Get Your Best Foot Forward: The Ultimate Guide to New Balance Athletic Shoes

When you want athletic shoes that combine performance and style, New Balance should be at the top of your list. New Balance has been making quality shoes right here in the United States since 1906. Based out of Boston, they sell their shoes in over 120 countries around the world. With technical innovation and comfort-focused designs, New Balance has become the #1 choice for athletes in many sports.

This comprehensive guide will highlight the top New Balance shoes for running, training, tennis, basketball and more. You’ll learn how to select the right pair for your needs and get answers to frequently asked questions. Let’s get started!

The Best of the Best: Our Top 4 New Balance Athletic Shoes

With so many great models to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to the very best New Balance shoes for athletes.

Shoe 1: XXXX Running Shoe

The XXXX is New Balance’s premium neutral running shoe. It’s ideal for runners with medium to high arches who want a responsive feel without added stability.

This shoe features a breathable mesh upper to keep your feet cool. The no-sew application uses a bootie construction for a supple, sock-like fit. Underfoot, the XXXX has a full-length Fresh Foam midsole that offers soft, natural landings and smooth transitions. Strategically-placed rubber in the outsole prevents wear in high-impact zones.


  • Lightweight, “barely there” feel
  • Soft, bouncy cushioning
  • Seamless, irritation-free upper
  • Flexible without being flimsy


  • Runs small, order 1/2 size up
  • Expensive
  • Lugs shed quickly

Price Range: $150 – $175

Shoe 2: YYYY Cross-Training Shoe

The YYYY is one of New Balance’s most versatile training shoes. It provides the right blend of support, protection and flexibility for high-impact workouts. From HIIT classes to boot camp, this shoe can handle any training challenge.

It features a flexible mesh upper with synthetic overlays for structure and durability. The tongue is lightly padded for comfort. Underfoot, the YYYY uses a dual-density midsole. The firm foam on the medial side resists overpronation, while the softer lateral foam absorbs shock. The multidirectional outsole pattern ensures grip during quick cuts and loops.


  • Great stability for lateral moves
  • Cushioned without being too soft
  • Grippy outsole ideal for indoor use
  • Roomy toe box


  • Runs narrow in the forefoot
  • Minimal arch support
  • Occasional squeaking

Price Range: $90 – $130

Shoe 3: ZZZZ Tennis Shoe

Whether you play on hard courts, clay or grass, the ZZZZ is engineered for aggressive tennis moves. It provides the ideal blend of support, durability and court feel to elevate your game.

The upper combines breathable mesh with abrasion-resistant synthetics in the high wear areas. The midsole uses a dual-density foam – softer under the heel for impact protection and firmer under the forefoot for quick push-offs. The NC Torque Chassis System provides midfoot support while allowing natural motion through the foot. The NDurance rubber outsole is made to withstand frequent stops and starts.


  • Great durability for high wear areas
  • Chassis system improves stability
  • Outsole provides excellent traction
  • Soft heel cushioning


  • Break-in period required
  • Runs warm
  • Limited colorways

Price Range: $130 – $160

Shoe 4: WWWW Basketball Shoe

Dominate the courts with the WWWW, New Balance’s lightweight basketball shoe. It delivers an ideal blend of traction, cushioning and support to elevate your game.

The upper features a flexible textile material backed with heat-fused overlays for structure and lockdown. A molded foam collar cradles the ankle while the asymmetrical lacing system reduces pressure on the top of your foot. Underfoot, the midsole combines two types of foam for responsive cushioning – softer in the heel and firmer up front. The solid rubber outsole features a herringbone traction pattern that grips in all directions.


  • Great forefoot flexibility
  • Ample cushioning without bulk
  • Molded collar prevents rollover
  • Traction ideal for indoor courts


  • Runs narrow
  • Minimal arch support
  • Occasional squeaking

Price Range: $120 – $150

Choosing the Best New Balance Shoes for You

With all the choices out there, it can be tricky to select the right New Balance shoes. Follow these tips to find your perfect pair!

Consider Your Primary Sport or Activity

New Balance makes models specifically designed for running, cross-training, tennis, basketball and more. Choose a shoe engineered for your main needs.

For example, the XXXX is ideal for runners while the YYYY works well for high-intensity training classes. Think about where and how often you’ll use the shoe to narrow down options.

Determine Your Specific Needs

Do you require extra traction? Stability? Flexibility? Identify features that will support how you move during your sport.

For instance, lateral court sports like tennis demand shoes with outsoles that grip even when changing directions suddenly. Trail runners need deep lugs that bite into loose terrain. Figure out what your foot needs most before selecting a shoe.

Get Properly Fitted In-Store

The best way to find your ideal New Balance shoe is to try on options in person. An experienced retailer will measure your foot size and shape while assessing your arch type.

Be sure to walk around and simulate motions from your sport. The shoes should feel snug but allow enough room to wiggle your toes. Getting properly fitted eliminates the guessing game of online ordering.

Prioritize Comfort and Fit Above All

It doesn’t matter how cool the technologies are if the shoes don’t fit right. The ideal athletic shoe should hug your foot without uncomfortable pressure. There are different widths available to accommodate narrow or wide feet.

While it’s normal to have some slight stiffness out of the box, the shoes shouldn’t cause pain anywhere. Take the time to find that just-right fit for maximum comfort.

Evaluate Features and Technologies

From innovative foam midsoles to stability posts and data tracking, today’s athletic shoes offer all kinds of special features. Consider which ones align with your priorities and sport.

For example, runners may appreciate Fresh Foam cushioning while tennis players need a chassis system for midfoot support. Make sure the technologies in your New Balance shoes will enhance your performance.

Factor in Intended Use

How and where you’ll use the shoes should guide your selection. For indoor use only? On paved roads or natural trails? For training sessions or competition days?

Shoes designed for indoor courts have grippy rubber while trail runners have aggressive lugs for off-road traction. Let your usage patterns steer your choice.

Determine Your Budget

New Balance shoes range in price from about $40 on the low end to around $200 for premium pairs. Consider how much you’re willing to spend before shopping.

Setting a budget will help narrow down selections. You can find quality New Balance shoes under $100 as well as splurge-worthy pairs with all the bells and whistles. Know your price range up front.

Read Reviews and Ratings

Researching customer and expert reviews gives key insight into real-world performance. Look for common feedback around fit, feel, cushioning, traction and durability. This information will reinforce which shoes match your needs.

Independent wear testers also rate shoes on criteria important for athletes. Their unbiased input combined with customer experiences provide a clearer picture of each shoe’s strengths.

Buy at the Right Time

New Balance releases new models of popular shoes around every 8-12 months. During the last stage of a shoe’s product cycle, retailers will discount pricing to make room for new inventory.

Sign up for sale alerts and shop at the right time to score deals on shoes being phased out. You can get the technology you want at clearance sale prices.

Frequently Asked Questions About New Balance Athletic Shoes

How Often Do I Need New Athletic Shoes?

For runners, it’s ideal to replace shoes around every 300-500 miles or 6 months. The midsole cushioning starts to break down and lose shock absorption over time and use.

Court sport shoes like tennis can last a bit longer, usually about one year before performance is impacted. Still, closely monitor wear patterns on outsoles to determine when it’s time for a new pair.

What’s the Best Way to Break In New Balance Shoes?

Wear your new shoes around the house for short periods at first to gently stretch the upper material. This helps prevent painful blisters. Thick socks can also shield your feet during the break-in process.

Slowly increase your wear time over a series of uses. Avoid long runs or intense training until the shoes are broken in. Some stiffness out of the box is normal but it shouldn’t cause extreme discomfort. Be patient!

Should I Use Custom Orthotics or Insoles?

Orthotic inserts may help control overpronation or provide arch support for those who need it. However, try wearing your new shoes with the regular insole first before using orthotics.

Some New Balance models better accommodate custom insoles while others have a lower volume fit. Make sure to select shoes that will work with your orthotic choice for the best performance and comfort.

How Do I Clean My New Balance Athletic Shoes?

Start by removing the insoles so you can thoroughly clean the insides. Use an old toothbrush with warm water and a gentle detergent on the upper, midsole and outsole.

Let your shoes air dry completely rather than using heat which could damage the materials. Disinfectant sprays also help eliminate odor-causing bacteria.

Is Machine Washing Possible for My Shoes?

Hand washing is still preferable to properly clean athletic shoes because machine cycles can damage materials or cause adhesives to fail. However, you can machine wash if needed.

Use a wash bag and gentle cycle with cool water. Minimal detergent and no bleach is best. Always air dry shoes after washing by stuffing with newspaper or shoe trees. No heat drying!

How Can I Make My New Balance Shoes Last Longer?

Rotate between a few different pairs of shoes instead of wearing the same ones daily. Giving shoes a day off in between wears allows them to fully air out and retain their shape better.

Stuff shoes with newspaper or shoe trees when not being worn to absorb moisture and maintain structure. Regular cleaning will also help shoes last by preventing stains and bacteria build-up.

With some care and maintenance, New Balance shoes can deliver seasons of performance before it’s time to retire them.

Now You’re Ready to Find Your Perfect Pair!

We covered the top-rated New Balance athletic shoes along with smart tips for choosing the right model and getting the ideal fit. You’re now equipped with knowledge to upgrade your footwear game.

Whether you need a lightweight running shoe like the XXXX or a versatile trainer like the YYYY, New Balance has you covered. Their commitment to comfort, quality and innovation shines through in every shoe.

Getting properly fitted and understanding your needs are key to maximum enjoyment. So get out there, put your new kicks through their paces and feel the performance difference the right athletic shoes can make! Your feet will thank you.

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