New Balance sneakers are a perfect mix of throwback and modern styles, generally trendsetting and iconic. Its Classics and heritage shoes like the well-loved NB 990, 247, and 574 have massively grown and become favorite collaborative work templates.
Aside from its rich line of popular dad shoes and chunky kicks, there are minimalist NB shoes that put a fashionable punch to anyone's daily wear. We tried more than 100 NB pairs and subjected them to a two-week wear test to know which of them outranks the rest.
We buy all New Balance kicks with our own money to provide a transparent analysis of each shoe. Before arriving at our list of top picks, our sneaker experts go through thousands of user reviews and extract the essential details of each sneaker.
Every shoe gets an equivalent Corescore, a figure from 0-100, and is ranked accordingly.
Our sneaker geeks wear test each shoe and examine them based on flexibility, fit, comfort, breathability, and durability.
The shoes that ranked highest based on our sneaker experts' scoreboards and our system-generated scoring algorithm get highlighted among our list of top preferences.
Most reviewers regard the New Balance 574 v2 as a high-quality sneaker and recommend it to everyone.
Comfort-wise, the New Balance Classics 574v2 is a standout, according to hundreds of testers.
A handful of users with issues—such as neuropathy, chronic pain syndrome, foot injuries—express that the NB 574 v2 feels painless to wear.
Its arch support and cushioning are remarkable, reviewers have mentioned.
The majority of shoppers note that the NB 574 v2 looks so vintage, timeless, and versatile.
Some customers share about getting several compliments on their first day of wearing the NB 574 v2.
A good deal of buyers say they like the colorways and plan on scooping another pair in different colors.
Several wearers mention that the NB 574 v2 is lightweight and has good side support, which makes it even better for walking.
A few users say the NB 574 v2 is perfect for the summer season.
Several customers express that the NB Classics 574 v2 needs to be broken in as it feels stiff, especially the toe area.
Some colors look different in person, according to a couple of online shoppers.
A small group of users observes that the outsole doesn't grip well on wet surfaces.
From over 100 New Balance sneakers we have in our catalog, the all-time favorite New Balance 574 v2 is a cut above the rest.
Everything we love about retro running shoes is built into this shoe: timeless style, comfort, and top-notch quality.
Its low-top build in a minimalist lace-up design makes a 1988 running shoe appear so hip and tasteful! This pair of shoes is wearable with any streetwear clothes without looking old-fashioned. It even puts a punch of style when fused with laidback jeans and leggings.
Its premium materials make us look fab and fresh and put a lot of life into this shoe.
We enjoyed wearing this the whole day. The innovative cushioning lodged in the middle layer did cradle our feet from stress and impact. Remarkable that we almost slept with these.
It felt a bit bouncy and supportive, making it a perfect choice if you spend the whole day walking around. It's the type of sneaker you'd love to wear if your work requires you to spend a lot of time outside the confines of your office. Its padded underfoot support didn’t flatten out even as we exposed it to a full-packed, two-week schedule.
If there’s one shoe from New Balance that deserves a spot among your sneaker staples, it’s this blast-from-the-past kick.
New Balance 515 is a vintage-inspired sneaker that goes beyond the word classic and dated. This shoe is unpretentious and chic! No wonder it won the hearts of celebs, too, like Rihanna and Heidi Klum.
Before we get to the bottom of the shoe, literally and figuratively, we’d like to brag about its well-made cover first. We love how New Balance dressed this shoe with premium detailing using suede and full-grain leather without robbing us off with hefty cash.
It’s one of the cheap but expensive-looking shoes that puts a stylish flair to our typical everyday clothes.
Since this shoe is far from looking and feeling cheap, it follows that it’s one of the durable options that will survive year-long. Even though, it isn’t meant for long-distance running, but it's built to endure the daily beating.
Ever tried walking on clouds? Try this shoe. Its comfort level is heavenly! We didn’t feel any heel strain even as we took this to strings of events that required us to be on our feet not less than 5 hours a day for two weeks.
The best part about this shoe is its wide forefoot frame, as it can accommodate customized orthotic inserts without putting any strain on the feet. It works well with broad-footed wearers needing a shoe with tons of comfort.
It’s impossible to count out the New Balance 997 from our top choices as this chunky shoe is prizable, far stylish than the OG. It leaves us almost zero reasons not to love it.
If there’s one thing that makes the New Balance 997 stand out from the rest of the 99x series is the optimum comfort it offers. Who wouldn’t love the blend of leather, suede, and mesh that take up the upper? The mesh segments provide windows for the feet to breathe. It works well with the other sections of the shoe in granting flexibility and durability.
The comfy feel doesn’t end there. The underfoot cushioning components are heaven for our feet. We walked all day at work, in the mall, supermarket, and around town wearing this, and we just love how its midsole cradled our feet, putting all the stress at bay.
Not only that, it wasn't bottom-heavy at all. The Abzorb and ENCAP are two geeky techs that make this shoe exceptional, especially you prefer the retro ‘90s look.
Speaking of style, the throwback design of this shoe makes it so adaptable to any streetwear clothes. It just blends effortlessly with just about anything.
So if you’re serious about adding chunky-soled kicks in your sneaker rotation, the 997 is undoubtedly a must!
From the minimalist sneaker options from New Balance, the NB 247 v2 gets the top spot among our best-liked pairs. Aside from its back-to-basics charm, this shoe gave us the feeling of walking on clouds.
New Balance 247 v2 is one of the hassle-free bootie structured NB shoes that are convenient to wear anywhere. It’s so easy to slip in and out of this shoe while the laces offer the locked-in feel.
Unlike other sporty shoes, this 247 version felty absolutely light. New Balance obviously trimmed down the weight of this sneaker without scrimping on style, comfort, and function.
Apart from its lightweight build, it’s also breathable. It comes with a well-ventilated upper and textile lining that kept our feet fresh even as we wore it the whole day.
We used this for two straight weeks within the city, and it gave us a carefree feeling even as we used it for several hours at work, weekend trips, tossing around for multiple errands, and we have no complaints about its ability to soak up all the stress.
It’s a must-have shoe if you want a minimalist sneaker that isn’t only sporty looking but chic and comfy too.
New Balance 440 is one of the modest-looking kicks that, though made in minimalist styling, it’s absolutely durable. The unadorned mix of leather, suede, and fabric on the upper may appear plain, but it’s far from the ordinary. It isn’t just a lifestyle sneaker, but it’s soo ready to skate.
What got us attracted to this minimalist sneaker was the comfy ride we got every time we wore it. If you love cup-soled skate shoes for their cozy feel compared to vulcanized shoes, you’ll fall for this super comfy shoe too.
Like its siblings under the New Balance Numeric family, this shoe offers superb grip. Thanks to the outsole tread pattern that held to our boards pretty well. We felt a good connection to our boards when we tried it along street alleys and skate parks.
In terms of style, this shoe which tapers at the front, goes well with skinny jeans, tight-fitting pants, even skirts and dresses meant for any casual occasion. The suede element gives this shoe a premium flavor without costing so much.
It exudes an old-school flair but is updated with functional and stylish elements, making it suitable for skating and everyday affairs.
New Balance 992 is not just for dads. It’s for anyone who wants an athleisure sneaker with lots of oomph and voguish flair. We love how stylish it is up close. No wonder it is one of the celeb-approved thick-soled kicks that’s been stealing the hearts of many.
This shoe survived changing norms, trends and refused to retire as it’s one of the favored shoes with classy, classic appeal. You’ll find it hard not to get hooked to this shoe if you’re looking for a top-notch, runway-fitting sneaker that lasts for a reasonable amount of time.
New Balance didn’t scrimp on quality as this shoe is garbed with supple leather and soft lining. If you look closely at how the upper layers were fused together, you’ll know that the brand was meticulous about creating great sneakers.
You’ll love how comfy it is too. We have nothing but great memories of how its padded collar and cushioned insole hugged and cradled our feet even as we pounded it hard on concrete the entire wear test duration.
It’s simply the most fabulous NB shoes out there that offer an instant lift, even to a simple pair of shirts and jeans.
There’s more to New Balance than its Classics. The New Balance 57/40 offers a fresh spin to the highly in-demand NB 574, making it look fresh and crisp. It’s simply a stylish sneaker that looks charmingly clean with a head-turning, wavy sole.
It partly breaks away from the traditional look and form of the time-honored, trendsetting, and top-selling 547 without losing the allure. This shoe works well with any athleisure-loving individual as its cool and appealing makeup blends splendidly well with sporty to casual clothes.
We enjoyed playing up with different styles as it gave us an instant runway look. If you’re obsessed with bold-colored, attention-grabbing retro shoes, this ultra-hip sneaker won’t disappoint. It punctuates and provides a new flavor to any laidback to casual wear.
Its fascinating beefy sole may not be extraordinarily comfy, but it’s shock-absorbing enough. That thick wedge slab gave us more reasons to romp it anywhere. The added boost in the height of this NB silhouette is another plus factor why we were bewitched by it.
If you’re wondering if this will last long enough, we say yes. It’s the kind you won’t keep locked in your closet for a long time.
In the sneaker world, ugly shoes, in reality, mean utterly lovely, psychedelic, fascinatingly unique, and dad shoes, fashionably beefy retro kicks. If an NB shoe falls under these descriptions, it’s the New Balance 990 v5.
Its old-school aesthetic that only dads in the ‘80s would love is adored by many today for its runway-fitting style. Count us in as we’re among those who got lured to its bold fashion.
Apart from style, we can’t help but boast about how cushioned this version is than the previous model. Its tech-filled middle layer offers a pillowy feel that everyone from any walk of life, from active youth, busy yuppies to on-the-go geriatrics, would love and fall for.
Like most dad shoes, it got that rocker bottom style where the heel is thicker than the toe. It puts stress and tension at bay. We didn’t feel our feet were being murdered even as we spent eight or more hours walking with this.
It may be a little weighty than other 99x shoes, but it kept our feet cozy the entire two weeks we wear tested it. This chunky-soled shoe is comfy and stable enough that we enjoyed sporting it anywhere.
If you’re searching for bold, all-rounder dad shoes, the New Balance 990 v5 won’t disappoint.
New Balance 530 is another old-school runner that’s swelling with excellent reasons to love and add to your dad’s shoe collection. It charmed us in the same way that the 99x kicks stole our hearts. If you’re looking for dad shoes that won’t go above $100, this shoe certainly fits the bill.
This well-assembled sneaker wowed us with the unforgettable comfort it gave us. Thanks to the cushioning technologies integrated into this model. It’s shock-absorbing and offers a supple ride even as we used it on concrete for several hours a day.
Not only does it feel comfy to use for multiple activities the whole day, it feels surprisingly light. Its chunky build did not weigh us down. Plus, the mess arrangement across the top offers breathability. It’s the type you’d want to wear from spring to summer.
There are dozens of colors to choose from for different style preferences. You’d enjoy mixing and matching this dad shoe as we did with your strings of casual work clothes, streetwear ensembles, and sporty garbs.
You can get that Kanye West, Kendrick Lemar, Ben Affleck, Adam Levine look without the need to spend a fortune.
If Sneakerology exists, Judith’s close to earning her Ph.D. She owns not stacks of kicks, but hundreds of published sneaker content online, headlining grails, greats, GRs from over 30 global brands.
She’s a natural creative wordsmith, a hype monster at times, who writes and edits lifestyle articles professionally for over two decades now. If you're lost in a sea of popular or undervalued sneaks fishing for that best catch, she’ll gladly help out between sips of coffee or lemony mojito.