7 Best New Balance Running Shoes in 2023

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best New Balance Running Shoes in 2023
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New Balance has become a go-to brand not only for stylish lifestyle footwear but running shoes as well.

Given how easy it is to get lost in all those FreshFoams and FuelCells, we are here to narrow down your choices. We have tested 60+ road and trail running shoes from New Balance to select the best options in various categories.

Whether you’re after a well-cushioned trainer for daily runs, a budget-friendly all-arounder, or a speedy shoe for personal bests, we’ve got them all covered.

See our top picks in various categories!

Best New Balance running shoes overall

What makes it the best?

After vigorous lab tests and spirited runs, we crown the New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 as the best overall running shoe in the New Balance line. With the plump midsole foam, an incredibly stable platform, and a grippy but robust outsole—this shoe lives up to its “More” moniker. 

Its ample and soft midsole foam made our variety of runs enjoyable and therapeutic—10/10 for plushness. In the lab, durometer measurements verified that at 15.5 HA, the Fresh Foam X More v4 is 37.8% softer than the average. It's definitely the king of soft cushioning. 

Despite the tall and soft midsole, we were pleased with how stable and planted our landings felt. In the lab, we found out that it has a wider-than-average base—12.5 mm wider at the heel and 7 mm wider at the forefoot. At the same time, the upper also gave us a snug and secure fit.

The outsole is also something to behold. Lab results showed that it is 5.9% softer than average, explaining the sticky and grippy sensations we felt on our runs. It is also 5.9% thicker than the average road running shoe, which makes it a durable shoe that will withstand long training blocks.  

Unfortunately, the “More” in its name also means more in terms of weight. At 10 oz (283 g), it is 6.8% heavier than average road running shoes. Those looking for lighter shoes will have plenty of other options.


  • An armor from fatigue
  • REALLY cushy for long days
  • Puts life in your run
  • A stable ride
  • True to size
  • Superb heel clutch
  • Markdown price
  • Long-lasting
  • Reflective


  • Easily feels hot
  • Chunky and clunky
  • Low energy return
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4

Best New Balance daily training running shoes

What makes it the best?

After miles of sweating it out during runs, and hours of intensive tests in our lab, the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12 has emerged as the best daily trainer in the New Balance roster. The luxurious cushion of the midsole, its unrivaled fit, and its grippy outsole make it the perfect running ally—day in and day out.

The lab numbers had the proof, but our feet lived to tell the tale. The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12’s cushion felt like we were running on clouds. Our durometer measurement confirmed this with the midsole cushion scoring 12.5 HA—49.7% softer than the average road running shoe. While it felt ultra-plush, it was abundantly springy and provided us with a forgiving and exciting ride.

The thoroughly comfortable upper was insanely impressive during our training runs. The knitted upper felt plush and fleecy—we didn't feel any rubbing or abrasion of any sort while racking up those miles. Aside from the comfort, the upper also delivered a secure foothold that boosted our confidence when navigating sharp turns and corners. 

With the outsole being 44% thinner than average, we were pleasantly surprised with the incredible traction. We ran on dry and wet pavement, even on snow or slush—yet the outsole’s grip remained exceptionally adherent to any surface we challenged it to.

Despite the 1080 v12 being a do-it-all running shoe for any type of run, there are lighter and livelier shoes that will provide more propulsion for speedier runs and race days.


  • Protective cushion
  • Lively ride
  • Smooth transitions
  • Stable when cornering
  • Comfy upper
  • Durable outsole
  • Welcomes wide feet
  • For heavy runners
  • Grippy on snow, slush, and slick surfaces
  • No lace bites
  • Great heel hold
  • An eye-catcher


  • Not for narrow feet
  • Bottom-heavy for fast runs
  • Questionable breathability
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12

Best New Balance running shoes for speed training

What makes it the best?

The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 soars high as the best shoe for speed training in the New Balance line—and rightfully so. It is an extremely lightweight shoe that boasts an impressively soft midsole and a remarkably breathable upper. We sure felt these during our runs and our lab tests backed these up.

Weighing in at only 7.4 oz (211 g), the Rebel v3 is amazingly 25.6% lighter than the average road running shoes tested in our lab. Indeed, its lightweight nature allowed us to glide breezily through our mile repeats, fartlek sessions, and tempo runs.

The midsole’s softness is like magic. Our durometer measurements confirmed this because at a mere 9.5 HA, the Rebel v3 is the second softest we’ve ever tested in our lab! During our runs, each step felt like a luxury. Although spongy and buttery-soft, it still felt lively and springy during our speed runs. 

The Rebel v3’s upper is insanely plush and breathable, which we enjoyed when running outdoors in warm temperatures. In the lab, we pumped smoke inside the shoe and watched as the smoke passed through the ultra-thin knit effortlessly. Garnering a score of 5/5, this shoe was a joy to run in, even during hot days. 

However, the Rebel v3’s heel drop is 9 mm according to our caliper measurements and not 6 mm as the brand has stated. We issue a caution to all the runners who want a mid-range drop and not a high heel to toe drop. 


  • Fantastic soft and fun ride
  • Versatile for different paces
  • Very lightweight
  • Excellent breathability
  • More stable than version 2
  • Great lockdown
  • Visible at night
  • Not expensive


  • Not great on wet surfaces
  • Durability could be improved
  • Bottoms out easily
Full review of New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3

Best New Balance running shoes for long distance

What makes it the best?

Among all New Balance shoes we tested, Fuelcell Supercomp Trainer v2 is our top choice for long-distance runs. With race-legal soaring stack heights, a luscious foam, and a durable outsole, it provided all the support and energy we needed for long and hard miles. It cleverly integrates the carbon plate into the flexible midsole, ensuring we can sustain fast paces comfortably.

This shoe has one of the highest heel stack heights within the 40-mm limit. Standing at 39.3 mm, it’s 17.3% higher than average! Our feet are spoiled with pillowy goodness. Our durometer confirms it’s one of the softest we lab-tested at 9.6 HA (23.7 HA average). This superior combination provides extra comfort and protection.

To enhance speed, it has a flexible carbon plate featuring New Balance’s Energy Arc design, which includes a void from the heel to the forefoot for better movement. Its rocker structure facilitates smooth strides to maintain our forward momentum.

The outsole features a balanced 70.3 HC rubber — tougher than most race shoes for durability and softer than the average daily trainer for better grip. Among its racer counterparts, its 2.8 mm outsole gives more than enough rubber to last long.

With soaring stack heights and ultra-soft foam, this pair is not ideal for those seeking a more supportive ride.


  • Incredibly plush midsole
  • Effective rockered ride
  • Ideal for long-distance training
  • Significant weight reduction from the first version
  • Rare wide-size availability for a supershoe
  • Exceptionally durable outsole
  • Surprisingly stable performance
  • Compliant with World Athletics regulations


  • The upper lacks breathability and durability
  • Energy return falls short compared to other supershoes
  • Noticeable discrepancy from the stated drop
Full review of New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2

Best New Balance trail running shoes

What makes it the best?

The Fresh Foam X Hierro v7 is the best New Balance trail running shoe based on all our tests because it blends a grippy outsole, a stable ride, and a very comfortable and flexible midsole. This makes it the go-to shoe for running those less-beaten paths or even blazing new ones.

When we ran on different terrains, the grippy nature of the Hierro v7’s outsole definitely stood out. The combination of this reliable outsole rubber and an updated lug pattern resulted in this very grippy shoe—perfect for conquering light to moderate trails while remaining unscathed.

The Hierro v7 also offers a stable ride, thanks to its wider-than-average platform (113 mm vs 111 mm at the forefoot and 90.6 mm vs 88.6 mm on the heel). During our trail runs, we definitely appreciated this wider base, especially on varied and unpredictable routes.

The midsole is also flexible as it bends easily like an acrobat. In the lab, it needed 50% less force to bend compared to the average. Durometer readings in the lab also showed that it is 67.7% softer than the average trail running shoe. This plushness offered both comfort and great protection underfoot.

However, the Fresh Foam X Hierro v7 has a below-average forefoot stack height (22.5 mm vs 24.1 mm) that forefoot strikers might find lacking. 


  • Grippier than ever before
  • Ready for a rough beating
  • Lighter than ever
  • Seamless heel-to-toe
  • Stable during sharp turns
  • Buttery soft
  • Welcomes wide feet
  • Tongue stays in place
  • Also for hiking!


  • Not enough airflow
  • Forefoot lacks cushion
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v7

Best budget New Balance running shoes

What makes it the best?

The New Balance Fresh Foam Roav v2 is an excellent daily trainer that can double as a cross-training shoe. A lightweight and comfortable shoe at a pocket-friendly price, the Fresh Foam Roav v2 tops the charts as the best budget New Balance running shoes.

At an insanely low price of 85 USD, the Fresh Foam Roav v2 is leagues below the average price of road running shoes (130 USD). Yet, it punches above its class with some of its premium features.

Weighing in at just 238g (8.4 oz), the New Balance Fresh Foam Roav v2 is definitely a lightweight shoe. It is far below the average weight of road running shoes 268g (9.45 oz) and we were absolutely amazed by how it felt so light on our feet. 

The ‘Fresh Foam’ midsole unit on the Roav v2 is the highlight of this shoe as it is both comfortable and responsive. We measured the midsole to be 8.1% firmer at 26.5HA using our durometer test, but it never felt overly firm. In fact, it felt soft enough to provide ample protection and responsiveness for our feet during our runs.

Although the rubber outsole is thick at 4 mm, the exposed midsole on the bottom due to sparse outsole coverage really wore out pretty quickly. Runners looking for more durability should look at other shoes.


  • Protective cushioning
  • Very light
  • Snappy ride
  • High-quality materials
  • Versatile for running and gym
  • Wallet-friendly
  • Lots of colors available


  • Lacks traction on wet
  • Not for wide feet
  • Durability is not great
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam Roav V2

Best New Balance stability running shoes

What makes it the best?

The New Balance 860v12 is a shoe specifically made for overpronators with its excellent support and stability, plus, as we found out on our test runs, a consistent ride in any condition. Its outstanding traction is the cherry on top—making it the best stability shoe in the New Balance running shoe lineup. 

This shoe provides unmatched stability for the feet. The dual-density midsole foam guides our feet straight, and a stiff medial post helps correct the feet when they roll inward. During runs, the stabilizing effects were pretty noticeable and our feet were kept steady and secure.

The 860v12's midsole is firm but comfortable. It has a durometer reading of 32.3 HA, 31.8% firmer than the average of road running shoes and it only hardened by 12% after 20 minutes in the freezer (26.7% change in other road running shoes, on average). Meaning an ultra-consistent ride and ground feel—even in cold conditions.

Outsole durability is also a boon for the 860v12. We measured the outsole to be 9.27% firmer, and at 4.6 mm, it is 1.2 mm thicker than the average of road running shoes. We found no evidence of premature wearing after a multitude of daily runs. 

Unfortunately, the 860 v12 is heavy. At 311g (10.97 oz), it is quite hefty compared to the average of road running shoes (268g, 9.45 oz). Runners looking for lightweight shoes should check other options.


  • Excellent stability shoe
  • Good lacing
  • Looks the part
  • Comfortable
  • Consistent ride in any condition
  • Good grip
  • Perfect daily runner


  • Runs half a size small
  • Heel counter is not for everyone
  • Quite heavy
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v12

Comparison of the 7 best New Balance running shoes

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# of colorways

Road or trail? New Balance shoe types based on terrain

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

Road vs trail.png

Note: The ratings are based on how each type of shoe performs in general. This does not apply to a specific model that exists.


Road running shoes prevail in New Balance’s selection. Some of the best-rated ones are those with Fresh Foam cushioning.

Arch support in New Balance running shoes

The level of arch support in NB shoes is tightly connected to the pronation degree. When you know how you pronate, it's easy to see which type of shoe you need - neutral, stability, or motion control.

Arch types and recommended shoes.png

TIP: Buy a pair of neutral running shoes if you don’t have any visible foot issues.

To learn more about your pronation type and whether you need extra support in running shoes, see our in-depth guide on arch support.


75% of New Balance shoes are made for neutral pronation, meaning they have no added arch support. Example: the popular 1080 series.

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.
  • Version (i.e. “v3”) number refers to the times the model has been updated.

Shoe types.png

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 in wet and rainy running conditions.

See waterproof running shoes from New Balance


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.

How we test running shoes

With over 150 New Balance running shoes to choose from, we present you the crème de la crème.

If you are interested to know how we do it:

  • We literally put every shoe through the wringer, cutting it open and measuring over 30 different aspects of flexibility, softness, durability, etc. We do all this testing in our esteemed and independent shoe-testing lab
  • As a team of dedicated runners, we log at least 30-50 miles in each pair before sharing our experience.
  • We also keep our scores as objective as possible. So, all New Balance shoes are purchased with our own funds, helping to eliminate brand loyalty and bias.

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.