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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:

8 reasons to buy

  • This model received a high overall satisfaction score.
  • According to many reviewers, the New Balance 501 Ballistic provides high levels of comfort.
  • Many of those who left reviews fell in love with the simple stylishness of the 501Ballistic.
  • There was a claim that this model provides adequate support that it helped the wearer recover from a foot injury.
  • There were those who appreciated the breathability of the material that is used on the upper.
  • Many reviewers took note of how well-crafted this pair of classics is.
  • The New Balance 501 Ballistic is quite affordable.
  • Because this comes in numerous colors, this model is actually good for those who want to play with their fashion statements.

2 reasons not to buy

  • There were reviewers who said that the New Balance 501 Ballistic runs smaller than expected.
  • The forefoot felt narrower, even for the wide width, according to a handful of buyers.

Bottom line

The New Balance 501 Ballistic makes it clear that it is more than just an attractive color and silhouette. Its breathable upper makes sure that wearer experiences comfort even when walking around for a long time. Its squishy midsole provides high levels of support that even those who have foot issues found the model particularly helpful. At less than $90 a pair, the New Balance 501 Ballistic is in many ways a good deal.


Best rated New Balance sneakers: Add to compare


3.4 / 5 based on 7 ratings

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My Rating

New Balance 501 Ballistic History

The company’s colorful history of supporting arches and improving running performance is embodied in the New Balance 501 Ballistic. The upper is made of a breathable mesh that provides much comfort to the wearer. The upper also has suede overlays; and they not only reinforce the form of the shoe, they also provide an aesthetic appeal.

The midsole is made of a squishy material that provides effective cushioning even during long walks or laps. Together with a durable and flexible outsole, it supports quick movements and abrupt changes in direction. Indeed, the New Balance 501 Ballistic is designed with activity in mind.

New Balance 501 Ballistic Style

There is no doubt that the New Balance 501 Ballistic delivers performance-wise. The next question is: does it have the aesthetics needed to make a lasting appeal? With its use of suede on the upper, the almost automatic answer will be a “Yes!” After all, rarely does one go wrong with suede when it comes to sophistication and appeal.

Its classic silhouette also brings with it a type of style flexibility that much more modern designs lack. The neatness of its shape easily goes well with any outfit, sparing the wearer from the torment of going through seemingly endless which-best-matches-which moments.

Fit & Sizing

A woman enjoys the New Balance 501 Ballistic in a standard width. A gentleman can either have one with the standard width or one that is wider. As for the length, women can choose from sizes 5 to 12, while men pick their best fit from sizes 6.5 to 18. The snugness of this shoe’s fit can be adjusted through its effective lacing system.

Notable Features

Aside from its neat and classic silhouette, the New Balance 501 Ballistic stands out also because of its use of (you guessed it right!) ballistic nylon on its upper. This material is usually used on products that are meant to be extra durable and abrasion-resistant such as bags and protective clothing. Hence, having this on the 501 Ballistic provides the wearer an extra layer of security. Of course, that is done without ever compromising comfort or style.

Additional Info

  • The New Balance 501 Ballistic has a solid rubber outsole that is not only durable but also flexible.
  • The collar is lightly padded to provide high levels of next-to-skin comfort.
  • New Balance uses ballistic mesh underlays for support and midfoot hold.
  • Suede overlays are also present for more comfort.