10 Best New Balance Running Shoes (Buyer's Guide)

Author: Jens Jakob Andersen. Updated: .

New Balance offers a wide collection of shoes that are designed for road and trail running. If you want to get a new pair, this guide will help you pick the right one. 

How we review our New Balance running shoes

Here at RunRepeat, we give each New Balance running shoe a CoreScore of 0 to 100, indicating how liked the shoe is among the actual users.

We also spend hours each day doing research and reading thousands of user and expert reviews around the internet.

We have more than 150 New Balance running shoes in one list. The ranking is based on more than 700 experts and 100,000 user reviews

Popular running shoes aren't the better rated ones

75 80 85 90 95 100
High Popularity Low
10 best shoes
36 most popular shoes

If you want a separate list of New Balance road shoes and New Balance trail running shoes, check out these buy pages:

A 3-step guide to buying New Balance running shoes

1. Determine the running surface

Here’s the quick comparison of the New Balance road and trail running shoes:

 

Road vs trail.png

2. Consider the shoe feel

You need also to identify how you want each step to feel. New Balance categorizes their shoes into three shoe feels - soft, moderate, direct.

 

Shoe feel

Soft

Moderate

Direct

  • maximum cushioning
  • plush yet supportive
  • medium cushioning
  • flexible
  • light
  • lightly cushioned
  • close ground contact
  • responsive

See: New Balance cushioned running shoes

See: New Balance daily running shoes

See: New Balance minimalist running shoes

 

3. Understand New Balance numbering system

Some New Balance running shoe models have numbers on their names, which can be confusing for those who are not familiar with the brand’s numbering system. 

Here’s how you read the style or model number:

 

New Balance numbering system.png

 

  • The letters represent the gender and sometimes the activity - M = Men’s; W= Women’s. Here are a few other examples: MT = Men's Trail, WT = Women's Trail, and US = Made in the USA
  • The level of performance refers to the number of technologies. However, New Balance emphasized that while most of their “higher-numbered” models feature more technologies than those “lower-numbered”, it is not always the case. 
  • The two digits refer to the shoe type as shown below:

 

Shoe types.png

 

  • Version number refers to the times the model has been updated.

Shoe type is tightly connected to pronation. When you know how you pronate, it's easy to see which type of shoe you need - neutral, stability, or motion control. It's what New Balance covers with those 2 digits and what is usually known as pronation and arch type. Here's the chart which will help you understand what those 2 digits are saying:

 

Arch types and recommended shoes.png

 

Tip: Buy a pair of neutral running shoes if you don’t have anything particular about your feet.

If you want to know more about arch support, read this study - The Truth About Arch Support - A Meta Analysis of 150 Studies

Additional features of New Balance running shoes

 

Waterproof coverage.png

Some New Balance road and trail running shoes have waterproof features. These shoe models are equipped with a GTX membrane that keeps the feet dry on wet and rainy running conditions.

BOA closure system.png

The Boa Closure System allows runners to experience a more customized fit. It is a unique lacing system that is made of three integral parts: a micro-adjustable dial, super-strong lightweight laces, and low-friction lace guides. It is easy to operate as well - just turn the dial to tighten and pull up for quick release

The best New Balance running shoes in every category

Now, are you ready to buy new balance running shoes?

Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com