7 Best New Balance Running Shoes, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2022

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best New Balance Running Shoes, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2022

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 the carousel below with our top picks in various categories.

How we test running shoes

With over 150 New Balance running shoes to choose from, it's our mission to help you find the one and only.

Each shoe on our website comes with a proprietary CoreScore, a number from 0 to 100, which indicates how good it is. Sounds simple. But here is the work that goes into it:

  • Our independent shoe testing lab literally puts every shoe through the wringer, cutting it open and measuring over 30 different aspects on flexibility, softness, durability, etc.
  • A team of dedicated runners logs at least 30-50 miles in each pair before sharing their experience.

We also aim to keep our scores as objective as possible:

  • All New Balance shoes are purchased with our own funds, helping to minimize brand loyalty and bias.
  • Over 100,000 expert and user reviews from all over the web have been accounted for in our scoring system.

Best New Balance running shoes overall

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2
New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2

CoreScore

91
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 1,401 users
91 / 100 from 22 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Fits wide feet well
  • Lightweight
  • Responsive and bouncy ride
  • Breathable upper
  • Great lockdown
  • Ultra-comfortable
  • Bargain at $130 (should be $160)

Cons

  • Slightly unstable when walking
  • No heel-loop
  • Stiffens in cold temperatures

Verdict

If there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that we are the masters of nitpicking. But boy was it a challenge to do in the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2!

Hats off to NB, they really smashed it in the golden trinity of weight, response, and cushion!

Most do-it-all shoes are good at everything and great at nothing. But this shoe is a literal rebel and changes all that.

It excels at everything. From recovery runs, long-distance stretches, to tempo days, this shoe just stands out!

Comfort is king in the Rebel v2. It’s so plush and fluffy, we didn’t want to take them off! In our lab tests, we found that it’s 70% softer than the average midsole, and 48% softer than the similar FuelCell foam in the RC Elite. Safe to say, if the feet had dreams, it’s this one right here!

It’s marshmallowy soft, yes. But it’s not mushy either. It’s bouncy and efficient, it rocks in faster paces, and is cushy during slow, easy days.

Whatever you put it through, this shoe just performs!

And heavens, what a (light) weight! At 7.6 oz it’s almost like a race shoe - ALMOST.

If there’s one red flag here, it’s that the super soft midsole will most likely pack out after 300 miles.

This shoe may retail for only $130, but with all the goods it brings on the table, for us, it can sit in the ranks of $160 shoes.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2 full review

Best New Balance running shoes for race

New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2
New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2

CoreScore

79
Good!
4.0 / 5 from 30 users
92 / 100 from 20 experts

Pros

  • Plush comfort in a race shoe
  • Smooth, fast ride
  • Breathable
  • Responsive toe-off
  • Carbon plated
  • Stiff but not overly stiff
  • Fits wider feet well
  • True to size
  • Stretchy material hugs feet
  • Sticky, grippy tread
  • Sexy! Sparkles in sunlight

Cons

  • Spendy at $225
  • Heavier than other race shoes
  • Tongue tends to fold under

Verdict

Comfortable, bouncy, fast, and sexy - it’s no wonder why this shoe sits atop our list for race day!

The foam is just like a spa treat for the feet - it’s INSANELY soft! To balance it out, it’s equipped with a carbon plate, which makes the ride stable and efficient, bouncing you forward to your next PB!

And to all the wide-footed runners out there, let’s rejoice! It’s got some flex to open up to our larger feet.

What’s even more exciting is that it’s not as stiff as other racing flats. The RC Elite (in our lab test) is significantly less rigid (68.5N) than the VaporFly (83.7N) and Endorphin Pro 2 (94.2N).

What does this mean to you? If you’re new to plated running shoes, this is the shoe that does not require much adjustment - a friendlier alternative for the newbies!

Good news to the forefoot runners: it’s got a lot of grip up front, thanks to the generous rubber coverage.

And we wouldn’t miss out on that impressive breathability now, would we? Even at the hottest temps we could test it under, the extremely large perforations on the upper just keeps the feet sweat-free and cool!

Life is not all rainbows and butterflies, and this shoe reminds us that.

All that plushness in the midsole has a price to pay. And in the case of the NB RC Elite v2, it’s that it makes the ride unstable.

New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 full review

Best New Balance trail running shoes

New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6
New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6

CoreScore

90
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 4,662 users
86 / 100 from 14 experts

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Super plush
  • Protective underfoot
  • Amazing lockdown
  • Easy to put on (heel loop!)
  • True to size
  • Heel rudder
  • Looks amazing
  • Value at $135

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Runs warm
  • Could be grippier

Verdict

A trail monster - we’d pick the New Balance Fresh foam Hierro v6 if we want to tackle the moderately technical terrain with comfort and protection in mind.

Before anything, let’s just give a moment to that oh so sexy lewk! If you want to catch some attention, this baby will do the job!

The shoe’s tale of comfort begins in the upper. It's among the plushest uppers we’ve ever tried. And holy moly! What an ankle collar, it’s so padded we just had to measure it (which we don’t usually do!) And wow, it’s super cushioned and thick at 21.1mm!

And as a shoe built around comfort, it just had to have a plush midsole too. Here’s the deal - it’s not crazy soft, and it’s dense. In other words, it’s got all the qualities to absorb impact while not being too squishy that it loses sight of stability.

Now that’s what you call balance!

The real champion here is the Vibram outsole of the shoe. If there’s one way to describe it, it’s built like a tank! Add in the insane amount of foam in the midsole, and you’ve got an armored card for the feet in the Hierro v6.

The Hierro’s undoing is in its weight. At 11.4 oz, it just tips the scales! It’s heavy on paper as it is on foot!

New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6 full review

Best New Balance road running shoes

New Balance Fresh Foam More v3
New Balance Fresh Foam More v3

CoreScore

89
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 1,364 users
91 / 100 from 13 experts

Pros

  • Insanely soft underfoot
  • Efficient stride
  • True to size
  • Accommodates wide feet
  • Stable platform
  • Should last a lot of miles
  • Max cushioned
  • No break-in
  • Good lockdown

Cons

  • Runs warm
  • Feels a bit heavy
  • Grip is subpar on loose terrain

Verdict

The New Balance Fresh Foam More is a maximalist daily trainer that amazed us with its cushy and impact-absorbing ride! It's on the superlatives of comfort, we couldn't recommend it more for long runs and recovery days. Apart from its uber plush construction, what sets it apart from other max-cushioned shoes is that it's velvety smooth in its ride. It rolls you through your gait effortlessly and seamlessly.
New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 full review

Best New Balance running shoes for flat feet

New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v11
New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v11

CoreScore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 7,124 users
91 / 100 from 12 experts

Pros

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

Cons

  • Runs half a size small
  • Heel counter not for everyone
  • Quite heavy

Verdict

What gives the New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v11 an edge among all the other stability shoes we’ve tested is that it encourages a more natural ride.

And for a stability shoe, it’s not obtrusive either. So much so that neutral runners reap just as many benefits both overpronators and flat-footed runners do.

It’s cushy and comfortable, which makes it our no-sweat choice for long miles. And to inspire confidence in your runs, this shoe has a sock-like fit, following the natural shape and contours of the foot.

On uneven surfaces, the New Balance Fresh Foam 860 kept us steady. We didn’t have to worry about losing our footing at all!

At 9.7 oz, this is a heavy trainer! The average running shoe (according to our lab test results) weighs in at 9.4 oz. It might not be a ton of difference, but we sure felt it on the run!

If you want a shoe that can be a do-it-all, this is a great buy! The NB Fresh Foam 860 v11 is a no-nonsense pick for a highly stable shoe that’s fit for the long haul, daily runs, jogs, walks, and athleisure.

New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v11 full review

Best value New Balance running shoes

New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi v3
New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi v3

CoreScore

81
Good!
4.5 / 5 from 73,255 users
N/A

Pros

  • On-feet comfort
  • Adequate support
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • For work and casual walks
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Runs narrow
  • Poor cushioning

Verdict

For $70, the New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi v3 packs so much comfort, responsiveness, and style in such a lightweight package!

In our opinion, the best value among our list of budget running shoes.

If you’re new to the running scene, this is a pair that will exceed your expectations. A long-time runner? This can fit just right into your rotation!

This shoe does not compromise on comfort in favor of lightness. With its Fresh Foam midsole, you get the best of both worlds! Even better, it’s springy enough to bounce you forward and make your runs efficient.

Taking comfort up a notch, the shoe is also highly breathable. When we took it out for some test runs under the scorching heat, our feet surprisingly stayed well-ventilated and sweat-free.

50 miles later, we can say that this shoe is a jack-of-all-trades. If you want one shoe for your runs, gym workout, and walks, you will be pleased with the New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi v3!

New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi v3 full review

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.

See NB shoes with BOA

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.