Finding Your Perfect Pair – How to Choose the Best New Balance Shoes for Men

Looking for a new pair of sneakers that offer comfort, support and style? New Balance has been a leader in athletic and lifestyle footwear for over 100 years, designing shoes suited for all kinds of activities and fit needs. With so many options to choose from, it can be tough deciding which New Balance kicks are right for you. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to find your ideal New Balance shoes.

First developed in the early 1900s as an arch support company, New Balance grew into one of the major global athletic footwear brands. Their shoes have been worn by athletes and casual wearers alike, featuring innovative technologies and materials that enhance performance and deliver premium comfort. The Boston-based company continues to make new strides, combining cutting-edge tech like 3D printed midsoles with iconic vintage styles.

Over the decades, certain New Balance models have risen to legendary status for their blend of function and fashion. Running shoes like the 990 and 574 quickly dominated the tracks and streets, valued for their excellent cushioning and support. The 993 then took up the torch in the 90s as an ultra comfortable athletic trainer. More recently, the 327 has also made waves for its throwback appeal and lightweight feel.

Beyond their classic kicks, New Balance continually impresses with fresh designs catering to walkers, runners, basketball players and everyone in between. They also collaborate with apparel brands to offer limited edition lifestyle shoes. When searching for your next pair, there are a few key factors to keep in mind.

Determine Your Needs

New Balance engineers their shoes for specific activities and uses, so think about what you’ll be needing them for most.

For runners, models like the Fresh Foam More v3, 860v12 and FuelCell RC Elite 2 deliver superb responsiveness and energy return with each stride. They provide the right blend of soft cushioning and snappy feedback for logging miles on roads, tracks or trails. More moderate overpronators can benefit from the stabilizing medial post built into options like the 1260v8 and 1540v3.

If you’re looking for shoes to wear on long walks, check out the cozy Fresh Foam models like the 1080v12 or the supportive 928v4. Or the 623v5 offers excellent shock absorption and weatherproofing for hiking adventurers.

For the gym, the 806 and 857 cross trainers have the versatility to jump from weights to cardio and beyond. Those wanting in on the dad shoe trend will appreciate the 997H with its bold retro vibes. And for workouts on the court, basketball shoes like the Two Wxy v2 Low and Omn1s provide responsive bounce and lateral support.

Think about when and how you plan to wear the shoes most, then look for features that align with those needs. The right technology can make all the difference.

Dial In Your Fit

Finding the proper size and fit is critical for both performance and avoiding injury. New Balance shoes come in a wide range of standard and extended sizes and widths.

When sizing, it’s ideal to go to an actual New Balance store and have your feet properly measured. This will account for the natural swelling that occurs during runs or workouts. Be sure to have your feet sized late in the day after they’ve already expanded.

If you don’t have a store nearby, you can use New Balance’s printed and online sizing charts. Print a copy and place your foot over the outline, lining up the edges smoothly. For online orders, read measuring instructions closely. Input your foot length, width and arch type to find your recommended model and size.

It’s smart to order two sizes if between sizes, then keep the one with the better in-store fit. Test shoes on with the socks you’ll normally wear and mimic movements you’ll make during activity. Ensure no pinching at the toes or heel slippage. Roughly a thumbs width at the front is ideal.

With the wide range of sizes, New Balance aims to offer anatomically compatible shoes for all foot types. Try different models to see what works for you. Properly fitting shoes can enhance comfort and prevent unwanted sliding or irritation.

Focus on Cushioning and Support

Two of the main considerations for athletic and walking shoes is the cushioning and support features built in. New Balance uses several proprietary technologies to absorb impact and reduce strain on joints and muscles.

For lightweight, responsive cushioning, many models are equipped with Fresh Foam midsoles. The data-driven material provides plush, durable softness exactly where you need it. The 1080v12 running shoe and Cruz v2 lifestyle shoe are two models featuring ultra-cushy Fresh Foam.

ABZORB foam is located in the midsole of shoes like the 624 cross-trainer. It compresses smoothly to absorb forces, protecting your heels and knees. For superior shock absorption, the ENCAP PU ring around the heel resists compression set for consistent cushioning over time.

If you need extra medial support and stability, New Balance offers options like the 1340v5 motion control running shoe. It has a firm, stabilizing post to prevent excess inward rolling of the foot. Overpronators benefit from such guiding support.

Other shoes like the 928v4 walking shoe provide comfort through rollbar technology. The TPU material supports your arch while encouraging natural foot motion through the stride.

Trying on different cushioned models can help you zero in on the plushness and support that feels best. Don’t be afraid to geek out on the innovative tech specs!

Traction You Can Trust

During activities like running, cross-training and basketball, the traction and grip of your shoes is ultra important for performance and injury prevention. New Balance equips their athletic shoes with durable rubber outsoles to keep you steady on your feet.

Popular running models like the FuelCell RC Elite 2 have high-traction directional tread for flexibility and ground control at speed. The herringbone and hexagonal lug patterns on shoes like the 840v4 provide fantastic multi-surface grip without excess weight.

For stop-and-go sports, shoes need traction tailored to lateral motion. So designs like the Omn1s basketball shoe have a pivoting tread pattern to allow swift changes in direction. The 624v5 cross-trainer has flex grooves for smooth transitions between functional movements.

Consider the activities you plan to use the shoes for and look for traction elements like deep lugs, flex grooves and gripping rubber that align with those motions. Having a steady platform under your feet provides confidence to perform at your best.

Mix in Some Style

While fit and performance are paramount, style should also be a factor in your New Balance shoe choice. Luckily, the brand serves up options galore with unique color combos, material mixes and retro designs.

Classics like the 997H sport the iconic “N” logo against rich suede and mesh fabric for serious throwback flair. And models like the 57/40 transform the vintage vibe into futuristic fashion.

For more modern and minimalist looks, the MS327 keeps it sleek and low-key in classic colors and premium materials. The 998 also channels a contemporary vibe in its split-tone palette.

New Balance also isn’t afraid of bold colors, evidenced by shoes like the 990v5 in its head-turning teal and salmon shades. Stand out from the crowd with vibrant picks like the 2002R Rain Cloud in bright yellows and purples.

There are plenty of styles to mix and match with your personal tastes. Plus, the quality materials like leather, suede and mesh ensure the shoes look great year after year. Pick what speaks to you!

Now that you’re tuned into the key factors for choosing New Balance shoes, let’s explore some of the top models for common activities and uses. Keep reading for a curated list of the best of the best New Balance has to offer.

The Best New Balance Shoes for Men

Everyday Running:

For traditional medium-cushioned trainers, the Made in US 990v5 offers plush comfort and longevity thanks to quality domestic construction. ABZORB and ENCAP cushioning provide soft landings mile after mile.

The Fresh Foam More v3 delivers an ultra-soft ride courtesy of the latest iteration of Fresh Foam. A roomy toe box provides comfort while the bootie construction hugs the foot.

Neutral runners will love the natural flexibility and gound feel of the low-profile FuelCell RC Elite 2. The energetic carbon plate provides a propulsive toe-off.

Speed Running:

Designed for tempo days and faster training, the FuelCell Rebel v2 has a slimmed down Fresh Foam midsole for increased ground contact and response. A streamlined upper allows a speedy stride.

Boasting carbon fiber plates for explosive energy return, the FuelCell RC Elite v2 helps you pick up the pace. The bouncy midsole and breathable engineered mesh upper make these ideal for race day.

Built for long distance racers, the plated FuelCell Prism offers a smooth transition from heel to toe. Strategic outsole rubber provides slick traction on urban streets.

Walking/Everyday:

With ultra-soft FuelCell cushioning underfoot, the 327 keeps you comfy on daily strolls yet retains a stylish, vintage vibe. The affordable price makes these a no-brainer all-day shoe.

The 928v4 employs stabilizing technologies like Rollbar and Walking Strike Path to ease the miles. Cushioning around the heel and forefoot pampers feet during extended use.

For all-weather walking comfort, the high-performing 623v5 employs waterproof leather to keep feet dry. It also has an Ndurance rubber outsole for superior traction and long-term wear.

Cross Training:

Boasting a stable platform for lifting with energy return for cardio, the MX857v2 cross trainer employs dual-density medial posts for multi-directional support. The no-sew upper uses bootie construction for a foot-hugging fit.

Designed for high intensity workouts, the Vongo v5 stability trainer provides lateral and medial support for quick transitions. A cushioned Fresh Foam midsole brings bounce to box jumps and sled pushes.

The 677v5 employs a flexible grooved outsole so you can move easily through agility drills, sprints and rope climbs. Deep flex grooves at the forefoot promote a natural range of motion.

Basketball:

With cushioning that spans the entire footbed, the Omn1s basketball shoe allows continuous comfort during gameplay. Full-length FuelCell delivers bouncy energy return when driving to the hoop.

Enhanced traction and wrapping support make the Two Wxy v2 an ideal on-court partner. The low-to-the-ground feel offers stability for crosses and cuts to the basket.

The Embiid Two signature shoe has a wider base and outrigger to keep you balanced during physical play. Zoom Air units under the forefoot supply responsive shock absorption for rebounding and jumping.

Lifestyle/Fashion:

Blend modern tech with vintage style in the 550 which sports an ENCAP midsole and retro suede/mesh upper. Heritage colors keep these casual shoes timeless.

Drawing design influence from 2002, the brand new 2002R brings subtle flair through its mix of suede, mesh and TPU. Fresh Foam underfoot makes these a comfy everyday option.

For understated cool, look to the MS237 in monochromatic suede. Premium details like debossed logos and woven tongue labels level up the minimalist style.

This covers just a sampling of the exceptional New Balance models available today. There are so many options to suit your personal needs and preferences. Once you settle on a shortlist of favorite styles, it’s time to find the right sizes and try them on.

Dial In Your Size and Find the Best Deals

Now that you’ve got your New Balance models narrowed down, it’s time to find them in your size and at the best prices.

Your first stop should be an official New Balance store if possible. There you can get your feet accurately measured by staff and test shoes on the actual surfaces you’ll use them for. Checking the fit in person helps take the guesswork out of online sizing.

If a store visit isn’t feasible, order from the New Balance website where you’ll find full size ranges in stock. Input your foot measurements for size recommendations. New Balance also offers discounted pricing for members.

For additional deals, check top athletic retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Road Runner Sports and JackRabbit. Sign up for their promo emails to get alerts on New Balance sales and coupon codes that can score you discounts. The staff can also help recommend the right shoe models and sizes.

Department stores like Nordstrom, Macy’s and Foot Locker stock select New Balance styles at competitive prices. Their generous return policies give you flexibility to send pairs back for free if the fit is off.

Lastly, search sites like Zappos, 6pm and Shoekicker for sale prices on clearance colorways. Just double check you’re buying from an authorized dealer. Going with the previous season’s models can net big savings.

Regardless of where you buy, be sure to keep the receipt in case you need to exchange for a different size. Getting dialed into your exact New Balance sizing will make replacing beloved pairs quick and easy.

Caring for Your New Balance Shoes

Once you’ve found your perfect New Balance pair, you’ll want them to last. Here are some tips for getting the most mileage out of them:

  • Keep shoes clean by quickly wiping dirt and mud after wear. Use a damp cloth with mild soap if needed. Avoid excessive water exposure.
  • Allow shoes a full 24 hours to air dry between wears. Stuff with paper to wick moisture and retain shape.
  • Store shoes in a clean, dry place away from direct heat or sunlight to prevent materials from breaking down.
  • Rotate between a few pairs of shoes to minimize repetitive impact and prolong cushioning.
  • Replace insoles every 300-500 miles for proper support.
  • Inspect outsoles periodically and have shoes resoled when tread wears thin.

Taking care of your New Balance shoes will ensure they’re ready to log more miles for years to come. A well-loved pair becomes an old friend!

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have some questions about finding your perfect New Balance kicks? Here are answers to some common FAQs:

How do New Balance shoes fit?
New Balance shoes fit true to size for most foot types. Some may need to size up or down by half a size depending on foot volume and arch type. Trying on shoes is the best way to gauge ideal fit.

Where are New Balance shoes made?
Certain iconic models like the 990v5 are made in the USA for quality craftsmanship. Other models are imported from factories in Asia and Europe. Refer to product descriptions for manufacturing origins.

Do New Balance shoes have arch support?
Many models contain technology like ENCAP, TBeam and medial posts to provide arch stabilizing support. Flat-footed runners may benefit from stability shoes like the 1340v5 or 1540v3.

How long do New Balance shoes last?
With proper care and rotation, New Balance shoes can maintain cushioning and performance for 300-500 miles of wear. Heavy runners or those logging high weekly mileage may get less.

How do I clean New Balance shoes?
Use a damp cloth with mild soap and water to spot clean. Remove laces and insoles if cleaning the whole shoe. Air dry fully before next wear. Avoid excessive moisture exposure.

What are the most comfortable New Balance shoes?
Top-rated comfortable models include the 1080v12, 990v5 and 993 for all-day cushioning. The 680v6 and 1540v3 support flat feet well. And the 327 and 2002R provide lifestyle comfort.

Can I machine wash New Balance shoes?
Machine washing is not recommended except for a few mesh-only models. Hand washing allows better control to prevent damage to materials and components.

How do I break in my New Balance shoes?
Wear them around the house to gently stretch and form to your feet before longer activity. Some models have no break-in needed, while leather or suede shoes may take some wearing time to soften and mold.

Do New Balance shoes run true to size?
The majority of styles fit true to size. Trying shoes on in-store prior to purchase allows you to verify sizing for your specific foot proportions. Consult customer reviews if between sizes.

Hopefully this FAQ helps answer any remaining questions about your quest for the perfect New Balance kicks. Happy shopping and many miles of comfort ahead!

In Conclusion

Whether you’re a serious runner training for your next marathon or just need a stylish, supportive shoe for everyday wear, New Balance has you covered. With over 100 years of shoe design experience, they’ve honed their craft to accommodate all foot types and activities.

Take the time to consider where and how you’ll use the shoes most. Try on different styles and technologies to see what feels best for your needs and preferences. Narrow options down to models that provide the right blend of fit, cushioning, support and traction. And be sure to get properly sized at a retailer to find your ideal match.

From speedy race day flats, to cushy everyday trainers, to throwback lifestyle sneakers, New Balance’s diverse lineup lets you find your perfect fit. Trust their decades of expertise in crafting high-performance athletic shoes suited specifically for you. Your new favorite pair is out there waiting!

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