We spent 10 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what training geeks think:

7 reasons to buy

  • Numerous buyers lauded the comfort they experienced when wearing the New Balance 517.
  • The shoe pleased many consumers with its accurate fit: it ran true to size and required no break-in period.
  • It was considered an excellent companion for both gym use and daily wear by a significant number of people.
  • New Balance crafted this trainer with a lightweight construction which satisfied a lot of purchasers.
  • Most users expressed contentment with the product’s reasonable price point.
  • More than a few testers reported that the shoe breathes well and keeps the foot fresh.
  • Those who required an extra wide option were satisfied with the way it fit them.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Several purchasers complained about the eyelets tearing within the first few uses of the trainer.
  • A few people griped about the quality of the insoles which lacked proper cushioning.

Bottom line

The New Balance 517 received lots of positive feedback for being a comfortable, well-fitting, lightweight, and breathable training shoe. It served well for both working out and everyday walking. On the downside, a minority of buyers were disgruntled by the easily torn eyelets as well as the poorly made insoles. But overall, the shoe was considered an excellent value for the money, especially given its affordable price tag.



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  • This athletic trainer was designed for men who stay active throughout the day. It is ready to support them in both daily walks and gym sessions.
  • The mesh upper helps the interiors stay fresh and free of sweat. At the same time, the padded collar and tongue brace the foot in a cozy foothold.
  • The EVA foam ensures underfoot comfort by absorbing shock and providing cushioning with each step. The foam is protected against wear-and-tear by the rubber outsole at the bottom.

The New Balance 517 comes in men’s sizes only. It is reported to run true to size and fit as expected. The available range of sizes for this model goes from US 7 to 15, with half sizes in between.

Most training shoes from New Balance are offered in multiple width variations to accommodate different foot shapes. This trainer is no exception as it is offered in a standard D - Medium profile as well as in a 4E - Extra Wide one.  

The shoe is designed with a round toe box to offer ample space for the toes to move and spread. The generously padded tongue and collar hug the ankle area for support. A traditional lace-up closure can be used to regulate the tightness of the foothold.

The Ndurance rubber compound lines the bottom of the shoe to protect it against abrasion. This rubber material is also described as non-marking. It means that it does not leave scuff marks on polished floors.

The outsole sports an indoor tread which implies that it is most effective on indoor surfaces. Its rubber lugs are meant to bite smooth gym floors to provide traction. But if you are in search of a workout shoe that is also ready for the outdoors, be sure to take a look at New Balance 624.

The rubber extends up at the shoe’s forefoot to cover up the toe area. It forms a bumper and additional protection for this high-abrasion area.

Several multi-directional flex grooves are placed in each part of the platform. They help the sole unit become more flexible and move more seamlessly with the foot.

A lightweight EVA foam unit serves as the primary cushioning component of the New Balance 517. Its responsive nature allows it to squeeze upon impact and quickly restore its shape once the pressure is taken off. This characteristic creates a safe underfoot buffer for high-impact exercises.

Extra padding is offered by a Memory Sole insert. It is a soft polyurethane unit which easily molds to the shape of the wearer’s foot. Since it is removable, it can be taken out for a firmer experience or replaced with custom orthotics, if necessary.

Breathable mesh fabric is used as the main upper material. It is responsible for keeping the foot chamber ventilated by allowing fresh air inside the shoe.  

Synthetic leather overlays are added for support and protection. They cover the heel, the eyestay, and the toe box as these areas are the most prone to abrasion. Additionally, these overlays give the upper its structure.

On the inner side, this part of the shoe is lined with breathable textile. It contributes to a comfortable in-shoe experience and prevents undesirable skin chafing.  

The trainer sports a low-cut silhouette meaning that the collar lies below the ankle bones. This design is typical for most workout shoes as it doesn’t hinder the freedom of movement in the ankle joint.

If you don’t mind the “dad shoe” vibe in your trainers, then we recommend checking out the 624 model or the 608 v5 trainer. Both shoes have received high marks from the buyers, primarily for their comfort, support, durability, and versatility. Their synthetic leather uppers and monochromatic color options create a classic sporty look which is easy to combine with various casual and athletic outfits. Both models are available in a range of width options, from Narrow to Extra Wide. Performance-wise, these trainers are equipped with the brand’s proprietary ABZORB cushioning unit in the heel section. It helps to dissipate the shock from high-impact activities more effectively than the regular EVA foam.

Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick is a powerlifter who believes cardio comes in the form of more heavy ass squats. Based on over 1.5 million lifts done at competitions, his PRs place him as an elite level powerlifter. His PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on Forbes,, Elite Daily and the like. Collaborating along the way with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.