Our verdict


A highly recommended sneaker, the New Balance 520 exhibits a minimalist look in a classic retro silhouette. Its high-quality materials, including its mesh-suede upper, provide the perfect mix of style and comfort, making it even more desirable. Re-introduced as a lifestyle sneaker, it has a versatile look suitable for any casual outfit and even sportswear. The shoe's snug-yet-non-restrictive fit is its sweet cherry on top.


  • Stylish
  • Great comfort
  • Zero break-in
  • Affordable
  • Glove-like
  • Punchy colorways
  • Compliment magnet


  • Lacks arch support
  • Misleading hues online

Who should buy the New Balance 520

The 520 from New Balance oozes with generational charm. You're part of its target crowd if:

  • Your daily ensemble leans toward the sportier end of the fashion spectrum.
  • Kicks that provide instant comfort are missing in your collection.
  • You want a real feast on the eyes that doesn't break the bank.

New Balance 520 buy

Who should NOT buy it

If you need a New Balance pair with tons of arch support, check out the 574. Also, if colors tend to trick you online, perhaps it's time to go mostly black.

New Balance 520 no

Be flashy in the New Balance 520

The New Balance 520 is a great-looking and stylish sneaker, according to a majority of reviewers.

New Balance 520 flash

Maximum suppleness on day one

Reviewers in droves commend the extraordinary comfort of this shoe. They also say that this high level of pampering is available right from the get-go. 

New Balance 520 comfort

The 520's unremarkable midfoot security

Verified purchasers say that the shoe has minimal arch support compared to other New Balance models.

New Balance 520 arch

Fits like a charm

The snug fit of this shoe is greatly appreciated by numerous purchasers.

New Balance 520 fit

Attractive hues with a caveat

The shoe's colorways are super beautiful, according to many. They receive compliments left and right because of this. That said, they say that some hues look different in the actual than in online photos.

New Balance 520 color

The origins of the New Balance 520

Among NB's Classic sneakers, the 520 was 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.

In 2017, New Balance revived the 520 runners from its archive with a fresh yet retro look for lifestyle use. It used 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 a bi-density EVA midsole for extra cushioning and shock absorption. Finishing off the look was the gum rubber outsole for maximum grip and traction. 

As the popularity of the New Balance 520 grew, the brand released several colorways and renditions for the classic retro model. Collaborations were also made involving the NB520.

New Balance 520 origins