7 Best New Balance Trainers in 2024

Jaydee on
7 Best New Balance Trainers in 2024
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When style, comfort, and quality are your priorities in trainers, the best brand you must consider is New Balance. With so many models to choose from, we brewed this foolproof guide to help you find the right NB shoes for you. 

With that in mind, we have tested New Balance trainers and put together a list of the most prominent options. We did this based on our wear-tests and lab tests. We chose the best under various categories to make it easier to find the right model that suits your needs.

How we test trainers

To help you save time and effort, we narrowed down our top picks under various categories. 

  • We buy all New Balance trainers with our own money to avoid bias.
  • We sport the shoes in our casual events and daily undertakings. During this time, we evaluate the shoe's pros and cons like durability, price, breathability, and others. We even style them with different fits to see how their aesthetic adapt to every look.
  • To gather accurate results, we subject these shoes to countless trials and comparisons inside our lab. One particular thing we look for in trainers is their ability to repel stains. We smudge their upper with coloured chalk, as well as stream them with a liquid dye. We then observe if the material easily absorbs the stains or completely resists them. We clean the shoes afterward and we evaluate how quickly or difficult to transform them to their brand-new state.

Best New Balance trainers overall

What makes it the best?

Out of all the New Balance trainers that we tried, it was the 2002R that left the most impressive mark. This shoe offered a well-balanced mix of stiffness and cushioning that made us swoon with satisfaction. This shoe also had an unusually thick tongue that not only enhanced its fit but also delivered a lot of comfort. And not only was the upper made of real suede, it was dependably durable, as well. 

Our HA durometer gave the midsole a softness rating of 32.6, which did not deviate so much from the 30.9 average. Upon wearing the NB 2002R, we enjoyed a good blend of response and impact absorption, which allowed us to use this shoe for sustained periods.

Our jaws dropped when we measured the tongue. The calliper reported it to be 15.5 mm thick, making it a staggering 78% thicker than average! We loved how the humongous tongue pampered the top of our feet while enhancing the fit all at the same time.

We did the fire test, so we’re now sure that the upper was really made of genuine suede. But what’s more notable was its durability. It made our Dremel drills look like a joke because of how resistant it was to abrasion, earning an impressive 4 out of 5 rating.

We were just bummed that the breathability was disappointing. The New Balance 2002R only got a 2 out of 5 for ventilation after our lab assessments.


  • Comfortable for all-day wear
  • Protective cushioning technologies
  • Durable upper materials
  • Snug and supportive fit
  • Reliable arch support
  • Stable platform
  • Grippy, running-inspired outsole
  • Feels lightweight with a padded interior
  • Stylish classic look that matches many outfits


  • Not for wide feet
  • Pricey
Full review of New Balance 2002R

Best classic New Balance trainers

New Balance 574

What makes it the best?

Upon scrutinising New Balance trainers, we determined the most outstanding classic from the brand and it is the New Balance 574. Our decision extends beyond the sneaker’s unquestionably timeless silhouette and colourful history. We declared it the best because more than the looks, the on-foot experience it offers is one for the books!

We can affirm that the extraordinary comfort of NB 574 is peerless for daily escapades. We learned that it has a reliable cushion and a generously padded interior that make it very suitable for prolonged walks. As if the on-foot feel is not enough for it to be worn every day, we found that its classic design is so versatile that it effortlessly matches a wide range of styles, from fun to sharp getups.

For such a revered sneaker, we admired its economical price of £100, which is also 30% more affordable than the average sneaker. Although it is very accessible, price-wise, we discovered that New Balance 574’s construction is not compromised at all! It features real suede on the upper and a mighty 8-mm rubber outsole that is ready to tackle hundreds of miles!


  • Classic NB silhouette
  • Budget-friendly
  • Suitable for all-day wear
  • Real suede
  • Highly durable
  • Stable and supportive
  • Great for wide feet
  • Easy to style
  • Numerous colour options


  • Lacks breathability
  • Stiff and firm platform
  • Tongue shifts a little
Full review of New Balance 574

Best breathable New Balance trainers

New Balance 327

What makes it the best?

Among the sneaker offerings of New Balance, we achieved optimal ventilation from the 327s. This New Balance kick has a luxurious comfort that shocked us given its cost-effective price. At only £100, 42.9% more affordable than most kicks, this sneaker stood out in performance, rising to the top of our breathable NB recommendations.

We assessed how porous the upper of the 327 was by shining a light on it. Looking at it, it became clearer why smoke flew continuously during our smoke test, as it has a lot of vent openings around the quarter and toe box of the kick. 

The 327 also feels lightweight and is actually light, as evinced by the 10.62 oz (301g) weight shown by our scale. Most trainers that we have tested are heavier by 35.2%. However, the 327 may not cater well to sneakerheads with broad feet. We measured it across the toebox part with the maximum length and at 94 mm, it is 4 mm below the standard width. If you’re a wide footer, you'd better stick to trainers that offer more space for the toes.


  • Fashionably sporty
  • Well-cushioned
  • Stable and planted platform
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Above average breathability
  • Superb grip
  • Suitable for driving
  • Budget-friendly


  • Relatively stiff
  • Fits a little tight
  • Not suitable for wide feet
Full review of New Balance 327

Best New Balance platform trainers

What makes it the best?

There’s no disputing that the CT302 earned the distinction of being the best New Balance platform sneaker. Right before all our testing, it was love at first sight with this sneaker. By the appearance alone, we already had a hint of what was to come in terms of underfoot comfort and overall style. The best part is we paid 42.9% less than the average for this premium at only £100!

Judging by the looks, the CT302 is really rich in platform height. With our calliper, we put a numeric label on its height and it is 36.9 mm at the heel and 24.6 at the forefoot. CT302 is not kidding in height elevation as its cushioning is 25.1% and 35.2% thicker than the heel and forefoot averages.

Even though we felt high from the ground, stability prevailed. We felt firmly grounded, thanks to the wide base which we measured 112.9 mm at the forefoot and 82.4 mm at the heel. On record, these measurements are 4.9% and 3.9% broader than the averages, and in use, the CT302 promotes a solid stance.

While we expected this platform kick to be heavy, we didn’t expect it to be 22.61 oz (641g) heavy! This puts the weight of this sneaker way above the average by 56.4%. If you want platforms that come with lightness, explore other NB trainers out there.


  • Exquisitely comfortable
  • Subtle yet stylish design
  • Looks and feels premium
  • Easy on the wallet
  • Height booster
  • Feels supportive underfoot
  • Not your everyday NB design


  • Extremely heavy
  • Very stiff
  • Limited colorways
  • Smudge magnet
Full review of New Balance CT302

Best chunky New Balance trainers

New Balance 9060

What makes it the best?

New Balance 9060 is the king of chunky trainers under the New Balance kick collection because we found out that its hefty build isn’t just a feast for the eyes, it is also a haven for the foot. We were also amazed to know that the sneaker’s chunkiness gave the shoe a heavy-duty build. 

An interesting attribute we learned about this sneaker is that its interior is also chunky, in the sense that it boasts a great amount of cushioning and support and a generously padded tongue, enabling a supreme level of comfort. With these features, along with its running shoe origin, we were not entirely surprised to discover that it also provided us with notable stability, keeping us balanced despite its sizeable structure.

We also admired its very tough construction which was unbothered even though we exposed it to the outdoor environment and daily use. The issue that follows the shoe’s chunkiness and generous padding and overlays is the lack of airflow. We found that the New Balance 9060 was a bit hot on the feet. We suggest browsing other breathable kicks if your toes get hot fast.


  • Next-level comfort
  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Quite heavy-duty
  • Dope aesthetics
  • True to size
  • Looks better in person
  • Premium-grade materials
  • Stable


  • Limited colour options
  • Squeaks
  • A tad warm
Full review of New Balance 9060

Best premium New Balance trainers

What makes it the best?

We rigorously lab-tested and wore New Balance trainers to find its most premium pair, and the 990 v6 hits the spot. It has a retro look with modern technologies and high-quality materials supportive of all-day wear. There is so much to love about this shoe yet what stands out is its plush cushion, remarkable stability, and premium construction.

990 v6 features the renowned FuelCell foam used for high-performance running. It has a cloud-like and bouncy sensation that we truly enjoyed. Providing one-of-a-kind arch support, we can walk mindlessly without tracking our steps. Our durometer confirms it’s a softer-than-average 28.3 HA. Despite its height, it also maintains a light 12.9 oz (366g) weight.

We had a surefooted ride attributed to its expansive landing base and sturdy construction. Featuring an ENCAP rim embracing our heel, it effectively mitigates ankle rolls. Meanwhile, the vast midsole measures 113.8/88.0 mm in the forefoot and heel, which other trainers can hardly match in the lab.

From top to bottom, 990 v6 has world-class materials. Our lab tests reveal the upper has real suede with exceptional airflow, leaving no issues in our heat training. Underfoot is the Ndurance rubber with a tough durometer reading of 89.0 HC, one of the hardest we’ve seen among lifestyle trainers, further cementing its durability.

Unfortunately, this premium sneaker sits at a high price point of £210, 26.6% above average.


  • Unexpectedly lighter than average
  • Real suede and quality materials
  • Extra thick cushioning for all-day wear
  • Comfortable and springy FuelCell foam
  • Mind-blowing arch support and stability
  • Exceptionally hard-wearing outsole
  • Fantastic breathability
  • Well-padded all around
  • Six(!) widths available


  • Very delicate toebox mesh
  • A bit stiff
Full review of New Balance 990 v6

Bets retro New Balance trainers

New Balance 550

What makes it the best?

As fans of retro looks, we were easily won over by the New Balance 550’s retention of its look and feel from years ago. More than just being an eye candy, this shoe also dished out a good deal of durability and pretty secure heel clasp. These benefits made us more confident with our steps, allowing us to showcase its retro appeal more. This shoe quickly became the best New Balance retro sneaker for us.

Those who saw the NB 550 during its debut won’t have a hard time recognising this shoe these days. This sneaker retained much if not all of the OG’s appeal, and we love it so much for it.

During our durability tests, both the toebox and the heel padding displayed immense resistance to abrasion. We pressed our Dremel against them, and all that was left were mere scratches. Both shoe parts got an impressive 4 out of 5 from us for their noteworthy durability.

Aside from having durable heel padding, the heel counter was also quite effective in holding the rearfoot in place. We gave this part of the shoe a good squeeze in the lab, and it resisted our manoeuvres quite well. It rightfully earned a solid 4 out of 5 rating.

Breathability was a problem with this shoe, unfortunately. Both smoke and light were not able to pass through the upper material during our assessments. Ultimately, it got a disappointing 2 out of 5 for ventilation.


  • 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


  • Insufficient lockdown feel
  • Not ideal for wide feet
  • Released in a limited quantity
Full review of New Balance 550

How to choose the best New Balance trainers for you

Aesthetics and colour are what you mostly pay attention to when shopping for trainers. And that’s great! You deserve a dopamine hit looking down at your beaters.

However, if you want the most comfortable and well-fitting NB trainers for all-day wear, there is more to it than good looks.

We are here to help you look under the hood and consider features like:

  • durability
  • cushioning
  • arch support
  • size and fit
  • breathability
  • weight

…and more to get the most out of your future New Balance pair.

But first of all, let’s have a look at that visual aspect.

Style and aesthetic of NB trainers

The brand’s trademark suede-and-mesh uppers as well as muted colorways exude functionality over flamboyance. Since its beginnings, New Balance has been all about making trainers that don't just look flashy but deliver top-notch performance.

At first, such a practical vibe gave New Balance a bad name in the 1990s and 2000s. But since then, the brand’s image has evolved from unassuming “dad shoes” and dorky kicks to fashion-forward footwear that now sets the tone of the industry.

Today you can choose from dozens of timeless designs and closet staples from New Balance.

Classic silhouettes

When in doubt, classic NB trainers are the safest bet. These shoes have stood the test of time as some of them date back to the ‘80s! The iconic 574 was first released in 1988 and the first 990 edition dropped in 1982.

If you are happy purchasing the same pair of trainers year in and year out, this selection will always be there for you.


“Dad” shoes

Those in search of practicality and laid-back style will love NB’s dad shoes. After all, it’s what the brand is well known for!

Chunky, clunky, and kinda ugly, these kicks are the equivalent of your old worn sweatpants that are too comfy to throw away.


Chunky aesthetic

If you want to play with proportions or complement your oversized outfit, chunky kicks are the way to go!

Check out the startling 9060 which was New Balance’s most sought-after shoe in 2024.


Futuristic trainers

New Balance has successfully experimented with some retrofuturistic silhouettes too.

These shoes look as if they just came out of an old sci-fi comic book where the author imagined what trainers would look like by 2025.


Materials and craftsmanship quality in New Balance trainers

With a long history of over 100 years, New Balance is a brand that has found itself in the top echelon of sneakerwear, thanks to its focus on quality. NB trainers hardly ever receive hate or negative comments about their quality or durability.

Having lab-tested a myriad of kicks from New Balance, we can subscribe to that.

In one of our tests, we use a butane torch and a scratch awl to check the genuineness of suede and leather pieces on NB shoes. For the record, none of the uppers that claimed using real leather or suede caught fire or melted. This is an indication of genuine material.

See how easily the synthetic bit melted, unlike the suede patch below it.

Durability of NB kicks

To mimic the wear-and-tear of long-term use, we apply a Dremel with a sandpaper tip to various parts of NB shoes. The Dremel pressure remains the same (3.2N) but the speed and length of drilling depend on the shoe area.

First, we check a sneaker's most sensitive area - the toebox (12 seconds at 5K RPM speed).

Then, we move to the part that often gives up first in trainers - the lining and padding on the inner side of the heel counter (4 seconds at 5K RPM speed).


Finally, we go hard on each shoe’s rubber outsole by setting the Dremel to the max (22 seconds at 10K RPM speed).

The depth of the dent indicates how fast the shoe’s rubber wears out.


Putting all of our findings together, here is the overview of the most durable New Balance trainers:

As you can see, a lower price doesn’t always mean a less durable sneaker.

We should also mention that New Balance trainers, on average, show better durability results compared to other brands.

Made in USA / Made in UK

You might have noticed that some New Balance trainers have a “Made in USA” or “Made in UK” label added to their names.


The brand prides itself on the fact that some of its trainers are manufactured domestically (in the US or the UK), which is an extremely rare occurrence among athletic brands.

According to New Balance, this allows to employ American workers at several facilities in Maine and Massachusetts. In addition, the company purchases materials from domestic suppliers with over 7 thousand employees whenever possible.

The only caveat is that the price of these NB models ranges from £210 to 260. But given the background and the quality of these shoes, we believe that the price point is justified.


Cushioning in New Balance trainers

It is for a good reason that New Balance shoes have a stellar reputation for comfort.

Many of the brand’s current lifestyle silhouettes used to be dedicated running shoes in the past. These trainers have inherited a lot of features and technologies from their predecessors that now make them so wonderfully comfortable for all-day wear.

But not all New Balance trainers feel equally cushioned and comfy.

Stack height

Some shoes feel like soft and puffy clouds. Others feel more stable and close to the ground.

Depending on what kind of underfoot experience you are looking for, choose the shoe’s stack height accordingly. Stack refers to the amount of material that is stacked between the foot and the ground. It includes the insole, the midsole, and the outsole.


We use a calliper to measure both the heel and the forefoot stack height of each shoe following the rules set by the World Athletics for consistency.


A low-stack NB shoe vs. a high-stack NB shoe

More stack height doesn’t necessarily mean better experience. But if you want maximum support and cushioning for long hours on your feet, it is better to choose New Balance trainers with the higher stack.

Midsole softness

Getting a lifestyle sneaker from New Balance, expect a moderately firm or firm ride.

Even if these trainers use plush foam, it is mixed with the firmer shoe components that are responsible for stability.

We measure the foam softness of each New Balance sneaker with an HA durometer. It helps us to sort the brand’s shoes by the level of firmness.


Based on these measurements, we can compare the most popular NB kicks based on their midsole softness. The lower HA reading indicates a softer foam:

Beware of New Balance shoes with no cushioning foam. These models can still be great for casual wear but they won’t be your best friends for hours of walking and standing. You’re practically standing on plain rubber, except for the insole.


New Balance 480 has no cushioning foam

New Balance trainers are some of the most stable

Did you know that before New Balance released its first shoe in 1961, it had been solely focused on making arch supports?

55 years of designing arch supports for factory workers who spend hours on their feet was not in vain. Such experience helped the brand create some of the best trainers for flat feet, overpronation, and other conditions that require support.

No wonder New Balance shoes are so often recommended by the podiatrists!

To assess the stability of each New Balance sneaker, we perform a few tests:

  • torsional rigidity (how hard it is to twist the shoe; assessed manually on a 1-5 scale)
  • heel counter stiffness (how firm and structured is the rearfoot; assessed on a 1-5 scale)
  • midsole width (how wide is the base; measured with a calliper in the two widest points of the sole)

As it turns out, New Balance trainers have higher-than-average torsional rigidity as well as wider platforms than most trainers!

On a 1-5 scale where 5 is the stiffest, New Balance trainers get an average score of 4 for torsional rigidity. You are not twisting your ankle in a New Balance sneaker any time soon!

Most NB kicks also have structured heel counters that hold the heels and ankles firmly in place.


You can also expect very wide and stable platforms in NB trainers. Measuring the widest part of their sole in the forefoot, we got 111.7 mm on average. As for the widest part of the heel, it comes in at 87.0 mm on average. Both are a few millimetres wider than the average sneaker.

  New Balance Average sneaker
Midsole width - forefoot 111.7 mm 108.9 mm
Midsole width - heel 87.0 mm 83.4 mm

Not so flexible though

Being so sturdy and supportive, New Balance kicks have to sacrifice some flexibility. Expect that you won’t be able to bend your foot so easily in these trainers.

Measuring how much force it takes to bend an NB shoe to a 90-degree angle, we got 26.5N on average. This is 12% stiffer than the average sneaker.


Finding the right size and fit in New Balance trainers

We know how tricky it is to get the right shoe size when you’re shopping online. Even if you get the same size in all of your shoes, some might end up too small or too loose.


To increase your chances of getting the right size and fit, we strongly recommend measuring your foot length first.

See how the same foot length matches different sizes depending on the brand:

  New Balance Nike Adidas Reebok
Men's US sizes
260 8 9 8.5 8
270 9 10 10 9
280 10 11 11 10
Women's US sizes
230 6 6 6.5 6
240 7 7.5 7.5 7
250 8 8.5 8.5 8

Knowing your precise foot dimensions, you can check with New Balance’s shoe size chart to find the one that suits you best.

One of New Balance's unique features is also one that many people are passionate about - it’s their wide range of widths available across most of their shoe models. They offer options from extra-narrow through to extra extra-wide feet. For people with a foot that isn’t a standard width, it’s a real game-changer.


We also use a calliper to measure each NB sneaker’s toebox dimensions to make sure it has enough space for a medium width. Some models are designed with a narrower profile on purpose which is good to know if you have wide feet.

Consider breathability

No matter how good your sneaker looks, it won’t cover up the sweat odour on a hot summer day if it lacks breathability.

But luckily, New Balance shoes prove to be more breathable than the average sneaker. On a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the most breathable, 50% of NB kicks got a score of 4 or 5 in our lab tests.

Example of a breathable NB sneaker

Our tests include pumping smoke through each shoe’s upper to assess its ventilation capacity. In addition, we hover the half-cut upper over the light to see the mapping of most breathable areas.

Here is the overview of the most breathable, summer-ready kicks from New Balance:

What is the weight of NB trainers?

The average weight of all New Balance trainers that we have lab-tested is just the same as the average of trainers across all other brands - 14 oz (398g).

However, the weight ranges from 10.6 oz (301g) all the way to 22.6 oz (641g)! Yes, the heaviest sneaker we’ve ever tried is the CT302 at 22.6 oz.


Because NB has a model in each weight category, you can choose based on your preferences. Here is the overview of the brand’s lightest trainers:

Price of NB trainers

No matter what your sneaker budget is, there is a New Balance shoe to match it.


The brand offers affordable kicks in the £80-£110 range as well as premium options that cost up to £270.

Here is the MSRP for the most popular New Balance trainers:

But let us remind you that on RunRepeat, you can find sales up to 50%! We partner with over 200 online retailers to let you know where you can get your NB shoe of choice the cheapest.

We don’t think there is a simple formula for the brand’s success but there are a few factors that greatly contributed to New Balance’s popularity, in our opinion.


Technically focused from the very start

Before becoming a global sneaker giant, New Balance started in 1906 in Boston as the "New Balance Arch Support Company." They initially designed arch supports and orthopaedic footwear, and their now iconic sneaker line was a later addition to their portfolio.

Let’s just take a moment to appreciate that; more than 100 years ago, before most of their rivals had ever been thought of, New Balance was a technically-minded brand that relied upon science to sell their shoes. A modern train of thought even by today’s standards.

Commitment to product, not sponsorship

For a long time, New Balance bucked the trend by not sponsoring big-name athletes and instead choosing to let their shoes sell themselves. This became known as the “Endorsed by No One” philosophy, one whereby resources were directed towards research, design, and domestic manufacturing instead of famous sportspeople. Although that philosophy technically no longer exists, as New Balance does sponsor some sports stars these days - the history lingers.

Originally conceived by highly regarded designer Terry Heckler, New Balance's "N" and “NB” logos have remained largely unchanged since their creation over four decades ago. The New Balance brand logo does what a logo is supposed to do: it is simple but effective and showcases the brand's relationship with speed and power.

The rotated positioning makes it look as though the “NB” is constantly in forward motion, progressing towards its goal - just like all New Balance sneaker wearers should be.


What is New Balance Grey Day?

Grey has long become New Balance’s signature colour. It’s classic, it’s muted, it’s versatile and it is often overlooked.

That’s why the brand announced an annual “Grey Day” back in 2018. It is the company’s unofficial holiday which celebrates the colour by releasing new grey colorways for both new and old models.


Comparing New Balance to their rivals

Nike vs New Balance

New Balance is often seen as a more understated alternative to Nike. While Nike is known for its bold designs and extensive celebrity endorsements, New Balance focuses on comfort and fit, with many models offering wide-width options. Both brands excel in performance footwear, but New Balance tends to cater more to those looking for comfortable, everyday athletic shoes.

If Nike is more your style, check out our guide to the best Nike trainers.

Adidas vs New Balance

New Balance and Adidas both offer versatile athletic and lifestyle options. However, Adidas is known for its trendy and fashion-forward designs, often backed by high-profile collaborations and endorsements. In contrast, New Balance emphasises fit and comfort, especially for those with specific width needs.

Want to take a look at the Adidas offerings? Visit our guide to the best Adidas trainers.

Reebok vs New Balance

Reebok and New Balance have a history of performance-oriented footwear. New Balance often excels in wide-width options and premium cushioning, while Reebok is known for its versatile training shoes. Both brands cater to athletes and fitness enthusiasts but with distinct design and comfort preferences.

Please visit our guide to the best Reebok trainers to learn more.

Jaydee dispels the myth that women can't be experts when it comes to trainers. With hundreds of sneaker articles under her belt, she gained a surefire edge over others claiming to be experts. Since joining RunRepeat in 2017, she’s published formidable arrays of sneaker write-ups - some covered in lifestyle magazines. Interested in scrutinising a pair of trainers? Jaydee is the best person to talk to as she can intuitively chew it over with you even while doing her laundry. When she’s not writing, you can catch Jaydee playing with her two kids, online shopping, and spending far too much time on Instagram.