New Balance 730 V3

The third iteration of New Balance’s 730 is its most lightweight, flexible, fast 730 yet. The engineers at New Balance listened to their runners and redesigned the 730 to make it even faster and more versatile. This is a minimalist shoe with a low heel drop that is not designed for the runner who needs or wants heft or stability in their racing companion. From the upper to the outsole, runners will find flexible cushioning that is designed to speed the runner up instead of weight them down. This shoe comes in a variety of brightly designed options that are sure to get runners noticed whether they are running errands around town or sprinting across the finish line. The seamless upper is so soft and comfortable that runners can work out in this shoe without socks. The midsole provides firm cushioning, and the outsole is lined with multiple flex grooves for the most natural fitting 730 yet. The low drop and firmer fit also make this a good option for dynamic fitness classes like cross fit. Although the shoe is lightweight and fits like a glove, New Balance designed this shoe to last a long time, and runners commented that they needed to replace the 730 V3 much less frequently than other similar shoes they had in the past.

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Where to Buy
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Pros & Cons

Lightweight and fast

Minimalist design and a mere 4 millimeter drop

Cool colors and styles


The third model has less cushioning and support than the previous versions

Narrow and not great for wide feet

Key Features
One of the keys to the flexible, minimalist fit and feel is the unique outsole design of this shoe. The outsole is made using two different rubber materials: blown rubber for added traction and responsiveness and carbon rubber along the lateral side of the shoe and the heel for additional durability. The strategic placement of these various rubbers means that runners do not need to be weighed down by extra materials to get the benefits of these shoes. New Balance also uses their unique Flex Zone footprint in the creation of this shoe. This design utilizes extra flex grooves along the underfoot to provide maximum flexibility. Additionally, the basically unbroken, flatter outsole design provides added stability and traction.
Runners found the midsole of this shoe to provide a firm cushioning that is great for speed work. New Balance selected their Acteva Lite Midsole unit. This is a full-length unit that runs the length of the shoe, helping to promote a smooth transition and a high level of responsiveness. This foam is also much lighter than a traditional EVA midsole foam unit.
Some of the biggest changes that runners can expect to see in the V3 of this shoe will be found in the upper. New Balance did away with the majority of the overlays, reducing the support and the weight and letting the runner’s foot move naturally through the gait cycle. This creates an even more minimalistic feel for runners. Additionally, the entire upper is made using one seamless, single piece of material. This eliminates friction and helps to keep runners comfortable. The mesh material used in the upper is light and breathable, supporting circulation into the shoe.
The upper of this shoe has been redesigned to be more breathable and lightweight. In an attempt to shed some of the material, New Balance minimized the overlays that lay on top of the seamless mesh. The breathable mesh material is thin and ventilated and supports air flow to easily enter and exit the shoe. The added ventilation that enters the foot chambers keeps the foot cool and comfortable regardless of the weather conditions. This eliminates the risk of blisters and hot spots. The open mesh design not only allows air to flow into the shoe but allows air to escape to constantly circulate around the foot chamber.
The 730 V3 is one of the most lightweight racing and cross training shoes in the New Balance line. One of the key focuses of the redesign from the previous iterations was to lighten up the entire shoe. New Balance achieved this by removing the majority of the overlays along the upper. They also swapped out the old midsole foam unit for a full-length Acteva Lite midsole foam unit. This foam is 24 percent lighter than a tradition EVA midsole foam. Additionally, the outsole utilizes strategically placed rubber material to reduce the amount of rubber needed overall to provide the same level of durability and protection.
This shoe is comfortable to runners who are looking for a specific fit. This is a minimalist shoe that offers a firm cushioning through the midsole. The upper has been stripped of extra overlays, but the interior provides a plush, soft lining for runners. This interior is so soft and does such a good job of wicking away sweat that runners can feel confident running and training in this shoe without socks. The upper is lightweight and breathable, working to keep the foot comfortable and dry regardless of the weather conditions.
This shoe departs from the classic New Balance style and provides runners with a sleek, slim design that comes in a variety of bright, fun color options. The entire upper of the shoe is made using a single piece of material, providing a slim look that isn’t distracted with unwanted overlays or seams. The result is a sleek, thin shoe that is made for speed and style.
Considering how lightweight and minimalist these shoes are, runners were pleasantly surprised by the high level of durability provided in such a seemingly flimsy product. The high level of durability can be attributed to the Acteva Lite Midsole foam, in part. Although this foam unit is a quarter lighter than a traditional midsole foam, it is much firmer and maintains its shape for a much longer period of time. Additionally, the outsole uses both Blown and Carbon rubber distributed in different spots depending on the amount of tread. This allows the shoe to stay lightweight but still protects the shoe from wear and tear.

This shoe was not designed as a protective shoe. With that said, runners can expect to enjoy some basic protections. For starters, the New Balance insignia along the side of the shoe includes reflective detailing that keeps runners safe in low light areas. Another protective element is the stable, flatter platform in the outsole. Finally, the breathable mesh upper helps runners stay blister free, protecting them from pain and discomfort during their workouts.
This shoe boasts a 4-millimeter drop and thinner, protective outsole, and midsole. All of these elements work together to help the runner feel connected to the ground below them. This is a highly responsive shoe and enables runners to make changes to speed and direction easily and effectively. The unbroken outsole design provides a smooth transition without any impediments between the runner and the road.
This shoe is not designed to be overly supportive, and instead, promotes the natural movement of the runner. The third iteration of the 730 lost the majority of its supportive overlays, and while runners should expect to have less support in this model, the V3 swaps support for lightweight details and a flexible fit. Instead of the overlays, runners will find a compression fit upper that wraps the foot in tight-fitting support.
This shoe is designed for road running and cross-training activities in a gym setting. The outsole is made of both blown and carbon rubber that adds traction, and the design of the outsole is an unbroken stable platform that is great for group fitness classes, lifting weights or speedy races. This shoe lacks the lug system and more aggressive traction that would make it a good choice for off-road adventures.
Runners were pleased with the lowered price tag connected to the New Balance 730 V3. Although this shoe features some of the newest technologies, and is surprisingly durable, it still will only cost runners a fraction of what they can expect to pay for a similar minimalistic racing shoe on today’s market. Additionally, since the shoe has such a long life span, the value is even higher.
The outsole design of this shoe is a series of parallel flex grooves. Although this design does not provide an overly high level of traction, the dual outsole rubber materials help the runner out enough to keep them safe and secure on their feet. The carbon and blown rubber help runners stay connected to the pavement and various gym surfaces. However, the traction is not strong enough to protect runners while they are running on slippery or uneven terrains like trails.
One of the areas where this shoe really shines is in the flexibility department. The upper of the shoe is made using one seamless piece of breathable mesh. This uses a compression fit that wraps the foot in a bootie-like way, and without cumbersome overlays, it is able to move freely with the athlete. The midsole of the shoe is made with New Balance’s patented Acteva Lite Midsole foam. This foam runs the length of the foot and supports the natural movement of the runner. Finally, the outsole is basically one giant flex groove. By turning the shoe upside down, the runner will notice that the underfoot is lined with a series of parallel flex grooves that allow the foot to move freely and respond quickly to changes in speed and direction.
This shoe is not designed as a stability shoe. Runners will not find the support they need for over or under pronation issues in this shoe due to the fact the 730 V3 is designed as a minimalist shoe with a low drop. This shoe supports the natural movement of each runner and is not designed to improve or change the gait cycle of the runner.
Runners who are used to working out in a traditional drop shoe will need some time to adjust to this shoe. The reason is that while the traditional heel drop of a road running shoe is around 10 mm, the 730 V3 has a heel drop of 4 mm. This is good for the runner who wants less forward propulsion in each gait cycle, and instead, would like to develop the muscles in the leg that can help the runner move forward on their own. The lower drop also provides a flatter base which makes this shoe a good choice for weightlifting and cross training that involves lateral movement.
Key Features
- 6-ounce weight in a women’s size 9 and 7.9 in a men's size nine
- Molded heel insert for added comfort
- Plush, soft, interior lining
- Dual rubber materials used in the outsole, blown and carbon rubbers
- Flexzone outsole design adds superior flexibility
- Acteva Lite Midsole unit is a quarter lighter than most midsole units
- Breathable mesh upper
- Unbroken outsole design
Bottom Line
New Balance took the feedback given to them by their customers and made key improvements to the third version of the 730 without removing the features that runners loved. The result of the V3 is a lighter, more flexible, durable and versatile cross trainer. Runners raved about the minimalist fit and feel. The lower drop provides a stable base and the added flex groove throughout the underfoot promotes the natural movement of the runner. This platform makes this shoe a good choice for a variety of cross-training activities including weight lifting like CrossFit. This is not a shoe for the runner who is looking for a solid, heavy shoe loaded with support features. Rather, this shoe is designed for speed and movement. The colors are vivid and the design is a slim fitting bootie like construction. The midsole unit provides firm cushioning at a fraction of the weight of a traditional midsole foam. The price tag is more than reasonable and will cost runners much less than the average road racing shoe on today’s market.
Where to Buy
By Stacey O'Connor
Last updated:
Where to buy
Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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