New Balance Cypher Run

The New Balance Cypher Run is a mid-cut neutral running and lifestyle shoe that is ultra-lightweight and offers good cushioning. The affordable price and the amazing street-style design make this running shoe stand out in a sea of running shoes that are equally as cushioned, breathable and comfortable. The only real issue with this shoe is its average durability – but this will only affect you if you primarily use it for running. However, our feeling is that most people who decide to buy this shoe will want to have a walking and lifestyle shoe they can run in, and not vice versa.

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Backcountry Link
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Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
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Road Runner Sports Link
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Pros & Cons
  • Fresh Foam EVA midsole
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Speed Lacing System
  • Breathable engineered mesh upper
  • Versatile everyday shoe
  • Flexible
  • Satisfactory traction on flat dry surfaces
  • Great modern design
  • Comfortable
  • Affordable
  • Cons
    • Simplistic running shoe that’s low on technology
    • Not too durable – 1 running season
    • Not very responsive
    • Some runners felt that the opening was too small and the shoe platform was narrow
    • Key Features
      The outsole of the New Balance Cypher Run makes use of the Ripple traction design aimed at absorbing impact and providing a good grip on a variety of flat and hard surfaces, especially pavement. The Ripple traction pattern also enables a smooth heel-to-toe transition and sole flexibility, while looking discreet and unassuming. Other than the efficiency-oriented outsole pattern, the Cypher’s rubber outsole doesn’t come packed with technology or some mind-blowing materials that we’re used to seeing with some more advanced New Balance runners. This positions the Cypher Run as a model able to cater to city runners and fashion lovers alike, without being predominantly one or the other.
      The Fresh Foam EVA midsole of the New Balance Cypher Run is a single-density midsole that provides a good amount of cushioning and comfort, as well as responsiveness. The EVA foam offers good protection and has impact-absorbing properties, which is especially important given the pavement and concrete-oriented nature of the shoe. The midsole is noticeably thicker in the rearfoot area, not because of favoring heel-strikers as much as joggers in general, which tend to land on the heel. To further increase the cushioning, the Cypher features a removable insole that is soft and comfortable. Overall, the midsole mirrors the simplistic outsole vibes, offering just the bare, yet high-quality city necessities.
      The upper is the most prominent and striking part of the shoe. It’s made from a sleek-looking engineered mesh material and features fabric lining. This mesh is strengthened with some discreet lateral TPU layers positioned in tear-prone areas so as to increase the upper’s durability. The Cypher dons a mid-cut bootie construction that is both fashionable and very supportive, wrapping the foot and securing it in place without any restrictions. Opting out of the traditional lacing system, the modern Cypher makes use of the Speed Lacing System that enables a quick on and off, as well as easy lace and fit adjustment. In addition to looking contemporary, the bootie construction of the upper prevents debris and small pebbles from getting inside the shoebox.
      One of the greatest things about this city runner is the incredibly light weight which enables you to wear this shoe day in and day out. At 210g or 7.4oz for a men’s half-pair and 172g or 6oz for women’s, the Cypher Run will make you feel like you don’t have shoes on your feet at all. Granted, this feather-light feeling comes as a consequence of not using any medial shank or elaborate technologies in the sole, but to a lot of runners, this isn’t a deal-breaker – on the contrary. The smart use of no-sew engineered mesh and scarce TPU enforcements make the upper extremely lightweight without losing the structure.
      As one would expect from a mesh upper, the breathability of the New Balance Cypher Run is impressive, regardless of the mid-cut construction that would spark some doubt about overheating in the summer. The ventilation that the upper offers is more than enough to keep your feet from overheating and sweating and the vast majority of runners have expressed satisfaction with this element of the shoe. This shoe will breathe in the summer but will be able to keep your feet warm enough in the fall as well, as long as you wear suitable socks.
      The overall consensus on the Cypher Run is that it’s an immensely comfortable shoe that offers just the right amount of upper support. The round-toe, slightly curved build of the shoebox mimics the natural curve of the human foot, making the shoe non-restrictive as possible. The toggle laces enable you to adjust the already sock-like upper to adhere to your foot completely, without any pressure on top of the shoe. The only two minor complaints on this shoe were that it ran slightly narrower than normal and that the top opening was also too narrow to put the shoe on effortlessly. Speaking of width, the shoe comes in D – Medium for men and B – Medium for women, and the length of the shoe is standard.
      Impeccable, modern style is the main selling point of the New Balance Cypher Run. The brand wanted to make an every-day concrete runner that will look cool and be as versatile as possible, and they’ve succeeded in that completely. A lot of people really liked the artsy and simple design of the Cypher Run, and with 15 colorways to choose from, the chances of you not finding the one you like are really slim. The mid-cut bootie design is totally in-line with today’s trends, making this shoe able to cater to a lot of different styles, from street to high-end. The minimalist shape of the Cypher is complemented by a colorful upper with contrast colors on the lacing system and the pull tab, as well as surprising and cheerful splatters of color on the midsole. All in all, this running shoe gets an A in our style books, and we’re definitely not the only ones.
      New Balance has positioned the Cypher Run model as a shoe made for everyday running, which makes perfect sense from the styling standpoint – it would be really silly to wear this shoe only three times a week, exclusively for running. However, we wouldn’t call this an everyday running shoe, but rather an everyday activity shoe; their activities might range from the gym, walking to jogging and an occasional sprint. The midsole has enough cushioning to provide long-term underfoot protection before it starts flattening, and the outsole can endure mild everyday use. That being said, if you’re looking for a serious running shoe, choosing the Cypher run wouldn’t be too advisable, seeing how the outsole rubber isn’t made to cater to a serious runner’s needs and expectations.
      The thick EVA foam used in the midsole construction offers sufficient cushioning and underfoot protection will dampen the ground feel. This protection will result in prolonged comfort and will lower the impact on the feet, eliminating the pain and/or discomfort at the end of the day. The removable cushioned insole also doubles-down on the underfoot protection and makes landing on your heel feel safe and immersive. However, other than the underfoot protection, the New Balance Cypher Run doesn’t have a toe bumper, and it most definitely won’t protect you from the rain and snow – which won’t be an issue, as long as you stick to running on flat surfaces in dry weather.
      The single-layer EVA midsole and the removable insole skew more towards providing cushioning than towards providing exceptional bounce that will propel your foot forward during toe-off. That being said, the midsole does offer some energy return, that is complemented with the Ripple outsole pattern that encourages a smooth gait cycle, which might be enough responsiveness for some runners and a lot of joggers.
      The simplistic outsole and midsole of the New Balance Cypher Run make it a neutral runner through and through. This means that it will suit runners who have high, medium-high and normal arches, who make up to 50% of runners. The lightweight and comfy nature of the shoe make it an ideal everyday shoe for runners who don’t require any additional support, but runners with pronation issues will find the midsole and upper support insufficient to make the ride in the Cypher safe and comfortable. The upper itself offers a customizable, sock-like, supportive fit, and you can switch the removable insole for your own customized insole that offers a bit more arch support.
      The Cypher Run is a great shoe for walking, jogging, gym workouts and walking – all on hard, flat surfaces. This especially applies if you use the shoe on an everyday basis for short runs. However, if you’re after an ultra-lightweight shoe suitable for racing day, that won’t pull your feet down and will make your stride light as a feather, the Cypher Run is a great shoe for that as well. Just keep in mind that in terms of durability, this isn’t a running shoe that will last you more than one racing season.
      The combination of stylishness, lightweight comfort, and the price is more than enough for most people to make the purchase. The price of the New Balance Cypher Run doesn’t go into triple-digit territory, making the durability issue somewhat unimportant, given that this shoe isn’t such a big investment, to begin with. Most customers agree that the pricing of the Cypher Run is more than fair, given the quality and design that you get in return.
      The wave or ripple-shaped traction pattern on the outsole ensures a good grip on all dry, flat surfaces. As exclusive as that may seem, in reality, a lot of runners only run on dry and flat terrains, making this a shoe that satisfies a lot of the runners’ traction needs. However, you should avoid running on wet pavement, because the rubber of the Cypher Run’s outsole isn’t grippy enough to ensure a safe, slip-proof ride in those conditions.
      The most flexible part of the New Balance Cypher Run is the engineered mesh upper which resembles a sock and gives the sock-like fit that ensures the material adheres to your foot and moves seamlessly along with it This gives you total freedom of movement, especially in the toe-off phase of the gait cycle.
      The rugged outsole of the Cypher Run ensures a stable ride, especially when paired with the prominent, thick midsole rearfoot area that ensures a confident stride on all flat surfaces. The tight and supportive upper provides a lot of subtle stability during all-direction movements and prevents the foot from slipping toward the toe area or from wiggling inside the shoe box. Other than the thick, robust heel and the snug upper, the Cypher Run doesn’t have any specifically stabilizing properties, which is in line with the whole idea of this running shoe.
      The 8mm drop of the New Balance Cypher Run represents a compromise zone that suits both rearfoot and midfoot strikers. The heel cushioning is more than enough to ensure a safe and shock-absorbing landing for the heel strikers, but it’s low enough so that midfoot strikers don’t feel like the cushioned heel is in the way of their natural stride. Additionally, this drop is perfect for runners who are trying to transition to a more natural, 4mm drop from a standard 10-12mm drop.
      Key Features
      ● Rubber outsole
      ● Ripple traction pattern
      ● EVA midsole with a removable insole
      ● Engineered mesh upper
      ● Mid-cut bootie design
      ● Speed Lacing System
      ● Ultra lightweight
      ● Very breathable
      ● Extremely comfortable
      ● Affordable price
      ● Not very durable
      ● Road, track and treadmill shoe
      ● Not too responsive
      ● Neutral pronation
      ● 8mm drop
      ● Flexible
      ● Good underfoot protection
      Bottom Line
      If it weren’t for the amazing design and the numerous colorways, the New Balance Cypher Run would be just another neutral running shoe that has all the basics covered, but doesn’t offer much more. However, the brand has gained in popularity precisely because of its innovative and appealing design, and the Cypher is no exception – it is truly a beautiful, modern shoe that can be used for various casual activities, walking, dancing, running, gym and yes – even racing from time to time. Except for its light weight and breathability, the shoe doesn’t have properties that would position it in the top of the market. However, the effortless blend of design and functionality, along with the affordable price, make the Cypher a great everyday shoe worthy of your attention.
      Where to Buy
      Backcountry Link
      See Deal
      Road Runner Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Lizzy Pavlovic
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Aug. 02. 2021

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