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It may be hard to believe, but New Balance has been around for over 100 years. The venerable shoe company started in 1906 in Boston, Mass., with a focus on arch supports and other accessories that improved fit for people who suffered from foot pain. They catered to working people who spent all day on their feet and needed extra support, recognizing that a customized fit means happier customers. That focus on making shoes comfortable continues to this day, even as the company has grown far beyond its humble beginnings.
At first, New Balance didn’t even make its own shoes. Over the years, though, the company produced customized running shoes for local customers, and by mid-century showed an interest in the then-burgeoning athletic shoe market. The brand’s first big success was the Trackster. Introduced in 1960, it was the first running shoe of the time sold in multiple widths. Word of mouth quickly spread among runners, especially on college campuses and in running clubs, and in 1961, a Boston Marathon runner completed the race in a pair of New Balance Tracksters. When the running boom took off in the 1970s, New Balance was quick to capitalize on it.
Now an internationally acclaimed business, New Balance has maintained a reputation for technologically sophisticated shoes that prioritize comfort. The Trackster featured a ripple sole — a first for a running shoe. Since then, New Balance has introduced the Fresh Foam and FuelCell lines, designed with ultra-supportive yet lightweight foam. Heel counters and blended gel inserts are other features that improve comfort.
New Balance shoes may be high-tech in some respects, but they’re rarely flashy. The brand has cultivated a distinctly anti-fashion aesthetic, valuing function over looks — which, naturally, has gained them a cult following since the dad shoe craze took off a few years ago. The 574 collection, for example, comes in a variety of colorways, but all with the same chunky, practical form.
Beyond pioneering new materials for better support and comfort, New Balance also caters to the needs of every sort of foot. If you’re someone who has specific issues, such as plantar fasciitis, bunions or flat feet, or needs extra ankle support, there’s a New Balance shoe for you. Below, we’ve compiled 15 of the best New Balance shoes for every individual, according to customer reviews.
New Balance Women’s FuelCore Nergize Sneakers
Best New Balance Shoes for Standing All Day
Standing all day means you need a shoe that supports you ’round the clock — and New Balance has you covered in this department. With an average four-star rating on Newbalance.com, the women’s FuelCore Nergize sneaker is a lightweight cross-trainer with a memory foam insert and upper that hugs the foot for security and support. It’s ultra-cushy and easily slips on for whatever life throws at you.
New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v12 Running Shoes
Best New Balance Shoes for the Everyday Runner
Some runners are weekend warriors; others hit the pavement every day. If you fall into the latter group, try New Balance’s Fresh Foam X 860v12. It’s designed with a layered midsole of Fresh Foam to provide stability and support mile after mile. Available in a variety of widths, it receives an average 4.5-star rating from New Balance customers.
New Balance Fresh Foam Roav Sneakers
Best New Balance Shoes for Nurses
“Since nurses are on their feet all day walking, they’re straining the foot just as much as a runner or athlete would — just over a longer amount of time,” Dr. Glenn Davison, owner of Advanced Podiatry in New York City and New Jersey, previously told FN. The New Balance Fresh Foam Roav offers plenty of support features beneficial for nurses, including a cushioned foam midsole for shock absorption and a close-fit heel and snug closures to enhance stability for hours.
New Balance 1540V3 Sneakers
Best New Balance Shoes for Overpronation
New Balance’s 1540v3 provides a stable footbed for overpronators, which helps keep the foot in a neutral position, while two layers of performance foam makes for a soft rebound. The shoe features the company’s ENCAP and Rollbar midsole technology, which keeps rear foot movement under control. Suitable for both running and walking, the silhouette comes in widths from narrow to extra-extra wide. New Balance customers gave it an average 4.5 out of five stars.
New Balance 877v1 Walking Shoes
Best New Balance Shoes for Walking
If you’re in the market for some walkings shoe for men or women, it’s hard to do better than the tried-and-true classic New Balance 877v1. It sports a wide and comfortable toe box, excellent ankle support and soft cushioning. Customers rave about its breathability thanks to a suede and mesh upper, earning it an average four-star rating.
New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11 Running Shoes
Best New Balance Shoes for Flat Feet
Flat feet really affect the whole body, not just the feet and legs, and buying the right shoes for them can be complicated. New Balance’s Fresh Foam 880v11 offers a dual-layer midsole that’s supportive and molded heel counter for security. It also features a double-knit, engineered mesh upper and is great for everyday training. All said, it has an average 4.5-star rating.
New Balance 847v4 Walking Shoes
Best New Balance Shoes for Bunions
Bunions can be a painful affliction, but luckily the right shoes can help. New Balance’s 847v4 walking shoes support the whole foot, ensuring it’s in a neutral position. With anatomic cushioning that distributes weight evenly, these won’t cause your foot to splay— which in turn can lead to and exacerbate existing bunions. Meanwhile, an ankle-stabilizing collar rounds out this top-rated pair.
New Balance FuelCell 996v4.5 Tennis Shoes
Best New Balance Tennis Shoes
Certainly one of the most eye-catching options in the New Balance catalog, the FuelCell 996v4.5 combines bold colors with a FuelCell foam underfoot. The synthetic upper sports durable Ndure technology, while the outsole has rugged Ndurance tech for traction and durability. Both comfortable and stylish, it’s no wonder it earns an average five-star rating from New Balance customers.
New Balance 840v4 Running Shoes
Best New Balance Shoes for Ankle Support
If you’re someone who needs extra ankle support, New Balance is definitely a brand to consider. Featuring a synthetic upper with breathable mesh, the New Balance 840v4 running shoe is a tried-and-true classic for both men and women. It fits a variety of foot types while offering superb ankle support. Designed to be smooth and supportive, it has an average 4.5-star rating from New Balance customers.
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 Running Shoes
Best New Balance Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis stems from an inflamed heel, leading to pain and distress with every step. It can be avoided with a well-fitting, supportive shoe, and New Balance’s Fresh Foam 1080v11 fits the bill. Featuring an average a 4.5-star rating, the shoe is ultra-cushioned and designed to give a snug fit that helps keep your foot in a neutral position, whether you’re walking or running.
New Balance 574 Sneakers
Best New Balance Shoes for Comfort
New Balance is already known for comfortable shoes, but if we had to choose the most comfortable shoes for men and women, it’d have to be New Balance’s iconic 574. It’s a look that defines the brand, available in a multitude of colorways and with slight design tweaks. Across all the varieties, though, comfort is paramount thanks to the inclusion of lightweight EVA cushioning in the heel and midsole.
New Balance 237 Sneakers
Best Thick-Soled New Balance Shoes
The New Balance 237 is iconic — not only for its retro aesthetic but also because it’s extremely comfortable. It features a thick sole and EVA foam midsole that cushions every step, making it great for people who spend all day on their feet. Meanwhile, an oversized N logo adds a touch of contemporary flair.
New Balance Hierro V6 Running Shoes
Best New Balance Trail Shoes
With the New Balance Hierro V6, a Fresh Foam midsole provides support and cushioning no matter the terrain. The Vibram outsole improves traction and durability, and a snug fit means less foot shifting. Overall, this is a lightweight, breathable shoe that’s great for hitting the trails.
New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v3 Running Shoes
Best New Balance Running Shoes
Probably the most versatile shoe in the New Balance line, the Fresh Foam Beacon v3 is lightweight with a breathable, engineered mesh upper. The proprietary Fresh Foam provides support in the midsole, while rubber pods in the tread boost durability. It earns an average 4.5-star rating.
New Balance Men’s BB9000 Sneakers
Best High-Top New Balance Shoes
Low-top sneakers may be the most recognizable New Balance look, but don’t sleep on the brand’s high-tops. The BB9000 features a FuelCell midsole and synthetic upper for extra comfort. And, the black emerald and atomic yellow colorway has a retro feel that meshes perfectly with this shoe’s throwback silhouette.