As one of the top athletic footwear brands worldwide, New Balance has earned a well-deserved reputation for quality, innovation and performance when it comes to running shoes. For over a century, New Balance has been pioneering new technologies and designing shoes that help runners of all levels meet their goals.
New Balance offers an extensive selection of running shoes tailored for different foot types, speeds, distances and surfaces. With so many models and features to consider, it can be daunting finding the perfect pair that matches your individual gait, cushioning needs and running style.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about choosing the best New Balance running shoes. You’ll learn how to evaluate your specific needs and preferences to select the ideal model. We’ll also highlight some of New Balance’s top-rated running shoes available today.
How to Choose New Balance Running Shoes
With all the options New Balance has to offer, consider these key factors when shopping for running shoes:
Determine Your Running Needs
First, think about how you’ll use your new running shoes:
- Distance – Are you training for 5Ks, half marathons or marathons? Longer distances demand maximal cushioning to absorb impact.
- Speed – Do you want shoes for sprints, races or speed work? Look for lightweight models to enhance swift turnover.
- Terrain – Will you run primarily on roads, trails, or treadmills? Road shoes need more traction while trail shoes require aggressive grips.
- Level – Are you a new runner or a competitive racer? More stability control benefits beginning runners.
Matching your shoes to your dominant running needs enhances both performance and comfort.
Get a Gait Analysis
Visit a specialty running store to have your gait and foot strike analyzed. This will determine pronation and appropriate motion control features.
- Overpronators need stabilizing shoes to correct excessive inward foot rolling.
- Neutral runners can wear flexible, cushioned shoes.
- Underpronators require flexible shoes that encourage natural pronation.
Consider Fit and Sizing
New Balance running shoes generally fit true to size but try shoes on to ensure a comfortable secure fit with a thumbnail’s length between your longest toe and shoe tip. Know your sizing in both standard and wide/narrow widths.
Evaluate Cushioning and Support Requirements
Cushioning and stability features should match your body weight and weekly mileage:
- High Mileage – More cushioning absorbs impact of repetitive pounding.
- Low Mileage – Moderate cushioning maintains ground feel.
- Heavier Runners – Need additional shock absorption from midsole foam.
- Lightweight Runners – Require less cushioning and can opt for minimalist shoes.
- Overpronators – Seek stability shoes with medial posts and dual-density midsoles.
Assess Weight Needs
Shoe weight affects speed and fatigue:
- Racing Shoes – Opt for lightweight models under 8 oz. for faster turnover times and sprints.
- Training Shoes – Heavier models over 10 oz. provide stability for longer distances.
Review Outsole Traction Patterns
- Road Shoes – Should have thick durable rubber with shallow flex grooves for grip on pavement.
- Trail Shoes – Require aggressive multidirectional lugs to bite into uneven terrain.
Consider Supplementary Features
- Waterproofing – For running in rain and winter conditions.
- Reflectivity – Enhances visibility in low light.
- Rock Plate – Protects feet from sharp objects on trails.
Try on In-Store
Test run shoe models on treadmills and with your orthotics to assess comfort over distance. A proper fitting shoe should lock in your heel and midfoot with enough room to wiggle toes.
Top New Balance Running Shoes
New Balance crafts a diverse array of high performance running shoes. Here are some of their most popular and top rated models:
New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2
Best For: Racing and competition
- Maximal lightweight cushioning from FuelCell foam
- PROFLY midsole plate provides propulsion
- Breathable engineered mesh upper
- Light: 6.8oz (women’s), 7.5oz (men’s)
- Low, grippy outsole with carbon fiber plate
- Pros: Lightning fast with responsive energetic ride
- Cons: Expensive at $275 CAD
With featherweight cushioning and space-age carbon plate, the RC Elite v2 is built for PRs and race day speed.
New Balance 880v12
Best For: High mileage training
- Dual density midsole combines ACTEVA and injection molded EVA foams
- Engineered double jacquard mesh upper
- 10mm heel drop
- Pros: Provides responsive cushioning for versatile training
- Cons: Break-in period required
The 880v12 is an affordable workhorse able to handle high weekly training mileage thanks to premium cushioning and support.
New Balance Fresh Foam More v3
Best For: Recovery and easy runs
- Ultra-plush Fresh Foam midsole
- Bootie construction for customizable fit
- Synthetic/mesh upper for breathability
- Pros: Extremely soft cushioning makes them ideal for recovery days
- Cons: Lack of support for faster paces
With its incredibly soft cushioning, the More v3 provides luxurious comfort on slow easy runs and recovery days.
New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2
Best For: Speedwork and fast miles
- Revamped and responsive FuelCell foam
- Minimalist race-ready design
- Engineered mesh upper
- Pros: Provides propulsive toe-off sensation ideal for speed
- Cons: Not enough cushioning for longer distances
The snappy Rebel v2 is built to pick up the pace on tempo runs and fast training days.
New Balance 1080v12
Best For: All-around daily training
- Dual density FuelCell midsole surrounded by firm foam
- Engineered mesh upper for adaptive fit
- 10mm offset encourages smooth transitions
- Pros: SoftLAND cushioning provides plush yet stable ride
- Cons: Pricey at $190 CAD
With its blend of cushioning and support, the 1080v12 is a premium trainer ready for heavy mileage.
Frequently Asked Questions About New Balance Running Shoes
What is the best New Balance model for marathon training?
The soft, responsive cushioning of the 1080v12 makes it an excellent choice for marathon training and long runs.
How often should you replace New Balance running shoes?
Plan to replace running shoes every 300-500 miles as cushioning and stability decline over time. Rotate two pairs to extend longevity.
How do New Balance running shoes fit?
New Balance running shoes fit true to size for most runners. However, trying shoes on is recommended to find your ideal fit and account for width sizing.
What are the most lightweight New Balance running shoes?
Some of New Balance’s lightest performance models include the FuelCell RC Elite v2 (6.8oz), FuelCell Rebel v2 (6.9oz), and FuelCell Prism (7.8oz).
Which New Balance shoes are best for plantar fasciitis?
The 1080v12, 990v5, and Fresh Foam More v3 provide excellent cushioning and arch support to help relieve plantar fasciitis pain.
What New Balance running shoes are best for narrow feet?
Narrow footed runners should try models like the Beacon v3, FuelCell Prism, and Rebel v2 which come in 2A widths to ensure a precise fit.
How do you clean New Balance running shoes?
Use a soft brush and mild detergent to clean dirt and debris. Never machine wash. Allow shoes to fully air dry between wears.
Where can you buy New Balance running shoes on sale?
Check New Balance’s official website for sales and clearance pricing. Signing up for email alerts can notify you of the best discounts and outlet deals.
Do New Balance running shoes come in wide sizes?
Yes, many New Balance running models are available in wide width options like D or 2E in men’s and D in women’s sizes. This accommodates wider foot volumes.
How do you know when to retire New Balance running shoes?
Look for excessive wear patterns on the outsole tread and collapsing of the midsole foam. If cushioning feels flat or your feet/legs feel more sore, it’s time for a fresh pair.
Tips for Using Your New Balance Running Shoes
Follow these expert tips to maximize performance and extend the life of your New Balance running shoes:
- Break in new shoes slowly over the first 25-50 miles alternating runs with an already broken-in pair.
- Track your mileage with a running app or journal to know when it’s time to replace shoes based on usage.
- Select appropriate stability and pronation control features based on your individual gait. A specialty running store can help analyze this.
- Wear moisture wicking socks that aren’t too thick to allow room for your foot to move naturally and prevent blisters/irritation.
- Ensure you have the right amount of toe box room and lockdown in the midfoot/heel for a secure blister-free fit.
- Consider custom orthotics if you overpronate or have other foot issues like plantar fasciitis that need extra support.
- Shop end-of-season sales to find new models discounted as next year’s shoes arrive.
- Rotate two pairs of the same model to evenly distribute mileage and increase longevity of both.
- Regularly check the outsole tread pattern and midsole density. A collapsing midsole needs replacement.
- If wear patterns appear uneven on the outsole, you may need a different pronation control type.
- Replace insoles every 300-500 miles if they become flattened or compressed.
- Allow shoes a full 24 hours to air dry between runs to prevent bacteria or unpleasant odors.
- Store shoes properly on shelves away from direct sunlight and extreme heat which degrades materials.
Finding your perfect pair of running shoes that matches individual needs and preferences is vital to maximize both performance and comfort on the road. New Balance offers an impressive selection of innovative performance models tailored for runners across the spectrum – from casually jogging a 5K to competing in ultramarathons.
We’ve covered the key considerations like gait analysis, intended use, fit and weight so you can narrow down choices aligned with your running style. Knowing the technologies and construction of New Balance shoes helps determine which features best suit your needs. Referencing reviews of New Balance’s top rated models further simplifies selecting ideal shoes to meet your goals.
While the wide range of running shoe options is encouraging, it can also cause decision paralysis. We hope the comprehensive guidance provided here gives you the confidence to navigate New Balance’s collections and find shoes that feel like they were made just for your feet. Soon you’ll be logging more miles and achieving new PRs in the perfect pair of New Balance running shoes.