New Balance 608v5 for Ultimate Comfort

The New Balance 608v5 comes with a premium leather bulky look and a whole lot of underfoot protection. While it has all the flaws one could expect from a heavier, leather upper shoe, such as not enough breathability and flexibility, it excels in comfort, durability, stability, and supportiveness. Given its price tag, it’s a bargain.

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Holabird Sports Link
$69.95See Deal
Road Runner Sports Link
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Where to Buy
Holabird Sports Link
$69.95See Deal
Road Runner Sports Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
  • Durable
  • High-quality materials and good build
  • Versatile
  • Great design if you like chunky shoes
  • Good underfoot protection
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Supportive
  • Stable shoe platform
  • Cons
    • Not as flexible
    • Heel is loose if you have thin ankles
    • On the heavier side
    • Limited breathability
    • Key Features
      The New Balance 608v5 running shoe features a grippy rubber outsole that provides great traction on a lot of different surfaces and is slip-resistant. As with every New Balance athletic shoe, the 608v5’s outsole is made of non-marking rubber that will leave your hardwood floors and tiles intact and scuff-free. The rubber compound used in its construction is resilient and hard-wearing without being overly thick or heavy.

      The tread pattern of this running shoe features two arrow-shaped horizontal flex grooves in the forefoot area that provide a natural stride and increase the flexibility of the shoe slightly, even though this isn’t the most flexible of shoes. The rest of the outsole features a combination of thin lugs and flex grooves that are meant to disperse the impact forces evenly.
      The midsole of the New Balance 608v5 features an injection-molded EVA foam compound that provides a great balance of structure and protective cushioning. The midsole also offers an internal PU shank, which is visible in the midfoot outsole area as well, which adds stability and structure to the stride.

      The midsole of this training shoe also features the brand’s ABZORB technology, a mixture of compounds made from isoprene rubber and bouncy foam. This technology is also present in the heel area, as indicated by the letters on the heel as well as a differently-colored heel pad. This heel midsole configuration will add a layer of protective cushioning to the stride.
      The upper of this slightly retro-looking shoe is made of leather, which by nature offers more firmness and structure than the traditional mesh and knit materials. The upper features a lot of double-stitched overlays, which add to the retro look, but also increase the sturdiness of the shoe.

      This sturdy training shoe features dual-density collar foam, which increases the comfort of the shoe even after hours of wear, and it also offers mild support to the Achilles tendon and the ankle. The dual-density foam works so as the softer foam is located right behind the ankle, while the firmer foam is deeper inside, behind the softer, comfort-oriented foam.

      The lacing system is comprised of a combination of eyelets and loops that are attached to the leather overlays and ensure a secure fit on the top of the foot, as well as in the midfoot area. The only thing criticized about the lacing system are the laces themselves, which were far too long for a number of customers.

      The tongue of this training shoe is well-padded and features a mesh material which provides essential ventilation. There is a pull-tab on the back of the heel, facilitating a swift on/off.
      At 382g or 13.4oz for a half-pair, the latest iteration of the New Balance 608 line hasn’t changed too much compared to its predecessor and is by no means a lightweight shoe. However, since it’s not meant to be a racing shoe, nor to be used for half-marathon and marathon runs, but for slower and steady activities, including gym workouts, the weight won’t be a deal-breaker for most people. If you do need a racing shoe in your regular rotation, you can always take a look at some ultra-lightweight ones to add to your roster.
      While leather isn’t known for letting air through the shoe chamber, the small perforations throughout the New Balance 608v5 upper do allow for some airflow and ventilation. This upper configuration is nowhere near as breathable as with some sneakers with a knit upper, but it’s just enough to reduce hot spots on warm spring days.

      This isn’t the shoe to wear for a long time during hot summer months, though. The double foam padding on the collar, as well as the double-stitched leather upper, do not make for an ideal foot environment in the summer when you can expect a lot of sweat. However, if you need a reliable shoe for any other time of the year, this leather looker will be more than suitable for various exercises.
      The New Balance 608v5 trainer is all about the comfort, and especially about facilitating the needs of runners with wide feet. This shoe comes in three widths: Standard, Wide, and X-Wide. This allows virtually every person with wide feet to find a fit that suits his or her needs, although keep in mind that a lot of people felt that the shoe itself ran half a size too small, regardless of the width.

      There is no break-in time required upon walking and running in this shoe for the first time – it’s instantly comfortable and continues to be so consistently throughout the wear time. The dual foam collar ensures that you’re offered maximum comfort and that the feeling around your ankle is plush and supportive. People were also very pleased with the removable insole, which they deemed extremely comfortable.

      If you’re after training, jogging or good shoes for walking all day that offer great comfort without losing its sturdiness, this sneaker would probably be a great fit, just make sure you try it out in the store or order a half-size up if you’re ordering online.
      To those of you who love a bulky look on your feet, this shoe is a great mixture of dad shoes and your favorite trainers from the nineties. There are several colorways that range from colorful to all-white, making sure that everybody finds one that suits their style and needs. The fairly simple leather upper is decorated with the accent lace loops and other minor details, making a coherent and nice-looking whole.

      However, for those you’re not that into chunky-looking shoes, this one will probably look too boxy and thick. One user has commented that due to the width and volume of the comfy toe box, the shoe wrinkled up at the vamp when bending the foot, which ultimately looked too harsh and unattractive. All in all, this is a well-made shoe, it just depends on your personal style whether you’ll find it pretty or boring.
      Unlike the negative feedback that the New Balance 608v4 has gotten on account of its below average durability, the 608v5 has no such issues. The high-quality leather used in the construction of the upper, as well as the sturdy PU shank in the midfoot, add to the durability of this training shoe. A number of users have commented that they are beyond satisfied with how well the shoe is holding up, claiming that it is long-wearing and durable, even with daily use.
      As we’ve said, the midsole of the New Balance 608v5 features the ABZORB cushioning technology, which is especially prominent in the heel. This cushioning, along with the EVA foam compound, offers great underfoot protection and literally absorbs the impact forces, as the name itself suggests. On top of that, this level of protection will be available from the get-go, given that there is no break-in time needed.

      Moving on from the sole, the leather upper offers some protection as well. While the shoe isn’t water-resistant, the leather itself will give you some time in the rain before the water gets to your feet. The sturdiness of the upper also adds to the protection from any stray objects, although truth be told, it’s not likely that you’ll come across them on the gym floor.
      On top of being protective, the ABZORB foam technology also offers a level of responsiveness to this training shoe. While still being soft, the foam is on the harder side, providing some much-needed bounce and energy-return to your stride. However, the New Balance 608v5 definitely cannot compete with the race-oriented shoes that are almost exclusively focused on responsiveness.
      This training shoe is made for neutral pronators, meaning that it’ll suit best people with high, medium-high and normal arches. Compared to the previous iterations of the 608 line, this version offers slightly less arch support than what you’d expect, but it’s still more supportive than most neutral trainers. This is probably thanks to the midfoot shank that supports the arch alongside the rest of the midsole and upper configuration.

      The Achilles heel will receive plenty of support in this training shoe, due to the dual foam at the collar. However, keep in mind that the thick collar foam tends to wear out your socks quickly, so be sure to have a few pairs more than what you think you need, just in case.

      This shoe has a removable insole, which you can switch up for an orthotic one that is customized according to your needs. That said, if you require a lot of arch support, you might be in need of a stability shoe, which the 608v5 isn’t. Also, as a lot of New Balance athletic shoes do, this one might also be eligible for Medical reimbursement.
      The New Balance 608v5 is a classic training shoe that is meant to be taken for a walk, jog, to the gym, as well as wear throughout the day. The optimal terrains for it are all kinds of flat surfaces, such as gym floors, pavements, track, and concrete. A few users have noted that it’s a great shoe to own if you’re walking your dog often, seeing how it’s more supportive and probably more comfortable than your traditional running shoe.

      Don’t be fooled by the sturdy upper and the resilient rubber on the outsole; this shoe isn’t meant to be worn to the trail or used for running marathons, not only because it’s not build to sustain the trail, but also because it’s too heavy for long runs.
      Given the all-round quality of the New Balance 608v5, the price of the shoe is surprisingly affordable. There aren’t many shoes able to compete with its build and comfort in this price category. This is a shoe that won’t break the bank and will last you long enough to forget how much it cost back when you bought it.
      The outsole of the New Balance 608v5 features updated lugs and a tread pattern that provides better traction than the previous version. This trainer will tackle every dry terrain with ease but might struggle a bit with flat and wet surfaces, although it will still be more reliable than most sneakers. The same goes for traction as it did for the terrain – the lugs on this shoe are not prominent enough to tackle trails, regardless if the slip-resistant properties.
      The two horizontal flex grooves in the forefoot area of the outsole make the stride a little bit more natural and easier for the 608v5, especially in the toe-off phase. That being said, the shoe as a whole isn’t nearly as flexible as some other shoes on the market, mainly because the outsole rubber itself is rather hard.

      As for the upper, as with any leather piece of clothing, the more you wear it, the more flexible it will become due to the fact that the leather will adapt to the natural movement and shape of your foot over time.
      In the sole area, this shoe has the one thing that makes for the most important stability feature in a non-stability shoe: the wide shoe platform. New Balance has implemented the tried and tested way of making a shoe more stable by putting the shoe chamber on top of the sole that is noticeably wider, especially in the forefoot area, which instantly elevates the stability of the shoe to another level.

      Additionally, the internal PU shank of the New Balance 608v5 provides a level of stability that most running shoes don’t have, which is always a plus. The sturdy leather upper provides additional stability, especially during lateral movements.

      The only thing that could be an issue, depending on the thickness and shape of your ankle, is the fact that if you have narrow and/or thin ankles, the collar might not be as tight as you’d like, leading to possible wobbling. However, this is something you’ll be able to assess right away once trying the shoe on, so you can decide on the spot whether it fulfills your stability needs.
      The heel-to-toe differential of the New Balance 608v5 measures 10mm, which has become the industry standard over the years. This drop hits the sweet spot of providing just enough cushioning in the heel area for prominent heel strikers, while not getting in the way of the midfoot strikers’ natural stride. The only runners that might have a real issue with this shoe are the forefoot strikers, which could benefit most from a good zero-drop shoe.
      Key Features
      ● Non-marking, slip-resistant rubber outsole
      ● IMEVA foam midsole with ABZORB cushioning technology
      ● Removable insole
      ● Leather upper with dual-density collar foam
      ● Low breathability
      ● 382g or 13.4oz for a half-pair
      ● Extremely comfortable, especially if you have wide feet
      ● Very affordable
      ● Durable
      ● Road, track and treadmill shoe
      ● Best for gym sessions, walking, jogging
      ● Not flexible
      ● Sufficient responsiveness
      ● 10mm drop
      Bottom Line
      The New Balance 608v5 is a great shoe for walking, jogging and long training session, primarily aimed at people with wide feet and a need for some additional structure. Like any other shoe, this one also has some minor flaws, but given its quality build and an affordable price, talking about them in-depth would really be nitpicking.
      Where to Buy
      Holabird Sports Link
      $69.95See Deal
      Road Runner Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Lizzy Pavlovic
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 26. 2021

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