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Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.


Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.


Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.


We spent 7.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

13 reasons to buy

  • An overwhelming majority of wearers took note of the overall positive feel that the New Balance 501 gives.
  • Many wearers reported that the 501 runs true to size.
  • Several looks-conscious purchasers loved the silhouette of the 501 New Balance.
  • Many of the purchasers took note of how light the shoe is.
  • Some loved how comfortable the shoes feel even after long walks.
  • Several shoe enthusiasts loved the fact that there are a lot of colors to choose from.
  • A considerable number felt the shoes just perfectly fit them.
  • A lot of users were happy with how much value they get even with the New Balance 501’s affordable price.
  • The suede and mesh upper offer breathable coverage.
  • There is adequate padding in the ankle collar and tongue for a plush in-shoe feel.
  • The prominent lugs in the outsole of the 501 easily makes it a versatile sneaker where surfaces are concerned.
  • The formidable and stitched toe protection adds a little more durability to the shoe.
  • Majority of the reviewers recommend the shoe to those who are looking for a wallet-friendly and stylish shoe.

3 reasons not to buy

  • A few disappointed purchasers noticed how the padding did not last long.
  • Quite a few commented on how craftsmanship was not so good on the pair they received.
  • There were quality inconsistencies across items according to a few reviews.

Bottom line

An overwhelming number of buyers are impressed with how comfortable and stylish the New Balance 501 is. Those who move around a lot noted how light the pair is, sparing their feet from the pains of too much movement. Given its relative affordability, it surely will not hurt to give the New Balance 501 a try.



4.5 / 5 based on 167 ratings

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New Balance 501 History

New Balance’s fame as a top notch company that provides runners and people in general shoes with excellent arch support and good hold has also given them an unfairly misguided reputation as a “dad’s shoe” or clunky trainers that only podiatrists or orthopaedics would suggest.

People who are familiar with New Balance or sneakerheads can readily vouch for the superior style and functionality of what is known as the New Balance Classics. It is a collection of shoes that are found in the closet of thousands of New Balance fans. These shoes are in no way a stereotype of an average “dad’s shoe” or an anonymous trainer.

Part of this deep and amazing collection shoes of is the New Balance 501. The sneaker is a nod to New Balance’s humble beginning as typified by its simple and retro-style look. The vivid colors represent the company’s rich tradition of mixing style and performance. It is also a distant relative to one of company’s most popular and sought-after models in the 574.

A cohort of the iconic 574, the New Balance 501 shares a lot of similarities with the ubiquitous model. It also has that streamlined classic silhouette and snug fit that allow wearers to move around in comfort, which is actually not that surprising since the 501 also traces its roots to running.

There are a handful of notable differences between these two popular lines, though. A significant difference between the two would be New Balance’s use of lighter materials for the 501. Besides the lighter materials, the 501 also does not offer the same type of heel hold as its cousin. Lastly, the midfoot overlays present in the 574 are subdued in the 501.

The differences make the 501 a little more flexible and with better freedom of movement. This is a good choice for those who want to have a more casual approach to their usual days without sacrificing support.

The effective midsole cushioning, outsole durability, and versatile suede/textile stylishness of its breathable upper complete the positive experience that the 501 provides.

New Balance 501 Style

With its classic yet sporty silhouette, the New Balance 501 is a blessing to those who comfortably don the old-school shirt and jeans. Its largely monochromatic colorway, which by the way, comes in a lot of variants, also makes outfit matching such an easy task to do. If versatility is desired, then this pair is indeed one to have.

Fit & Sizing

The New Balance 501 comes in sizes and widths that are specific to the two sexes. The male sizes range from 6.5 to 18, and they come in both D (standard) and 2E (wide) widths. The sizes for women are from 5 to 12, with standard B widths.

Notable Features

The understated approach of the 501 to honor New Balance’s heritage is the shoe’s most notable feature. Besides making it almost a look alike of the iconic 574, it also gives the 501 a simple appeal that makes it one very popular shoe.

The outsole is also quite a stand out feature in this sneaker. New Balance uses adequately-sized lugs from the heel to the forefoot to make it a suitable partner for different types of terrain. Users can be sure-footed while getting their best in lifestyle out of the New Balance 501.

Additional Info

  • The New Balance 501 is also available in kids’ sizes.
  • The 501 uses the proprietary Encap technology to ensure stability and proper shock dispersion.
  • New Balance and Rick Williams’s Distinct Life once collaborated to promote the 501. It was part of their 30 for 30 series where Williams wore 30 different pairs of New Balance kicks, one for each day of June 2011.