Updates to New Balance 1540 v3

Unusual inward rolling of the foot is the target area of responsibility of the New Balance 1540 v3. This update to a series that embodies the classic look of New Balance shoes from the ‘90s brings slight but significant changes. One of the reiterated elements is the overlay panel. The feature now offers full coverage of the medial and lateral sides, as opposed to version 2’s slightly less emphasized stitched-on accouterments.

The midsole unit of this running shoe uses the ACTEVA™ LITE and ENCAP® foam technologies, as well as the ROLLBAR® stability posts for both lateral and medial positional control. Ndurance rubber protects the base of the platform from the abrasive nature of the roads.


Ndurance serves as the external pad of the New Balance 1540 v3. This full-length layer is designed to shield the midsole unit from wear-and-tear. It has been touted to be durable enough to last for a long time. Moreover, it has a traction capacity which allows it to adhere to the surface and prevent slips while taking each step.

Flex grooves allow the platform to have a small helping of flexibility that follows the natural transitions of the foot as it goes through the gait cycle. These trenches are mostly placed near the forefoot as it is the area that requires the most bending.


Underfoot cushioning is primarily the responsibility of the ACTEVA™ LITE. This tech is a full-length piece that is touted to have a weight that is 24% lighter than many other cushioning units from New Balance. The job of this foam is to provide a durable yet reactive underfoot experience. Its uniform compression set allows it to remain responsive and efficient, even after many uses.

ENCAP® is a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) carrier wall that houses an ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) core. This technology is meant to make the platform consistently supportive and full-bodied. The TPU also maintains its form, preventing sagging or early material breakdown. ENCAP® is a classic tech that is used in many of the revival series from the ‘90s, including the New Balance 990 roster.

ROLLBAR® is a technology that involves TPU posts in the lateral and medial areas of the platform. These reinforced sections accentuate the motion control capability of this shoe. Hence, the medial side prevents overpronation, while the lateral side prevents any unusual outward rolling of the foot throughout each step.

A foam footbed is placed right on top of the main cushioning system. This add-on is created to put a surface of softness for the foot to experience. It is flexible and lightweight, as well. It can be removed or replaced with a new one of the wearer desires to do so.


The external portion of the New Balance 1540 v3’s upper unit uses a mesh. This material is designed to fully wrap the foot and secure it in place. It has tiny holes that permit environmental air into the interior compartment.

The inner sleeve features a soft lining to maintain an irritant-free coverage. It also has micro-pores to preserve the breathable purpose of the outsole textile.

Printed overlays line the surface of the mesh, covering the front, sides, and rear like a supportive web. This sheet bolsters the durability of the upper unit while also helping with the quality of the fit.

Stitched-on overlays trace a majority of the areas that the printed variants cover. These layers of suede further encourage the longevity of the facade, acting as a barrier against damage. They’re also meant to improve the lockdown mechanics of the shoe.


The current trend of New Balance 1540 v3.
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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.