The 1080's comfortable Fresh Foam midsole delivers an energetic ride. This maximally cushioned shoe gets top marks for excellent shock absorption. Features a super sleek design.
The fit is a little narrow and some found the overall feel a bit too stiff.
The Zante is lightweight and features an affordable price tag. The upper is stretchy to help with fit and reviewers with bunions found the accommodating upper super comfortable.
Not a good choice for long-distance training or heavier runners who may need more protection underfoot.
A super-flexible shoe with minimal cushioning for a lightweight feel. Stretchy upper is accommodating. Shoe features a Vibram brand outsole that provides exceptional traction. Outsole is also incredibly durable.
Upper is stretchy but most reviewers felt the need to size up regardless.
Features a highly cushioned midsole that provides a stable ride. Midsole materials are also incredibly durable and the forefoot is nice and wide. Reviewers felt the shoe provided adequate arch support, too.
Not appropriate for severe overpronators. Some felt the shoe lacked support.
A little more built-up than the Minimus, these deliver a well-cushioned ride. Equipped with grippy outsole, the shoe can handle the roads and trails equally well. We love the airy mesh upper and wide design.
Not suitable for narrow feet. Some runners had issues with durability.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Whether you’re a novice runner or you’ve been running for years, your most important purchase by far is a pair of running shoes. New Balance is a trusted name for the quality, longevity, and design of its sneakers, making the brand an excellent choice for running shoes. With New Balance, there’s enough variety to suit every size, style, and instep.
But before you add a pair of New Balance running shoes to your cart, there are some considerations to keep front of mind. Whether your foot has a low, medium, or high arch will play a factor in your shoe choice. Also consider the weight of the shoe, its design, and the materials that provide traction and comfort at the same time.
At BestReviews, we’re pleased to help inform your purchase. Below, you’ll find additional information on women’s New Balance running shoes. Keep reading to learn more about these running shoes and their several variations or check out our favorites above.
If you’re new to running, you might wonder what sets running shoes apart from other kinds of shoes. The act of running puts extra pressure on the muscles and joints of your foot. A running shoe is designed to support the repetitive motion and absorb the shock of your feet hitting the ground. Running shoes are generally lightweight, with a thick heel for cushioning, stiff sole, and motion control for stability.
Upper: This is the fabric that holds the rest of the shoe together. This is commonly made from mesh, knit, leather, or a combination of materials. The upper also includes other shoe parts such as the tongue, which is the flap of fabric that shields your foot from the pressure of the laces; the toe box, which is the tip of the shoe that encases your toes; and the insole, which is a removable insert that serves as additional cushioning inside the shoe.
Sole: This is divided into two parts: the midsole and the outsole. The midsole is tucked between the insole and the outsole of the running shoe and is usually made of foam for maximum comfort and cushioning. The outsole is the part of the shoe that makes contact with the ground. The outsole is constructed with a stiffer, more durable material than the midsole, though some outsoles do include foam for additional cushioning.
Heel drop: While it isn’t technically part of a shoe’s anatomy, you’ll want to consider the heel drop too. This refers to the thickness of the shoe’s heel. A high heel drop (think 7 millimeters or more) is great for runners who land heel first or have a sensitive Achilles tendon.
If you’ve never heard this term before, pronation refers to the way one’s arch collapses upon hitting the ground and the degree to which it causes the foot to roll inward or outward. With overpronation, the arch collapses and contacts more of the ground, causing the ankle to roll inward. This is more common with people who have flat feet. Underpronation, also known as oversupination, is when the arch collapses with little contact to the ground, which places more impact on the outside of the foot and causes the ankle to roll outward.
Why is this important? Those with under- and overpronation are more likely to experience injuries while running. You want to know the pronation of your feet and search for a shoe that caters to that. New Balance sells quite a few models that help control pronation. Some of its shoes include a medial post, which is a material lodged in the midsole. It’s firmer than the rest of the midsole and helps to stabilize it, which in turn controls the arch and pronation.
Pronation is closely related to the arch of the foot, which is another critical component when choosing running shoes. If you don’t know the height of your arches, there’s a simple way to find out: dip one foot in a shallow pan of water; place that food on a sheet of brown kraft paper; examine the footprint on the paper.
Normal arch: A foot with a normal arch shows about half the arch in the footprint. This is the most common foot type and you have free rein when it comes to running shoe options.
Low arch: If most of your arch is visible in the print, you have a low arch and a tendency to overpronate. In this case, a shoe with a medial post or internal wedge will serve your feet best.
High arch: If your arch has little to no contact with the paper, you have a high arch and a tendency to underpronate. Runners with a high arch should prioritize a well-cushioned New Balance running shoe or a stability running shoe.
The surface you run on affects the wear and tear your New Balance shoes endure.
Grass: Turf is gentler than pavement and won’t exert as much pressure on your feet. However, grass is smooth and can be slippery. You want a shoe with an outsole that has a solid grip and well-defined tread.
Pavement: This common running surface is the least forgiving and the hardest on the foot. You need shoes that offer stability and support, with a durable outsole to withstand the wear and tear of the hard surface on the rubber.
Sand: Quite a few people enjoy running on the beach. Sand is soft and can be unstable. Find shoes that have a firm grip and enough support to keep your ankles stable.
Dirt: Trails provide a firm surface while being more forgiving than pavement. While trail running, you can encounter gravel, twigs, and other items that can trip you, so find a shoe with an outsole with good tread and grip.
Uppers: The uppers of running shoes are typically made from breathable materials like knit polyester and mesh. Classic running shoes are made from suede, but, unfortunately, it's not very weatherproof.
Midsole: The midsole is commonly manufactured with ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and polyurethane.
Outsole: The outsole of the shoe is often a stuff rubber like carbon rubber or something softer like blown rubber.
Interior: The interior, such as the insole, tongue, and heel collar, are made with a combination of fabric and foam that supports your feet as you run.
If you’re an avid runner, consider purchasing two or more pairs of shoes so you can alternate them and help them last longer.
New Balance running shoes are as stylish as they are comfortable. You’ll find dozens of different styles, designs, and color schemes. Those who like a shoe with a particular flair will be pleased to see shoes in shades of pink, purple, and mauve. The classic New Balance shoe is typically black and white, often with a pop of color. Another classic New Balance feature is the trademark N logo on the outer part of the shoe. Not everyone is a fan of logos, so for them, there are a few New Balance running shoes with a less-prominent logo. So there’s something for every style choice.
Quality running shoes aren’t cheap, but they’re a good investment if you’re an avid runner, and New Balance offers a range of price points from $55 to $225 for a pair of women’s running shoes. The price is affected by the materials and any enhancements, such as ankle support and motion control.
Inexpensive: Even at the lower range of $55 to $80, there are more than enough options. Some of the least-expensive shoes are made for sprinting and are sleek with minimal padding or extra support. Other shoes in this range offer ample padding, ankle support, and grip.
Mid-range: Running shoes in the $85 to $125 range are higher-end New Balance models such as FuelCell, with a flexible rubber sole designed to propel runners forward. You’ll also notice differences in design, with the more expensive New Balance shoes having a futuristic aesthetic. There may also be particular features, such as a plush tongue, for maximum comfort.
Expensive: You might want to spend $125 or more, depending on your needs. Runners who want to accommodate under- or overpronation can find shoes with medial posts and other corrective features. You’ll also see New Balance shoes with the company’s proprietary materials ABZORB and ACTEVA, both formulated to absorb impact while cushioning the foot.
If your feet fall asleep or cramp after a run, your shoes are probably too small. To be sure of your size, measure your feet with a ruler. Factors such as pregnancy and age can impact shoe size over time.
A. That depends on how often you run and the terrain you run on. The general rule of thumb is that you should replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles or every three to six months.
A. New Balance offers shoes in multiple widths, including a wide fit. New Balance does offer a handy fit guide on its website. If you’re between sizes, it’s recommended that you size up.
A. No. New Balance shoes should be comfortable right out the box. And don’t expect them to stretch significantly with wear.