7 Best New Balance Running Shoes in 2024

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best New Balance Running Shoes in 2024
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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 all these 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!

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.

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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 sweaty runs and hours of lab tests, the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 is our ultimate daily trainer in the New Balance roster. It offers out-of-this-world comfort with its plush midsole, flexible build, and unrestricted ventilation — making it a good place to be in for long hours.

The lab numbers had the proof, but our feet lived to tell the tale. The foam feels so delightful, oozing heavenly levels of comfort. Our durometer confirms a low measurement of 10.0 HA—57.6% softer than its counterparts. The platform delivers impact absorption and a pain-free experience in our daily runs. 

What adds to the comfort is the shoe’s flexible build, allowing us to move naturally without much resistance. Our bend test confirms it’s 30.0% more adaptive than average.

The knitted upper is a step above the rest. It seamlessly blends padding and ventilation—free from any rubbing, blisters, and sweat while racking up those miles. Our lab breathability test confirms the perforated upper gets a perfect 5/5 score.

Because the foam is still EVA-based, it lacks the spring and energy return to conquer speedier runs.

Pros

  • Exceptional comfort
  • Outstanding breathability
  • Incredibly soft ride
  • Long-lasting outsole
  • Lightweight for its size
  • High-quality materials throughout the shoe
  • Ideal for medium or long runs at a relaxed pace
  • Suitable for a wide range of foot shapes

Cons

  • The EVA-based midsole falls short in energy return
  • Lacks stability
  • Not suitable for quick-paced running
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13

Best New Balance running shoes for speed training

What makes it the best?

Within the New Balance lineup, the FuelCell Rebel v4 shines as the ultimate choice for speed training and it's no surprise. Its featherlight construction, exceptionally soft midsole, and responsive yet comfortable ride elevate every run—a fact supported by both our real-world tests and lab analysis.

At a mere 7.5 oz (213 g), the Rebel v4 is a standout, boasting a weight that's 19.6% lighter than the average road-running shoe, making it ideal for effortless intervals, fartlek sessions, and tempo runs. This trainer maintains a light build due to its moderately low stack that enhances agility.

What also keeps us nimble is the flexible midsole that gives a natural feel, perfect for runners who want to build speed without the aid of stiff carbon plates. True enough, our bend test confirms Rebel v4 is 54.8% more adaptive than average.

The platform enchants our feet with its plushness, as our durometer reveals an astonishingly low 8.5 HA—one of the softest we've encountered. Each step feels indulgent, blending a heavenly cushioned feel with an energetic rebound that’s ideal for speed workouts. This latest version also sports a rocker that promotes smooth forward transitions.

However, it's worth noting that both the midsole and toebox run wider than average. We recommend those with narrow feet to look elsewhere if they prefer a more secure fit.

Pros

  • Natural, flexible ride
  • Enhanced energy return!
  • Remains a fun ride
  • Finally accommodates wide feet
  • Reasonably priced at $140
  • Ample traction
  • Fantastic stability
  • Plush and comfy midsole

Cons

  • Heel lock needs improvement
  • Now it's even... too wide!
Full review of New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4

Best New Balance running shoes for race

What makes it the best?

Among all New Balance shoes we tested, Fuelcell Supercomp Elite v4 is our top racer. With race-legal soaring stack heights, incredible responsiveness, and the Energy ARC carbon plate, it provides all the support and energy we need for hard miles. To sustain long distances and fast paces, our legs are supported by the ultra-plush ride and long-lasting outsole.

An elite in terms of cushioning, it rises to 38.2 mm in the heel, nearing the legal limit to maximize both cushioning and energy return. Our feet are spoiled with pillowy goodness, which our durometer confirms at an ultra-soft 15.0 HA. This superior combination saves our legs from repetitive impact and fatigue.

To enhance speed, it has a full-length carbon plate featuring New Balance’s Energy Arc design, which includes multiple curves and a void underfoot for ease of movement. Its rocker structure facilitates smoother transitions to maintain our forward momentum.

The outsole features a very soft 64.4 HC rubber—yet surprisingly displays remarkable durability in our actual runs and Dremel test by showing less wear than average. Among its racer counterparts, its 2.0 mm outsole gives more than enough rubber to last long, perfect for marathon distances.

However, at 8.2 oz (232g), it’s quite hefty for a supershoe. We recommend using another pair for 5K to 10K races.

Pros

  • Incredibly comfortable ride
  • Ideal for fast-paced long runs
  • Finally features a Pebax midsole
  • Marathon-ready performance
  • Exceptional leg-saving cushioning
  • Premium upper material
  • Amazing for forefoot strikers
  • Roomy upper

Cons

  • Needs to lose weight
  • Subpar tongue
  • Feels bottom-heavy
Full review of New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4

Best New Balance stability running shoes

What makes it the best?

Crafted with comfort and unobtrusive support in mind, the Fresh Foam X Vongo v6 offers generous cushioning, subtle guidance, and a smooth ride, solidifying its status as our top New Balance stability shoe in the lab. We enjoyed the solid footing in our runs without the rigidity typically associated with stability shoes.

The shoe ensures unmatched steadiness through its dual-density midsole foam and plastic plate. Our durometer shows the top layer is a plush 15.8 HA for relief while the layer closer to the ground is a firmer 18.9 HA for better balance. Sandwiched in between is an EVA film plate that stabilizes the ride without adding too much stiffness to the shoe. Our bend test confirms that Vongo v6 is 21.6% more flexible than average.

Besides its fluid ride, the shoe feels luxurious thanks to its maximum cushioning—another unusual feature of stability shoes. Our caliper shows the stack rises to 36.1/30.5 mm vs. the 33.6/25.0 mm average road running shoe, erasing any harshness underneath.

The durable outsole, 7.5% firmer and slightly thicker than average, withstands daily runs without premature wear. Our Dremel affirms this with a minimal 0.7 mm dent vs. the 0.9 mm average.

However, the shoe dragged us down with its heavy 11.0 oz (312g) build. Runners seeking lighter options should explore further.

Pros

  • Flexible design
  • Comfortable, high-quality upper
  • Exceptional durability
  • Perfect for easy paces
  • Also suitable for neutral runners
  • Excellent for long runs
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Noticeably heavy
  • Limited breathability
  • Not the best for heel strikers
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam X Vongo v6

Best New Balance trail running shoes

What makes it the best?

The Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 stands out as the top New Balance trail running shoe, excelling in both real-world and lab tests. Offering a blend of flexibility and cushioning, it caters to trail runners seeking comfort and versatility. It’s even supported by the stellar Vibram Megagrip outsole that promises reliable traction.

Our caliper records a stack height of 32.2/24.1 mm, providing excellent protection for extended trail outings. The Fresh Foam X boasts a 9.1 HA durometer rating, a remarkable 60.4% softer than average, enhancing its plush feel. Thankfully, it maintains a balanced ride since it’s sandwiched between a firmer insole and a thick outsole.

Boosting our agility is the fluid midsole, twisting and bending with our feet freely. Our lab confirms its versatility with a low 2/5 torsional rigidity score and a 47.5% more flexible result than average in our bend test. The cutouts in the outsole further enhance this free movement.

Our lab confirms Vibram Megagrip's top-tier reputation for durability and grip. Despite its slightly below-average 81.5 HC hardness, the rubber showed excellent resilience to our Dremel test, with just a minor 0.7 mm dent compared to the 0.9 mm average. Additionally, the 4-mm lugs provide stability on moderate terrains.

However, the thick upper displays subpar breathability with a 2/5 score. Those in warmer climates should check more ventilated options. 

Pros

  • Superb Vibram outsole
  • Exceptionally plush ride
  • Remarkably flexible
  • Luxuriously-soft Fresh Foam X
  • Reasonably priced
  • Excellent for winter
  • Rare sustainable features
  • Reliable grip on moderate trails
  • Doubles as a great hiking shoe

Cons

  • Poor ventilation
  • Problematic non-gusseted tongue
  • Durability concerns in toebox and heel
  • Not suited for technical trails
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8

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.

Pros

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

Cons

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

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.

New-Balance-Fresh-Foam-More-v3-Rocker.jpg

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.

new-balance-1080-neutral.jpg

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

boa.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.

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.