7 Best New Balance Running Shoes in 2023

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best New Balance Running Shoes in 2023
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New Balance has become a go-to brand not only for stylish lifestyle footwear but running shoes as well.

Given how easy it is to get lost in all those FreshFoams and FuelCells, we are here to narrow down your choices. We have tested 60+ road and trail running shoes from New Balance to select the best options in various categories.

Whether you’re after a well-cushioned trainer for daily runs, a budget-friendly all-arounder, or a speedy shoe for personal bests, we’ve got them all covered.

See the carousel below with our top picks in various categories.

How we test running shoes

With over 150 New Balance running shoes to choose from, it's our mission to help you find the one and only.

Each shoe on our website comes with a proprietary CoreScore, a number from 0 to 100, which indicates how good it is. Sounds simple. But here is the work that goes into it:

  • Our independent shoe testing lab literally puts every shoe through the wringer, cutting it open and measuring over 30 different aspects on flexibility, softness, durability, etc.
  • A team of dedicated runners logs at least 30-50 miles in each pair before sharing their experience.

We also aim to keep our scores as objective as possible:

  • All New Balance shoes are purchased with our own funds, helping to minimize brand loyalty and bias.
  • Over 100,000 expert and user reviews from all over the web have been accounted for in our scoring system.

Best New Balance running shoes overall

What makes it the best?

If you're looking for a great middle between the more traditional, lower-stacked NB 880 v11 and the uber cushy NB Fresh Foam More v3, that's where the Fresh Foam X 1080 v12 sits. It's a comfortable cruiser that's perfect for anything easy to moderate. And with the copious amount of foam it possesses, it's a gem in long-distance runs where protection and stability are at the forefront.


  • Protective cushion
  • Lively ride
  • Smooth transitions
  • Stable when cornering
  • Comfy upper
  • Durable outsole
  • Welcomes wide feet
  • For heavy runners
  • Grippy on snow, slush, and slick surfaces
  • No lace bites
  • Great heel hold
  • An eye-catcher


  • Not for narrow feet
  • Bottom-heavy for fast runs
  • Questionable breathability
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12

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Any color
Eclipse/Vibrant Orange/Spring Tide (M1080E12)
Infinity Blue/Green Apple/Vibrant Spring (M1080S12)
White Multi/Black (M1080J12)
Lemonade/Serene Blue (M1080Q12)
Orange (M1080M12)
Vibrant Spring/Ocean Grey (M1080C12)
Blue (M1080A12)
White (M1080X12)
More colors

Best lightweight New Balance running shoes

What makes it the best?

Version number 3 of the New Balance FuelCell Rebel is an all-rounder daily trainer that impresses with its ability to cross the line into a performance shoe when needed. It’s still surprisingly light and provides an amazing experience on the road. Runners are happy that it hasn’t changed that much and the few adjustments are for the better.


  • Fantastic soft and fun ride
  • Versatile for different paces
  • Very lightweight
  • Excellent breathability
  • More stable than version 2
  • Great lockdown
  • Visible at night
  • Not expensive


  • Not great on wet surfaces
  • Durability could be improved
  • Bottoms out easily
Full review of New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3

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Any color
Vibrant Spring/Victory Blue (MFCXMM3)
Black (MFCXMB3)
White (MFCXCW3)
White/Silver (MFCXMW3)
Yellow (MFCXCP3)
Neon Dragonfly/Black (MFCXCD3)

Best New Balance running shoes for race

What makes it the best?

Looking for a luxurious spa-day treat for the feet? The New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 will do the job! It's got an uber-plush midsole but it also has a plate that balances it out, making the ride not only cushy but also very snappy and stable. If you're looking for a mid to long-distance racing shoe that will outthrow the Swoosh, this, along with the MetaSpeed Sky, can do it handsomely!


  • Plush comfort in a race shoe
  • Smooth, fast ride
  • Breathable
  • Responsive toe-off
  • Carbon plated
  • Stiff but not overly stiff
  • Fits wider feet well
  • True to size
  • Stretchy material hugs feet
  • Sticky, grippy tread
  • Sexy! Sparkles in sunlight


  • Spendy at $225
  • Heavier than other race shoes
  • Tongue tends to fold under
Full review of New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2

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Any color
Deep Violet/Black (WRCELVB2)
White (WRCELZ2)
Yellow (MRCELCO2)

Best New Balance speed training shoes

What makes it the best?

With its 40+ mm stack, the New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer is one of the highest road running shoes ever, so high that it’s not even allowed in World Athletics events. For all other situations, especially marathon training, this is a superb max cushioned carbon plated trainer that is so massive, protective, and fun to ride in that it surprised every runner who tested it.


  • Incredibly bouncy and soft
  • Extremely protective underfoot
  • Top-quality upper
  • Stable for a “super-shoe”
  • Versatile for different paces
  • Great lockdown
  • Ready straight out of the box
  • Welcomes wide feet
  • Massive, yet great-looking


  • Heavy
  • Collects some rocks
Full review of New Balance Fuelcell Supercomp Trainer

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Any color
Black (WRCXBM2)
Green (MRCXLG2)
White (WRCXLW2)
Rain Cloud/Silver/Marblehead (MRCXED2)

Best New Balance trail running shoes

What makes it the best?

A heavy-duty trail beast, the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6 proves that it's more than capable of taking a beating from harsh elements! It crushes everything underfoot and will last plenty of miles. It works best as a road-to-trail transition shoe and a light to moderate dedicated trail shoe.


  • Comfortable
  • Super plush
  • Protective underfoot
  • Amazing lockdown
  • Easy to put on (heel loop!)
  • True to size
  • Heel rudder
  • Looks amazing
  • Value at $135


  • Heavy
  • Runs warm
  • Could be grippier
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6

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Any color
Yellow (WTHIERS6)
Sulphur Yellow/Norway Spruce (MTHIERS6)
Mountain Teal 331 (MTHIERG6)
Ghost Pepper/Habanero (MTHIERO6)
Light Rogue Wave/Habanero (MTHIERV6)
Black Spruce/Timberwolf (MTHIERB6)

Best New Balance running shoes for flat feet

What makes it the best?

New Balance’s stability running shoe provides amazing support for overpronators. Ever improving, the v12 has brought some new technology into this shoe while bringing back some of the features of the old upper.


  • Excellent stability shoe
  • Good lacing
  • Looks the part
  • Comfortable
  • Consistent ride in any condition
  • Good grip
  • Perfect daily runner


  • Runs half a size small
  • Heel counter is not for everyone
  • Quite heavy
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v12

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Any color
Green (M860N12)
Blue (M860E12)
Black/White (W860M12)
Grey (M860S12)
Grey (M860G12)
Blue (M860B12)
White/Orange/Pink (M860A12)
Blue/Vibrant Spring/Serene Blue (M8602ED1)
More colors

New Balance running shoes with best cushioning

What makes it the best?

The Fresh Foam X More v4 from New Balance is a maxed-out daily trainer that's best suited for recovery days and anything easy. Whether it's a short walk or a long-distance run, this mammoth of a shoe will keep your feet comfy and well-protected at all times. And what's more awesome is it costs less than its precursor!


  • An armor from fatigue
  • REALLY cushy for long days
  • Puts life in your run
  • A stable ride
  • True to size
  • Superb heel clutch
  • Markdown price
  • Built to last
  • Reflective


  • Easily feels hot
  • Chunky and clunky
  • Low energy return
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4

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Any color
Electric Red/Bright Lapis (MMORLR4)
Blue (MMORBB4)
Grey (MMORCO4)
White (MMORCW4)
Navy Blue (MMORCN4)
Arctic Grey/Natural Indigo (MMORAG4)
Black (MMORGG4)
White (MMORWT4)
More colors

Comparison of the 7 best New Balance running shoes

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Users rating
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# of colorways

Road or trail? New Balance shoe types based on terrain

Here’s the quick comparison of the New Balance road and trail running shoes:

Road vs trail.png

Note: The ratings are based on how each type of shoe performs in general. This does not apply to a specific model that exists.


Road running shoes prevail in New Balance’s selection. Some of the best-rated ones are those with Fresh Foam cushioning.

Arch support in New Balance running shoes

The level of arch support in NB shoes is tightly connected to the pronation degree. When you know how you pronate, it's easy to see which type of shoe you need - neutral, stability, or motion control.

Arch types and recommended shoes.png

TIP: Buy a pair of neutral running shoes if you don’t have any visible foot issues.

To learn more about your pronation type and whether you need extra support in running shoes, see our in-depth guide on arch support.


75% of New Balance shoes are made for neutral pronation, meaning they have no added arch support. Example: the popular 1080 series.

New Balance numbering system

Some New Balance running shoe models have numbers on their names, which can be confusing for those who are not familiar with the brand’s numbering system. 

Here’s how you read the style or model number:

New Balance numbering system.png

  • The letters represent the gender and sometimes the activity - M = Men’s; W= Women’s. Here are a few other examples: MT = Men's Trail, WT = Women's Trail, and US = Made in the USA
  • The level of performance refers to the number of technologies. However, New Balance emphasized that while most of their “higher-numbered” models feature more technologies than those “lower-numbered”, it is not always the case. 
  • The two digits refer to the shoe type as shown below.
  • Version (i.e. “v3”) number refers to the times the model has been updated.

Shoe types.png

Additional features of New Balance running shoes

Waterproof coverage.png

Some New Balance road and trail running shoes have waterproof features. These shoe models are equipped with a GTX membrane that keeps the feet dry in wet and rainy running conditions.

See waterproof running shoes from New Balance


The BOA closure system allows runners to experience a more customized fit. It is a unique lacing system that is made of three integral parts: a micro-adjustable dial, super-strong lightweight laces, and low-friction lace guides.

It is easy to operate as well - just turn the dial to tighten and pull up for quick release.

See NB shoes with BOA

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.