORB technology crash pad
-Choice of suede/mesh or synthetic/mesh upper
-Attached tongue for easy insertion
-Multiple color options available
-Same appeal as 1980’s original
Bottom Line
All-in-all, the New Balance 574 Sport has become a wonderfully received re-release of this classic model. Though many of the elements that made the shoe stand out are still available, the updates have only made it that much better. Its outsole is longer lasting, its midsole is more cushiony and responsive, and the shoe is now much easier to put on and take off. The multiple color options that are still available serve as an added bonus. Though some reviewers do wish that it had more breathability, most seem to be more than satisfied with the changes that New Balance made.
Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
See Deal
Holabird Sports Link
See Deal
Road Runner Sports Link
See Deal
By Jessica Pilla
Last updated:
Where to buy
Best offer on: Aug. 04. 2021

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