4 Best New Balance Basketball Shoes in 2024

Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic on
4 Best New Balance Basketball Shoes in 2024
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The limited (high-quality) lineup of New Balance basketball shoes is perfect for players who can do it all. Instead of saturating the market with a good quantity of basketball footwear, the NB brand opts to limit its release of NBA All-Star Kawhi Leonard signatures, TWO WXY, and the OMN1S series.

Apparently, the current marketing strategy of the brand is to rely chiefly on releasing premium quality models that are well-crafted and designed for elite performance. 

To see if any of the models on this list is for you, we’ve thoroughly tested the New Balance basketball shoes available. We have reviewed them one by one, carefully looking at the shoes at every angle and gauging their capacities. We have selected the number one shoes in various categories for you to have a broad range of options depending on your preference. 

How we test basketball shoes

We value our objectivity and offer value to our readers. To make our recommendations, we do our due diligence in meticulously testing each model that we have in the database. That means spending time in the RunRepeat shoe testing lab and performing a battery of mechanical tests.

We identify the very best in the selections by doing the following:

  • We purchase all the New Balance shoes for testing with our own money. This ensures our impartiality and unbiased approach.
  • We cut the shoes open for a thorough examination in the lab. We check and double-check the essential parameters of each model such as the cushioning technology, heel construction, support, and responsiveness, among others.
  • We test the shoe's on-court performance, comfort, and fit by playing several games of hoops indoors and outdoors. 

Best New Balance basketball shoes overall

What makes it the best?

Among all the basketball shoes that ever came out of New Balance’s factories at this time, it’s the TWO WXY V4 that left the most impressive impact on us. Aside from its impressively durable upper, we also appreciated its outdoor-ready outsole. We loved the convenience of NOT having to change shoes when we decided to take our games outdoors. The NB TWO WXY V4’s being lightweight was also a noteworthy benefit.

We subjected the toebox and the heel padding to our in-lab Dremel tests, and we were awed by the amount of resistance in both points. The toebox got a 4 while the heel padding got a 5 out of 5 for durability. We no longer have doubts about this basketball shoe’s longevity.

We played on rough outdoor courts while wearing the New Balance TWO WXY V4, and we were amazed by the sturdiness displayed by its outsole. This observation was confirmed by our in-lab Dremel test; the outsole incurred only 0.7 mm of damage (average damage is 1.0 mm).

We also had nothing to complain about this NB shoe’s weight. Our scale pegged its weight at 13.05 ounces or 370 grammes, which is significantly lighter than average (14.18 ounces or 402 grammes). Because of this lightness, our movements never felt ‘held back,’ no matter which direction we go.

Unfortunately, we do not recommend this shoe to those who have sweaty feet. The upper is on the toastier side, with a breathability score of 2 over 5.

Pros

  • Sturdy outsole
  • Lighter than average
  • Resistance to toe drags
  • Fairly supportive structure
  • Well-balanced midsole
  • Suitable for outdoor use
  • Protection from painful twists
  • Stable platform

Cons

  • Not breathable at all
  • Not for wide-footers
Full review of New Balance TWO WXY V4

New Balance basketball shoes with the best cushioning

What makes it the best?

True to its name, the New Balance Fresh Foam BB’s delivered the freshest and most cushioned experience among all the NB shoes that we tried. Aside from providing a lot of impact protection and comfort, this shoe was also extremely lightweight and was big on support.

Running up and down the court never resulted in pain because the soft heel area of the NB Fresh Foam BB has a lot of compression. This part kept the pain at bay and ensured comfort from start to finish.

At 11.2 ounces or 318 grammes, this basketball shoe from New Balance is definitely lighter than the average (14.22 ounces or 403 grammes). Because of its lightness, we could jump higher and run faster without the clunkiness that usually came with bulkier and heavier shoes.

Foot containment was another aspect that we appreciated. The upper and the laces all worked in synergy to give our feet a good and secure clasp. We never had to worry about our shoes being accidentally taken off when we were in aggressive motion.

Too bad the New Balance Fresh Foam BB is not really for those with wide feet. Its structure is narrow, and the upper materials did not offer that much give.

Pros

  • Great traction on clean courts
  • Amazing cushioning in the heel
  • Feels lightweight
  • Comfortable next-to-skin feel
  • Effective foot containment
  • Dependable stability
  • Very smooth heel-to-toe transitions

Cons

  • Not for wide-footers
  • Ventilation issues
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam BB

Best New Balance basketball shoes for beginners

What makes it the best?

The NB Hesi Low has many basic features that we believe make a great package for starting hoopers. It’s light, stable, grippy, durable (as long as you don’t play outside), and it offers a good mix between ground feel and cushioning. Our lab tests and hooping hours verify this is the best basketball shoe for beginners we’ve tried.

Playing in this was wonderful. Its lightness (12.9oz/366g) let us run up and down the court, and even though its midsole is not the tallest one out there, it’s pretty responsive. This allowed us to perform basic dribbles, cuts, shots, and layups. After our games and cutting the shoe in half in our lab, we can confirm it puts ground feel first and cushioning second. Yet, at 26.1/21.4 mm at the heel/forefoot, its stack height is still enough to offer some impact protection.

This closeness to the court and its firm carrier foam make the New Balance Hesi Low a stable choice. It also has a small shank in the midfoot, and it was hard for us to twist the shoe with our hands, so it scored a 4/5 in our rigidity test. Its thick rubber outsole makes it durable, giving it more stability points at the same time.

This all-rounder is also affordable. But we found it’s not for outdoor play, so it might be better to stick to indoor courts to make its lifetime as long as possible.

Pros

  • Lighter than average
  • Feels nimble on foot
  • Excellent ground feel
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Surprisingly stable
  • Grip is fine after a warm-up
  • Great durability for indoor courts

Cons

  • Not breathable at all
  • Not for outdoor play
  • Possible heel slippage (fixed by using the extra eyelet)
Full review of New Balance Hesi Low

Best New Balance basketball trainers

New Balance 550
88
Good!

What makes it the best?

When we consider a shoe as the best sneaker, we do not look only at its looks. We also pay attention to the comfort that it delivers, its durability, and how securely it grasps the foot. The New Balance 550 passed with flying colours in all aspects, so we consider it deserves to be hailed as the best basketball-inspired sneaker from NB.

Nothing really beats leather when it comes to providing softness and a unique next-to-the-skin feel. The NB 550 is made of real leather, and we thoroughly enjoyed all the benefits that come with it. 

Lasting long even with frequent use would not be a problem with the New Balance 550. We subjected it to Dremel tests, and we learned that the leather upper and the heel padding were dependably durable. Both got a 4 out of 5 for durability during the tests.

When it comes to locking the foot down, the NB 550 is not to be discounted, either. It got a 4 out of 5 for both torsional rigidity and heel counter stiffness. This means that upon wearing this shoe, we did not have to worry anymore about foot twists and heel slips.

We were just not fond of the heaviness of the shoe. Our scale pegged it at 15.94 ounces or 452 grammes. The average is only 14.00 ounces or 397 grammes.

Pros

  • Attention-grabbing throwback look
  • Well-cushioned insole
  • Incredibly clean details
  • Suitable for various outfits
  • Durable, high-quality construction
  • No visible wear after several uses
  • Easy to clean
  • Striking shades
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Insufficient lockdown feel
  • Not ideal for wide feet
  • Released in a limited quantity
Full review of New Balance 550
Author
Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.