Are you ready to boost your running performance? Look no further! In this article, we will delve into the world of the best New Balance running shoes, handpicked to offer you unparalleled support and comfort. Whether you're a seasoned marathoner or just dipping your toes into the world of running, finding the right pair of kicks is essential. So, lace up your shoes and get ready to discover the top contenders in the race for the best New Balance running shoes!
New Balance 101: What to Consider
Before we delve into the shoes themselves, let's first familiarize ourselves with some key terms. Like any running shoe brand, New Balance has its own set of terminology when it comes to technology. To make an informed purchase, it's important to have a basic understanding of the most popular foams and upper materials.
Here's a quick lesson:
- Fresh Foam - Introduced in 2013, New Balance's springy and stable EVA foam. Used in both road and trail shoes.
- FuelCell - New Balance's high-rebound foam, launched in 2017. Incorporates nitrogen-fueled TPU foam for a bouncy ride.
- Hypoknit - A mesh material used in the uppers of shoes. Engineered to stretch in some areas and provide support in others.
- DynaRide - Durable and lightweight outsole rubber designed to provide traction in challenging conditions.
- Ultra Heel - Enhanced heel support for a secure fit. Also suitable for everyday wear.
Top Running Shoe Brands
While New Balance is known for producing exceptional running shoes, there are other brands that offer excellent options as well. For a comprehensive list of the best running shoe brands in 2023, check out the best running shoe brands guide.
Comparison of the Best New Balance Running Shoes
|# of colorways|
New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13
Best for longer runs
Fresh Foam 880v12
Intended Use: Great for reliable road miles | Heel-to-Toe Drop: 10mm | Price: $130
New Balance ensures that all of its running shoes have their own unique characteristics, and the Fresh Foam 880v12 is closely related to both the Fresh Foam Tempo 2 and Fresh Foam 1080v12. While this may seem odd, as the stack height is similar to the Tempo and the cushioning is closer to that of the 1080, the 880v12 still performs admirably.
We can't help but praise the superior comfort of the Fresh Foam X technology found in the 880v12. While not the lightest shoe in New Balance's lineup, its affordability with a price tag of $130 makes up for it. Whether you're hitting the road or heading out for a run, the 880v12 is sure to provide you with a satisfying experience.
Shop New Balance 880
Fresh Foam More v4
Intended Use: Maximum cushioning for ultimate comfort | Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm | Price: $150
Before we delve into the details of the New Balance More v4, let's talk about the price. In a world where everything seems to be getting more expensive, the More v4 is actually cheaper than its predecessor. At just $150, this shoe offers an abundance of foam for a great value. So, it's no surprise that we're big fans of it here at Believe in the Run. In fact, Meg even helped with the wear-testing, which speaks volumes about its quality.
The Fresh Foam in the More v4 strikes the perfect balance, providing a soft feel without sacrificing responsiveness. Its widened toe box adds to the overall appeal, making it an excellent choice for transitioning from road to trail. If you're a fan of extra cushioning and enjoy racking up the miles, the Fresh Foam More v4 won't disappoint. Its durability and exceptional padding justify the cost.
Shop New Balance More v4 – Men
Shop New Balance More v4 – Women
New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo V5
Best for stability
Fresh Foam More Trail v2
Intended Use: Maximum cushioning for trail running | Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm | Price: $165
The Fresh Foam More Trail V2 is an exciting upgrade to the Fresh Foam More V4, and its cushioning is simply dreamy. Melissa, one of our team members, had the opportunity to test multiple pairs, and she couldn't help but rave about its comfort. The Vibram Megagrip outsole adds to the shoe's highlights, making it a must-have for any avid trail runner.
While the More Trail V2 may not be the most budget-friendly option on the market, it boasts a few features that make it worth considering. Of course, the Fresh Foam technology takes center stage, but the roomy toe box is also a pleasant surprise. It's one of the best road-to-trail shoes available, especially if you prefer ample cushioning. With its long-lasting padding, the Fresh Foam More Trail v2 delivers great value despite the higher price tag.
Shop More Trail v2 – Men
Shop More Trail v2 – Women
Fresh Foam Tempo v2
Intended Use: Versatile shoe for all types of runs | Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm | Price: $120
Here's a little math for you: What do you get when you combine the Beacon and the Zante? The answer might not be what you expect. Instead of one shoe replacing the other, you get the exceptional Fresh Foam Tempo v2, one of the best low-stack running shoes from New Balance this year. It's like if you took the 1080v12, put it on a diet, and reduced the stack height while still retaining the alluring Fresh Foam X cushioning.
While you may still mourn the loss of your Beacon or Zante, the Tempo v2 offers a suitable compromise. It's softer and more responsive than similar options like the Saucony Kinvara, and fills the gap we wished the Kinvara would bridge. However, please note that the platform runs a bit narrow, so if you have wide feet, be cautious.
Shop Fresh Foam Tempo V2
New Balance Fresh Foam X Vongo v5
Best for stability
FuelCell Rebel v3
Intended Use: Versatile shoe for all types of runs | Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm | Price: $130 (Unbelievable!)
Few shoes have experienced such a meteoric rise as the New Balance FuelCell Rebel. Maybe the Beatles? While we were initially unsure about the first version, the Rebel v2 quickly became one of our favorite trainers. So, naturally, we were worried about how New Balance could further improve upon a already great shoe. The answer is in the Rebel v3.
The Rebel v3 democratizes the Rebel line, making it more accessible to a wider audience. This shoe offers a slightly higher stack height, making it a reliable option for daily miles instead of just tempo runs. New Balance also addressed the issue with the upper blowing out on the v2. With the new mono mesh upper, weak seams are a thing of the past. This shoe remains lightweight and provides ample NDURANCE rubber on the outsole. The large, reflective N on the side adds a touch of style.
Shop New Balance Rebel v3 – Men
Shop New Balance Rebel v3 – Women
FuelCell SC Trainer
Intended Use: Maximum FuelCell performance | Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm | Price: $180
If you've been following our coverage this summer, you'll likely recognize our next pick. The FuelCell SC Trainer is a new addition to New Balance's lineup, and it has already become one of our favorite shoes of the year. We'll admit, we were initially concerned about its weight, but it proved to be unfounded. The lightweight and breathable upper perfectly complements the bouncy and rockered midsole, resulting in a shoe that effortlessly eats up the miles.
The SC Trainer is the first model to feature New Balance's Energy Arc approach. By combining a cambered plate with an open gap in the midsole, this shoe delivers a smooth and stable ride. We've put countless miles on the SC Trainer while training for the NYC Marathon, and it has become a second skin. You can't help but love the minty green colorway with hints of blue. Just be cautious when running over pebbles, as they can get trapped in the midsole cutout.
Shop New Balance SC Trainer – Men
Shop New Balance SC Trainer – Women
FuelCell SC Elite 3
Intended Use: Achieve maximum speed on race day | Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm | Price: $250
Our next pick is so new that we haven't even reviewed it yet. If you've been paying attention to the New York City Marathon, you'll notice the FuelCell SC Elite 3 in a signature colorway for the five boroughs. This shoe is our top choice for race day, and its plush FuelCell cushioning helps us perform at our best.
The FuelCell SC Elite 3 boasts a few changes worth mentioning. First, the name has changed to align with New Balance's Energy Arc line of shoes. It features the same cambered plate and midsole gap found in the SC Trainer, but with a lower stack height and a reduced drop of 4mm. While our review is coming soon, you can expect to see us wearing this shoe on November 6.
Shop New Balance SC Elite v3 – Men
Shop Endorphin Shift – Men
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V3
Best for race day
New Balance Hierro v7
Best for trail running
In conclusion, if you're in the market for a new pair of running shoes, New Balance definitely has you covered. With their innovative Fresh Foam technology, comfortable fit, and stylish designs, it's no wonder that they are one of the best running shoe brands out there. Whether you're a casual jogger or a serious marathon runner, you can find the perfect pair of New Balance shoes to enhance your performance and keep your feet happy. So don't waste any more time, lace up and hit the pavement with confidence in your new New Balance running shoes.