Best New Balance Running Shoes
It can be somewhat of a struggle to find a perfect pair of trainers that fit your foot like a glove, and help you run farther and faster than you ever thought possible. In a perfect world, you would be able to wear them forever without the need to ever retire them. Sadly, we do not live in a perfect world. The more miles you put on them means the time is growing near where they will need to be replaced. While it may seem pragmatic to buy the exact same pair again, it is worth taking a look at all of the new designs that have hit the market since your last purchase.
New Balance has been in the business of making fantastic athletic gear for over 110 years. They were originally known as the New Balance Arch Support Company, and they made inserts and other accessories to help make every piece of gear fit perfectly. Over the years, they have become one of the top manufacturers in sneakers and are a tried and trusted brand by many seasoned runners. Many athletes find a brand that they love, and they stick with that same brand every time they need to retire their old trainers, and NB is one of the top brands with a huge following of loyal customers. Are you one of them?
If you are one of the many loyal fans that want to check out the best models of trainers out there on the market, or you are just curious as to what makes NB stand out from other brands, we have compiled a list of some of their most popular designs.
- NEW BALANCE M990V3
- Thick/padded rubber sole
- NEW BALANCE LEADVILLE V3
- Rubber toe to keep feet dry
- NEW BALANCE 990V4
- Suede and leather top
Best New Balance Running Shoes
New Balance M990v3 Running Shoe
This model comes in many different design and color options, but they are all various shades of gray and black, with the addition of a maroon and black design. If you were looking for something a little more colorful and spunky, the outward design does not fit that description. Even though they are not made from colorful materials, the reflective fabric makes them great for safe runs at night.
Like with any sneakers from this company, comfort is always the number one goal. The collar, as well as the tongue, is padded in a thick foam material to not only ensure that your foot stays in place, but it also stands to prevent chaffing and blisters.
The sole is composed of blown rubber to offer runners a little bit of a bounce, which is great when training on hard surfaces, such as sidewalks and asphalt trails.
The suede at the front of the toe is designed to keep feet dry on those days that the trails become muddy, or when you come across an unavoidable puddle. There is nothing worse than jogging with wet socks, and the reinforced suede toe is designed to prevent that.
The mesh found on the top of the foot is also designed to keep your feet cool. The thick sole and the suede materials make these sneakers perfect for getting out of the trails, and the bouncy rubber soles are also great for sidewalks.
You are going to pay more for these sneakers than you would some of the other models out there, but it is still in the realm of affordability. Considering how these trainers are built like a tank and able to traverse any type of type of trail, you may find that they are worth the slightly padded price tag.
What makes these great is how versatile and tough they are. They are able to travel seamlessly from sidewalks to trailheads and are made from top quality materials that will keep most feet dry and comfortable.
- Thick and padded rubber sole
- Various designs available
- Will fit most feet
- Distinct odor when they become wet
New Balance Men's Leadville V3 Trail Shoe
For a lower profile trainer, this design is a little bit bulkier than most. Many of the lightweight and lower profile units tend to fit like a glove, but not this design. It’s bulkier design makes it more accommodating for various shapes of feet. It is available in a fun orange, red, and black design that reflects the trees in the peak of autumn. If you don’t like the fall colors, it is also available in cooler tones- a black base that has blue and electric green accents.
Comfort is always the name of the game with New Balance, and this product is incredibly comfortable. The cushioning around the collar is made from REVLITE material, which is 30% lighter than many of the other foams on the market, so your feet will stay comfortable without being weighed down. This sneaker also has something called FANTOMFIT, which comprises the top of the sneaker. The top is made without any sewing lines. Instead, the materials are fused together. No sew lines mean fewer points of friction on your feet, which means there are fewer points to develop blisters.
Durability is where these trainers really shine. They are designed to be used on the trails, even if they are muddy or weathered or rocky. When you are looking for a great pair of sneakers for getting out on the trails, you want a pair that has a lot of extra support to keep you from rolling your ankles, but you also don’t want to limit your range of motion. This model somehow marries the best of both worlds to create a trainer that has the support you need without sacrificing mobility.
For a trainer that is able to do it all, these come in at a great price point. It runs about in the middle of the road in terms of what the average consumer would be willing to pay for a new pair of sneakers.
If you need a new pair of trainers that will be able to keep your feet cool, dry, and protected while you are out there climbing up mountains, these will be an excellent addition to all of your outdoor adventures without breaking the bank.
- Rubber toe to keep feet dry
- Flexible and lightweight materials
- Some find that the heel has a tendency to slip
- Minimal ankle support
New Balance 990V4 Running Shoe
The design of this model is very much similar to the 990V3, but it has way more color options available. Instead of only being offered in shades of gray, the V4 is offered in black, gray, red, yellow, blue, white, and pink. It has a cushioned collar and runs somewhere between a high profile and a low profile runner.
Yes, this is a little bit more clunky than the previous model, but that is only because it sports a little bit more cushioning on the sole. If cushioning is your number one priority when it comes to a pair of trainers, and you don’t necessarily mind a little extra bulk and weight, then these will be perfect for you.
It also needs to be added that the tongue on this model isn’t as padded as the tongue on the V3, which may or may not be a good thing. it is all contingent upon your personal preferences.
The mesh top along the top of the sneaker will keep feet cool, even when you are putting miles behind you on exceptionally hot summer days. The suede toe and sides of this sneaker will keep mud and water from penetrating from the bottom. They are perfect for taking out of the trails, but can work just as well for urban jogging.
The price of this model is a little bit more than the V3, which only makes sense because it is the newer version of the 990 design. While many users find that it is inferior to the V3, it is worth mentioning that the reasons they feel that way is due to the added rubber to the sole, making it more padded and bouncy (albeit heavier). If you are a runner that likes to put more rubber between your foot and the ground, the slightly higher price point may be worth it to you.
While these runners share a lot of similarities with the 990V3, not all of the perceived improvements made to this model have been praised by the community. The 990 is a beloved style from this brand, but the 990V4 has a few problems that landed it a little bit lower on this list.
- Many color options available
- Suede and leather top
- Extra rubber in the sole for added stability
- A tad clunky
New Balance M940V2 Running Shoe
Unfortunately, the M940V2 only comes in one color and one design: white with blue accents. The shape of the model has a little bit wider footprint than some of the others, and it has more of a classic style that doesn’t conform to the current trends when it comes to trainers. The forefront flex grooves are a perfect design to help correct runners that contend with overpronation.
The aim of the game when it comes to this model is cool and comfortable. This design had a lot more mesh than some of the other models, so it is sure to keep feet cool when you are really putting miles behind you. The mesh runs a little bit lower than it does on some of the other design, so you are going to really have to keep an eye out for puddles and mud, or else you will have to contend with wet socks. And no runners like wet socks.
The collar and tongue offer padding that runs in the middle of the road. It doesn’t offer maximum padding like some, but it does offer a modest amount to prevent chafing and blisters.
There are a few drawbacks when it comes to this model, and they have been addressed before. While you will be able to take these trainers out of the trails, you will want to keep an eye out for puddles and mud. The mesh top- while being an excellent material to keep feet cool and comfortable, offers little protection from the elements. It is possible to take these trainers out of the trails, but they may be more designed for urban jogs.
If you decide that these are the perfect fit for you, be prepared to pay a little bit extra than the average consumer tends to sell on trainers. However, given the excellent support (especially from runners contending with overpronation) the addition of these to your daily fitness routine might be the thing that makes all the difference.
For runners that want something that is not only lightweight but can really help them out and give them added stability if they suffer from overpronation, these are an excellent choice, only if you are willing to dish out the extra cash.
- Design supports overpronation
- Breathable material
- Some find the sole does not offer enough support
- Sizing issues
New Balance MR993 Running Shoe
Not everyone wants to succumb to the latest trends, especially when it comes to something as important at footwear. This model fits the description of a trainer that gets the job done without making a big spectacle about it. It is constructed with gray and black panels on the top, and a black and white rubber sole on the bottom. The original 993 was debuted in 1980, and runners have loved the design so much that is it still being improved upon today.
Larger heel cavity provides you more room for your heel to land, and a wide toe box allows for a natural range of motion, making this trainer one smooth ride. ABSORB materials on the top of the sneaker marry both cushioning and compression to maintain maximum blood flow to your foot while also providing a comfortable fit.
The high suede and leather materials that run along the top of the rubber sole are great if you plan on taking these out of the trails because the suede makes a great barrier to keep water and mud away from your socks. No runner likes to run with wet or muddy socks. The style and design of the 933 are perfect for taking a morning jog around your neighborhood or hitting the trails to really put some muddy miles behind you.
As one of NB's more popular models, you can be sure you are going to have to dish out a little extra money for them. However, the timeless design and the quality of materials makes this design worth the padded price tag.
Sure, they may be a little pricey, but the community cannot say enough good things about this model. These trainers refuse to conform to fads and give you a good old-fashioned piece of gear that will surely last you many, many miles.
- Ample heel room
- Thick DuPont rubber heel
- Classic design
- Loses shape after only a few runs
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v7 Running Shoe
As stated before, these trainers come in a wide range of fun colors, as well as some neutral tones. Color options include electric blue, teal, white with neon green accents, orange, and black. This model has a lower profile, so it doesn’t come up as high on the heel as other options.
This model has a thick rubber sole that is a little squishy and bouncy to provide maximum space between you and the pavement. The top of the sneaker has a lot of mesh, which means that your foot will stay cool (even on those hot days when you are really putting some miles behind you). It has a collar and tongue that is a little less padded than some of the other designs, but it is made from soft enough material that you shouldn't have to worry about chafing or blisters.
These trainers were born to be used on both muddy and rough terrain, but can also transition easily to sidewalks or treadmills. The break-in mesh at the toe gives way to a synthetic material that is designed to keep water on the outside so that you will never have to suffer from wet socks.
If you have a limited budget and have a growing concern that you can't afford any of these trainers, fear not. This model comes at a more affordable price than some of the others making this list. While they still cost a little bit more than what the average consumer would spend on footwear, the quality of materials and design makes for an excellent deal.
If you are on a limited budget and can’t spend top dollar on some of the more high-end sneakers, these come in at a great cost that won’t break the bank. The comfort and the quality of materials that were used to make these make them an excellent investment to help to crush all of your fitness goals.
- Many color designs offered
- Some find that they are not cushioned enough
- Unreliable sizing
New Balance 590v2 Speed Ride Trail Running Shoe
These sneakers are incredibly sharp and will likely turn heads at the gym or out on the trails. The base is a solid black, but it has electric orange accents, a gray rubber sole, and orange laces. They have a narrow collar and a thin tongue that doesn’t offer as much cushioning, but looks sharp and doesn’t give a clunky impression they way overly padded trainers can do.
The top of the sneaker is composed of an all-over mesh that will keep your foot cool on those long trails on hot summer days. The EVA molded insole conforms to the shape of your foot over time, so at one point you will even forget that you are wearing them. The way that the materials are conjoined in a sew-less way means that there are no seams that can sometimes dig into your feet.
Just like any Jeep, you can take these trainers just about anywhere. The lightweight materials will not weigh your feet down while running up steep climbs, and the lower profile will make difficult declines a little be easier.
It has a synthetic toe cover to keep water from creating every runner's least favorite malady, soggy socks. But don’t worry, they are not too rugged not to be able to transition from the trails straight to the gym on the treadmills when the weather is too cold and snowy.
Brace yourself. These are some of the most affordable trainers found on this list. They cost around the same price as the average consumer would spend on a pair of sneakers, and perhaps, even a touch less.
If you were looking for a great pair of sneakers that can easily transition from the trails to the treadmills, and look great doing it, the 590v2 Speed Ride will make an excellent addition to all of your outdoor (and indoor) fitness adventures without breaking the bank.
- Sharp design
- Unreliable sizing
- Some find the toe box is too big
New Balance MZANTEV2 Running Shoe
If you like fun and bright colors that will stand out, you will like the design of this product. It is available in a base of white with three different electric accents (blue, green, and orange). Each color option has a solid back treading and a black interior.
The goal of this model is not to surround your foot with padding to make it feel like it is being carried around by white fluffy clouds. Rather, this is designed to make you feel like you are not wearing anything at all. It has a lightweight mesh top that is breathable and soft, and the FreshFoam midsole will conform to the shape of your foot with continued use. This sneaker is constructed without the use of seam line, so at no point will you suffer from some unverified seam digging into your foot (we have all been there.)
The design of these sneakers makes them perfect for taking them out of the trails. The mesh design will keep you feeling cool on hot days, and the synthetic rubber toe will keep water that splashes up from puddles from making your socks soggy.
The tread on the bottom is great for trails as well. However, even with the rugged tread, these trainers can transition from trail to gym without a problem.
It costs a little bit more than what the average consumer would be willing to pay for footwear, but it still comes in at a reasonable price, and it one of the less expensive pairs to make this list. With a smart design and lightweight fit, it comes to you at a great deal.
Outdoor athletes that need a lighter trainer that will not weigh them down will find many things they love about these runners, and the affordable price tag will most certainly be one of them.
- Colorful designs
- Ultra lightweight
- Unreliable sizing
- Some find that they do not offer a lot of support
New Balance M1540V2 Running Shoe
Functionality trumps design in this model. It is available in three different designs which is a shade of grey with simple electric blue accents. They sit higher up on the ankle (which offers excellent support) and the top of the sneaker is made from a mix of mesh and synthetic fabrics.
While it may not look like the most stylish sneaker out there, comfort is where this model really shines. The sole is made from an incredibly thick rubber ROLLBAR technology that feels almost like you are bouncing down the sidewalk. ROLLBAR prevents ankles from rolling when the terrain becomes bumpy. Past users swear that this design has saved their ankles from harm on a number of occasions.
These trainers are built like a tank, so you better believe that they are durable. The mesh top lining will keep feet cool, and the synthetic material the runs along the bottom and near the tow will ensure that splashing in puddles (whether unintentional or intentional) will never result in soggy socks.
When you think of tanks, you know that they typically don’t run on the inexpensive side, and the same thing can be said about the M1540V2. While it is not the most expensive model out there, be prepared to shell out a pretty decent chunk of change. However, considering the effective ROLLBAR technology, the cost of these sneakers pales in comparison to the doctor's bill you may get if you sprain an ankle.
If you are in the market for a new pair of trainers and you are prone to rolling your ankle, we are sure you will be more than willing to dish out the extra money if it could potentially save you the pain of rolling an ankle while out in the middle of a run.
- ROLLBAR technology
- Maximum stability
- Stiff arch support could result in sore arches
New Balance M1400V4 Running Shoe
Let's just say that if you were robbed by someone wearing these sneakers, you would definitely be able to pick them out form a lineup. They come in two designs (an electric red that fades to an electric blue by the heel, and a hot red that has sharp black accents). The sole on both designs are white with an electric yellow base.
This model sports the REVLITE sole, which means that it is made from an innovative material that provides incredible support without adding an unnecessary bulk so that after a while it doesn’t even feel like you're wearing any trainers at all. The mesh material also keeps your feet cool and comfortable, and the lightweight and soft material around the collar and the tongue prevents chafing and blisters.
The synthetic material that courses along the bottom of the sole, as well as around the toe, will help prevent water from seeping inside. The tread is rugged enough to take out of the trails, but not to the point that you feel uncomfortable running with them on the treadmill at the gym.
They do cost a little bit more than what the average person would spend on a pair of trainers, but not by much. In terms of sneakers making this list, the M1400V4 is one of the more affordable options.
If you are in the market for a pair of trainer that come in bright and fun colors, all while still offering you great comfort and support, then the M1400V4 is a great option that comes in at a great price point.
- Trendy design
- Some find them to be a little stiff
The Criteria We Used To Find The Best New Balance Running Shoes
New Balance makes some really great trainers, but some are just better than others. We sifted through a lot of different styles (some classic, some a little more innovative) to ensure that we selected the very best of the best. In some instances, we selected an older version of the very same style. In many cases, the improvements that they make to a certain style can add amazing benefits, or slightly miss the mark (like in the case of the 990).
In that instance, we ended up selecting the V3 over the V4, because users found that the upgrades made to the V4 were not to the user’s benefit, and many preferred the V3 better. That’s not to say that the V4 wasn’t a great model — it just wasn’t as loved by the community as the V3.
Many of the different models out there benefit certain types of athletes (whether you have a neutral gait, overpronation, or over supination). Also, some athletes prefer trainers that do not offer a lot of ankle support in order to maximize their agility. Before you select a new pair for yourself, take into consideration the things that you need from your gear. There were a number of things that we took into consideration when selecting products for this list.
When shopping for a new pair of trainers, you are probably ready to dish out a decent amount of money, because you know that the best trainers will usually set you back a little bit of money. While selecting the best designs out there was important to us, we wanted to also make sure that they lived in the realm of a rational purchase. Luckily, most NB sneakers don’t go beyond what the average person would pay for trainers, and in fact, some reside right in that sweet spot where they reasonably priced. We liked those deals, as we know you might.
Look, we are just as serious about training as you are, but we would all be lying to ourselves if we didn’t admit that we judge our footwear by the looks before even checking out the specs. You most likely scanned the images of all the different models listed before one caught your eye, and then, you read on. It doesn’t mean you are as less of an athlete, it just makes you human. This is precisely what we took into consideration while selecting footwear for this list. While there were plenty of designs that hit on the current trends (such as bright neon colors), we also made sure to select models that called out to all the minimalists who don’t like to draw any extra attention to themselves.
Some of you might have a pair of expensive sneakers sitting in the back of your closet that was the talk of the running community, and that you just had to have. The reason they are now glorified dust repositories might be due to one thing — they didn’t feel comfortable. It’s pretty simple logic: if something doesn’t feel comfortable, we probably aren’t going to wear it.
That logic is then amplified when it comes to running, because you are already fighting against so many other clawing reasons in your brain begging you to stop, but it should never be because your feet hurt. We tried to select styles that didn’t utilize a lot of seams (that can dig into feet) and had soles that were soft and squishy. Padded collar and tongues are always a plus, because those zones are primed and ready to chafe and blister with bad sneakers.
Considering that NB got their start setting inserts to put into shoes for providing arch support, you better believe that their trainers are designed to support various shapes of feet and jogging styles. Not only do some of the models on the market help support high or flat arches, but there are also sneakers that help running with overpronation. No matter what type of issues that you may have during a run, there is bound to be an NB trainer that will give you a little extra help in the areas that you need it.
Saying goodbye to your old trainers is no doubt a painful process. You and your sneakers have been through a lot together, and you have probably reached many personal goals with them on your feet. When holes start cropping up in the lining, and the soles are worn down to almost nothing, it’s time to start shopping for replacements. If you are not already a loyal fan of NB, they are definitely worth checking out.
Q: Can you take them on the trails and on the treadmills?
We are not all blessed to live in a climate that supports getting out there on the trails 12 months out of the year, and NB knows this. All of their styles of sneakers offer a sole that works well on the trails and will give you enough traction and support. But they can also seamlessly transition to the treadmill when the snow begins to stubbornly pile up. When you see a model that is designated as a trail shoe, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it has the traction of a hiking book. Trail trainer simply means that the sole was designed to offer foot support when the ground is uneven, such as roll bars to keep you from rolling your ankle.
Q: Are NB trainers vegan?
While the materials that they use are synthetic based (such as mesh, suede, and faux leather). The glues that are used to hold certain aspects of it together do contain animal byproducts. It is a safe bet to assume that none of the NB trainers that are currently on the market are considered to be vegan. However, NB always takes into consideration the needs of their customers and changes based on their needs, so it might be a good idea to keep tabs on the future for any new and vegan designs.
Q: How should I clean my NB sneakers?
Some people might tell you that they regularly throw their trainers into the washing machine, but you should not follow their suit. There are many components to trainers that should never be completely submerged in water, or exposed to the heat of a dryer. A little mud and dust on your sneakers is considered to be a badge of honor; it shows to everyone that you have been on many outdoor adventures.
If you want to wash your trainers, because they might be starting to smell a little bit, there are plenty of deodorizing sprays on the market that are designed to solve this problem. If you feel you still want to clean the outside of your sneakers, be sure to use a soft cloth and dish soap without any dyes, and be sure they are 100 percent dry before you take them out on another run.
Q: What’s the difference between normal pronation and overpronation?
Pronation of the foot is the natural lean that your feet can have. Have you ever noticed that your trainers tend to start to lean to one side after a few months? If you don’t have this issue with your trainers, that means that you have a normal pronation. There is no reason to worry if you discover that your ankles are overpronated. It is just a variance in how different bodies and feet are constructed. It isn’t something that you need to see a doctor about, it is just something to keep in mind when selecting the best athletic gear that suits your specific needs.
Q: Can I wear NB in the rain?
As good as it may feel to conquer the elements and get a run in even if it is raining, these trainers may not be your best bet. Due to their breathable mesh tops, running in the rain is a quick recipe for soggy socks.
Q: How do I pick the NB best trainers for me?
Picking the best trainers can sometimes take years of trial and error if you don’t set out to do your homework ahead of time. If you want to ensure that you pick the right pair the very first time, there are a few things that you have to do. The first thing you should do is have your foot measured by a professional at your local shoe store, or by utilizing a thorough online guide. Proper measurements will ensure that you know how long your foot is and how high your arches are. Feet that have higher arches can benefit from sneakers that offer better arch support. If you are a runner that is prone to roll ankles, soles that have a roll bar (support on both sides of the foot) will be a benefit to you.
Q: Are NB shoes right for me?
NB makes a point of crafting trainers for every type of runner out there. Whether you are new to the game and want to buy a pair of trainers from a trusted company, or a seasoned veteran who needs something that is durable and reliable, you are sure to find one that not only fits your needs, but also fits your style.
Q: What makes for the best trainers?
There are many veteran runners out there that feel they know what makes a good pair of sneakers, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to what your particular needs are. If you are just getting on a new fitness adventure, you are probably going to want to select a style that has a lot of cushions and is a little more structured to keep your feet comfortable and your ankles supported.
Q: I’ve never gone running before. Where do I even start?
The hardest part of starting a new jogging regimen is starting a new jogging regimen. As long as you lace up those sneakers and hit the pavement, you have done all that you need to get started. It’s always important to listen to your body when jogging, because it will guide you to know when it’s time for refueling or a break. Also, ensure that you are properly hydrated. It can be helpful to have a Camelbak backpack, or a backpack with a bladder, to keep you feeling up to par with water intake.
Q: Can NB sneakers make me run longer or faster?
While it would be nice to think that a certain pair of trainers could actually improve your running times, that just isn’t the case. The only thing that can help you run faster and longer is the dedication it takes to lace up those sneakers and hit the kilometers day in and day out. However,all hope isn’t lost. A good pair of sneakers cannot only motivate you to get out there, but feet that feel great will keep you comfortable and motivated.