New Balance isn’t a new company. The name comes from the company’s original business model envisioned by its founder William J. Riley. The company started as a footwear manufacturer specializing in arch supports and orthopedics. But in 1938, they created their first running shoe for the Boston Brown Bag Harriers. Twenty-two years later, they released the first shoe with different width options, the New Balance Trackster. The iconic “N” logo first appeared on the New Balance 320 in 1976. From there, the brand never looked back. These are our picks for the Best New Balance Running Shoes today.
All the shoes mentioned here are at the top of their category within the brand. We hope you’ll have an easy time finding the categories you’re most interested in. Just click the ones you want to read in the table of contents, and you’ll quickly see what we have to say about the best shoe from that category.
Please note that some of these shoes have width options. This will help you choose the best fit for you, which is critical for any footwear, especially running.
Best New Balance Running Shoes
- Best Neutral Cushioned New Balance Running Shoes
- Most Affordable New Balance Running Shoes
- Best New Balance Trail Running Shoes
- Best New Balance Marathon Running Shoes
- Best New Balance Running Shoes – Honorable Mention
- New Balance Running Shoes to Avoid
- Best New Balance Casual Shoes
- Best New Balance Basketball Shoes
Best Neutral Cushioned New Balance Running Shoes
New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2
The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2 is lightweight and bouncy. It’s a fan favorite shoe that can do everything and received glowing reviews. Plus, the responsiveness of the FuelCell foam shines when picking up speed. The outsole grips well but the lugs wear away quickly. There’s still plenty of rubber on the outsole but grip strength will decline over time. That’s the only negative. The engineered mesh upper is comfortable, breathable, and features a thin yet protective tongue. It’s an all-around winner that’s great on roads and tracks.
Fit: True to size, Drop: 6mm, Price: $130
New Balance Fresh Foam More v3
The New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 described in one word is plush. Plush foam underfoot and a plush foam lining the tongue and heel. It’s a super comfortable shoe built on a wide platform to accommodate all foot shapes, great for those with flat or wider feet. The 4mm drop may not be for everyone but a 4-5mm drop is becoming more common for high stack shoes. Finally, the shoe features a really nice rocker that helps the shoe into and out of every step. It’s a little heavy and at $165 it does seem expensive, but the comfort and accommodating fit are worth it.
Fit: True to size, Drop: 4mm, Price: $165
Most Affordable New Balance Running Shoes
New Balance FuelCell Propel v3
Think of the New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 as the little brother or takedown version of the FuelCell Rebel v2. The outsole rubber, traction, upper materials, and upper comfort are not as good but you’ll pay $30 less. The good news is the FuelCell midsole is the same stack height with almost the same responsiveness and bounce as the Rebel v2. If you can put up with the downgrade in materials, you’re getting a shoe that easily outperforms its price.
Fit: True to size, Drop: 6mm, Price: $100
Best New Balance Trail Running Shoes
New Balance Fresh Foam X Trail v2
The New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v2 is basically the trail version of one of our best overall picks, the New Balance Fresh Foam More v3. The plush foam underfoot and plush foam lining are still present. It’s a very comfortable shoe built on a wide platform plus there’s even a wide version available. The 4mm drop is the same and works well on trails where you want to avoid instability when traversing rocks and roots. The smooth rocker shape is still present but the thick midsole may be a little much for some trail runners who like more trail feel. The More v3’s slightly heavier weight, bulk, and price aren’t as out of place on a trail shoe. The Fresh Foam X Trail v2 is the most plushly cushioned and best overall New Balance trail shoe.
Fit: True to size, Drop: 4mm, Price: $165
Best New Balance Marathon Running Shoes
New Balance FuelCell RC Elite 2
A competitively priced marathon racing shoe, the New Balance FuelCell Elite 2 stands toe to toe with all the other super shoes. The setup is similar, a huge slab of FuelCell foam with a swooped carbon fiber plate in the middle. The result is a propulsive ride. On top, you’ve got one of the more comfortable marathon racing uppers though the shoe is a little heavier because of it. The traction is solid and the fit is more accommodating especially in the toebox. If you’re a wide footer looking for a marathon shoe that won’t squeeze your toes, this may be your best bet. And you can even find wide versions overseas if you know where to look.
Fits: True to Size, Drop: 8mm, Price: $230
Best New Balance Running Shoes – Honorable Mention
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11
The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 is very similar to the Fresh Foam More v3 with some key differences. Those differences are a little less Fresh Foam in the heel and forefoot, an 8 mm drop instead of a 4mm drop, and a sculpted heel that polarized testers. The 1080 model is New Balance’s flagship cushioned runner but this year it just wasn’t as good as the Fresh Foam More v3. That said, you may love the knit built if the sculpted heel doesn’t bother you. The 1080 v11 is worth a try on.
Fits: True to size, Drop: 8mm, Price $150
New Balance Running Shoes to Avoid
New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v3
The New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v3 features a similar sculpted heel to the 1080 v11 and that’s not a good thing. The heel of the 1080 v11 didn’t feel right to a lot of people and it’s even worse here. Plus, the midsole doesn’t have enough Fresh Foam to save the day. A comfortable tongue and accommodating forefoot aren’t enough to make the Beacon v3 worth your money.
Sizing: True to size, Drop: 6mm, Price $120
Best New Balance Casual Shoes
New Balance 550
The New Balance 550 is an old-school basketball sneaker first released in 1989. The 550 returned as a retro in 2021 where it sold out multiple times. The sellouts have continued in 2022 but some colorways are available for retail price on eBay. The classic look of this shoe draws people in and as usual, New Balance delivers impressive materials. See the full review.
Fits: True to size, Price $110
New Balance 57/40
The New Balance 57/40 is a new model that draws inspiration from the beloved New Balance 574. The 57/40 doesn’t have the greatest cushioning, but it’s much better cushioned than the 574. The materials are solid though there’s room for improvement which is partly due to the reasonable $120 price. Overall the 57/40 is a great casual shoe with an incredible array of colorways readily available for purchase. See the full review.
Fits: True to size, Price $120
Best New Balance Basketball Shoes
New Balance Kawhi 2
The New Balance Kawhi 2 drops the super stiff build of the Kawhi 1 for something closer to the New Balance OMN1S or New Balance Two Wxy. The FuelCell midsole is still included and still comfortable but now the rest of the shoe is too. The Kawhi 2 is a very good hoop shoe that can be worn casually as well. See the full review.
Fit: True to size, Price: $160