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Best New Balance running shoes: Top running shoes for beginners to marathon lovers

Michael Sawh
27 Jul 2022
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New Balance has one of the best lineups of running shoes around – here’s our pick of the best

Looking for the best New Balance running shoes to buy? New Balance is one of the biggest names in the running shoe game, so whether you’re on the hunt for something for race day or you need something that fares better in the mud than on the road, you have plenty of options.

New Balance shoes cover all the ability bases, from beginners to more experienced runners, and its foam and carbon plate technologies are right up there with the very best in the industry.

If you’re sold on New Balance shoes but don’t know which ones to go for, or which are best suited to your running style, level and ability, we’ve picked the best New Balance running shoes you can buy now.

READ NEXT: The best budget-friendly running shoes


Best New Balance running shoes 2022: At a glance


How to choose the best New Balance running shoe for you

What type of running are you buying them for?

If you’re looking for something to use on your gym treadmill for a quick 5km or something for training for your next half marathon or marathon, you’ll be able to find a New Balance shoe for the job.

When training for a marathon, for instance, you’ll need a shoe with an accommodating upper and enough cushioning to offer good comfort and protection over longer distances. For shorter, sharper runs when you’re concentrating on getting faster, however, you want something with a light design that still packs plenty of midsole foam to make those runs enjoyable.

Meanwhile, those chasing personal bests, especially over longer distances such as half or full marathons, will want to consider a shoe with a carbon plate inside. Combined with other elements such as lots of extra bouncy foam, carbon plates help enhance energy return from the midsole, lend an extra spring to your step and can reduce fatigue. These types of shoes do tend to be more expensive, however.

Identify the type of running you’re going to do and the distances you hope to tackle and that information will better inform you on what shoes to grab.

How do you pronate?

Pronation refers to the way your foot rolls when you’re walking or running, and whether you’re a neutral pronator or you under- or over-pronate, this crucial piece of information is central to picking the right pair of shoes for you.

Indeed, like other shoe brands, New Balance breaks its shoes down in terms of type of pronation to make sure you get a shoe that best suits your level of pronation.

If you don’t know whether you under- or over-pronate, you can head into most running stores to perform a running gait analysis and arm yourself with the information to pick a New Balance running shoe that’s the ideal match for your running style.

Sticking to roads or going off-road?

It’s also worth thinking about the type of terrain you’re running on. If you spend most of your time running on tarmac or pavement, then you’ll likely want something with maximum cushioning to cope with the repetitive pounding your joints take from running on such hard surfaces.

If you’re planning to regularly wander off into gravel or traipse through the mud in the woods, however, you’ll want to look for a trail specific shoe instead. Trail shoes typically have more aggressive soles to provide more grip on loose and slippery terrain.

They also offer tougher uppers to protect against trail debris, often come with superior water resistance and tend to deliver a more supportive fit to give you more confidence on less predictable surfaces.

READ NEXT: Our selection of the best running shoes for overpronation

1. New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v12: Best shoe for comfort and big mileage

Price: £145 | Buy men’s | Buy women’s from Sports Shoes

New Balance’s 1080 range has emerged as a shoe that offers great versatility, so if you’re looking for one shoe that can tick a lot of running boxes, this is the one for you.

Key to that is the generous amount of Fresh Foam X midsole foam, which offers superb comfort for easing off the pace and some bounce when you need to pick things back up again.

The blown rubber outsole is built to soak up a load of run time and we’ve found it highly resistant to wear. The HypoKnit upper is solid, too, hugging the foot snugly but also offering some stretch. There’s also plenty of support for longer, more arduous runs.

The Fresh Foam X 1080v12 is a great option for taking it easy on the speed and building up running time. It’s also a good shoe for wearing between runs if you need something you can walk around in.

Key details – Weight: 292g; Drop: 8mm; Pronation: Neutral; Midsole foam: Fresh Foam X

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2. New Balance Fresh Foam More v3: Best New Balance running shoe for daily training

Price: £91 | Buy men’s | Buy women’s from New Balance

This is one of the cheapest New Balance running shoes you can pick up, but don’t judge it by price. This is a great option if you’re looking for a shoe with soft cushioning that is equipped to log long training miles.

Key to its solid daily trainer credentials is New Balance’s Fresh Foam midsole cushioning technology, which offers a soft but responsive ride.

It weighs 310g, so it isn’t particularly light, and it can feel a little clunky at times, but that’s countered by an upper that balances things out on the weight front. It’s well engineered, that’s spacious and a good fit for wide feet. There’s a nicely padded tongue, too, and laces that sit snug on the top of the feet to provide good comfort.

New Balance’s Fresh Foam is what really shines through here, though, making it a shoe that works at easy to moderate speeds with the capacity to pick up the pace, despite that noticeable heft.

Key details – Weight: 310g; Drop: 4mm; Pronation: Neutral; Midsole foam: Fresh Foam

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3. New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v7: Best New Balance running shoe for trail running

Price: £130 | Buy men’s | Buy women’s from New Balance

Runners seeking an off-road companion could do a lot worse than the Hierro v7. It might feel slightly firmer than other trail shoes, but with New Balance’s latest Fresh Foam X cushioning in the midsole, it offers a good balance between comfort and control.

Down below is a grippy Vibram outsole with a lug pattern to make sure there’s plenty of grip on a range of terrain and in both dry and wet conditions. And there’s plenty of protection from rocks and roots, too, especially around the toes. The spacious upper is made from synthetic and mesh elements to offer a snug fit, which also offers good structure and support.

The Fresh Foam X Hierro v7 is perhaps best suited to less technical trail terrain but it has the level of cushioning, comfort and grip that means it has the capacity to go long. If you need something that works for big weekly off-road mileage, this is the shoe for you.

Key details – Weight: 301g; Drop: 8mm; Pronation: Neutral; Midsole foam: Fresh Foam X

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4. New Balance Fuelcell RC Elite v2: Best New Balance running shoe for racing

Price: £210 | Buy men’s | Buy women’s from New Balance

If you’re after a shoe to go fast in and chase personal bests, this is the New Balance shoe you want on your feet.

The RC Elite v2 matches up a full-length carbon fibre plate for much-needed energy return with a higher stack height than the Elite v1 and New Balance’s FuelCell foam for plenty of bounce.

There’s a knit upper to help keep the overall weight down and an outsole that reinforces key areas without adding too much extra bulk. The outsole is best suited for roads and adds to the excitable sensation you get when running in this shoe.

It’s a shoe that offers an enjoyable, springy ride and has a sleek look to match. It excels when running at speed but is capable of maintaining a stable ride at slower speeds, too.

It’s one to keep for race days and should work for up to marathon distances. The price is steep but it’s cheaper than some other carbon racers, making it one to look at if you want something that’s built for going fast.

Key details – Weight: 219g; Drop: 10mm; Pronation: Neutral; Midsole foam: FuelCell

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5. New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Pacer: Best New Balance running shoe for 5k and 10k races

Price: £159.99 | Buy men’s | Buy women’s from New Balance

In a departure from the recent glut of high-stacked racing shoes, the Fuecell SuperComp Pacer combines a carbon plate with a more traditional racing flat design for ultra fast performance.

Along with a thin, well ventilated upper, New Balance’s new Energy Arc carbon plate setup is designed to reduce weight while still offering a good level of energy return. It’s matched up with a double layer of New Balance’s FuelCell midsole to offer a bouncy ride.

The thinner, low-profile sole means it doesn’t offer the right level of cushioning for longer distances, but there is plenty of snap and responsiveness, so this is one to keep in your locker for short distance races and interval sessions. If you don’t fancy a high-stacked running shoe and want something to go fast in, the SuperComp Pacer is a strong choice.

Key specs Weight: 201g; Drop: 8mm; Pronation: Neutral; Midsole foam: Fuelcell

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