A difference in height between the heel and the toes.
- The lower drop delivers a more sensitive ground contact, while the higher one provides more heel cushioning.
- In case of weightlifting shoes, a high firm heel lessens the strain on the Achilles tendon during squats.
Training footwear typically weighs between 200g and 300g per shoe to accommodate agile workouts. Minimalist trainers go as low as 150g, while weightlifting shoes can go as high as 500g.
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New Balance is one of the brands that offer shoes which cater to the specific needs of various individuals. The company started off creating arch supports and accessories that enhance the fit of the footwear to aid people who are on their feet for extended periods. It wasn’t until 1939 that it entered the running scene and had since produced a ton of well-founded running shoes and solidified its stake in the running community. Over the years, the company has also expanded to include lifestyle sneakers, hiking shoes, football cleats, and versatile workout shoes.
What to expect from the best New Balance workout shoes
Also referred to as “cross-trainers”, these shoes are manufactured to cope with various kinds of movements and activities. Depending on the level of intensity they are ready to endure, New Balance workout shoes can be roughly divided into two categories:
These trainers are crafted specifically to meet the grueling demands of high-intensity sessions like CrossFit. They are distinguished by a lightweight and streamlined upper that promotes proper foot flexion and breathability. The cushioning unit is designed to be low-profile to ensure that the foot feels grounded and stable during dynamic movements and weightlifting. As for the outsole, it employs a durable rubber compound or even a Vibram outsole to withstand the wear-and-tear while delivering multi-directional traction.
This category is designed as everyday athletic footwear that could be used for different types of exercises. Their uppers are usually made of leather or suede which are materials capable of providing unrelenting support and steadiness but not as breathable as a mesh fabric which makes them not that suitable for rigorous exercises which cause people to sweat more. The sole units on these New Balance workout shoes are also thicker compared to the first category and provide more cushioning for the wearer. Sometimes, these shoes feature additional stabilizing technologies in the midsole which serve to keep the foot steady.
Technologies used in New Balance workout shoes
The Rollbar is a posting system used in some New Balance workout shoes. It is made of a medial and lateral post that are connected by a plate that goes under the heel. Its purpose is to keep the heel steady during workouts, preventing excessive rolling in or out of the foot.
The QUIX is an outsole flexibility feature located at the medial side of the forefoot in some New Balance workout shoes. It has a different tread pattern than the rest of the outsole and works to deliver full ground contact during side-to-side movements.
The N2 is a type of midsole that has been constructed with a low-profile design. It is used in some New Balance workout shoes and caters to people who do not want bulky looking shoes. Despite its low-to-the-ground disposition, it is still able to be responsive and cushion the impact from each step to keep the foot comfortable and the joints free from injuries.
Some New Balance workouts shoes employ several technologies for its midsole and the ENCAP is one of them. This cushioning unit is made of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam that has a rigid polyurethane (PU) rim. This dual-density construction amplifies the cushioning and the durability of the midsole while also offering support.
Another shock-absorbing component used in New Balance workout shoes is the Abzorb. It uses a superior blend of foam and DuPont Engage Isoprene rubber to deliver a compression resistant material. Abzorb can be found as a supplementary cushioning at the forefoot and/or rearfoot, or as a full-length unit for maximum shock attenuation.
Some New Balance workout shoes are equipped with the Phantom Liner. This internal technology is a lining made using a unique lasting technique that hides threads and seams. This eliminates pressure points that could cause chafing or blisters.
Frequently asked questions
How much do New Balance workout shoes cost?
Workout shoes from this brand typically cost between $60 and $130. Trainers priced above $100 are usually equipped with more technologies such as the Rollbar and multiple layers of different foam materials for the midsole.
Can you use New Balance workout shoes for running?
Yes, some New Balance workout shoes can be used for quick or short runs. However, you have to be sure that the trainer has the right amount of cushioning and breathability to keep your foot comfortable. Since they are primarily designed for multi-directional movements, most workout shoes are not as effective in supporting forward motion. Thus, it would be a better idea to turn to dedicated running shoes if you incorporate a lot of running into your training sessions.
Are there New Balance workout shoes recommended for people with diabetes?
Yes, there are New Balance workout shoes that are eligible for Medicare reimbursement because they are marked with A5500 HCPCS code which means they are specifically designed for people with diabetes. A diabetic footwear is specially crafted with a cushiony midsole and a roomy toe box to ensure that the soles of the feet are comfortable and the toes have room to spread out and do not feel pinched. The interior of these trainers is also designed to ensure that there will be no pressure points that could cause skin irritation. Examples include the New Balance 623 v3 and the New Balance 624. Both models have the Abzorb cushioning at the heel and the Phantom Liner inside.
Are there New Balance workout shoes recommended for people with overpronation?
Yes, there are New Balance workout shoes manufactured for people with pronation issues. These trainers are equipped with the Rollbar technology that steadies the rearfoot and prevents it from overpronating or supinating. An example of this is the New Balance 857 v2 which uses the Rollbar posting system and the ENCAP dual-density midsole which also helps in stabilizing the foot.
Are these shoes available in different width options?
Yes, New Balance workout shoes come in different width profiles. Depending on the model, it could be available from narrow, standard/medium, wide, extra wide, to extra extra wide. This allows the brand to cater to more people as it can accommodate different foot shapes.
Can I lift weights wearing New Balance workout shoes?
A low-profile and firm midsole of some New Balance workout shoes makes them appropriate for light weight training. But the compressible nature of their sole units does not make these shoes ideal for serious heavy lifting because the feet have a tendency to sink into the soles during such activity. Typically, specialized weightlifting shoes have pronounced heels that are made of hard plastic or wood. This allows them to dig deep and retain steadiness, especially when they are lifting weights above their heads.
How to clean New Balance workout shoes?
New Balance workout shoes use either a leather or suede upper. These materials are very different, so taking care of them also varies.
You need a suede brush, which has stiffer bristles, to keep the grains looking healthy.
To remove surface dirt, all you need to do is brush it lightly.
Scuff marks can be removed by brushing the surface vigorously.
If there are any stubborn marks, rubbing a pencil eraser on it could remove them.
It is not recommended to clean suede using the wet technique, but if it gets wet, air dry it for 10-12 hours or longer and pack it with crumpled paper if the inside got wet too. When you are certain it is thoroughly dry, use the suede brush to fluff the fibers and keep the suede looking new.
As for oil stains, if it’s still wet, sprinkle some cornstarch on the greasy area and leave it overnight to soak up all the oil then brush the powder off.
You can also invest in a suede spray that protects the material from stains and dirt.
This material is easier to clean and maintain compared to suede since you don’t need a special brush for it.
A simple wipe down with a damp cloth or brushing off dirt is enough to keep the trainers clean.
If there is staining or caked-in dirt, dip a brush or cloth in a warm soapy solution and then scrub the dirt off.
Remove the soapy residue using a clean damp cloth and allow the footwear to air dry.
If the inside gets wet, be sure to take out any removable components like the laces and the insole so they can be cleaned and dried, then pack the inside of the shoe with paper to help quicken the drying process.
Remember: Do NOT use any heating source to dry your shoes as the hot temperature can affect the structural integrity of the footwear.