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Comfortable as their world-famous sneakers, New Balance waterproof hiking shoes have made their way to many people's outdoor gear collection. But what makes them different from other hiking shoes in the market? What can you expect from these shoes? And are they the best for you?
New Balance waterproof hiking shoes - who are they for?
New Balance makes trail runners and walking shoes for men and women. Their hiking shoe collection offers the lightness and comfort of their well-loved sneakers but in more rugged construction.
Overall, New Balance waterproof trail hikers are great for day hiking in well-established trails. Unlike traditional runners, these shoes are heavier as they are designed to offer more support and protection on rugged terrain. If you're heading out for a quick run off the streets, they are a great footwear choice.
But if you're heading to the trail to camp, fish, or simply enjoy a nature walk, you should check out New Balance waterproof hiking shoes or trail walking shoes. Their trail walking collection features low-cut and mid-top shoes with leather uppers and aggressive outsoles. The New Balance 978, for instance, is made of Nubuck leather lined with Gore-Tex for its waterproof construction. Very noticeable in this shoe is a durable outsole with multidirectional lugs for enhanced grip and traction.
Best features of New Balance waterproof hiking shoes
Gore-Tex waterproof construction. Some models are lined with the Gore-Tex membrane - a synthetic material that works by stopping liquid from entering the shoe while letting vapor out.
Durable upper. All trail walking shoes of New Balance are made of leather. Some models feature Nubuck while others feature suede. Their running shoes, on the other hand, are made of synthetic materials (textiles) as they are meant to provide more flexibility.
Cushioning. New Balance hiking shoes are known for their plush comfort. Most models have the Fresh Foam technology which is basically a thick yet very soft midsole designed to provide cushioning and support. Others have the ABZORB cushioning system which is placed in both the heel and forefoot that works by absorbing shock as soon as the foot makes an impact.
Support and stability. You'll find that some NB hiking shoes integrate the ROLLBAR - a posting system that helps reduce rearfoot movement. This feature works well with people with severe overpronation.
Men's and women's New Balance waterproof hiking shoes: things to consider
While New Balance offers reliable hiking shoes for outdoor lovers around the world, there are some things that every interested buyer should take into account.
They are not meant for technical terrain. New Balance waterproof hiking shoes are designed for well-maintained trails, mild climate, and easy terrain. They don't have special features that would protect your feet from severe weather conditions or really rugged terrain. If you're tackling a challenging trail, you should consider using waterproof hiking boots.
They provide an average level of support. Since these shoes are low-cut, expect a lower level of ankle support. If you're new to hiking, you might consider New Balance hiking boots for more support and protection. Nonetheless, many experienced hikers find low-cut styles a good choice for ultralight backpacking activities as they allow them to move with speed.