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The Best New Balance Shoes for Runners, Punks, and Preps

New Balance sneakers are modern classics, but there are countless iconic styles to sift through. Here's our short list of the cream of the crop.
The 8 Best New Balance Shoes 2022
Composite by Vice Staff 

New Balance is  a classic footwear brand—and it’s got the history to back up its timeless quality. Founded in 1906 as the “New Balance Arch Support Company,” the brand’s original goal was to focus on orthopedic shoes with specialized arch supports. (The famous dadcore shoe all makes sense now.) The company expanded into athletic footwear in the late 30s, creating its first running shoe for a local running club, and soon ascended to massive popularity in the sportswear industry, eventually expanding its footwear for other sports. Fast forward to today, where you can spot the kicks on Timothée Chalamet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Pine, and Rihanna, as well as fancy European fashion influencers and, of course, TikTok.  Our dads, our pizza delivery guy, the local librarian, and our bodega man all wear em’—and so do we. And with good reason: The designs are basic and versatile, but their retro look and sporty appeal match any threads of your choosing. 

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Nike, Adidas, Hoka—they’re all great—but New Balance also deserves to bask in the spotlight, and they supremely rock when it comes to unisex sneakers. With men’s and women’s sizes listed on each product page, almost every style is designed to work for all genders. But there are so many New Balance sneaks that it can be difficult to know which ones are your perfect match; after all, do you want them for serious running, grabbing a smoothie, or wearing to a Turnstile show? There’s a lid for every pot, and a New Balance shoe for every purpose, so enjoy our ranking and rundown of the best New Balance shoes, from the Fresh Foam More v3 to the 327, and beyond.

550

This style is nearly always sold out (and still is on New Balance’s website), but we managed to find it in stock because we’ve got ~skills~ in the fine art of shopping. The 550 channels our inner city slicker with its sleek, white-leather, baller look. It’s a tribute to 90s professional basketball players, streetwear, and “made for the players who know authenticity” per its product description. Sounds just like us. 


$175 at StockX

$175 at StockX

$147 at Flight Club

$147 at Flight Club

$190 at Flight Club

$190 at Flight Club

574 Core 

This is one of the brand’s most well-known and best-selling styles. The 574 gives us a taste of our dad’s wardrobe without going too overboard—just how we like it. It has a slight wedge platform (for the boys, we’ll call it a “lift”) on the heel, a wide silhouette, and is made from 50% recycled materials. These sneakers run on the smaller side according to reviews, so make sure to size up. 


$84.99 at New Balance

$84.99 at New Balance

$84.99 at New Balance

$84.99 at New Balance
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990v5 Core 

If you’re looking for a multi-purpose shoe, these are your guys. Lace them up for a jog or just to stomp around town, since their breathable mesh helps keep odor at bay and the integrated Ortholite insert (think Dr. Scholl’s) provides all-day support. “As a retired podiatrist, this has been my go to shoe for the last 20 years!” one reviewer on New Balance’s website writes.


$184.99 at New Balance

$184.99 at New Balance

$184.99 at New Balance

$184.99 at New Balance

993 Core 

Another style that screams “zaddy” in the best way possible is the 993 Core. It absorbs impact with its cushioned sole and compression resistance so your heels don’t suffer, making these bad boys ideal for running errands or racking up some miles during a workout. (This model has also been around for over 75 years, so you know they’re doing something right.)


$199.99 at New Balance

$199.99 at New Balance

$199.99 at New Balance

$199.99 at New Balance

Fresh Foam More v3

These shoes are a top-tier choice for both serious and casual distance runners. The midsole has “Fresh Foam” technology—which is what makes up the springy and voluptuous sole—with supreme cushioning, and is engineered for a lightweight ride so you can glide through your runs. New Balance’s Fresh Foam  styles are your best bet if you heel strike while running, and can help lessen your risk for injuries such as shin splints. One reviewer on New Balance’s website even calls this shoe a “Hoka killer”—although we’re not so sure


$164.99$154.99 at New Balance

$164.99$154.99 at New Balance

$164.99 at New Balance

$164.99 at New Balance
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Fresh Foam Roav

Here’s another running fave for the joggers among us. Similar to the More v3 model, this one features the brand’s bouncy, snug Ultra Heel to provide a secure fit while you run. We appreciate the support, and so do reviewers on New Balance’s website. “Best shoe on the market,” one writes. “This shoe is so dope.”  


$84.99 at New Balance

$84.99 at New Balance

$84.99 at New Balance

$84.99 at New Balance

327

This style has a 70s vibe that we’re dying to add to our closet and pair with our varsity jackets and single-stitch band tees. The retro treads and graphic outlines make it ideal for jazzing up business, street, or sportswear attire with a pop of nostalgia. The lug outsole is also inspired by the 355 trail-running shoe. 


$99.99 at New Balance

$99.99 at New Balance

$99.99 at New Balance

$99.99 at New Balance

We also love the blue color palette option on the 327 Unisex. “Vibrant sky with natural indigo” is its exact color description—swaggy, but not too loud to pair with more subdued workwear. 


$99.99 at New Balance

$99.99 at New Balance

CT302 

The CT302 is another gender-neutral hit with some country club spice. These shoes look like Adidas Stan Smith and Veja had a baby, with their intermix of preppy and sporty appeal. This is a timeless tennis shoe that has great wearability and a style that lives on and off the court—plus, it has a thicc sole for epic comfort, too. 


$89.99 at New Balance

$89.99 at New Balance

$89.99 at New Balance

$89.99 at New Balance

Whatcha waiting for? It’s time to get stompin’. 


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