New Balance in itself is a strange Company, But it is Strange in the best way possible.
Starting out in the beginning of the 1900s as an arch support manufacturer. New balance has since then grown to become one of the giants in the American shoe industry. Right up there alongside the likes of Nike and Converse.
Some people will argue that New Balance is more American than Nike due to the fact that New Balance still keeps a big part of their shoe factories the United States.
It used to be 100% made in America. But most likely due to pressure from the industry, New Balance has found themselves required to move some of their manufacturing to the east.
Although New Balance does have some manufacturing done in the east this only reduces their shoes to be about 70% made in the USA, since they still ship the unfinished shoe back to the US and finishes it there. To keep that “Made In The USA” image as true as possible. Some models are 100% made in the USA but not all of them.
Even though all of New balances shoes may not be 100% American this does not mean that heir shoes are not of high quality.
New Balance is known for creating comfortable and serviceable footwear that is made to entice the person who wears the shoe to exercise. And even if it doesn’t, it at least gives them a shoe that is comfortable to walk in.
One of the many confusing parts about New Balance is their variety. The amount of options that you have with this brand is unbelievable.
Think of a number between 200 and 1500 and type in “New Balance” at the beginning, chances are that New Balance has a shoe with that number and due to their enormous collection, it can be difficult to pick out their best models.
But do not worry because today I will present to you 5 great options when it comes to buying New Balance shoes for men. And who knows maybe you´ll end up finding your new favourite pair of kicks after this article.
As our first pick, we start out with one of the classics The 990, or more specifically the 990v4. released more than 30 years ago the 990 has since its initial release seen some changes in presentation. But despite this, the shoe has kept the core elements that made it great in the first place.
Its newest iteration the 990v4 comes in a nice suede upper that unlike its competitors, is made from pigskin rather than cow to make it more durable. Alongside that, it comes with a midsole made of dual density collar foam which utilizes New Balances ENCAP technology to enhance performance.
The 990 comes in a variety of colour options as well. The 990 comes in a variety of both lighter and darker colourways.
So if you like the 990v4 model, you are bound to find a colourway that suits you and if you don´t, you actually have the options to customize your own 990 on New balances website in the colours of your choosing, although I should note that you only have the option to customize the 990v3 but both models look very identical so it shouldn´t be a problem.
New balance is also known to keep their supplies steady and not artificially limit them to drive up sales. So if you like this shoe and want to buy it in a retail store rather than on their website chances are that you will be able to find the 990v4 in any store that peddles New balance shoes.
Due to New Balance having a big portion of their manufacturing done in the US. The price for a pair of New balance sneakers used to be some of the highest on the market. They were the first company to charge both 50$ and 100$ which were a lot of money for a pair of sneakers back in the day. But things have since changed.
Despite the price being relatively high for a pair of sneakers, it is still lower than what Nike charges for their new releases and a pair of New Balance shoes will last you longer due to the difference in company philosophy and quality.
So if you are looking for a modern-day dad shoe that is comfortable and good looking. then maybe you should consider the 990
Moving away from one of New balances newer iterations. The 574 is not only one of New Balances most popular shoe but it is also one of their all-time classics.
Coming in a premium suede/textile upper alongside an EVA midsole that also utilizes Encap technology. The 574 is a great shoe for the guy who is looking for something comfortable and simple but who don´t like paying more than 100$ for a pair of sneakers.
The 574 comes in a variety of colourways so if you like the model it shouldn´t be too hard to find yourself a pair that you like. Having said that I personally believe that the 574 looks best when it is only using one colour like all red, all black or all white.
But if you find yourself in a position where you don´t like any of the colours presented to you then don´t worry because New Balance gives you the option to customize your own personal pair of 574s
The price for a pair of 574 is actually pretty great if you don´t like spending too much money on a pair of kicks. The retail price for a pair of 574s is set at 79-89$ or 75-85£ which is a lot lower than its before mentioned big brother.
Despite the low price the 574 still maintains the New Balance stamp of approval when it comes to quality assurance.
Not only is the 574 a classic shoe at a low price. But they will most likely last you a longer time than any other shoe in that price range.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article. New balance keeps most of their production domestic and also have some parts of it done in the east. But what I didn´t mention is that they also produce some model in the United Kingdom.
The 1500 is a shoe that is solely produced in the UK and it is also New Balances best take on the running shoe concept.
Coming in a pigskin/mesh upper, alongside an ENCAP midsole. The 1500 is New Balances best-running shoe to date. But despite it being their best running shoe it’s rather difficult to buy, at least if you are an American.
Due to the costly process of shipping out of the EU, the 1500s availability to the American consumer is relatively limited when compared to its counterparts and the options you have when it comes to colour is therefore also limited.
However, if you find yourself being from the UK chances are that its a lot easier and cheaper for you to buy a pair of 1500s and the shoe also comes with a bigger variety of colour options.
The price point for both markets is also noticeable. Coming in at 200-210$ in the US versus 130-180£ in the UK. It’s definitely one of New Balances most expensive shoes but that is to be expected when you are looking at the best of what New balance has to offer.
Although it may prove to be a more difficult endeavour for the average American to acquire a pair of 1500s. I would say that if you have the money and like the available colours. The 1500 is a great shoe to buy if you are looking for a high quality running shoe
Fun fact. Former president Bill Clinton used to run in the 1500s during his presidential years
With the rise of skater culture throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s. New balance decided to appeal to this growing crowd by providing them with their own take on a skater shoe which were the 420.
Combining their shoe philosophy with the skater trends at the time. New Balance created a shoe that not only provides the skater with a firm grip when they are on the board. But also comfort for when they are off the board
The 420 comes in a suede/mesh upper with a midsole that uses New Balances REVlite technology to create comfort while still keeping the shoe light.
The shoe comes in a variety of colours so it shouldn´t be too hard to find yourself a pair that you like.
The price point of the 420 isn´t too bad either. Ranging from about 85$ or between 65-70£. The 420 is definitely one of New Balances cheaper options if you are looking for a simple shoe that doesn’t exceed 100$.
All in all, if you like the look of skater shoes and want quality for your money but at the same time don´t want to spend more than 100$. Then the 420 would be an ideal choice for you whether you skate or not.
The Fresh Foam Cruz v2 Knit
The last addition to the list over some of the best choices when it comes to New Balance shoes for men is the Fresh Foam Cruz v2 Knit
Despite having a rather long and strange name. The Cruz v2 is one of New Balances newer additions to the family.
Following the trend of creating sneakers that utilize foam technology. New Balance has created the Cruz v2 that utilizes what they call Fresh Foam technology.
Fresh Foam is comparable with Adidases Boost and Nikes React technology. Creating comfort for the consumer by turning the midsole into a piece of foam.
This comfortable tech combined with a suede/knit upper creates the Cruz v2 and while it may borrow some of its looks from the Ultra Boost and the NMD. New Balance distinguishes themselves by making sure that the Cruz v2 is not only a trendy and comfortable shoe. But also one that you can afford as well.
The retail price for a pair of Cruz v2s is 85$ and 80£ making it one of the most affordable shoes that utilize foam technology.
Granted this shoe is a bit different than the rest of New Balances catalogue. But I appreciate their incentive to innovate and provide the market with a cheaper option for people who would like to try foam technology. But can’t afford to pay 180$ for a pair of Ultra Boosts.
The Cruz v2 also comes in a variety of colours so if you like what you see and want to feel New Balances take on foam technology for yourself. Then I would recommend that you go a buy a pair of Cruz v2s.
And there you have it. 5 options to consider if you are looking to buy New Balance Shoes for men. I hope that my article helped ease your decision making and if not, then I at least hope that you had a good read.
If you have any questions or suggestions for an article in the future. Then leave it in a comment down below and I will get back to you.