Facts

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Road

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

Trail

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.

Competition

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.

Summary

We spent 9.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

9 reasons to buy

  • The New Balance 520 is a great looking and stylish sneaker, according to the majority of reviewers.
  • A large part of the reviewers commended the extraordinary comfort of this shoe. It is comfortable right out of the box and does not require any break-in.
  • This classic is offered in several colorways for both men and women to suit any wardrobe and style.
  • This shoe is affordable.
  • The great fit of this shoe is well-appreciated by numerous purchasers as it fits true to size and feels great on the foot.
  • Some reviewers emphasized how they loved the gum sole.
  • The colors are stylish and beautiful, according to many purchasers.
  • A few reviewers commented that they receive many compliments on this shoe.
  • One reviewer liked that the insole is removable and replaceable with the orthotic ones.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The arch support of the New Balance 520 has disappointed some of the purchasers. They claimed that it has minimal arch support compared to other New Balance models.
  • Some colors look different in actual than in the photos, according to a limited number of reviewers.

Bottom line

A highly recommended sneaker, the New Balance 520 exhibits a minimalist look in a classic retro silhouette and high-quality materials. The mesh-suede upper provides the perfect mix of style and comfort, which makes it more desirable for most purchasers. Not only this, but it also has a versatile look suitable for any casual outfit and even sportswear. A true to size shoe, it has been attested to fit great on foot. Re-introduced as a lifestyle sneaker, some find that it does not have much arch support as other performance models from the brand.


Rankings

Best rated New Balance sneakers: Add to compare

Ratings

4.6 / 5 based on 87 ratings

5 star
68%
4 star
23%
3 star
8%
2 star
0%
1 star
1%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

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New Balance 520 History

The New Balance 520 is a classic sneaker initially released in the ‘70s. Belonging to the 500 series, it is one of the few models that are not as popular as the other lines.

This year, New Balance revived the 520 runners from its archive with a fresh yet retro look for lifestyle use. Utilized are mesh materials on the upper with suede paneling for comfort, durability, and a style that mixes the old with the new. Completed with the signature N on the side panels, the classic upper sits atop the bi-density EVA midsole for plush cushioning and shock absorption. Finishing off the look is the gum rubber outsole for maximum grip and traction. 

It has been released consistently in several colorways for both men and women. In February, New Balance introduced the Hairy Suede Pack of this classic silhouette in unisex sizing and two colorways. Also released a few months after is the women-exclusive 520 in four new tonal colorways in suede and nylon upper with a premium touch of a bit of leather on the heel.

Collaborations were also made involving the New Balance 520. One of which is the OHKOOS x New Balance U520, a partnership with Korean boutique OHKOOS that released in limited quantities in July 2017. Also, Aberdeen-based boutique Hanon incorporated some nautical look to the 520 and came up with the Hanon X New Balance 520 "Fisherman Blues". It comes with three lace sets, bespoke shoebox, and a special edition dust bag. The upper material is plush leather with perforation details.

New Balance 520 Style

The New Balance 520 is a classic sneaker suited for both men and women from one generation to another. It is a great pair to wear for workouts, walking, casual day out, or just day-to-day comfort. Several colorways are available to match any style or any outfit, in addition to its structure and design that also allows versatility. It looks good when worn with skinny jeans, shorts, dresses, skirts, or sportswear.

Fit & Sizing

The New Balance 520 is a classic sneaker available in men's and women's sizes. Men's sizing ranges from 4 to 12 in D Standard width, while women's sizing ranges from 5 to 12 in B Standard width. Some colorways are considered unisex, but limited only to men's sizing. So for women who want to avail such colorways, it is recommended to order 1 ½ sizes down for an accurate fit. The 520 fits true to size. Half sizes are available as well.

The well-structured upper with suede overlays provides ample support to the feet. The low-top construction allows ankle mobility, while the padded collar gives a cozy feel around the ankle. The tongue has an added eyelet or tab in which the flat laces could loop through to help keep it in place and not slide uncomfortably to the sides. The lace system allows a customized fit.

Notable Features

The two-tone mesh and suede upper defines the classic look of the New Balance 520. It provides an aesthetically pleasing look to the entirety of the shoe, and it also functions to give the wearer breathability while keeping it durable with sufficient support. One notable feature of this shoe is its nylon tongue that bears the NB 520 woven branding. Another is the herringbone-patterned gum rubber outsole that extends up front and serves as a toe cap for added durability.

Additional Info

  • New Balance brandings are also visible on the heel, the outsole, and the insole. The signature N branding is present on the sides.
  • The durable outsole provides the necessary grip and traction.
  • The shoe laces are flat, cotton, and tonal.
  • Also featured are a lightweight, shock-absorbing EVA midsole and a removable insole in a canvas material.
  • Crew worked with New Balance on the 520 silhouette and came up with exclusive color combinations for the ‘70s classic – the navy/rose gold, and the gold/salt.