If there’s one confusing trend that, for better or worse, simply won’t go away, it’s the ugly shoe craze. Call it the emergence of the dad sneaker or the effortless attraction of normcore, whatever way you look at it, these massive, clunky, color-clashing sports shoes continue to confound and captivate us all. Which is fantastic news for a firm like New Balance.
Established in Boston about a century ago, the American footwear and clothing business has always focused on activewear, whether it running, skating, dribbling, sliding, or just strolling. Over the last decade or so, though, the brand has earned certain stylistic gravitas that it never really set out to obtain. New Balance’s hallmark models, like as its iconic 574 series, have become symbolic of the company throughout the years. Designed for purpose, not necessarily style, they have become a symbol of the stylishly unfashionable movement. Add to that much-talked-about collabs with brands like Staud, Reformation, and J.Crew, and New Balance has finally found its way into the hearts and soles of the fashion industry. So it’s not an issue of whether you should acquire a pair, but rather, which one?
To address this question, we combed through hundreds (and in some instances, tens of thousands) of customer evaluations to discover 10 of the most popular NB styles on the internet. Ahead, discover out what all the hype is about — and locate the ugly shoe best matched to your personal style.
New Balance Lifestyle Shoes
Welcome to Hype Machine, our hit-list of the best rated items around the web – according to an audience of die-hard buyers. Call this your 4-star & above only club, with access granted by our devoted-to-the-goods store editors.
At Bimori, we’re here to help you navigate this dizzying world of goods. All of our market choices are carefully picked and curated by the editorial staff. The product information reflect the price and availability at the time of publishing. If you purchase anything we link to on our site, Bimori may receive revenue.
New Balance 574 Core – Best for a Throwback Vibe
The now-famous 574 model was initially produced in 1988 and has since become iconic of the brand. In its current edition, the shoe has been constructed with modern materials so you still get that ultra-cool retro look with the advantage of the latest sneaker-making technology.
The Hype: 4.3 out of 5 stars, 710 reviews on NewBalance.com
What They’re Saying: “Love them! Super comfortable for my high arches and look amazing with whatever I wear. Perfect for traveling or for casual day in the workplace. Cool and crisp looking.” — Smarsh, NewBalance.com reviewer
Shop New Balance
New Balance 574 Core, $79.99, available at New Balance.
New Balance Fresh Foam Cruzv1 Reissue – Best for All-Day Comfort
The elegant style of this sneaker will assist you from your exercise through the rest of the day. And the sock-like top fabric and cushy midsole delivers lightweight comfort to boot. Plus, they look fantastic with leggings, jeans, or a dress.
The Hype: 4.25 out of 5 stars, 484 reviews on NewBalance.com
What They’re Saying: “Exceeded expectations. This incredibly attractive sneaker is excellent for wearing anywhere. It’s sleek and not bulky like a lot of other New Balance shoes so it’s good enough to wear out and about, but also comfortable enough to wear out walking. Its sock-like feel is tight yet the material provides enough to accommodate for a bunion which makes shoe shopping for me exceedingly difficult. I ordered my typical New Balance size and the fit is bang on. This is my new favorite New Balance sneaker and I’ll definitely get it in other colors.” — DebLee, NewBalance.com reviewer
Shop New Balance\sNew Balance Fresh Foam Cruzv1 Reissue, $79.99, available at New Balance.
New Balance Made in US 990v5 – Best for the perfect fit
These running-inspired lifestyle sneakers provide the right blend of stability and comfort. Reviewers are particularly happy with the fact that the shoes fit exactly fine – directly out of the box, no painful break-in time necessary.
The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars, 903 reviews on Zappos.com
What They’re Saying: “Wowza! More than I’ve been accustomed to spending for shoes — but the quality is greater. These sneakers are intended to last and feel like a dream to walk in. Go outstanding, go USA-made.” — Debra, Zappos.com reviewer
Shop Zapposs New Balance Made in US 990v5, $184.95, available at Zappos.
New Balance 411 V1 – Best for Mom Sneakers
A classic selection from a classic brand that’s absolutely worth adding to your always-reliable white shoe collection. Happy consumers have called this walking-oriented style “the mom shoe” — imagine the dad shoe, except better.
The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars, 7,916 reviews on Amazon.com
What They’re Saying: “Mom sneakers are the bomb shoes. These are really great. I haven’t had a structural leather or pleather shoe for a long and I’m like the stability of them a lot. They are also terrific looking for the Mom sneaker trend (Dad sneakers are the old thing) (Dad sneakers are the old thing). I’ll be living in them.” — L.E., Amazon.com reviewer
Shop Amazons New Balance 411 V1 Walking Shoe, $64.99 $43.56, available at Amazon.
New Balance 237 – Best for a Thicker Sole
NB enthusiasts who are all about the brand’s ’70s-era running shoes will like these flexible boots inspired by its vintage styles. Extra points for the thick rubber outsole, which offers for increased grip and durability.
The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars, 37 reviews on NewBalance.com
What They’re Saying: “Very comfy and really enjoy the slight ‘elevated’ sole. True to size and looks amazing! Will buy for additional nice colors.” — Bibi, NewBalance.com reviewer
Shop New Balance
New Balance 237, $74.99, available at New Balance.