Updates to New Balance 1201

  • The New Balance 1201 is created to provide comfort for extended periods of walking in a variety of outdoor environments. Its sturdy leather and suede upper is meant to give a steady foothold on trails.
  • The proprietary ABZORB unit is used for cushioning. It is a foam-based material that protects feet, legs, and lower back by dispersing the shock upon impact.
  • A layer of hard-wearing rubber lines the bottom of the platform. Its lug pattern is designed to grip the surface in multiple directions. A vertical rubber layer of contrasting color splits the outsole to accommodate a smooth heel-to-toe transition.


The New Balance 1201 employs a durable rubber material for the outsole. The unit extends up at the front and the back of the platform to protect the toes and the heel from bumps. These extensions have a razor-blade-like shape and act as brake lugs to prevent slippage on descends and wet surfaces.

The triangular lugs of various sizes are placed throughout the outsole. They are facing different directions to afford traction on unpredictable terrain. Multiple flex grooves between the lugs contribute to the flexibility of the unit.

The outsole is split by a rubber insert of contrasting color. It mimics the way a foot undergoes when it transitions from the heel to the toes during walking. It is meant to render a smooth walking gait cycle.


The brand’s foam-based ABZORB compound is the primary cushioning of the New Balance 1201. It is a full-length layer that guides the foot throughout the walking session. It ensures a safe and supportive ride, protecting the lower extremities and back from the impact.


The midfoot and the forefoot portions of the New Balance 1201 are covered in suede. It offers a snug fit and features perforations to keep the interiors of the shoe ventilated.

Genuine leather wraps the heel and the ankle for maximized support and stability in these areas. The toe box is also overlaid with leather for extra durability in this high-wear part of the shoe.

The tongue and the collar are generously padded to keep the shoe securely around the ankle. The edges of the collar utilize mesh to maintain breathability in the rearfoot.   

A traditional lace-up closure is used for regulating the tightness. Round laces easily slide through metal eyelets helping the wearer make quick adjustments. A pair of external metal loops is placed above the top eyelets. The laces can be run through them and cinched for a lockdown fit.

Those looking for a similar waking trainer with a waterproof upper, can consider the New Balance 1300.

Facts / Specs

Arch support: Neutral
Use: All-day wear, City
Closure: Lace-up
Material: Suede upper
Features: Cushioned
BRAND Brand: New Balance
Surface: Trail

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Olesya Kryakvina
Olesya Kryakvina

Laci is a contemporary dancer turned shoe aficionado. She is the most knowledgeable person when it comes to athletic shoes, size conversions and details people nitpick about footwear. She keeps the RunRepeat content gears turning 24/7. And she walks 20miles/week.