Home Guides Best New Balance Running Shoes 2020
We don't accept free products or compensation in exchange for our reviews.
We are reader supported, and earn affiliate commissions when you buy through us.
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases

FOR MOST PEOPLE

FOR MOST PEOPLE

FOR MOST PEOPLE

New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v10

New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v10
Finally available online, the Fresh Foam 880 is a great neutral "do it all" running shoe. Versatile and well priced.
Finally available online, the Fresh Foam 880 is a great neutral "do it all" running shoe. Versatile and well priced.
Michael Mason-D'Croz
Long distance runner, shoe expert.

MAX CUSHIONING

MAX CUSHIONING

MAX CUSHIONING

New Balance Fresh Foam More v2

New Balance Fresh Foam More v2
It took a few years, but NB managed to dial in their Fresh Foam and in the More v2 they deliver a plush, soft, comfortable ride.
It took a few years, but NB managed to dial in their Fresh Foam and in the More v2 they deliver a plush, soft, comfortable ride.
Michael Mason-D'Croz
Long distance runner, shoe expert.

STABILITY

STABILITY

STABILITY

New Balance 860 v10

New Balance 860 v10
The NB 860 is versatile, light and comfortable giving the runner a responsive and supported ride. Perfect for long runs and recovery days.
The NB 860 is versatile, light and comfortable giving the runner a responsive and supported ride. Perfect for long runs and recovery days.
Jon Ober
Serial Marathoner and Stability Running Shoe Expert

MOST EXCITING

MOST EXCITING

MOST EXCITING

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo
The Tempo is for the runner who seeks a lightweight, cushioned trainer. It's a shoe with a lower stack height , a moderate drop and great ground feel.
The Tempo is for the runner who seeks a lightweight, cushioned trainer. It's a shoe with a lower stack height , a moderate drop and great ground feel.
Brandon Law
Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert

FOR TRAILS

FOR TRAILS

FOR TRAILS

New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5

New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5
The Hierro 5 is an attractive, comfortable, and durable trail shoe. For runners who want to look good on long and easy trail runs.
The Hierro 5 is an attractive, comfortable, and durable trail shoe. For runners who want to look good on long and easy trail runs.
Jim Coulson
Fast Road and Trail Runner. Career Firefighter.

We have seen this trend now: since a couple of years, most brands started shying away from the usual neutral > support > motion control way of classifying their running shoes. We have seen this with Nike and Brooks.

New Balance is also moving in that direction, splitting their collection in 3 big buckets:

  1. Fresh Foam Collection: Focus on a soft and smooth ride
  2. FuelCell Collection: Focus on lightweight and responsiveness, for speed
  3. NBx Collection: Focus on high mileage

Let’s now look at the shoes in each bucket, what technologies they adopt and let’s try and make sense on who should be wearing what.

New Balance Fresh Foam Collection

The Fresh Foam collection takes its name from NB's new foam material. These shoes have been engineered with the analysis of data from thousands of athletes.

Fresh Foam midsoles are laser engraved to reduce weight and provide different kinds of cushion and support on different part of the shoe, based on the athelete's need. The results are extremely versatile shoes that can take you from easy runs to races and anything in between.

First choice

New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v10

Weight
9.9 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v10

Reasons to buy
  • Good cushion, but still firm
  • Solid grip on multiple surfaces
  • Upper is soft and breathable
  • Upper fits well
“The New Balance 880v10 is a versatile trainer that hits almost all of its marks. From the regular run to the long distance, this shoe can cover it all. ”
Recommended for
This shoe is designed for people logging high mileage or going for slower runs. This shoe can fit most runners, and is a great beginner shoe.
Michael Mason-D'Croz
Long distance runner, shoe expert.
Read the full review of Fresh Foam 880 v10
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10

Weight
9.5 oz.
Drop
8 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10

Reasons to buy
  • Fresh Foam X provides a plush, but stable ride for high mileage.
  • A sock-like knit upper keeps the foot locked down without feeling restricted.
  • Responsive and somewhat firm cushioning, combined with a rocker shape, allows for faster paces.
  • Relatively lightweight for the amount of protection compared to other max cushioned models.
“The New Balance 1080v10 is a high mileage neutral trainer designed for runners looking for maximum protection with a fairly firm ride.    A durable shoe, runners should expect to get a full 500 miles out of the 1080v10 without seeing much breakdown in the cushioning or the upper.”
Recommended for
The 1080v10 will work for any type of runner, beginner, enthusiast, or high mileage runners.
The neutral design and responsive cushioning should work for most runners, but will be especially appreciated by high mileage runners looking for a a shoe for their easy days and long runs.
Thomas Caughlan
Ultrarunner and 10-Year Running Shoe Tester
Read the full review of Fresh Foam 1080v10
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance Fresh Foam More v2

Weight
9.4 oz.
Drop
4 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance Fresh Foam More v2

Reasons to buy
  • Tons of cushion
  • Responsive ride
  • Supremely comfortable upper
  • Wide toebox design
“The New Balance Fresh Foam More v2 is super plush runner that offers a lot of features you want in a daily and high-mileage trainer. The ride is soft and quick.”
Recommended for
This shoe is for any runner looking for high cushion and is tackling long miles. With only a 4mm heel-toe drop, it might be a tough shoe for beginners.
Michael Mason-D'Croz
Long distance runner, shoe expert.
Read the full review of Fresh Foam More v2
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo

Weight
8.5 oz.
Drop
6 mm.
Category
Lightweight

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo

Reasons to buy
  • Comfortable upper with secure lockdown
  • Great ground feel
  • Smooth transitions
  • Good flexibility
“The Fresh Foam Tempo is a refreshing and worthy replacement for the Fresh Foam Zante. Like the cover of a classic song, the Tempo keeps the same melody and rhythm but adds a modern twist.  The Tempo adds in new elements such as a plastic heel counter and a new Fresh Foam X midsole but retains the essence of the beloved Zante.”
Recommended for
The Fresh Foam Tempo is for the runner who seeks a lightweight, cushioned trainer. It's a shoe with a lower stack height , a moderate drop and great ground feel.
Brandon Law
Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Fresh Foam Tempo
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v2

Weight
7.6 oz.
Drop
6 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v2

Reasons to buy
  • Lightweight
  • Secure Upper
  • Responsiveness
“The Fresh Foam Beacon v2 is a great option in the lightweight cushioning category but there are alternatives available if you prefer a softer ride.  Fans of the previous version will be pleased that this version uses the same foam material as last year.”
Recommended for
This is a great option for anyone looking for a lightweight and highly cushioned shoe with a responsive ride.
Sean Felty
Long Distance Runner, Neutral Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Fresh Foam Beacon v2
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v4

Weight
oz.
Drop
mm.
Category
Stability

New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v4

Reasons to buy
  • Cushion for long runs
  • Flexible yet Secure upper - very comfortable
  • Heel cup liner locks in heel
  • Bootie construct eliminates movable tongue
“The New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v4 hits a precise balance between comfort and hold, avoiding shoe string issues that show up with thin tongues by utilizing traditional width laces with a touch of stretch.  The Vongo's unique combination of low drop, high cushion, and varus wedge angled midsole make it stand out as it's own niche of mild stability offering.”
Recommended for
This shoe is tailored to fit runners seeking innovative stability and increased cushion for daily and long runs in a low drop trainer.
Kristin Lassen
Fast Runner and Stability Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Fresh Foam Vongo v4
or buy them here: Men / Women

New Balance NBx Collection

NBx includes all the "traditional" running shoes from New Balance that didn't really fit into one or the other category, but that are true and tested milestones from New Balance that have hundreds of thousands of loyal fans.

The focus of the shoes in this category is to be trustworthy workhorses that are reliable for high mileage training or for racing.

First choice

New Balance 890 v8

Weight
8.4 oz.
Drop
4 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance 890 v8

Reasons to buy
  • Sleek, edgy aesthetics
  • Snug, sock-like fit
  • Lightweight
  • Quick heel-toe transition
“The New Balance 890 got a complete makeover for its 8th birthday. The lightweight mid-distance shoe now features a full-length FuelCell midsole and expanded blown-rubber coverage on the outsold for improved traction. The shoe is firm, but not hard. It performs best on pavement during up-tempo thresholds or fartleks over moderate distance (5-8miles). As an added bonus, this sleek and stylish shoe can easily transition from a workout to trendy streetwear. ”
Recommended for
Runners with a neutral foot-strike that are looking for a lightweight performance trainer to round out their shoe rotation.
Taylor Gupton
Cross-country and track coach
Read the full review of 890 v8
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance 1260v7

Weight
11.70 oz.
Drop
8 mm.
Category
Stability

New Balance 1260v7

Reasons to buy
  • High amount of cushioning. Delivers stability that sits above the rest.
  • Lower 8mm drop allows shoe to perform fast but not sacrifice comfort.
  • Impressive amount of reflective details.
“The New Balance 1260v7 is the trainer that is there for the long haul. High amount of support paired with a lower drop make this the go to premium stability shoe.”
Recommended for
Recommended for runners that want a dependable trainer that feels fast. Works great for the half marathon and up.
Jon Ober
Serial Marathoner and Stability Running Shoe Expert
Read the full review of 1260v7
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance 860 v10

Weight
11 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance 860 v10

Reasons to buy
  • Traditional approach to stability. Moderate support, but not too much.
  • Firm, responsive and light feeling ride despite being on the heavier side.
  • Upper uniquely functional and comfortable.
“The New Balance 860 is a workhorse stability shoe meant for high mileage and daily training. The sole of the 860 is made of New Balance TruFuse foam, which is a mix of two different foams in order to provide both cushioning and some degree of responsiveness. ”
Recommended for
This is a shoe made for an overpronator plain and simple. It is ideal for someone training for longer distances 10K and up.
Jon Ober
Serial Marathoner and Stability Running Shoe Expert
Read the full review of 860 v10
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance 1400v6

Weight
7.10 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Racing

New Balance 1400v6

Reasons to buy
  • Lightweight and nimble.
  • Revlite midsole foam provides a responsive smooth ride.
  • Newly constructed upper is highly breathable and comfortable.
  • Simple and effective traction
“The 1400 v6 continues to deliver the same peppy solid execution runners expect from a go-to racing flat. The 1400 v6 is a solid choice for the road runner serious about performance.”
Recommended for
The 1400 v6 is a superbly designed racing flat, with a peppy ride. This flat would be the perfect choice for the competitive runner looking to enlist a race shoe capable of taking on distances from 5k up to possibly a marathon.
Jim Coulson
Fast Road and Trail Runner. Career Firefighter.
Read the full review of 1400v6
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance Rubix v1

Weight
10.50 oz.
Drop
8 mm.
Category
Stability

New Balance Rubix v1

Reasons to buy
  • Lightweight design
  • Solid base
  • Forefoot cushion
  • Secure upper
“The New Balance Rubix v1 combines exceptional support with a light step, utilizing key design features to get the best of both traditionally opposed fields.”
Recommended for
If you yearn for a lightweight stability shoe (not light-stability) - that maintains a stiff midfoot, secure upper, and a solid base throughout footplant, Rubix breaks into the market as your go-to for speed through endurance runs.
Those who prefer an even lighter shoe for fast efforts but want...
Kristin Lassen
Fast Runner and Stability Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Rubix v1
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance 1500v6

Weight
7.6 oz.
Drop
mm.
Category
Racing

New Balance 1500v6

Reasons to buy
  • Fast ride with a hint of support.
  • Redone upper. Looks and feels great.
  • Outsole pattern gives great traction and control.
“The New Balance 1500 v6 is great shoe for someone who wants something fast with subtle amounts of stability support. It is as sleek as it is fast and continues to be a favorite of this reviewer.”
Recommended for
This is for seasoned runners looking for something fast and functional. It's ideal for workouts and race distances up to a half marathon.
Jon Ober
Serial Marathoner and Stability Running Shoe Expert
Read the full review of 1500v6
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance 870v5

Weight
9.6 oz.
Drop
6 mm.
Category
Stability

New Balance 870v5

Reasons to buy
  • Durable
  • Visual Design
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
“The New Balance 870v5 is a straightforward lightweight stability trainer. The no frills approach may not be for everyone but ideal for those who yearn for simpler consistent lightweight stability trainer built to handle any speed or distance.”
Recommended for
I would recommend the New Balance 870v5 for a runner who wants a simple no nonsense lightweight stability trainer built for miles and speed.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.
Read the full review of 870v5
or buy them here: Men / Women

New Balance FuelCell Collection

Shoes in the FuelCell collection are lightweight, responsive and engineered for speed.

First choice

New Balance FuelCell 5280

Weight
6 oz.
Drop
6 mm.
Category
Racing

New Balance FuelCell 5280

Reasons to buy
“The New Balance FuelCell 5280 is a road racing shoe that Runner’s World calls “a track spike, without the metal pins.” This is because the FuelCell 5280 is designed to help you run fast on the pavement. In fact, the shoes are especially designed for runners who run a mile under five minutes and 30 seconds. The shoes provide the same level of power as a track spike. However, if you have wide feet you may find a problem with the overall fit of the shoes because of how narrow they run. ”
Recommended for
The New Balance FuelCell 5280 is designed specifically for runners who run a mile under five minutes and 30 seconds. The shoes are also made to handle one mile at a time. Overall, the shoes have a narrow fit but offer lots of power during your toe off.
Andy Mac
Running Expert
Read the full review of FuelCell 5280
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance FuelCell Propel

Weight
9 oz.
Drop
9 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance FuelCell Propel

Reasons to buy
“The New Balance FuelCell Propel is a versatile shoe that can handle long distance runs and speed work. It is well-cushioned, which makes it an ounce heavier than the Rebel and not as soft as New Balance’s Fresh Foam line. ”
Recommended for
The New Balance FuelCell Propel performs best in the nine to 14-mile range. It is a versatile shoe that has a thicker stretch in the midfoot for some support. Once you put the shoe on, the sock liner provides a smooth feeling for comfort. Overall, these are a versatile shoe that provides good energy...
Andy Mac
Running Expert
Read the full review of FuelCell Propel
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance Fuelcell Rebel

Weight
7.2 oz.
Drop
6 mm.
Category
Lightweight

New Balance Fuelcell Rebel

Reasons to buy
  • Super light
  • Springy
  • Aggressive design to go fast
  • Lacing system locks in your foot
“The New Balance FuelCell Rebel is a super-fast racing flat that offers cushion despite the light weight packaging. Although it has a higher price tag, these are easily worth it if you run and race 5k or 10k races.”
Recommended for
This shoe is designed for anyone who wants to go fast. This shoe is not for a beginning runner, but experienced runners who want to up the speed will love them.
Michael Mason-D'Croz
Long distance runner, shoe expert.
Read the full review of Fuelcell Rebel
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance FuelCell Impulse

Weight
8.10 oz.
Drop
6 mm.
Category
Lightweight

New Balance FuelCell Impulse

Reasons to buy
  • Fast feeling; responsive
  • Lightweight
  • Locked down upper
“The New Balance FuelCell Impulse is designed for speed. Ideal for forefoot strikers it is a great option for race day, road tempo runs, and track workouts.”
Recommended for
The New Balance FuelCell Impulse is for intermediate to advanced forefoot striking runners who are looking for a light and responsive shoe to double as a workout trainer and race day option.
Andrew Leibowitz
Running Expert
Read the full review of FuelCell Impulse
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance FuelCore Sonic

Weight
8.4 oz.
Drop
6 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance FuelCore Sonic

Reasons to buy
  • Responsive Sole
  • Snug Upper
  • Speedy Lacing
“The New Balance FuelCore Sonic has all the makings of a solid trainer for logging big miles, a firm responsive midsole, beefy outsole, and durable upper with a great fit.  The Boa lacing might seem a bit gimmicky, but it does a great job of distributing pressure and is wickedly fast to put on and take off, which helps get those sluggish early morning runs going.”
Recommended for
Somebody looking for a traditional performance trainer to log tons of miles in, without a modern twist.
Lionello Bardina
Running Expert
Read the full review of FuelCore Sonic
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance FuelCore Coast v4

Weight
7.20 oz.
Drop
8 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance FuelCore Coast v4

Reasons to buy
  • Lightweight
  • Soft
  • Responsive
  • Affordable
“The fourth version of the New Balance Fuelcore Coast features a low-profile, lightweight design that makes it an ideal entry-level trainer for daily use.  This budget-friendly, stylish shoe easily transitions from a workout to casual streetwear.”
Recommended for
New runners with a neutral foot-strike that are running low to medium weekly mileage (up to 40 miles per week).
The New Balance Fuelcore Coast also provides an attractive alternative for fans of the Nike Free Flyknit series who are looking for a more affordable and durable option.
Taylor Gupton
Cross-country and track coach
Read the full review of FuelCore Coast v4
or buy them here: Men / Women

New Balance model numbers: what do they mean

Most of you will be familiar with NB’s most popular models of a few years back: MR1080 v4, MR890 v3, WR1260v5… there is a surefire way to exactly understand the kind of shoe by looking at this number – the image below will help you understand.

numberexplanationNB

Basically each model name/code was composed by 4 sections:

  • “MR”: The first two letters identify the gender and the sport activity. “M” is for MEN, “W” for WOMEN. “R” is for Running. “WW” will be Women’s Walking, “MX” will be Men’s Cross-Training and so on.
  • “10”: The “hundreds” number (890, 1260 etc) represents the level of “premium” of the shoe. It used to be symbolic of the pricepoint of the shoe, where 890 would be a shoe around $80, 1080 a shoe around $100 and 1260 a shoe around $120.
    While this is not strictly the case anymore, the concept stays: you can expect the cost (and features) of the shoe to go up when moving from a “8” model to a “10” or a “12”.
  • “80”: The last two digits of the number used to indicate the level of cushioning: a “60” being a stability shoe while a “80” a neutral shoe. This is the actual list:
    • 60 = stability
    • 70 = light stability
    • 80 = neutral/cushioning
    • 90 = speed
  • “v6”: the “V” is the version of this shoe.

These numbers were not exactly customer friendly – but I have to admit that once you know the logic, it actually makes a lot of sense.

Running Shoes Buying Guides

If you found this guide useful, have a look at our other ones!

Running Shoes

Other Shoes

  • Best Running Shoes for the Gym
  • Best Shoes for HIIT
  • Best Shoes for weightlifting
  • Best Shoes for CrossFit
  • Brand Guides


    This web site uses cookies. Click Accept to continue. Review Our Cookie Policy

    On these and other websites owned by RSG Media BV we use cookies and other similar techniques.

    We place and use different types of cookies for the following purposes:

    Functional cookies:
    To make our websites work as intended.

    Analytical cookies:
    To collect and analyze statistics to improve the experience on our websites and the effectiveness of advertisements.

    Tracking cookies:
    To build personal profiles of you so that we can show you targeted content and advertisements that match your interests.

    Social cookies:
    To allow you to share your reaction through 'likes' or commentary.

    In addition, third parties (which are partly outside the EU) can place cookies on our websites, including tracking cookies that can also be used to build up a profile of you. Tracking cookies may have an impact on your privacy.

    By giving your consent below, you agree that we place and read cookies on all our websites (see this overview) and combine these collected data.

    Your consent remains valid for 6 months unless you withdraw it.

    Close