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Best New Balance Running Shoes 2024

Written on 17th February by Brandon Law Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
153 other reviews
New Balance running shoes definitive guide 2018
New Balance Athletics, best known as simply New Balance, is one of the world's major sports footwear and apparel manufacturers. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the multinational corporation was founded in 1906 as the New Balance Arch Support Company. Today, the company is privately held and totaled $5.3 billion in revenue in 2022.

It's not always easy for runners to choose the best New Balance running shoe for them. Here is New balance's lineup, with our selection of the best shoes for different runners and usage.

Table of content

The 6 Best New Balance Running Shoes

Keep scrolling or click on a shoe to find out why we chose it and what other shoes you should consider.

An overview of New Balance technologies

While looking into New Balance running shoes, you’ll bump into a series of materials and technologies with bold but unclear sounding names. Here are the most important ones for you to know:

FuelCell

The highest energy returning performance foam, delivering a propulsive feel to help drive you forward.

Fresh Foam

A revolutionary advancement in the material that cushions the high impact foot strikes that occur on roads, tracks, courts, and fields. Informed by 3D motion captured pressure mapping and force application data gathered from real athletes.

Fresh Foam X

A midsole foam with approximately 3% bio-based content delivers the most cushioned Fresh Foam experience for incredible comfort. Bio-based content is made from renewable resources to help reduce carbon footprint.

Energy Arc

Pairs sport-specific carbon fibre plate geometry with strategic midsole voids, designed to increase stored energy to deliver a higher amount of total energy returned.

Best Max Cushioned

These thickly stacked trainers are designed to be the plushest, most luxurious feeling in the range. They are designed to provide maximum impact protection with very little ground feel.

The winner

In short
The New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 is one of the most disappointing offerings I've run in a in a while. The v3 was my second favorite shoe I'd sampled in the past 3-4 years (behind the Saucony Axon 2), and this update was miles behind the previous offering.
Pros

  • Tons of cushion.
  • Very well constructed.
  • Rocker midsole allows you to push the pace
Cons

  • The upper pinches from midfoot to toe-box.
  • The heel cup didn't fully secure my heel and caused blisters.
Who should buy it

The More v4 is designed for regular and larger runners. It is also specifically for those who are going to log long miles.

Who should not buy it

This shoe is meant for neutral runners, and stability runners will struggle in this shoe. Also, people with wide midfoot or toes will find this shoe challenging.

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
10.9 oz
Heel
38 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
4 mm
Toe
34 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
6.0
Build quality
9.0
Upper
5.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
7.0
Toe-off
7.0
Traction
7.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
7.0
Team review
In this maximalist trainer, Fresh Foam X is stacked higher than ever before, and distributed across the length of the shoe, offering a plush, yet stable underfoot experience. A rocker profile promotes a smooth transition and ride.
Read full review

Best for Daily Training

Designed to be durable, comfortable, and versatile. If you were to only own one running shoe, it should be a daily trainer that can perform a variety of runs well.

The winner

In short
The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 is a highly cushioned daily trainer that will feel soft and bouncy on your feet. It’s a great all-around shoe that can handle high mileage along with the occasional speedier runs.
Pros

  • High cushioning
  • Comfortable and bouncy ride
  • Soft upper
Cons

  • Not stable
Who should buy it

This is a shoe for just about any runner. If you’re looking for a daily trainer that can handle just about any kind of run than look no further.

Who should not buy it

The only person that might not like this shoe is someone who is looking for a some stability. This is a shoe that has very little stability to it so it can make you feel a little unsettled on uneven terrain or tight turns.

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
9.2 oz
Heel
37 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
6 mm
Toe
31 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
10
Build quality
10
Upper
10
Sole unit
10
Landing
9.0
Transition
9.0
Toe-off
9.0
Traction
10
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
A highly cushioned daily trainer that will feel soft and bouncy on your feet. It’s a great all-around shoe that can handle high mileage along with the occasional speedier runs.
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 is a lightweight daily trainer with a flexible forefoot. It has a super soft ride and can handle a wide range of paces. Version 3 has more outsole rubber for added durability, a thicker midsole for more cushioning and a wider base for extra stability which makes it a better daily trainer
Pros

  • More stable than previous versions
  • More durable than version 2
  • Easy to increase speed
  • Excellent lockdown
Cons

  • Lower durability than other daily trainers
  • Fit is off- need to size up
  • Heavier than version 2
Who should buy it

Who should not buy it

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
7.40 oz
Heel
mm
Carbon plate
Heel drop
6 mm
Toe
mm
Rating breakdown
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
Team review
A lightweight daily trainer with a flexible forefoot. It has a super soft ride and can handle a wide range of paces. Version 3 has more outsole rubber for added durability, a thicker FuelCell midsole for more cushioning and a wider base for extra stability which makes it a better daily trainer
Read full review

Best Supportive Daily Trainer

These trainers are designed to help runners who overpronate excessively by providing guidance or support.

The winner

In short
The New Balance Fresh Foam X Vongo v6 is an exceptional everyday max stability trainer; it is stable, versatile, and comfortable. This Vongo gets high marks in all the right places: an upper that forms to and holds the foot in stable position and a midsole plate that provides stability and acts as a springboard.
Pros

  • Smooth, supported ride
  • Secure fit
  • Joyful toe-off
Cons

  • Outsole grip and durability
Who should buy it

Middle to long distance runners who want some stability in their cushioned ride will enjoy Vongo v6 for daily training including long runs, Tempo work, and longer speed intervals.

Who should not buy it

Vongo’s thin, low-traction outsole is less ideal for runners who often run in (any type of) precipitation. Do not go with this shoe if your outsoles show heavy uneven wear patterns.

Main Specs
Type
Stability
Weight
10.5 oz
Heel
35.5 mm
Carbon plate
Plate in other materials
Heel drop
6 mm
Toe
29.5 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
10
Build quality
9.0
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
9.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
10
Toe-off
10
Traction
6.0
Durability
7.0
Value / Price
9.0
Team review
An exceptional everyday max stability trainer; it is stable, versatile, and comfortable. This Vongo gets high marks in all the right places: an upper that forms to and holds the foot in a stable position and a midsole plate that provides stability and acts as a springboard.
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The New Balance 860v13 is a moderate stability shoe built to be a daily workhorse. It has been rebuilt with many of the same materials. This results in a slightly better version of a reliable trainer.
Pros

  • Durablity
  • Outsole
  • Updated Upper
  • Comfort
Cons

  • Slightly lacking energy return
  • The length of the tongue
Who should buy it

I would recommend this to a runner who wants a no frills daily trainer built for miles

Who should not buy it

Main Specs
Type
Stability
Weight
10.5 oz
Heel
35 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
10 mm
Toe
25 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
9.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
7.0
Toe-off
7.0
Traction
9.0
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
A moderate stability shoe built to be a daily workhorse. It has been rebuilt with many of the same materials. This results in a slightly better version of a reliable trainer.
Read full review

Best for Speed Training

These uptempo trainers are designed to be fast and durable at the same time. This includes being as lightweight as possible and often having responsive foams and plated technology in the midsole.

The winner

In short
The New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2 is an excellent, versatile maximalist trainer which delivers a plush, energetic ride. It’s capable of recovery, easy, long runs and uptempo workouts but it feels more comfortable at slower paces. Version 2 has a brand new upper and midsole which makes it more comfortable, and lighter but less cushioned.
Pros

  • Improved upper comfort
  • Weight reduction
  • Better versatility
  • More stable ride
Cons

  • More suited to slow paces than fast paces
  • Less of a rockered ride
  • Less bouncy than v1
Who should buy it

If you are looking for a speed trainer which has a very soft, cushioned ride, the SuperComp Trainer is a great option. If you want a cheaper, more durable version of the SuperComp Elite v3, it’s also a great option.

Who should not buy it

If you enjoy minimal speed trainers which have lots of ground feel, the SuperComp Trainer v2 is not for you.

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
9.7 oz
Heel
40 mm
Carbon plate
Full length carbon plate
Heel drop
6 mm
Toe
34 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
9.0
Build quality
9.0
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
7.0
Durability
7.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
An excellent, versatile maximalist trainer which delivers a plush, energetic ride. It’s capable of recovery, easy, long runs and uptempo workouts. Version 2 has a brand new upper and midsole which makes it more comfortable, and lighter but less cushioned.
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The New Balance FuelCell Propel v4 is an incredibly versatile trainer which can be used for everything from recovery runs to races. It has a balanced & stable ride character which is suitable for both beginners & experienced marathon runners. It competes with the likes of the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 but at a much more affordable price point. Version 4 has a new TPU plate which makes the forefoot snappier and provides more propulsion for fast runs.
Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Incredible versatility
  • Comfortable upper
  • Snappy forefoot
  • Stable ride
Cons

  • Tongue not gusseted
  • Weight increase
  • Warm upper
Who should buy it

If you’re looking for a do-it-all daily trainer or a cushioned, long-distance racer, the Propel v4 is a great option. Its FuelCell midsole has an energetic ride while the flexible plate makes transitions faster for when you need to pick up the pace.

Who should not buy it

If you prefer a firm, old school ride with lots of ground feel, the Propel v4 is not the shoe for you. It has an exciting, modern ride with cushioning deep enough for full marathons.

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
9.7 oz
Heel
31 mm
Carbon plate
Plate in other materials
Heel drop
6 mm
Toe
25 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
9.0
Build quality
9.0
Upper
7.0
Sole unit
9.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
9.0
Toe-off
9.0
Traction
8.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
10
Team review
An incredibly versatile trainer which can be used for everything from recovery runs to races. It has a balanced & stable ride character which is suitable for both beginners & experienced marathon runners.
Read full review

Best for Road Racing

Built to be lightweight and propulsive, racing shoes contain the most cutting-edge and innovative technologies that brands have to offer. They are designed to make you run as fast and efficient as possible.

The winner

In short
The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4 is a fun, stable long-distance racer. It has one of the softest and most cushioned rides of any super shoe but it lacks a high level propulsion. This is due to its cushioning still being too soft and its gentle forefoot rocker which doesn't give you a big forward tipping sensation.
Pros

  • Much better, more comfortable upper than v3
  • Improved heel lockdown
  • Increased cushioning
  • Faster ride than v3
  • Durable outsole
Cons

  • Not as propulsive as other super shoes
  • Too similar to the SC Trainer
  • Heavier than v3
Who should buy it

If you’re looking for a super soft, long-distance racer with good durability, the SC Elite v4 is an option. If you want something less aggressive than other super shoes which is easier on the legs, it’s also a good option.

Who should not buy it

If you want a really stiff, aggressive and firm-riding racer, the SC Elite v4 is not the shoe for you. If you want a super lightweight racer, it’s also not for you.

Main Specs
Type
Racing
Weight
8.1 oz
Heel
40 mm
Carbon plate
Full length carbon plate
Heel drop
4 mm
Toe
36 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
8.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
8.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
8.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
7.0
Team review
A fun, stable long-distance racer which features Energy Arc technology. It has one of the softest and most cushioned rides of any super shoe.
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Pacer is a brand new racer which is best suited to short-distance racing. It has a snappy, smooth ride which is on the firm side and it has a flexible full-length carbon plate for propulsion. The Pacer does not have a durable outsole so it should only be used on race days.
Pros

  • Competitive price
  • Comfortable upper
  • Excellent foot lockdown
  • Ground feel makes the ride engaging
Cons

  • Low durability
  • Ride feels a bit flat
  • Energy Arc is barely noticeable
Who should buy it

If you’re looking for a light 5K or 10K racer and you don’t like the max-cushioned ride of a marathon super shoe, the SuperComp Pacer is the ideal shoe for you. It has good stability with plenty of ground feel.

Who should not buy it

If you’re looking for a plush, highly cushioned ride which you can use for long distances, the SuperComp Pacer is not the shoe for you.

Main Specs
Type
Racing
Weight
6.7 oz
Heel
25 mm
Carbon plate
Full length carbon plate
Heel drop
8 mm
Toe
17 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
10
Build quality
9.0
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
7.0
Traction
7.0
Durability
6.0
Value / Price
9.0
Team review
A brand new racer which is best suited to short-distance racing. It has a snappy, smooth ride which is on the firm side and it has a flexible full-length carbon plate for propulsion.
Read full review

Best for Trail Running

Trail shoes have protective uppers, tough outsoles and lugs to help with traction. They are built to withstand the elements that runners encounter on uneven terrain.

The winner

In short
With a significant weight reduction the Hierro has upgraded itself to an great daily running shoe for less technical trails and terrain
Pros

  • Lighter than previous versions
  • EcoFriendly upper
  • Stable
  • Comfortable
Cons

  • Upper is not the most breathable and warm
  • Less cushioning in the forefoot
Who should buy it

Neutral runners looking for a softe but not plush daily trial shoe suited for moderate distances and trails.

Who should not buy it

Runners looking for Minimalistic ultra sensitive, or ultra distance capable shoe.

Main Specs
Type
Trail
Weight
10 oz
Heel
36 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
8 mm
Toe
28 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
8.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
7.0
Sole unit
7.0
Landing
7.0
Transition
7.0
Toe-off
7.0
Traction
6.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
7.0
Team review
With a significant weight reduction the Hierro has upgraded itself to a great daily running shoe for less technical trails and terrain.
Read full review

Quick Questions you might have

Are New Balance good running shoes?

Short answer: definitely. NB is innovating every single year in all of their ranges. Their cushioning in particular is soft and liked by many runners.