Are you tired of sacrificing comfort for style when it comes to your footwear? Well, look no further because we've curated a list of the best New Balance shoes for women that effortlessly combine the two. Whether you're an avid sneakerhead or just searching for the perfect pair to keep up with your active lifestyle, we've got you covered. From the iconic New Balance 990v3 to the trendy New Balance 327, our experts and Shop TODAY staffers have handpicked the cream of the crop. Say goodbye to sore feet and hello to ultimate style and support with these must-have kicks.
The New Balance 990v3
When the 990v3 was released over a decade ago, New Balance's reputation as a cool brand was far from established. It had recently been criticized in the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love, starring Ryan Gosling, which could have been the end for many brands. However, the debut of the 990v3 marked a turning point for New Balance, propelling it into a successful second act. Initially met with curiosity and ironic interest, the 990v3 gradually gained popularity. Its appeal was further enhanced by collaborative projects that boosted its reputation. Today, it is one of the best-selling and most highly-regarded sneakers on the market. The 990v3 embodies everything that makes New Balance a powerhouse: comfort, reliability, understated style, and the dedication to being made in the USA.
The New Balance 993
At first glance, the 993 may not appear very different from its predecessors. And, in truth, it isn't. What sets it apart are the small details, which combine elements from earlier silhouettes to create one of New Balance's best chunky running shoes. The 993 is proof that sneaker brands don't always have to reinvent the wheel with every new release. A few adjustments to the midsole and toe box are enough to improve upon an already successful design. The 993 exemplifies pure and flawless iteration.
The New Balance 992
The association between the 992 and Steve Jobs, who famously wore them as part of his daily uniform, adds to the sneaker's legendary status. However, even without his endorsement, the 992 would still be considered a classic. Originally released in 2006 to commemorate New Balance's 100th anniversary, the 992 remains one of the most sought-after silhouettes in the brand's lineup. It has become a canvas for numerous popular collaborations.
The New Balance 530
How do you make the quintessential dad shoe even more dad-like? If you're New Balance, you introduce the 530. This early '90s classic swaps out the brand's iconic gray suede uppers for pristine white mesh, giving it a sporty yet ready-for-anything vibe. The 530 ticks all the boxes for the biggest footwear trends of 2023, including mesh uppers, silver details, and near-orthopedic soles. It combines these elements into a cleaner package.
The New Balance 2002R
When New Balance first released the 2002R in 2010, it came with a hefty price tag of $250, which made it a hard sell during the recession. However, when the brand reintroduced the sneaker a decade later as a street-style favorite, it came at a much more affordable price point. The 2002R shares a visual resemblance to the 990v3, but it boasts more intricate upper paneling and a distinct sole unit. These details draw inspiration from early 2000s footwear trends. New Balance has come a long way since launching the first-ever $100 running sneaker, and the 2002R is finally receiving the recognition it deserves.
The New Balance Rainier
In the 1980s, hiking boots were typically clunky and uncomfortable due to their heavy leather uppers and hefty soles. However, New Balance revolutionized the market with the introduction of the Rainier at the beginning of that decade. This lightweight yet durable sneaker-boot hybrid broke new ground. Although it may not be the ideal choice for scaling Mount Everest in 2023, the Rainier's retro outdoor profile and timeless look make it an undeniable inclusion in this lineup.
The New Balance 574
Despite all the buzz surrounding New Balance's trendy collaborations, it is the humble and widely-available 574 that remains the most iconic sneaker associated with the brand. For almost four decades, this no-frills silhouette has been a staple in local malls for two simple reasons: its timeless appearance and affordable price point of under $100. For many people, the 574 serves as the perfect entry point into the extensive world of New Balance. It is an approachable and affordable representation of the company's commitment to comfort.
The New Balance 650
In 2020, Teddy Santis, the creative director of New Balance's MADE in USA sub-line, struck gold with the revival of the 550, a forgotten gem from the brand's archives. However, it is the 550's lesser-known sibling, the 650, that resonates the most with today's trends. The padded ankles pay homage to the sneaker's '80s origins, while still providing a cushioned feel that made the original design successful. The 650 is available in a range of authentic colors. Love them or hate them, it is impossible to deny their influence.
The New Balance 1906R
Although the 1906R made its debut in 2010, it feels more relevant than ever. In 2023, silver and mesh-adorned sneakers have become a ubiquitous trend. As consumers rush to buy the latest trainers reminiscent of the iPod era, the 1906R solidifies its position as one of the best examples of this style. Its chunky, sporty, and over-engineered aesthetic perfectly embodies the genre, making it one of the most exciting New Balance silhouettes to date.
Best New Balance sneakers for women, according to experts and Shop TODAY staffers
New Balance 574 Core
According to Cunha, the most recommended New Balance shoe is the 574v2. It is highly durable, flexible, lightweight, and extremely comfortable. The shoe provides superior arch support and features soft shock-absorbing cushioning on the footbed for pain relief. Additionally, it has a classic vintage appearance with a modern touch.
Commerce deals coordinator Victoria Herlocker recently purchased a pair and loves their versatility. She can wear them casually with jeans, in the office with wide-leg pants, or on a walk.
New Balance 997H V1
Cunha also suggests the New Balance 997H Sneakers, which combine a suede and mesh upper with a color-blocked design. The brand claims that these shoes offer comfort with every step, thanks to their lightweight cushioning.
Shop TODAY deals editor Rebecca Brown owns a pair and describes them as amazing for walking. She specifically mentions wearing them during her annual family theme park visit because they provide both comfort and style.
New Balance 327
Michelle favors the retro-inspired 327 sneakers. She appreciates their streamlined appearance, which sets them apart from bulkier dad sneakers, while still offering a stylish sneaker look.
Shop TODAY production coordinator Jill Ortiz also enjoys this style. She finds them cute, comfy, and even appropriate for the office. Pairing them with jeans and a blazer gives her a polished and comfortable look.
New Balance Made in USA 990v5
Another recommendation from Cunha is the 990v5 sneakers. These shoes strike a balance between performance and style. Available in various colors, they are considered a staple for both morning runs and fashion-forward outfits.
The New Balance 327
Before the revolution of performance running shoes in the 1990s, creating the perfect running shoe was relatively straightforward: a suede upper combined with a thick, ridged sole was all that was required. The New Balance 327 draws inspiration from track sneakers from that era but adds a more fashionable touch with its wedge-like shape, metallic hardware, and prominent logo. It made its runway debut through a collaboration with Casablanca, capturing the attention of fashion enthusiasts and influencers alike. Since then, it has continued to be a favorite among the industry's best and brightest as well as avid sneaker collectors.
In conclusion, when it comes to finding the best New Balance shoes for women, there is a wide range of options to choose from. From the classic and timeless styles like the New Balance 990v3 and 993, to the more modern and trendy designs like the New Balance 2002R and 327, there is a pair for every taste and preference. With expert recommendations and the seal of approval from Shop TODAY staffers, you can trust that these shoes not only provide unrivaled comfort and support, but also keep you in style. So, why wait? Step into the world of New Balance and experience the perfect balance of fashion and function that these sneakers have to offer.