New Balance 1226 Running Shoes Review
New Balance 1226

New Balance 1226

Full Name: New Balance MR1226 / WR1226
Category: Stability
Weight: 12 oz. (340 gr.)
Suggested Price: 140$
Recommended For: Over Pronating runners, runners with mid to low arches, heavier runners.
  • New Balance 1226 General Info:

New Balance updates the 122x series with the new MR/WR1226. Designed as a high-mileage trainer for (heavier) runners who require moderate stability, offers a quite soft heel cushioning. NB packed all its trademark technologies in this shoe and sells it at a hefty price tag. Good stability features on the sole and light, breathable mesh on the upper are its best characteristic.

  • New Balance 1226 Sole Unit:

The sole unit of the New Balance 1226 is quite constructed and sofisticated. The main material is ABZORB┬« FL, the white coloured foam that NB claims being 20% lighter than traditional foam (even though, with each brand having their own foam trademark, “traditional foam” is a quite generic term).
On the medial (the internal) side of the midsole you will notice a grey area that goes from the heel to roughly the end of the arch. This “Stabilicore” insert is a harder compound of foam, designed to offer more resistance to your arch and preventing it to roll inward excessively, or overpronating. The size of the Stabilicore in the NB1226 is quite large and its stability properties are enhanced by the “stability web”. A plastic cage (or web) wraps the arch of the outsole, preventing the plantar fascia from rotating awkwardly longitudinally or excessively flexing in order to prevent irritation of the fascia itself, main cause of plantar fasciitis in runners. NB’s stability web is one of our favourites, together with Asics’ Trustic System.
Looking further in this shoe’ sole units, you can see the pillars of cushioning materials (N-ergy) both in the rear and in the forefoot.

The result is a shoe that feels very soft and cushioned on the heel, quite rigid in the midfoot area and soft and flexible on the forefoot/toe area.

  • New Balance 1226 Upper:

The best feature of the upper of the NB1226 is the mesh. Light and highly breathable wraps the foot comfortably and extends when the miles pile up and the foot swells at each step. As for NB tradition, the shoe fits wide feet quite well and offers a toe box wider than most other shoes. Plastic overlays especially in the mid-rear section of the upper keep the foot locked in the right position. This configuration reflects the structure of the sole unit: more stable and rigid in the rear/mid, and flexible on the forefoot.
Heel collar and tongue contain a double density lining that feels very soft. Last, the insole is soft, cushioned and removable.
The look and feel of the NB1226 is shiny and metallic.

  • New Balance 1226 Opinion:

Why is this shoe indicated for high-mileage and heavier runners? A high-mileage trainer is the main shoe you use in training for long distances, such as a marathon. The foot is bound to get hot and swollen during a long run, therefore a soft mesh and comfortable fit are essential. The collar lining and the tongue also are usually soft (as in the NB1226), as a harder surface might cause excessive friction and ultimately discomfort. The key is the long mileage: for short runs, you can stand a little discomfort and maybe focus more on the low weight of the shoe, but when the miles pile up each excessive friction or heat can be cause of blisters, pain or injuries.
As for the heavier runner target, the NB1226 is a quite rigid shoe that prevents collapsing the arch excessively but that offers a strong cushioning (more in the heel than in the forefoot, where a few runners report feeling much less cushioning) for the heavier impact that a heavier runner sustains with each step.
Is the NB1226 a good shoe? Yes. Is it worth the 140$ suggested retail price? This really depends on you. The price is indeed high and you might be able to find other good high-milers shoes that are good for you. But, if you try this shoe and it’s indeed comfortable on your foot, you should think about it. Not for the occasional runner, somebody that trains for a marathon will log a significant amount of miles in this shoe and might feel the added comfort is worth the extra price.

Let us know what you think of this shoe in the comments!

  • New Balance 1226 Price Comparison:

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