Verdict from 100+ user reviews

9 reasons to buy

  • Most customers highly recommend the New Balance X-Racer to anyone looking for a functional and fashionable pair of sneakers.
  • Over a dozen testers find this model incredibly comfortable, well-cushioned, and ideal for all-day wear.
  • A couple of users remark that it’s surprisingly lightweight when put on feet.
  • The majority of shoppers are fascinated with its ’90s throwback design, which also bears subtle futuristic vibes.
  • It is sleeker and more streamlined compared to the chunky-sole X-90s, which is a delight to several wearers.
  • More than a handful of reviewers note that its color concepts are “unique” and “innovative” and look much better in person.
  • The X-Racer is an excellent durable beater as well as a go-to pair for traveling and vacationing, according to various reviewers.
  • Some users like the eye-catching accents and panels throughout the shoe.
  • The New Balance X-Racer is an affordable sneaker.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A few reviewers have reported that the sole feels uneven from the inside when they walk.
  • The tongue looks and feels strange, a few buyers have mentioned.

Bottom line

The chunky X-90 takes inspiration from the famous 99x series, the newfangled X-Racer honors the NB’s lesser-known ’90s models, incorporating their design elements into its streamlined silhouette.

Boasting a retro-vibed panel-heavy mesh-nubuck upper, the X-Racer settles atop the modern ABZORB foam-cushioned midsole. Underneath, it has a grippy tread similar to the high-end NB 1400s. Putting on the unusual accents and reflective hits, the X-Racer becomes a sleeker, more futuristic design.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

The New Balance X-Racer from New Balance has a low profile, which lets the ankles have an unrestricted range of motion. That enables the wearer to be more capable of adapting to sudden and rapid foot transitions.

This sneaker also uses a traditional lace-up closure to fasten up the mesh-nubuck upper. The lacing system locks in the feet with an adjustable fitting, hence the sneaker can be tied, securely, as loose or as tight according to the user's preference. Lastly, the NB X-Racer trainer is available in both men’s and women’s sizing.

As functional as it is stylish, the X-Racer looks razor-sharp in almost any kind of outfit as it pops out. Casual and sporty styles fit into the sneaker without effort. Ladies and gentlemen can put them on with a pair of regular-fit or slim-fit jeans or baggy cropped pants. Still, it looks best with the hems rolled up, as it accentuates the X-Racer’s robust silhouette. Sweatpants and joggers that taper down right at the ankles are excellent pairings to this model. For a top, a simple tee or a jacket would do.  

While not having a chunky midsole, its daring vibe reminds one of the Adidas Ozweegos and Puma Spectra. Perhaps the comparison is brought by the X-Racer’s odd shape and its vintage color blocking and paneling. That said, the X-Racer comes in over a dozen retro-inspired colorways. It’s diverse enough so men and women could get what they wanted.

Colorways available are phantom with Orion blue and coral flow, white with violet fluorite and light reef, summer fog with vivid cobalt, white with amazonite, yellow with black, steel with vivid cobalt, black with velocity red, stonewear with prism purple, rain cloud with black, pigment with eclipse, Munsell white with silver metallic, Munsell white with gold metallic, bleached guava with winter sky, light aluminum with supercell, and supercell with black and violet fluorite.

Setting itself apart from the bulky nature of its predecessor is its comparably slimmed-down silhouette. Despite its less-chunky sole, the X-Racer looks as daring and forward as can be. It showcases loud, retro color accenting, which is certain to turn heads.

Besides its stylish looks, the X-Racer features the brand’s top-notch cushioning tech, the ABZORB dual-density foam midsole. The ABZORD’s cell wall is consistent in thickness and uniform in cell size, thus resisting compression. While offering the same lightweight comfort as the EVA foam, the ABZORB foam lasts way more. Upon impact, the ABZORB’s improved cushioning and compression resistance absorbs shock as soon as the foot hits the surface. That assures the wearer a soft, safe ride.

In this new NB silhouette, the old and the new are meshed up together to create the future. NB had taken inspiration from their underrated high-performance silhouettes (the archival M1200, RC205, M1000) from the late 1990s and early 2000s, mixed it all, and put it into the X-Racer’s slimmed-down silhouette. NB did this with style.

The result is a downright retro sneaker, but NB had also added a twist by equipping it with recent modern advances in tech as well as style. Now what we have is a futuristic silhouette, aimed to get ahead of the race.

The X-Racer is just the second installment of the sports heritage-inspired X range, which was spearheaded by the X-90 model. The X range combines new and old high-performance and lifestyle designs. Looking at the results, it was as if NB is almost blurring the lines between the lifestyle and sports and creating forward-looking footwear.  

  • The prices vary depending on the colorway, as some colorways feature additional premium materials.
  • NB branding can be found in the sidewalls, toe box, heel, and in thin piping that runs around the shoe.


How New Balance X-Racer ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 30% sneakers
All sneakers
Top 23% New Balance sneakers
All New Balance sneakers
Top 30% low sneakers
All low sneakers


The current trend of New Balance X-Racer.
Compare to another shoe:
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.