Our verdict

When we needed something to feel surefooted, close to the ground, and overall stable, the image of the New Balance 624 instantly popped into our heads. If you happen to suffer from plantar fasciitis, diabetes, or other foot conditions, you can trust this reliable pal to help you for years thanks to its incredible durability. It might not be one of those popular flashy shoes that you see everywhere nowadays, but we can assure you this good old friend will keep your feet comfortable and supported at all times.

Pros

  • Relieves pain from foot conditions
  • Great stability and lockdown feel
  • Top performance even in winter
  • Incredibly long-lasting
  • No-slip outsole
  • Fits well with orthotics
  • Approved for diabetes (A5500 code)
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Lacks breathability
  • Needs a short break-in period
  • Very simple colorways

Audience verdict

88
Good!

Who should buy

This NB will definitely be your favourite walking pal if...

  • you need a new pair that can help relieve plantar fasciitis, diabetes, and other foot issues
  • you're looking for a very stable and supportive mate for your strolls
  • you can't get enough of New Balance's premium-level quality
  • you love budget-friendly kicks that will be with you for a long time

New Balance 624 v5

Who should NOT buy

If you're looking for a flashy pair that you can show off walking around town... this ain't it. As an alternative, you should have a look at the budget-friendly and all-day comfortable New Balance 574. It's slightly more breathable, and it's available in thousands of colorways!

If what we've said before resonates with you and you're looking for something extra stylish... this dull pair wouldn't make the cut. You literally have 2 colorways to choose from! Dull, dull, dull.

So, if you want to have an endless list to pick the one (or the two, or the three...) that matches your wardrobe, we believe you should check the New Balance 327.

New Balance 624 v5

Breathability

Please someone sign this pair up for yoga classes, it doesn't know how to breathe!

You know what they say: "in and out, in and out", but... this New Balance gave up after the "in". Honestly, we were not that surprised, as it's got a leather upper after all, so we already knew it would most likely not be as breathable as a mesh shoe.

For reference, here we have the Saucony Triumph 20 (on the right). And just look at that! It seems like it could power up a steam machine on its own! But hey, to be fair, that is a running shoe, so it DOES have to be more breathable than a walking one. After all, your feet will definitely sweat and warm up way more.

Anyways, at least these NB kicks let out some air through the tongue, and that's why they've earned a 2 out 5 in our breathability test.

New Balance 624 v5

But through the toebox? Nope, not today. You know, 624 v5, you could be a little bit more relaxed and let off some steam, right? (Sorry, sorry. As it has those dad shoes vibes... we thought it would be nice to pop a good old dad joke here).

Then we checked the upper using our light. What we were looking for was any kind of pore or small hole to let the light shine through. We were quite surprised, actually. If you look at the shoe, it does have some small holes, but they literally kill the light! So we've found out their main purpose is to be decorative.

Aesthetics 1 - 0 Breathability.

And our microscope was the referee.

New Balance 624 v5_A

Well, there it is. No ventilation gaps, so no breathability.

New Balance 624 v5 Breathability

Just look at this! What an armour!

Before we move on into the next section, let us warn you. Even though we LOVED walking around town with this pair during winter in our long strolls checking the city lights, in the summer... it was a mess.

Even if you're a fan of Katniss Everdeen, trust us, your feet don't want to be "the girl on fire", so don't wear this pair when it's hot! Just try the Skechers Max Cushioning Arch Fit instead!

Test results
624 v5 2
Average 2.8
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

When we talk about toebox durability, this pair actually is similar to Katniss.

Tough, resilient, and ready for the battle! When our Dremel was in for a fight, the 624 v5 said: "Bring it on". So, here we go!

After 12 seconds at a consistent pressure (3.2N) and speed (5K RPM), these baddies were already ready for a second round. The damage was minimal, as the tool could barely scar the surface.

New Balance 624 v5 Toebox durability

Isn't it wonderful? Surviving our test in such good spirits, we could only give this NB a fantastic 5/5. An outstanding score for an outstanding performance!

New Balance 624 v5

For reference, look at the damage our Dremel dealt to the Underarmour Charged Assert 10! Even though it's more breathable with its mesh upper, it scored a disastrous 1/5 in our Dremel test.

Test results
624 v5 5
Average 3
Compared to 19 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

We were pretty surprised with how everything changed in the heel. Let us show you this video, and you'll definitely understand why.

Even though the heel padding of the 624 wouldn't be a winner in the Durability District, we gotta admit that the 2/5 it scored is the most typical grade in this test.

New Balance 624 v5 Heel padding durability

But we also can't deny the damage was quite bad. And we could blame it on the material, of course! Yet... it would be a lie. Just look at the ASICS Metaspeed Sky+, which does much better in this test having the same material in the inner lining of the heel.

New Balance 624 v5 Heel padding durability

On the left, we have the New Balance 624 v5; and on the right, the ASICS Metaspeed Sky+. That's what a 5/5 score looks like!

Test results
624 v5 2
Average 2
Compared to 18 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

So, let's go back to our results: strong upper, weak heel, and... what about the outsole?

We took our durometer and started by measuring this NB's outsole hardness at 88.0 HC. And WOW. Just WOW. Now this is tough!

New Balance 624 v5 Outsole hardness

In comparison to our actual average, the outsole of these warriors is 17% harder!

You've got some good victors, NB!

Test results
624 v5 88.0 HC
Average 75.4 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
50.1 HC
Outsole hardness
92.0 HC

Outsole durability

Alright, the moment of truth! The 624 v5 had to fight our Dremel again, but this time we were really confident.

And we weren't wrong! As you can see in the video, the outsole barely reacts to the attack. Normally, when a sole is made with hard rubber, it also means that it'll be durable. And this is the perfect example!

New Balance 624 v5 Outsole durability

That's not even a scratch. With a small hole of only 0.9 mm, we know these toughies will stay by your side for more than 500 miles. Talk about some reliable allies!

Test results
624 v5 0.9 mm
Average 1.4 mm
Compared to 18 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

With our caliper, we measured this pair's outsole thickness to see if it had any other pleasant surprises for us.

You see, when the rubber is hard, sometimes the outsole can be a bit thinner than average. But if mockingjays existed they would start laughing alongside this NB as soon as it heard what we just said.

New Balance 624 v5 Outsole thickness

At 5.1 mm, the outsole thickness of these soldiers is TWICE the average. Yeah, that's right. TWICE!

It's more than clear now, these shoes are made to last!

Test results
624 v5 5.1 mm
Average 2.5 mm
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
5.9 mm

Weight

If the Hunger Games were actually about eating... this NB would have instantly won.

All its durability comes with a price, and it's something that we noticed the very first minute we put it on... its weight.

We dragged our feet all the way up to the scale. Even though we already knew this was no light pair, and our feet had been warning us for a while after walking for a couple of hours, we needed to see the actual numbers.

With 11.6 oz (329.0g), the 624 v5 is way heavier than average (9.5 oz / 269.0g)!

New Balance 624 v5 Weight

Test results
624 v5 11.61 oz (329g)
Average 9.45 oz (268g)
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
6.17 oz (175g)
Weight
14.25 oz (404g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

With a height of 31.6 mm, this NB's heel stack is not exactly what we expected.

New Balance 624 v5 Heel stack

Walking shoes are usually super plush, and even though these kicks have a thick outsole, they won't feel like a pair of clouds. They focus on stability and balance, so keep it in mind!

If you're looking for some new kicks to walk around with a durable outsole but also with a squishy midsole, we think you should try the Nike Motiva.

Test results
624 v5 31.6 mm
Average 32.1 mm
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
11.2 mm
Heel stack
40.0 mm

Forefoot stack

Same happens in the forefoot, but the score is closer to our lab's average. According to our caliper, this pair's forefoot stack is 20.4 mm thick.

New Balance 624 v5 Forefoot stack

But the fact that it's not high it's not necessarily bad. Like, if you are used to super plush shoes, then yeah, this one might feel different. Nevertheless, you will also feel closer to the ground.

When we wore this pair around town, our feet felt balanced and planted. This allowed us to control our moves better, and we loved it. Also, even though you might run into a couple of pebbles or cobblestone avenues, don't forget this NB's outsole is quite thick, which means you won't even feel it (which is exactly what happened to us!).

The 624 v5 might not have a bow and arrows, but it will protect you with its durable outsole!

Test results
624 v5 20.4 mm
Average 21.6 mm
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
5.5 mm
Forefoot stack
31.2 mm

Drop

Nothing outstanding here. The difference in height between the heel and the toes gives us a drop of 11.2 mm, which is pretty close to the average.

New Balance 624 v5 Drop

A high drop or a low drop is neither good nor bad, just different. It depends on your preferences!

Test results
624 v5 11.2 mm
Average 10.5 mm
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
5.7 mm
Drop
16.8 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Our durometer measured these warriors' midsole softness at 29.9 HA.

At this point, it does feel like the 624 v5 is trying its best to keep us with our mouths open in awe.

New Balance 624 v5 Midsole softness

This score means that its midsole is on the firmer side. Nevertheless, you won't feel it like a brick under your feet, trust us!

We need to let our passionate-scientist-shoes-nerd side take control here to explain to you what's going on in this pair. But don't worry, we'll keep it simple! So the reasons why, even though its midsole is firm, you won't feel this pair is a rock underfoot are: its ABZORB midfoot cushioning, which guarantees shock absorption; and its IMEVA foam, which is firm yet flexible.

New Balance 624 v5

We cannot say you will completely fall in love with this shoe, but with all the details, features and technologies previously mentioned, there is one thing we can tell you for sure: your feet will feel safe in it.

Note: If you are looking specifically for a stability walking shoe with a stable and supportive platform, you should have a look at the Skechers Arch Fit.

Test results
624 v5 29.9 HA
Average 25.1 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
7.8 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
32.9 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Remember we said we loved wearing this NB during winter? Well, let our freezer tell you why!

New Balance 624 v5 Midsole softness in cold

The shoe's upper is warm, so now we need to see if its cushioning remains soft when temperatures drop. After spending 20 minutes next to our ice-cream, the shoe's foam barely got any firmer, just a mere 11%.

This means this pair will still be comfortable even if there are only penguins around town. Nice one, NB!

Test results
624 v5 33.3 HA
Average 33.2 HA
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
14.8 HA
Midsole softness in cold (soft to firm)
43.6 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

After finding out this pair won't become a brick when winter comes, we decided to see how much its midsole softness actually changes.

Once again, this shoe gets nowhere near as rigid as the rest! Its midsole became 11.3% firmer, and we didn't even feel it when we were walking. Trust us, this shoe would volunteer to go to The Walking Games even if it was freezing its laces out!

Test results
624 v5 11.3%
Average 34.3%
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Insole thickness

Unlike some other walking kicks, like the Skechers Max Cushioning Arch Fit, this pair doesn't come with a renowned Ortholite insole to add an extra layer of padding.

We measured its insole thickness at 3.5 mm, which means it is pretty thin actually, 66 % lower than average.

New Balance 624 v5 Insole thickness

Even though this does not necessarily mean that this pair is uncomfortable (let's not forget its extra cushioned midsole), New Balance could have used a little bit more material here. After all, the whole thing is quite heavy!

Test results
624 v5 3.5 mm
Average 5.8 mm
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
3.5 mm
Insole thickness
10.3 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

Even on our neutral feet, we felt that the 624 v5 gave us all the support we needed. We walked around town surefootedly, and we didn't have to worry or stress over wobbly ankles.

This shoe's structure is pretty rigid, so it kept our feet in place!

New Balance 624 v5_B

When you go hunting for some walking shoes, it's normal to want something with loads of cushioning and very plush. Nevertheless, stability should never be underestimated. It's important that your feet have a soft platform to land on when you're walking for hours, but it's also crucial that the sides of your shoes don't start to give in! This is key for pronators, and even though this is just a friendly reminder, we must keep it in mind!

Torsional rigidity

As we all know, New Balance's engineers are incredibly skilled at arch support! And well, as this pair's built around stability and surefootedness, it just couldn't be as flexible as other walking shoes.

Look at that video, it just didn't want to be bent! It scored a well-deserved 4/5 on our torsional rigidity test.

If you're looking for some extra flexible pals, then we believe you should give the Skechers GO WALK 6 a shot!

Test results
624 v5 4
Average 2.6
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Following the previous score, the 624 v5 earned a 4 out of 5 in our heel counter stiffness test after we almost got a finger cramp trying to bend it!

This means our heels stayed in place. No slippage, no funny moving, and no running away! Even though we really loved this, the stiffness of the heel hurt our Achilles tendon a little bit. Nothing big, you see. But this pair is rigid, so don't forget it needs to be broken in before it can unleash its true potential!

Test results
624 v5 4
Average 2.2
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

We measured the midsole width in the forefoot with our caliper at 113.6 mm. Saying it's 2% wider than our lab's actual average might not mean much to you, but it will to your feet!

New Balance 624 v5 Midsole width in the forefoot

This is already great news. But you know what's even better? Learning that this model is available in multiple widths!

Test results
624 v5 113.6 mm
Average 111.3 mm
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
98.8 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
124.1 mm

Midsole width in the heel

At 88.9 mm, which is pretty close to average, this pair's midsole width in the heel makes sure your feet don't even move an inch!

New Balance 624 v5 Midsole width in the heel

Test results
624 v5 88.9 mm
Average 89.2 mm
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
75.6 mm
Midsole width in the heel
102.2 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Do you feel like taking a short quiz?

Yeah? Alright, then! So, after all we've said about the NB 624 v5, do you think it will be flexible or stiff?

Stiff, of course! It took us 29.7N to bend it to a 90-degree angle, which is higher than average (20.0N)! As this model is stability-oriented, it does compromise some freedom of movement to keep your feet in place and well-supported.

New Balance 624 v5_C

If you want to see the Mr. Snow to this Katniss, have a look at the incredibly flexible On Cloud, which only required 9.9N to be bent to the same position!

Test results
624 v5 29.7N
Average 19.9N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1.1N
Stiffness
52.7N

Stiffness in cold

After fighting the cold (and maybe also fighting for some space with our ice-cream) in our freezer for 20 minutes, this shoe became even stiffer at 38.4N, according to our force gauge.

Good thing is that we already knew and felt the stiffness of these brave winter fighters, so our feet didn't really notice the difference!

New Balance 624 v5

Test results
624 v5 38.4N
Average 28.4N
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
2.6N
Stiffness in cold
64.2N

Difference in stiffness in cold

Even though this pair stiffened up 29%, this is not much compared to the average: 54.7%!

Also, as we've mentioned before, this shoe is pretty stiff itself. This means that it already required a little bit of breaking in, so it's not like becoming less stiff than 29% would save you from that! Just look at our hands trying to stretch the materials of the upper:

It was nearly impossible! But anyways, once that break-in period is out of the way, trust us, you'll LOVE IT! Just be patient, and may the odds be ever in your favour.

Test results
624 v5 29%
Average 53.4%
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
139%

Grip / Traction

The 624 v5's not marking outsole did its job when we were walking around town.

New Balance 624 v5 Lug depth

As you can see in the picture, it has some long flex grooves in the forefoot next to some zones with a herringbone pattern.

Let's go step by step:

  1. Those grooves you see will bend naturally with your feet... kinda. After all, this is a rigid shoe, so flexibility is not what it's best at. Still, it was pretty comfortable to us, and as every gap is quite small, we didn't pick up many pebbles.
  2. The herringbone pattern means the 624 v5 is grippy. So its outsole is not only durable but it also sticks to the ground. You can forget about slipping, the traction of this pair is no joke!

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Good news once again! At 101.9 mm, this shoe's toebox is pretty wide, so even though it is available in multiple widths, the standard model is far from narrow!

New Balance 624 v5 Toebox width at the widest part

Test results
624 v5 101.9 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
103.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

But... just not so much at the big toe. If you want some more space for your toes, we recommend you to size up, go for the extra width version, or maybe even have a quick look at the Allbirds Wool Runners!

At 75.3 mm, they are definitely not the widest boys out there.

New Balance 624 v5 Toebox width at the big toe

Test results
624 v5 75.3 mm
Average 77.7 mm
Compared to 20 walking shoes
Number of shoes
73.7 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
82.0 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The 624 v5's tongue is non-gusseted, and it couldn't care any less!

New Balance 624 v5 Tongue: gusset type

Even though this feature usually helps to keep your feet in place, do you think this pair really needs it? Not even!

Come on, it has a central lace-loop, a rigid structure and a tight fit. So NB probably tried to kick out some oz from this heavy pal and make it easier to put on.

Test results
624 v5 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

So... with how thickly padded this tongue is, why would it be gusseted?

Listen and don't take this lightly (cause the 624 v5 for sure didn't). At 10.6 mm, this shoe's tongue is 55% more padded than average!

New Balance 624 v5 Tongue padding

We are obsessed! No lace bite, just comfortable and happy steps for our feet!

Test results
624 v5 10.6 mm
Average 4.7 mm
Compared to 25 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0.3 mm
Tongue padding
11.5 mm

Heel tab

Time to make its retro style shine! The finger-loop at the back wasn't only made for aesthetic purposes, it's also very functional.

New Balance 624 v5 Heel tab

So let us do the maths for you: Finger-loop + Non-gusseted tongue + Wide opening = Easy to put on!

Test results
624 v5 Finger loop

Removable insole

Even though we ADORED this pair's insole (despite being thin), it might not be for you, or maybe you need to use your own orthotics. Well, that's alright, cause its removable insole will let you change!

New Balance 624 v5 Removable insole

But before you take it off, let us tell you that it doesn't only relieve plantar fasciitis pain... this shoe was also approved for diabetes (A5500 code)!

Test results
624 v5 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

If you feel like going for a walk at night... please take the necessary equipment or don't go away from the city lights!

New Balance 624 v5 Reflective elements

Test results
624 v5 No