Are you looking for a guide to New Balance running shoes? While New Balance makes several running and walking shoes, they are all different. Saying: I want a New Balance shoe can mean drastically different things. Do you want a racing New Balance shoe? A good walking New Balance shoe? A New Balance daily running shoe? It could mean so much. In this guide to New Balance running shoes, I’ll share some of the most popular running and walking models. More exist, but this is a guide to New Balance running shoes using their most popular models.
A few common questions I’ve received are:
Which New Balance shoe should I buy? They are all good but serve different purposes.
Are New Balance good for young people? Yes, they are more than “dad” shoes.
Which New Balance shoe has the most cushion? The New Balance More.
Which New Balance shoe is the widest? The New Balance 880v13 in double wide.
Which New Balance shoe has the most arch support? The New Balance 860v13.
In case you missed it, I have:
So, are New Balance Running Shoes good?
Yes! New Balance running shoes are good. New Balance has come a long way from the typical “dad” shoes and now makes extremely good running shoes. Like any running shoe, it’s important to find the right one for you. I wrote about that here.
New Balance is one of the more confusing brands in terms of their naming system. What are all of those numbers?
New Balance divides its running shoes into different cushioning types:
- New Balance Fresh Foam Collection: Focuses on a soft and smooth ride
- New Balance FuelCell Collection: Light and responsive, made for speed
What do all of the numbers in New Balance Running Shoes mean?
This guide to New Balance running shoes also shares how to decode the New Balance naming system. Generally, New Balance shoes break down into 4 sections:
- The First Two Letters: M=Men and W=Women
- The First Numbers: The higher the number, the more cushion it has. The 1080 has more cushion than the 880.
- The Second Two Numbers: The amount of stability:
- 60 = stability
- 70 = light stability (this category is almost nonexistent)
- 80 = neutral
- 90 = speed
- “V” means version. For instance, v10 means it’s the 10th version.
So in this example:
W1080V13 would mean the shoe is a women’s highly cushioned, neutral version 13.
Guide to New Balance Running Shoes:
In this guide to New Balance Running Shoes, none of the categories are better than the others, but they all serve different purposes…
Fresh Foam Series:
What is Fresh Foam? Fresh Foam midsoles are laser engraved, reducing weight and providing different types of foam to different shoe parts. The New Balance Fresh Foam shoes are among the most durable and softest.
New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v13: The Staple Workhorse
This is the light but durable flagship shoe from New Balance. It comes in a variety of widths and is great for both new runners and seasoned ones. In my opinion, it’s one of the most versatile shoes from New Balance. Professional runner, Emma Coburn, said it’s one of her favorites! Plus in this guide to New Balance running shoes, the 880 is one of the shoes that comes in double wide!
Who should buy the New Balance Fresh Foam 880v13? Those looking for a daily walker or runner that can handle almost any pace.
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v13: The High-Cushioned Workhorse
With more cushion than the New Balance 880v13, the 1080 is designed with more softness. It’s made for high mileage but can pick up the pace if needed. I seem to always have a pair of 1080 in my rotation, I love how soft they are.
Who should buy the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v13? Those looking for a highly cushioned and soft trainer.
New Balance Fresh Foam More v4: Highest Cushioned Workhorse
As the name suggests, the More offers more cushion. In fact, it might as well be called the MOST. This New Balance shoe has the most cushion of any model from New Balance. It’s perfect for those easy run days or when you want maximum cushion. It’s not meant for your speed days, but it excels in delivering more cushion on easier days.
Who should buy the New Balance More v4? Those seeking a running or walking shoe with ample cushioning.
So much cushion!
Guide to New Balance Running Shoes: FuelCell Series:
The New Balance FuelCell Series is the latest collection from New Balance. In this guide to New Balance Running Shoes, they’re all about speed and, primarily, racing shoes. What is FuelCell? It’s a TPU foam blend infused with nitrogen, giving the shoes their signature bouncy feel.
New Balance Fuelcell Propel 4: The Basic Speedwork Guy
The Fuelcell Propel 4 is one of those shoes that might slip under your radar. Its ample cushioning, combined with the TPU plate, makes it a top pick for those who yearn for the “good old days” of basic lightweight trainers.
Who should buy the New Balance Fuelcell Propel 4? Those seeking simple running shoes that can deliver speed.
New Balance Fuelcell RC Elite 3: The Speedster
This shoe is the pinnacle of performance, the fastest New Balance racing shoe. Primarily designed for marathon racing, it’s set to rival other carbon fiber plate competitors. While it’s fast, it’s not the most durable, so save it for races or significant workouts.
Who should buy the New Fuelcell RC Elite 3? Those looking for the fastest offering from New Balance.
New Balance Fuelcell SuperComp Trainer: The High Cushioned Speedster
With a high stack height, this trainer provides ample cushioning but can still deliver speed. Falling into the newest category of trainers, the “super trainers”, this shoe is made for racking up miles.
Who should buy the New Balance Fuelcell SuperComp Trainer? Those seeking a cushioned yet speedy trainer.
New Balance 5280: The Miler
There is only one shoe in this guide to New Balance shoes made for sprints. The 5280 is tailored for racing the mile. There are few, if any, carbon fiber plated shoes designed for mile races, but New Balance offers one. It’s similar to a track spike, minus the spikes. Run too much in them, and you risk injury. If you’re focusing on the road mile (which is a rarity), this is the racing shoe for you, and it’s worth every penny.
Who should buy the New Balance 5280? Those racing a mile or below.
Guide to New Balance Running Shoes: Stability
The New Balance Vongo v5:
This lightweight yet stable shoe is ideal if you need some speed and arch support. The lightweight+ stable shoe category is dwindling, but the Vongo persists.
Who should buy the New Balance Vongo V5? Those in the market for a lightweight yet stable shoe.
The New Balance 860V13: The Iconic One
The New Balance 860 is one of the most iconic running and walking shoes. It offers ample arch support without being overwhelming. It’s light but still well-cushioned. Plus in this guide to New Balance running shoes, the 860v13 is one of the shoes that comes in double wide.
Who should buy the New Balance 860v13? Those seeking a cushioned and stable running or walking shoe.
Guide to New Balance Running Shoes: Trail Shoes:
New Balance X Hierro: The John Deer Tractor
The Fresh Foam X Hierro v7 uses a Vibram Megagrip outsole to give a protective shell of durability and traction. You aren’t losing traction in these guys!
Who should buy the New Balance X Hierro? If you are looking for a trail shoe that will provide you plenty of traction.
New Balance X More: The Trail King
Like the More road running shoes, the More Trail running shoe has MORE cushion. If you are running or walking far (like ultras) or prefer the cushion the New Balance X More is a great option.
Who should buy the New Balance X More? If you are looking for a trail running or hiking shoe with a lot of cushion.
Guide to New Balance Running Shoes Conclusion:
As you can see, New Balance had come a long way since when they were most known for all white leather dad shoes. Hopefully, this guide to New Balance Running Shoes helps to break down the running shoes for you to find the best ones. As always, go check out your local running store, which can give the best advice for you and your needs. There is no best running shoe, only the best for you.
So are New Balance Running Shoes Good? Yes, of course, you could have read the first line for that. Hopefully this guide to New Balance running shoes helps you find the right one for you!
Best New Balance Shoes For Training: The Fresh Foam series
Best New Balance Shoes For Workouts and Races: The Fuelcell Series
New Balance shoes best for wide feet? The 880v13 or 860 v13
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
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Questions for you:
What is your favorite running shoe?
Have you run in New Balance?