Our verdict

Emerging from a successful collaborative effort, the 9060 from New Balance is such a captivating running-inspired kick on almost every front. We were hooked by the shoe’s futuristic flair only to be further endeared by its extremely comfortable nature. And have we mentioned how ridiculously well-made this bad boy is yet? It seems to be too good to miss out on.

Pros

  • Next-level comfort
  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Quite heavy-duty
  • Dope aesthetics
  • True to size
  • Looks better in person
  • Premium-grade materials
  • Stable

Cons

  • Limited color options
  • Squeaks
  • A tad warm

Audience verdict

89
Good!

Who should buy

We recommend the New Balance 9060 to anyone who:

  • wants a tamer version of the Adidas Yeezy 500
  • are in the market for sneakers with a remarkable finish
  • has been waiting for a pair that can sustain your balance anywhere on the streets
  • is in the market for a running-inspired kick from NB
  • are fashion-minded and need shoes that work well with baggy pants

New Balance 9060 vevqv

Who should NOT buy

Skip the New Balance 9060 for the Adidas Ozweego if you want a squeak-free shoe that comes in multiple colorways. 

For a more breathable option for those warm summer months, we recommend the New Balance 1906R instead. 

New Balance 9060 vrwev

Breathability

To get a visual idea of how well-ventilated the shoe is, we pumped the 9060 full of smoke for ten seconds. As we can see from the footage, the 9060 lets out a slow but steady stream of smoke throughout the test.

This average performance leads us to give the 9060 a middle-of-the-road breathability score of 3 out of 5. This makes the 9060 a pretty good year-round shoe, though it will feel somewhat toasty during the warmer summer months, especially in the darker colorways. 

For an example of the extreme end of the spectrum, check out the plumes of smoke emitting from the Puma RS-X which earned it a perfect breathability score. 

Backlighting a cross-section of the 9060’s upper doesn’t do much to illuminate the source of the shoe’s airflow as it doesn’t seem to let much, if any, light shine through. We can, however, take an educated guess and say that the porous mesh sections of the upper are responsible for ventilating the shoe despite appearing rather opaque. 

Looking at the 9060’s upper mesh under our microscope is mesmerizing. The way the strands of fiber gently intertwine to form multiple layers of delicate braids truly is a treat to behold. These porous sections are the main source of airflow in the 9060.

New Balance 9060 eqwvew

New Balance 9060 Breathability
Test results
9060 3
Average 2.9
Compared to 52 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Leather/Suede quality

We torched the suede sections of the 9060’s upper and scratched off the scorched remains with an awl to determine that they are indeed made of genuine suede. The overlay at the top of the tongue, on the other hand, caught fire and melted away from the flame which tells us that it is synthetic. 

Test results
9060 Real suede

Toebox durability

For its first outing, we fired up our Dremel to 5K RPM and set it against the mesh section of the 9060’s toebox with 3.2N of force. 

While the tool made quick work of fraying the top layer of mesh, it wasn’t able to pierce through the toebox and left only an unsightly scar in the wake of the four-second test. This earns the 9060 a respectable toebox durability score of 3 out of 5.

New Balance 9060 Toebox durability
Test results
9060 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 52 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The 9060’s heel counter fared just as well against our Dremel which only managed to scuff up the lining material while leaving the padding relatively intact within by the time four seconds was up. 

This leads us to give the 9060 another 3 out of 5 for heel padding durability.

Test results
9060 3
Average 3.4
Compared to 52 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

With a durometer reading of 85.1 HC, the 9060’s outsole rubber is about as hard as our current lab average for sneakers. Based on our findings in the lab so far, this level of hardness usually indicates a healthy balance of grip and durability. 

New Balance 9060 Outsole hardness
Test results
9060 85.1 HC
Average 85.2 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 52 sneakers
Number of shoes
72.9 HC
Outsole hardness
90.5 HC

Outsole durability

We fired up our Dremel for a third and final time, now spinning at 10K RPM, and set it against the 9060’s outsole for twenty seconds. 

The test went by rather uneventfully and, once the time was up, we found that we had only lopped off 0.76 mm of rubber from the 9060’s outsole. This is less material than the average sneaker loses in this same test which bodes well regarding the longevity of this shoe.

New Balance 9060 Outsole durability
Test results
9060 0.8 mm
Average 1.0 mm
Compared to 52 sneakers
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

The 9060’s outsole is only 3.8 mm thick, making it significantly less thick than our current lab average for sneakers. However, with the performance of the outsole against our Dremel, this doesn’t give us much cause for concern regarding its durability. 

New Balance 9060 Outsole thickness
Test results
9060 3.8 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 53 sneakers
Number of shoes
3.4 mm
Outsole thickness
12.5 mm

Weight

Despite skimping on rubber from the outsole and its running shoe-esque silhouette, the 9060 tips the scale at a hefty 15.1 oz (427g). While this is heavier than the average sneaker, we still found it to be comfortable enough for regular day-to-day use as well as mild fitness activities or gym days. 

New Balance 9060 Weight
Test results
9060 15.06 oz (427g)
Average 14.22 oz (403g)
Compared to 53 sneakers
Number of shoes
8.54 oz (242g)
Weight
22.61 oz (641g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The 9060 boasts a rather robust stack at the heel, measuring 37.2 mm thick according to our caliper.

New Balance 9060 vervreq

This is significantly higher than average which means that we have lots of protective foam to dampen the impact of our landings as we walk around in this shoe. 

New Balance 9060 Heel stack
Test results
9060 37.3 mm
Average 30.0 mm
Compared to 53 sneakers
Number of shoes
18.2 mm
Heel stack
50.5 mm

Forefoot stack

At 26 mm thick based on our caliper measurements, the 9060’s stack is just as chunky at the forefoot and much thicker than our current lab average.

New Balance 9060 jevevnern

Having this much foam underfoot really allows us to sink into the midsole and savor the shoe’s cushioning which almost entirely erases any sense of the harsh ground below. Not to mention, it gives us a little height boost which is a nice added bonus. 

Test results
9060 26.0 mm
Average 18.9 mm
Compared to 53 sneakers
Number of shoes
10.6 mm
Forefoot stack
28.3 mm

Drop

The difference in our stack heights leaves the 9060 with a drop height of 11.3 mm. This falls in line with our current lab average and means that this offset should be comfortable for most people. 

New Balance 9060 Drop
Test results
9060 11.3 mm
Average 11.1 mm
Compared to 53 sneakers
Number of shoes
6.7 mm
Drop
22.6 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Using our durometer to test the softness of the midsole yields a softer-than-average reading of 19.4 HA. 

New Balance 9060 3vcwq

The 9060’s thick stack further accentuates the plushness of the foam and had us luxuriating in the shoe’s cushioning as we tested it about town.

Test results
9060 19.4 HA
Average 29.5 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 43 sneakers
Number of shoes
15.0 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
60.0 HA

Insole thickness

At 3.6 mm thick, the 9060’s insole isn’t quite as thick as our current lab average, though this didn’t present us with any problems while testing as we still enjoyed a soft and well-padded surface within the shoe that complements the midsole cushioning. 

New Balance 9060 Insole thickness
Test results
9060 3.6 mm
Average 5.5 mm
Compared to 53 sneakers
Number of shoes
3.1 mm
Insole thickness
14.2 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

While shoes with high stacks of plush foam aren’t exactly known to be stable, we found that the 9060 feels incredibly well-planted when shifting our weight from side to side in the shoe. In the following sections, we’ll break down how New Balance achieves this impressive feat. 

Torsional rigidity

We found the 9060 to be quite difficult to bend and twist in our hands, leading us to give it a torsional rigidity score of 4 out of 5. This means that the shoe mitigates any lateral flexion of our foot during our stride and, in doing so, maintains a relatively level base that keeps each step feeling as surefooted as the last. 

Test results
9060 4
Average 3.5
Compared to 52 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The 9060’s generously padded heel counter is somewhat firm and puts up an average level of resistance to our manual manipulations, leading us to give it a score of 3 out of 5. This represents a good mix of comfort and stability as the shoe is structured enough to hold our foot in place while still being flexible enough to allow for natural movements. 

Test results
9060 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 52 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Rule 101 when it comes to stability is a broad base, and the 9060 has it in spades with the midsole measuring 121 mm wide at the forefoot. This is much wider than average and is certainly the key factor in just how well-balanced we felt while testing this shoe. 

New Balance 9060 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
9060 121.0 mm
Average 108.9 mm
Compared to 53 sneakers
Number of shoes
100.0 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
121.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

At 103.1 mm wide according to our caliper, the midsole is also significantly broader than average at the heel. Furthermore, its flared design means that this robust platform does an excellent job offsetting the potential imbalance of having so much plush foam underfoot. 

New Balance 9060 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
9060 103.1 mm
Average 83.3 mm
Compared to 53 sneakers
Number of shoes
69.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
103.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We secured the 9060 to our workbench and, using our force gauge, found that 22N of force is required to bend it to 90 degrees. 

As such, the 9060 is on par with the average sneaker in terms of flexibility which means that the shoe is able to conform with the natural flexion of our foot with relative ease. This is another key factor in the shoe’s forgiving ride that makes it comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

New Balance 9060 Stiffness
Test results
9060 22.0N
Average 24.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 53 sneakers
Number of shoes
5.8N
Stiffness
60.5N

Grip / Traction

We enjoyed excellent traction over a variety of surfaces while testing the 9060, though we must say that the rubber is quite squeaky so the shoe is a head-turner in more ways than just visually. 

New Balance 9060 vt43ew

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

At 99.7 mm wide at its widest point according to our caliper measurements, the 9060’s toebox is right on par with our current lab average which means that it should be able to comfortably accommodate most foot shapes. Only those with very broad feet might find the shoe to be a little snug. 

New Balance 9060 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
9060 99.7 mm
Average 99.1 mm
Compared to 53 sneakers
Number of shoes
91.6 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
107.7 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The toebox tapers down to 75.3 mm wide in the area around the big toe which is also in line with our current lab average. 

New Balance 9060 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
9060 75.3 mm
Average 74.9 mm
Compared to 52 sneakers
Number of shoes
63.7 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
83.0 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The tongue is non-gusseted though, thanks to its shape and ample padding, we didn’t experience any slippage over the course of testing the shoe. 

New Balance 9060 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
9060 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

At 11.2 mm thick, the 9060’s tongue is considerably more padded than the average sneaker. This allows us to lock the shoe down securely and comfortably without any hint of lace bite across our instep. 

New Balance 9060 Tongue padding
Test results
9060 11.2 mm
Average 9.1 mm
Compared to 53 sneakers
Number of shoes
1.0 mm
Tongue padding
38.4 mm

Removable insole

The 9060’s default insole isn’t glued in, so removing it in favor of a custom orthotic for added arch support is possible if necessary.

New Balance 9060 Removable insole
Test results
9060 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

The 9060 is equipped for nocturnal outings with several reflective elements, chief amongst them being the “N” logo emblazoned on the side of the shoe. 

Test results
9060 Yes