Best New Balance Running Sneakers - September 2019
With an unwavering prestige starting from decades ago, New Balance had been flooding the sneaker market nowadays with its prized collection of vintage kicks inclined for running. Bequeathed upon us bipedal mortals is the gift of steady gait and foot protection by which, the Boston-based brand had been continuing to uphold throughout the years.
Achieving global fame, New Balance classic running sneakers were the one responsible for the footwear manufacturer’s smooth transition into fashion and things relevant for casual, everyday life. Past athletic models served as leverage and foundation for its rise to stardom, gradually picking up loyal fans along the way.
To learn more about what these New Balance sneakers under the running mold look like, we must first enlist the highest rated silhouettes. Below are some of the examples of these which might either be ubiquitously known or unheard of, but we beg to differ. An excellent shoe rated by many is a superb shoe indeed.
Best New Balance running-inspired shoes
In general, most running sneakers under New Balance possess a low top collar to employ a versatile stance for the wearer when one is doing athletic whatnots. It also implies that the lower the ankle height, the fewer materials used upon the shoe’s assembly. This deficit in components makes it achievable for the footwear producer to make their model’s lightweight.
The profusion of low-top trainers contained within the realms of the East Coast shoemaker was the spark that ignited the brand’s fire towards success. Starting from the basic models to the more complicated ones, New Balance maintains its legacy of performance in each and every silhouette.
Below are some of the top running-inspired shoes under the New Balance moniker.
New Balance running shoes with unisex sizing
Giving users a chance to cop a preferred width was New Balance’s pride ever since it started with the Trackster. Eventually, the company had prized themselves on producing adequately cut sneakers. New Balance women’s running sneakers were different from the men’s, apparently but there is one form which encompasses both.
New Balance 220
The vintage runner from the late 70s gets a revival nowadays with upgraded materials. Though pretty much known as the underdog to coveted silhouettes like the 574, the 220 rises up the ranks for its sleek style and classic utility.
The sneaker boasts a retro vibe, courtesy of its sleek upper.
It was already involved in different materials including suede, mesh, leather, and textile.
Numerous colorways from women-like to men-specific were also seen in these vintage kicks.
The New Balance 220 was one of the few running sneakers constructed with unisex sizing.
Most of the famous models were built separately for men and women.
The sneaker follows a standard for men and women can go 1.5 sizes down to achieve the right fit.
One notable feature of it is that it uses a wedged EVA midsole.
New Balance 520
From the world’s east side to the west, The New Balance 520 was well-received with glory and localized flair. Somewhat known as one of the underappreciated models falling within the NB 500 franchise, the 520 still shines on its own sense of fashion.
The New Balance 520 was initially released in the 70s.
It was remodeled in numerous material versions like the Hairy Suede Pack and others with a dash of textile.
Some women’s New Balance 520 running sneakers were available, but it generally comes in unisex sizes.
It was also one of the NB shoes containing a herringbone pattern on the outsole.
The vintage sneaker was also gifted with collaborations including one with Scottish retailer Hanon and another with OHKOOS.
The NB 520 was also introduced in a vintage-hailed version called the New Balance 520 70s Running which was exclusive for women only.
New Balance running shoes made for women and men
Honoring their long-term advocacy of promoting a competent size and construction, New Balance had cleaved the sizing for both men and women to meet the needs of each facet of their footwear audience. These size-ranges also depend on the colorway and materials infused along the sneaker. Some women’s designs dominate those of the male’s and vice versa.
New Balance 501 Ripple Sole
Injecting a timeless technology was a bold move for New Balance, but in the case of the NB 501 Ripple Sole, it served its purpose well. With an appeal rooting from one of NB’s iconic silhouettes, the ripple outsole was deemed relevant until this day.
The sneaker stripped down its 574 brother’s features and maintained a sleeker image.
To give more dimension, the NB 501 Ripple Sole replaces its standard outsole with wedgy-patterned tooling.
Smoother in design, the upper was revamped in numerous material options.
The version of these New Balance running sneakers for women can be copped in sizes starting from 5 to 12.
The men’s edition, on the other hand, is offered from 6.5 to 18 with D and 2E widths.
New Balance 574 Leather
The 574, the most ubiquitous model of the Boston-born brand as of date, was continually celebrated via introducing numerous components to its upper. One of those materials given to the heralded model was the age-old fabric that was even utilized by the earliest of men.
The standard construction of suede and mesh was refurbished into a glossier take in the NB 574 Leather.
From its underlays to the patches at the heel and front, the sneaker is covered in leather including the N logo.
Other features are left untouched like the ENCAP cushioning underfoot.
These New Balance running sneakers for men come in medium and wide widths of 2E while the women’s are constructed aptly with a B.
It was ambitiously dubbed by some as the more luxurious model from the 574-family.
Most of its colorways are subdued and display a monotoned aura.
New Balance 515
The 515 is more of a long-lost brother of the 574, but with underdeveloped features. With its lower half still maintaining the 574’s facade, the more minimalist makeover of the 515 made it easier for fans to love it too.
First teased in 2013, the NB 515 or formerly known as M515, came out of the closet in a myriad of colorways.
In essence, its tints drew inspiration from the past runners in the 90s era.
Compared to the 574, the midfoot is not comprised of a saddle but instead has an N logo pasted on the middle.
These men and women’s New Balance running shoes are separately created in sizes 5 to 18 for the former and 5 to 12 for the latter.
The male-specific models also come with full variants of 2E.
New Balance 990
Fortune favors the bold as some might say and the bravest maneuver of New Balance happened in the late 70s when the New Balance 990 was started to be cooked in their design kitchen. Releasing it was a whole other scenario and fans were set-back at first given that it has a staggering price range of $100. The collation of technology found in the shoe proved otherwise.
Introduced in 1982, the sneaker was one of the most sophisticated running silhouettes at the time.
It originally contained a Motion Controlled Device, Superflex outsole, and a three-layered midsole.
New Balance promoted it under the slogan: “On a scale of 1000, this shoe is a 990.”
$100 a pop was rather steep during the time of its release.
Runners considered it as a serious investment and even stayed loyal to it for a time.
The 990 was re-introduced in 2012 for its 30th anniversary limiting the number to 990 pairs only.
To keep up to its tradition, the NB 990 was revamped into newer versions like the 990 v3 and the 990 v4.
Considered one of the best New Balance running shoes for women, it’s available starting from 5 to 13 with a B medium width.
The men’s can be grabbed with a handful of width offerings from B narrow to 4E wide.
New Balance 1550
Oozing with an appeal which had influenced the NB catalog in 1993, the New Balance 1550 mashes two coveted designs into one hell of a lifestyle silhouette. Its release was also timely considering its fashion-forward structure built not to be trifled with along the tracks but to the pavements of the streets.
The New Balance 1550 was initially unveiled in the summer of 2015.
It takes up hints from the 1500 and 1600, but more elements of the 1600 were evident on its design.
Since its introduction in 2015, the sneaker was dipped in a myriad of colorways.
Some of the very first pigments used on its upper were black and white.
The size range of these New Balance running shoes for women can be grabbed from 6 to 11.
For the men’s sizes, it comes in 7 to 13.
Some of the iterations come with reflective details along with suede and mesh upper components.
New Balance 501
Nowadays, a plethora of New Balance sneakers seen on the streets resembles the outline of the 574’s. In general, these vintage-driven New Balance running shoes on sale at stores lay more on the 500-line spectrum as manifested by the 580, 530, and the 515’s. Going back to the basics was what the NB 501 did with its design.
As seen earlier in this page, the 501 was somewhat the far silkier brother of the 574 due to the minimal use of overlays.
Instead of utilizing the saddle feature on the vamp, the sneaker has a fastened N logo along the vamp.
Affordable and functional, the sneaker was also lightweight to cater to everyday maneuvers.
Being a base model as it now is, the 501 also received a right amount of revamping concerning colorways.
The sneaker’s sizing was segregated into two types: men’s and women’s.
The ladies can cop a pair starting from 5 to 12 with B medium widths while the gents can avail one in sizes 6.5 to 18 with D (medium) and 2E extensive construction.
New Balance 530
When Reebok and Nike hogged a considerable chunk of the sportswear market in the 80s, other companies like New Balance suffered the loss of demand. Though they were promising at the early stretches of that decade, NB seemed to have lost their game. But the 90s was a different story, and what better way to cap it off is to tell the tale of the New Balance 530.
The NB 530 was first introduced in 1992, an attempt to blur their sales blow-out during the latter part of the 80s.
It still carries on the technological prowess of the ENCAP cushioning which was even visible to this day on current models.
To coincide with the ENCAP’s majesty, an ABZORB midsole takes over the responsibility of shock absorbing.
The brilliance of the 530 didn’t stop there because it was then again revamped with a Fresh Foam tooling.
Fans had a lot of colorways to choose from with the NB 530 which is exclusively constructed for men and separately for women.
New Balance 580
Admit it, most shoes either from the archives of the 90s or the present day would usually give out an impression similar to that of other brands. For instance, the New Balance 580 portrays a character akin to that of the Saucony shoes of the past. Maybe the east coast of North America had an influence on the design of such shoes? No one really knows.
It was first unveiled to the world as a Japan-exclusive sneaker.
Thanks to its religious cult-following, the sneaker attained limelight status in the more recent years.
The sneaker was initially intended for trail running, but its bulky facade garnered the attention of the streetwear crowd.
Keeping up with the NB technological breakthroughs, the 580 contained a Rollbar midsole along with the C-Cap and ENCAP features.
Originally made as one of the men’s specific New Balance running shoes, the 580 eventually gave the ladies an opportunity to cop a pair.
The 580’s milestones were witnessed in 2007 and 2013 where it was redesigned for specific purposes.
It was given the special treatment in 2016, it’s 20th anniversary through a platoon of collaborations and re-releases.
New Balance 998
Probably known as one of the go-to silhouettes when it comes to redesigning, the 998 from New Balance had been favorited by artists and sneaker boutiques because of its malleable nature. Being born in a vintage-induced era also helped catapult its name towards the athleisure scene.
The New Balance 998 debuted in 1993 following the trail of splendor left by the 997.
As one of the 990 babies, the 998 ignites the technological advancement by re-introducing the Abzorb midsole upgrade.
The classic iteration on which it was first witnessed showcased a buttery suede upper with mesh underlays for breathability.
It was a consistent collab shoe which was favored by numerous sneaker connoisseurs including J. Crew, Sneaker Freaker, Concepts, The Tannery, and many more.
Even New Balance had a fair share of experimenting with its colors and styles.
Among its versions, the Made in the USA pack was somewhat the most ubiquitous of them all.
The shoe was known by many to run true to size either in men’s or in women’s sizes.
New Balance 501 Core
Though there is not much of a difference between the primary model and the Core type, this New Balance sneaker still brings something useful to the table. With well-thought of color-blocking and lightweight construction, the sneaker enlists itself as an everyday staple option for hanging out; or maybe for going to the gym and whatnots.
As with the ongoing trend of 501 sneakers, the New Balance 501 Core maintains the suede and mesh combo for its uppers.
The standout features of this type of sneaker are the bold colorways which are embellished all throughout its exterior.
A two-toned wedge midsole supports the sneaker’s sharp color-blocking.
It was also constructed in a slimmer profile compared to the primary model.
It also comes in both sizes for women and men which are 5 to 12 and 6.5 to 15, respectively.
The sneaker is assembled with a standard medium sizing.
New Balance 696
In the history of sneaker-kind, shoemakers have had that notion of giving more special treatment to the gents maybe because women are already privileged with posh forms of sandals and stilettos. Thus, the prominence of men-inclined constructions scoured the apparel market which fortunately for the ladies gradually fades into a neutral blur. The New Balance 696 saw it coming and supported the framework of women during its resurrection in 2014.
The New Balance 696 pays homage to running sneakers on the New Balance vault from the 80s and 90s.
It was also included in the line-up of well-received silhouettes when it comes to revamps.
Collaboration frequent the sneaker’s upper design including the components used on its assembly.
Women have the upper hand over men in this sneaker albeit it has more colorways for the former than the latter.
The particular iterations of the NB 696 also coincide with which gender it was created for.
The ladies sizes range from 5 to 12 in B medium width while the men’s can be copped from 6.5 to 13.
Some of the coveted editions of the 696 were the Tomboy pack and the Deconstructed franchise.
New Balance 574 Core Plus
Equipping a timeless model with upgrades was the next best thing for shoe manufacturers and was witnessed in the New Balance 574 Core Plus. The trails of words after its number signify the type of redesign and structure it possesses. Its predecessor model is envious of its contemporary makeover.
The first of the updates done with the 574 was observed in 2003, where it was relaunched to penetrate the sneaker realm.
A decade after the first revamp, New Balance introduced a Core Plus pack which contained this sneaker.
It was initially released as a women’s exclusive sneaker, but eventually, NB brought in male versions.
The 2013 iterations included black and teal pairs with righteous color-blocking along the wedge, heel tab, and the outline of the N logo.
Women’s sizes for this model are available from 5 to 12 in standard width while men can grab a pair in a scale ranging from 7.5 to 16.
New Balance 574
Finally reaching to the sneaker which, if stated in a Snow White kind of way, is the fairest of them all. Just to be clear, it is not by means of its time-shattering utility or uncontested flair, no. It became an icon because of its continued dominance and omnipresence in the New Balance catalog all throughout the years. Channeling all the remaining vintage vibes within its veins, the NB 574 upheld the Massachusetts brand’s legacy from the baby boomers era to the millennials.
It debuted in 1988 as a promising running shoe with iconic design features.
The 574 was a product of combining two earlier models namely the 575 and the 576.
For its cushioning, an ENCAP technology was infused underfoot.
Due to its fame, the sneaker’s sizes were divided into men’s and women’s.
The more concurrent remake of the NB 574 has a slimmer construction specifically at the toe box.
The 574 was a mash-up of something old and new.
Being coveted and all, the 574 had already starred in numerous renditions including those with collaborations.
Generally running true to fit, the 574 comes in 6 to 18 for men’s sizes and 5 to 12 for women.
New Balance men’s running-inspired shoes
In every population, there are indeed outliers that would stow away from the general idea of the pact. For these running sneakers under New Balance, some iterations would only come in men’s sizes. Not that the men have a special place in NB’s heart, but maybe, just maybe, because they have more confusing feet conformities.
New Balance 997R
A sneaker brand with such intricate detailing is prone to implode from time to time. Imploding here is the sense of reverting to the basics where the suede components are the star. The non-traditional cuts and overlaps on the upper are truly the marvel of this design concept, and the New Balance 997R is the victim of its ingenuity.
Though the 997 have been around for decades, the NB 997R was first unveiled in 2017.
Ideally, the design concept was to strip down the silhouette’s accents into a more primal feel.
The deconstructed appeal was brought to life by the suede uppers which run from toe to heel.
The cut of the overlays was also blunt yet edgy to add to its contemporary theme.
It was one of the versions of the NB 997 that was made exclusively for men.
New Balance 574 Fresh Foam
Since its inaugural launch via the 980 in 2014, the Fresh Foam material had been a competent midsole cushioning rivaling Boost and the Air Max’s. It was a no-brainer for one of their influential silhouettes to be gifted a piece of this hip cushioning tech.
Since the 980 debuted, the Fresh Foam tech had been consistently included in NB’s performance category.
The general idea for the move from the traditional ENCAP to Fresh Foam was to bestow less weight upon the 574.
Aside from being lightweight, the convex and concave notches along the midsole help smoothen the foot’s every stride.
Unfortunately, it was only made available in men’s sizes, but they might expand their horizons in the future.
New Balance 597
Seen as early as 2016, the New Balance 597 served as an alternative to the well-received iterations of the Boston-based brand. Its sleek style pays homage to its vintage brothers with a dash of a chunky, dad-shoe feel. Drawing inspiration from runners of the past was the key element for its relative success today.
One of its archetypal forms included suede and mesh materials along its upper.
The ubiquitous blue and grey combination was also seen in the earlier versions of the sneaker.
It was even remodeled to coincide with the 2017 Halloween theme.
Ladies who fancy a pair of these would be envious because it was only made available for men.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where to buy New Balance running shoes?
Before anything else, the running-shoe “phrase” above more likely refers to vintage models who gradually crept their way into the lifestyle scene.
Now that things are clear at the table, New Balance running sneakers can almost be seen on every mall or department store due to its global prominence. Being a US-based company also signifies that virtually every state has a New Balance outlet lying on a strategic location.
For the case of those couch potatoes who would instead suit down and lie in front of a computer, there are always online stores Amazon, Zappos, and many more that can cater to one’s needs. A quick google search would also deliver a myriad of results, just make sure to input the right words like color and design theme on the tag.
How much does New Balance running sneakers cost?
Historically speaking, these retro New Balance running shoes had towering price tags that were deemed unnecessary by the less fortunate. Starting with the 990s which was $100 during the first years of the 80s, it was embedded at a customer’s mind way back then that New Balance employs a higher cost.
It was a good thing nowadays that NB decided to tone down their prices while still delivering a quality product. Even some of their performance shoes fall on the $80-$100 range. Collaborations make these sneakers more valuable which can even reach $180-$200. But on average, the 574s and other similar variations can be copped at $100 a pop.
What are the best New Balance running shoes?
Here on runrepeat, there are specific categories that classify retro running sneakers into different topics of price, Corescore, popularity, discount, and newest. Selecting the desired theme (which is found via the dropdown at the right side of the page) directs one to a list of shoes arranged accordingly. Several models on the list belong to the 5xx line or the 900 series.
How to clean New Balance running shoes?
Even though these New Balance running shoes for men and women are not used religiously for traversing the field or the track, their comfortable characteristic made it a staple everyday shoe. Being a staple casual footwear induces the accumulation of dirt and scuff marks thus making cleaning a habit.
Different materials suggest different kinds of cleaning procedures. Suede components should be touched by a suede brush while mesh and textile can be handled with detergent and warm water.
On drying the shoe, one must remember to avoid hot temperatures and air dry the silhouette as much as possible. Direct heat decreases the material quality and has a particular effect on the glue.
Do New Balance running sneakers run small?
In a nutshell, New Balance pride themselves with their sizing and even steps it up a notch by introducing wide variations. But of course, there are outliers and mishaps along the way which does not affect the entire population mean of running true to size. The simple answer is, no. It does not run small in general.
How does one style with New Balance running shoes?
There are a lot of hate for the snowflake generation or more commonly known as the millennials, but the good thing they brought to the lifestyle world was the appreciation of old stuff. These old objects inevitably include footwear, and New Balance capitalized on this trend.
Several years ago it would be difficult to style a dad sneaker like New Balance with denim jeans, but the proliferation of sporty apparel like joggers and modern track pants made the look relevant in the recent years.
Companies would also tweak the look of their retro silhouettes to make it sleeker and less outdated than the original model so that everyday clothes can blend well to its design.
What is ENCAP technology?
ENCAP technology was first introduced by New Balance in the 80s. It comprises of a softer EVA piece which is encapsulated by a firmer polyurethane material. The combination of a plush inner portion partnered with a sturdier outline made it one of the best stability shoes since it was unveiled. To this day, the ENCAP cushioning is still being infused in some of the older models and newer ones.
Who created the N logo?
Terry Heckler, who is also the man behind coveted company symbols like Starbucks and Cinnabon, spearheaded the design of the famous N logo. He was also responsible for the numbering system of New Balance running shoes.
15 best New Balance running sneakers
New Balance 009
New Balance 574 Fresh Foam
New Balance 997H
New Balance 574 Core
New Balance 501
New Balance 515
New Balance 530
New Balance 574
New Balance 997
New Balance 520
New Balance X-Racer
New Balance X-90
New Balance 996
New Balance 574 Sport
New Balance 420
Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.
This shoe has recently been added to RunRepeat. There are still not enough reviews for us to assign it a CoreScore.
CoreScore A score from 1 to 100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts. The average CoreScore is 78.