The Boston-based company has focused on proper-fitting footwear for over 100 years, but since the 70s it has created some of the world’s best running shoes too. New Balance makes use of compounds and components that work together to deliver a smooth and well-rounded running experience. The company devices several iterations of well-known features, improving upon the design and the functionality.
Here are some of the leading technologies used for New Balance running shoes:
Fantom Fit – This feature is used on the upper unit, and it utilizes a form-fitting mesh that’s merged with a layer of synthetic material that supports its structure. The fusion of these parts is meant to deliver a comfortable, flexible and breathable coverage.
The non-bulky construction of this component also benefits the look of this shoe because it evokes the façade of a casual sneaker. Moreover, it has a no-sew configuration, which means that it won’t cause any irritation to the foot of the wearer.
Abzorb® – This cushioning system is used on a variety of New Balance running shoes. It’s meant to mitigate the impact force that’s generated by the foot-strike while enabling the foot to transition responsibly towards the toe-off with ease.
It’s made using the mix of brand-exclusive foam, and DuPont™ Engage® isoprene rubber to make it durable and less prone to wear-and-tear. It’s placed in the heel and forefoot sections, absorbing the landing energy while preventing slippage. Such a mechanism has the goal of making the ride much smoother.
Acteva™ – This technology is a full-length foam that’s designed to cushion the foot throughout the activity. It’s a lightweight unit, advertised for being 12% lighter than most options on the market. The DuPont™ Engage® that’s mixed with it is a promoter of heightened durability as the wearer uses the New Balance running shoe over time. It has two other versions, namely the Acteva Lite (24% lighter than standard foams) and Acteva Ultra Lite (32% less weight than similar variants).
Fresh Foam – Cushioning is one of the hallmark traits of a New Balance running shoe. Runners expect an underfoot experience that respects and enables the performance of their feet. New Balance devised the Fresh Foam technology to encourage an energized step. It’s made using a specialized formula for the creation of the ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) compound. The polished chemical properties aim to make the output more invigorated than when wearing standard versions of this foam.
The liquid form of the EVA is injected into a mold, allowing it to take the shape of the walls of that frame as it cools and settles. The mold/template has various convex and concave patterns that serve a more mechanical purpose: to allow the final foam compound to have different areas of compression and resistance to the landing forces. Such a design may ease the foot-strike.
N2 Cushioning – Some runners just want a shoe-platform that’s well-cushioned yet unconstrained by a large construction or a weighty profile. It’s made using less foam/material than the regular full-length platform. It’s straightforward in its visual aspect, as well. All these elements help in reducing the bulk, whether it means weight or aesthetics.
T-Beam – This component is placed in the midfoot section of the New Balance running shoe. It is made of thermoplastic polyurethane, and it doesn’t have a substantial weight. It is also flexible. Its purpose is to support the tendons and muscles of the foot-pad, preventing them from tensing up or wearing out during the activity.
Best New Balance Running Shoes – 890v6
The 890 nabbed the RW Best Update award for spring 2018, and there’s a lot to like about the revamped version. At 9.2 ounces for the men’s and 7.6 ounces for the women’s, it’s light enough for tempo runs and races, but still feels cushioned with a REVLite midsole underfoot. This update has a roomier fit than previous models, and New Balance added a thin layer of plastic in the forefoot—wear testers loved the “snappy feel” it provided.
Best New Balance Running Shoes – LD5000 v5
Created with elite racers in mind, the LD5000 has a design informed by a wealth of biomechanical data. RevLite foam in the midsole and a removable sockliner provide cushion, and wear testers reported that the shoe strikes a great balance between softness and track feel. The full length spike plate is fine tuned to optimize landing, grip, flex, and propulsion, but the result was hit or miss for testers—some loved it, and others felt the fit was slightly off (this was also true of the upper). Bottom line: These have the potential to be rockets on your feet, but make sure you give them a test run before buying.
Best New Balance Running Shoes – Summit KOM/QOM
Designed to handle the harshest terrain, the Summit is a heavy-duty shoe that will keep you going through rain, mud, rocks—whatever nature throws your way. A RockStop plate provides protection from debris underfoot, and a springy RevLite midsole adds cushion while still giving your feet a feel for the ground. Large, widely spaced lugs and a Vibram Megagrip outsole deliver excellent traction, and wear testers reported good footing even in nasty conditions. Although some testers disliked the finicky lacing system, overall the shoe earned high marks for standing up to the elements.
Best New Balance Running Shoes – Fresh Foam Gobi v2
The Gobi also made our list of best trail shoes for 2018, and it took home Best Debut honors in 2017—a well decorated shoe, to say the least. With a design similar to the Fresh Foam Zante, it’s lower weight (9.1 ounces for the men’s, 7.3 ounces for the women’s) and soft ride will help you keep the pace up on the trail. Diamond lugs on the outsole provide superior grip on gnarly terrain, but their flat shape makes them suitable for harder packed dirt, too.
Best New Balance Running Shoes – Fresh Foam Zante v4
The Zante has a lot going for it: It’s lightweight, relatively cheap, and capable across a variety of distances. One RW editor declared he would run in his v3 Zantes “until they literally disintegrate off of my feet.” Only a truly well-engineered shoe can inspire that kind of affection, but the Zante’s speedy feel and versatility back up those claims. Fresh Foam in the midsole provides good cushion and support without maxing out the weight, and an all-rubber outsole delivers superior durability no matter where your runs take you.
Best New Balance Running Shoes – FuelCell Impulse
Unlike beefier models like the 1080 or the 990, the FuelCell Impulse is lean and speedy. The midsole is comprised of Revlite EVA foam and two FuelCell inserts, which together create a responsive, springy ride while still giving your feet a good feel for the road. Although rubber is confined to just two areas on the outsole to save weight, wear testers reported good traction, even on gravel, and they loved how the seamless upper created a secure fit.
Best New Balance Running Shoes – Fresh Foam 1080v8
RW wear testers raved that this was the most comfortable shoe they’ve ever run in, and it’s no surprise, because the 1080 packs in plenty of Fresh Foam in the midsole. But other features also contribute to the great foot feel: A softer mesh upper and a redesigned midfoot wrap help cradle your feet, and a soft, molded ankle collar delivers a nearly-custom fit. Due to earning great reviews and having soft technology throughout, we named it one of the best cushioned shoes of 2018.
Best New Balance Running Shoes – Fresh Foam Hierro v3
We named the Hierro one of the best trail shoes of 2018, and it has a number of standout features that helped it earn a spot on our list. Fresh Foam cushioning in the midsole delivers a soft and supportive ride—so soft, in fact, that you can work in stretches of pavement on your trail run without jarring your joints. A stretchy layer wraps the upper for structure and protection, and our testers loved how the knit ankle collar locked out trail debris.
The most famous running shoes from New Balance
New Balance whips performance shoes year after year, and they show no signs of slowing down at any rate. Throughout the years, the company has introduced products that aim to tickle consumers’ tastes for variety and functionality. Now, they have several series and updates to existing rosters, ensuring that their consumer-base is kept sated of their craving for efficient performance footwear.
Regarding RunRepeat’s Corescore, it’s a percentage-based scoring system that determines how a running shoe is favored. It uses the score-based feedback from reviews and consumers, then averages them to get a cohesive grade.
New Balance, as a company that values arch support and the mechanics of efficient performance, wants consumers to experience a smooth and enabled performance. The stride and the elegance of the pace have been the core value that has kept the company standing for years. Foot pronation is an essential aspect for them, and they want their products to be more than competent at addressing the needs of consumers.
The New Balance running shoes are categorized into types: Neutral, Stability, and Motion Control. All three groups cater to specific of the runner, making sure that options are there to address any concern that the foot may have when standing idly or when moving.
If you don’t know if you overpronate or not, you should diagnose your gait pattern by checking yourself (shoe wear pattern, the wet test) or by getting evaluated by a podiatrist or a shoe expert at a footwear store.
Trail running has become a trend over the years, and many people favor it because it exercises both the body and the senses. Being able to gain control of the surrounding topography requires mental focus and deft instinct, and people enjoy being in the great outdoors.
New Balance designed their roster of trail shoes to accommodate the needs of the foot firstly. There are well-cushioned options wherein the platform has sufficient underfoot support; minimalist variants for those who want a lightweight product that doesn’t impede ground contact; and those who have overpronation need not worry for there’s likely a stability-focused option.
Why should I buy a running shoe?
Running shoes have specific designs that encourage and energize forward motion. Unlike casual footwear, these options have a thicker heel platform for impact protection during the foot-strike and a thinner forefoot profile for propulsion during the toe-off. The heel-to-toe differential encourages the foot to move forward.
Most shoes that are created explicitly for running are graced with lightweight and breathable mesh. This material allows environmental air to seamlessly enter the foot-chamber, thus ensuring a cool and dry in-shoe experience.