What to expect from the best New Balance training shoes
Best New Balance training shoes - July 2018
New Balance started out selling custom arch supports back in the early 20th century, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that it launched its first orthopedic footwear for baseball players. Since then, it has expanded to running and cross-training, and now it offers a wide range of footgear and apparel for different types of activities or athletic endeavors.
The brand prides itself on the fact that its products are mostly assembled in the USA. It is a way of saying that every pair, which comes out of their factory, is of high quality.
New Balance training shoes, much like all of the brand’s offerings, use technologies that will allow wearers to perform their best. They use upper materials that securely lock the foot down and keep it supported during strenuous activities. The midsole may use multiple technologies to create a platform that effectively absorbs shock and provides stability. The outsole has enough grip to keep the foot planted without hindering dynamic movements.
Types of New Balance training shoes
New Balance training shoes include the following categories: cross-training, everyday trainers, studio, walking shoes, and indoor cycling footwear. Some of these shoes look alike, but there are specific technologies that make them suitable for the category they fall into.
For those who subscribe to high-intensity workouts, the brand offers cross-training shoes. New Balance training shoes in this segment use unique technologies to accommodate various activities. They include a rope guard for climbing ropes, a breathable upper material to keep the foot fresh during grueling sessions, a Vibram outsole for better traction on different types of surfaces and more. Shoes in this section also sport a low-profile midsole to deliver a stable platform.
Examples: New Balance Minimus 40 Trainer
Those who do light exercises, power walking, aerobics and such would benefit from everyday New Balance training shoes. These shoes are manufactured with comfort in mind. Compared to other New Balance training shoes, these have thicker cushioning and often resemble the brand’s walking shoes. They also share some similar technologies with New Balance walking shoes such as the Rollbar stability posts, among others.
Though these do not fall under the New Balance training shoes category, walking shoes are quite versatile. They could be used for everyday strolls, doing chores, or even power walking around the neighborhood. What differentiates them from other models is the use of special technologies such as stabilizing posts or the Walking Strike Path.
Though these New Balance training shoes don’t look like typical trainers, they do impart the needed support for practitioners of barre, yoga, Pilates, dance or dance fitness. They have been developed to deliver cushioning under the ball of the foot and arch and have an open heel construction to keep the foot grounded during workouts. Though these may look flimsy, the brand’s proprietary Fantom Tape supplies the necessary support in their upper.
Examples: NB Studio Skin, NB Studio Skin Fun Pack
New Balance training shoes in this category share a few things in common, but the most notable feature is that they are all SPD cleat compatible. The SPD, or the Shimano Pedaling Dynamics, is a contraption that gets screwed into a slot under the forefoot. This component locks into an SPD pedal which is a clipless bicycle pedal design. Instead of using straps and clips to secure the foot to the pedal, the SPD cleat locks into a groove on the pedal. The recessed SPD cleat pocket allows wearers to use these New Balance training shoes for everyday wear or other workout sessions even when the cleat is in place.
Examples: NBCycle WX09 Fun Pack, Cycle for Survival WX09 NBCycle, NBCycle WX09
How to find the perfect New Balance training shoes
Power walking, CrossFit, HIIT, dance class, aerobics, cross-training - these are just some of the activities people get into these days if they want to stay fit or get in shape. Proper footwear could help a person achieve their goals; the wrong one could land them in the emergency room because of foot issues. There are several factors to consider when getting New Balance training shoes such as the type of activity the wearer will engage in, the price, the fit and sizing, to name a few.
Will you do CrossFit using Studio shoes? How about utilizing Indoor cycling footwear for dance classes? Of course, people could do any of those, but the question is, will they be comfortable or able to achieve their set goals wearing the wrong type of New Balance training shoes? Imagine how painful the rope burns will be if you do rope climbs wearing Studio shoes. Users must know what type of workout they want to do before committing to a footgear. If cycling, indoors or outdoors, floats your boat, then buying trainers specific to that activity will be the best way to go. If you’re unsure, there are reasonably priced New Balance training shoes that perform well during most types of exercises.
Pricing of New Balance training shoes
One of the most influential factors when purchasing a new item is the price. Not everyone can afford to go over the budget, so it is wise to invest in something that won’t break the bank. New Balance training shoes are one of the most reasonably priced footgear on the market. Their workout footwear ranges from $50 to $130. During sales, a pair of training shoes could go as low as $30.
- Low-priced training shoes (Below $70)
- New Balance training shoes that fall under this category are mostly made of lightweight materials such as mesh and stretchy knit fabric, but there are also others that use leather or synthetic leather. Footwear in this section doesn’t usually have special technologies in the sole unit as it is designed to be ready to go from the streets to the gym.
- Examples: New Balance 608 v4, New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE
- Reasonably-priced to slightly expensive training shoes ($70 - $100)
- New Balance training shoes in this bracket sport a more athletic flair. The upper uses more structured materials that provide the needed support doing intense workouts.
- Examples: New Balance 624
- Premium (above $100)
- If you’re looking for New Balance training shoes that are more suited for high-intensity workouts, then be prepared to spend over $100. Footwear in this division uses technologies such as rope guards and the Rollbar.
Fit and Sizing
New Balance training shoes cater to both men and women. The size availability depends on the model of the trainer, but in general, men’s footwear ranges from US size 7 to 15 while the women’s versions are available from US size 5 to 12. Half sizes are also available for both genders. As for the width, New Balance training shoes are generally offered in D - Medium and 2E - Wide for men, while the women’s version comes in B - Medium and D - Wide. Some models have more width options from narrow to extra wide.
Special technologies used on New Balance training shoes
Just like any shoe brand, New Balance and its team are hard at work in developing new technologies that would make their offering better than the competition. From a skeletally engineered upper material to bouncy cushioning and a hard-wearing outsole — these are just some of the characteristics consumers could expect from New Balance training shoes.
This lightweight fabric lines the inside of some New Balance training shoes. It smoothens the inside to hide the seams and deliver a comfortable in-shoe feel. It prevents chafing or blisters from forming.
Using a no-sew process, this skeletally engineered material is built by fusing two thin materials together. The result is a lightweight but structured fabric that adds the needed support during high-intensity workouts. New Balance training shoes that employ this type of upper are lightweight because the material is thin.
Some New Balance training shoes utilize the Fantom Tape technology. These are no-sew overlays that are meant to provide aesthetically pleasing reinforcement. They are mostly placed on the side panels to enhance the lateral support of the upper. They may also appear on the toe box and the heel area to protect the underlying material from abrasion.
This technology is a foam-based polymer and is New Balance’s proprietary basic cushioning material. It acts by dispersing the force from the point of impact to reduce the shock that travels from the foot to the leg, hips, and back and prevent pain or discomfort.
This foam technology is created to be 13% softer compared to other lightweight performance compounds. It is responsive and offers a comfortable footbed that doesn’t sacrifice the durability or stability.
This technology is a dual-density type of foam. The perimeter of the cushioning platform is firm to deliver support and durability. As for the middle, it is soft to absorb the force of impact with each step.
Described as one of New Balance’s softest and smoothest foams, this technology provides luxurious comfort and cushioning. The soft material is intended to compress upon impact to absorb the shock but quickly return to its normal state, ready for the next step.
This low-to-the-ground cushioning technology is constructed to be responsive and durable. Despite it being thinner than other New Balance platforms, it is able to reduce shock and has enough bounce to keep the foot moving.
This innovative compound intends to impart the same responsiveness and durability as foams that are 30% heavier. Despite being lightweight, it still serves as a stable cushioning platform.
This performance foam is devised to give an enhanced rebound effect compared to other performance cushioning platforms. The springy characteristic propels the foot forward, ready for the next step, and at the same time attenuates shock with each stride.
The Rollbar is a posting system engineered to reduce rearfoot movement in some of New Balance’s training shoes as well as walking shoes. It is made of a molded plate that goes under the heel. The plate connects two posts, one at the medial side and the other on the lateral side. It prevents severe overpronation (the inward rolling of the foot) as well as severe supination (the outward rolling of the foot).
Though New Balance does not develop this compound, the Vibram rubber outsoles are known for being durable and providing excellent traction on almost any surface. New Balance training shoes that employ the Vibram outsole are usually intended for high-intensity workouts.
New Balance started off as a company that sells arch supports to make shoes fit better. The company’s founder, William J. Riley, built the arch supports based on the mechanics of a chicken’s foot movement. He concluded that the three-pronged foot created the perfect balance and that was what influenced him to name the company The New Balance Arch Company.
Over the years, New Balance arch supports gained a following. Because of how effective their arch supports were, athletes began requesting the company to create full-on sports shoes. So, in the 1930s the company produced orthopedic shoes for baseball players and track and field athletes. In the 1960s, New Balance released one of its most iconic running shoes, the Trackster, the first running trainer to feature a rippled outsole.
From then on, the company has undergone changes in ownership and management, as well as expanded operations into creating more types of footwear as well as sports and exercise apparel.
When Jim Davis bought the company, he wanted to reinvent it somehow and with that came the use of a logo. Terry Heckler designed the N logo, and when people pointed out that it could be confused with the Nike brand, he was happy about it. Heckler was aware that Nike was a more popular brand and was making more money, so getting confused with them could also increase their sales.
For decades, New Balance has not sponsored any athletic teams or used celebrities and athletes to endorse their products. Instead, they featured stylishly-geared senior citizens, referred to as Ma and Pa Balance, to show consumers that their footwear is for everyone - not just athletes or fitness enthusiasts.
Frequently asked questions
What are New Balance training shoes used for?
In general, New Balance training shoes could be used for cross-training, running, aerobics, high-intensity workouts and more. But the brand also offers trainers dedicated for certain activities, such as its studio and indoor cycling footwear. Though New Balance training shoes could be used for pretty much any activity, one should always keep comfort in mind.
What do the numbers and letters on my New Balance training shoes mean?
For years, New Balance used a combination of numbers and letters to name their shoes. But recently, the brand started adding words that describe some of their new offerings. The reason behind the use of numbers and letters is to make it easier to identify what purpose the footgear serves. M or W appearing at the beginning signifies that it’s either a men’s or a women’s model, while U stands for unisex. New Balance training shoes for cross-training have XT on the name. MW or WW refers to walking shoes and so on. As for the numbers, the first two digits mean the number of technologies incorporated into the footwear. The general rule is, the higher the number, the more special features it has. As for the last digit, it signifies the series number or how current the model is.
Do I need a New Balance training shoe with a Rollbar?
The Rollbar is a motion control feature that helps people who have a tendency to excessively roll their foot in or out as they walk or run. If you are unsure whether you need a training shoe with a motion control feature, you could go to a podiatrist to have your gait checked in order to purchase the right footwear. Some shoe stores also offer this service.
Can New Balance training shoes be customized?
Though New Balance offers customization of its shoes, it is only applicable for Lifestyle and Baseball footgear. The company has yet to offer customization of its training shoes. On the upside, there are a lot of New Balance training shoes to choose from that will satisfy the needs of most individuals.
How do I clean my New Balance training shoes?
New Balance training shoes come in different styles and use various materials such as suede, leather, synthetic leather, mesh, and knit fabric. There is no universal way to clean all New Balance training shoes because one method may work for one model but would not be effective for another. You need special cleaning solutions for leather and suede, and users should follow the instructions on the container to effectively remove dirt from the said trainers. New Balance does not recommend cleaning their footwear—including the ones made of synthetic leather, mesh and knit—using a washing machine. The tumbling action could damage the product. Instead, use a damp cloth to wipe down the shoe. If dirt is caked in, using a soft bristled brush and mild detergent could help remove the dirt. Rinse it by using a clean damp cloth. After which, air drying for 24 hours is needed to ensure that all parts are completely dry. Do not dry it in direct sunlight as that could also damage the shoe.
When should I replace my New Balance training shoes?
According to New Balance, no exact formula would determine when a person should change training shoes because there are several factors to consider. First off is the frequency of footwear use, the level of activity the owner does, the weight of the user, and where the trainer is being used. As a general rule, cross-training shoes are replaced every six months, or when there are signs of deterioration such as the outsole losing traction, the upper becoming too loose, and the midsole no longer being effective in cushioning the foot.
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