If you’re looking for a sneaker designed for all-day comfort you should look no further than New Balance. The Boston brand has consistently been at the top of the lifestyle/casual footwear canon while simultaneously holding a top spot within the world of top-level performance. They have a strong reputation for supreme durability and ever since the “Dad” wave from 2017 that hasn’t seemed to crash, they’ve been enjoying an unusually high place in the sneaker world. As with any brand, a lot of sneakerheads wonder: what are the best New Balance sneakers around?
With sneakers coming straight from the United States and the United Kingdom they’ve got a strong series of recent releases including some absolutely must-have collabs. New Balance doesn’t necessarily grab all of the headlines but real sneakerheads understand the importance of the brand and can recognize that they’ve certainly proven themselves as one of the best brands out right now.
We took a look through New Balance’s extensive catalog and pulled out the 15 Best New Balance Sneakers available right now. Some collaborations, some rock-solid general releases, the brand is on an incredible sprint right now and there’s plenty of awesome opportunities to get in on New Balance.
Easily New Balance’s most iconic and timeless sneaker is the 990v4. Known for its classic “Dad” shape and high-quality comfort, the 990v4 is something of sneaker royalty. Everyone absolutely needs a pair, whether you’re trying to get a fit off or just taking a walk to the deli, it’s a sneaker that has bridged the gap from the simplicity and became a streetwear icon. Simply between its standing with regards to the “Dad” wave, DMV area, the v4 is a legend in its own right and is considered by most as the crown jewel of New Balance.
Turning up the “New England factor” up to 11, New Balance tapped Beantown boutique Concepts for a sneaker that paid homage to JFK’s famous vacation spot, Hyannis. The sneaker is a famous and high priced piece of Americana but for fans of the 999 and President Kennedy, it’s revered as one of the best sneakers to represent the northeastern United States. The sneaker features rich touches of suede and mesh with seaside motifs hitting the laces, sock liner, and tongue.
The New Balance 992 is a sneaker akin to the 993 but with a more chunky outlook on life. The overlays of synthetic and mesh uppers sit atop an extra-thick midsole. Unlike the 993, these colorways aren’t simple but bold, bright, and incredibly complicated, allowing the brand to get more in touch with their creative side. 2020’s “Multicolor” release was a great example of the brand’s colorful potential — the sneaker came drenched in a variety of eye-catching blue, yellow, green, and orange.
New Balance has a lot of classic sneakers, but none encapsulates the brand more than the all-day capacity of the 574. The “Classic Grey” stands tall as the perfect sneaker for almost anything and the patterning of suedes and mesh bring the sneaker full tilt. “Classic Grey” was one of three colorways and silhouettes to embrace the brand’s “Grey Day”, a moment that put the spotlight on the relaxed yet expert execution for a casual, simple sneaker.
The New Balance 993 is another great sneaker from the brand that epitomizes both the timeless cool and simplicity that they offer. The 993 has some very basic colorways making the sneaker an easy and incredibly comfortable go-to model. This 933 gets dressed up in a variety of grey hues making the perfect sneaker to go with any outfit.
The New Balance 998 is one of the more slept on but better models from the brand. Not only is it the perfect “Dad” sneaker but turned the “Dad” level up with this 2014 release. They put an academic spin on the sneaker, and others, with a special pack honoring American literature. Of course, the sneakers are made in the USA which makes them a little more special, but these “Moby Dick” themed sneakers really take the cake. The result was a thematic and conceptual success, seen on other silhouettes like the 997 which came dressed as another American literary powerhouse; J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.
Similar to the creative strength of Concepts is Bodega, another sneaker boutique that’s made a name for itself in its physical brick and mortar stores and its ability to craft quality silhouettes and unique stories. The Boston-based creative outfit collaborated with New Balance on the 997S silhouette – another glowing example with the “No Bad Days” colorway. They also put their spin on another 997S but the “No Bad Days” was surely the must-have of the two projects.
Like a true New England legend, Boston-based brand Concepts is usually right on the mark when they get together with New Balance. The 991.5 “Lake Havasu” is another great example of the low key power of New Balance hybrid sneakers. The sneaker comes with a unique colorway that includes a rich teal upper and yellow hit on the heel cup, and it’s made in the UK. The sneaker’s name also is no accident, this sneaker comes with a quirky story as well.
NB has a great reputation as a running/performance brand but that part of the brand mostly takes a backseat to the casual/lifestyle sneakers that have brought the brand to new heights. Within their division of performance, they have some excellent outdoor options. With treaded outsole details found on silhouettes like the Trail buster, NB is a solid option for outdoorsy sneakers. The 801 is a super tough sneaker with a treaded outsole, giving sneakerheads another reason to pick New Balance.
The 990 is one of New Balance’s best and most iconic silhouettes. The brand continues to revolutionize and further the model with iterations that have soared to the heights of sneaker popularity like the v4. Similar to the body of the v4, the v5 delivered again but with a fresh, new take on the staple design last year. The v5 originally came dressed in the classic white/grey colorway you typically see from the v4 but of the new colorways for the v5, I personally enjoy the murdered out look of the triple black colorway.
The New Balance 827 made a strong first impression with a multi-colorway collab courtesy of Aime Leon Dore. The NYC boutique has made a name for itself among the streets of SOHO and brought the same upscale, super luxe, and chic style to the vintage-styled runner. The 827 has seen the creative imprint from other brands (see their Stray Rats project) but didn’t sing as true or bright as the playful color scheme from ALD which yielded three perfect for summer sneakers.
The New Balance 1500.9 is a sleeper silhouette from the brand, a hybrid mixture of multiple silhouettes the 1500.9 delivers on a sleek look and playful “Summer Nine” colorway with richly colored suedes and an upper of mesh and synthetics. Another interesting point is that it’s made in England, one of the few releases from the brand that’s from the UK, both rare and refined and everything that’s great about the brand. The colorway is truly unique with a mint green on the heel, navy blue on the rand, and a nice pink touch on the branding hit and tongue.
For rare sneakers, New Balance probably isn’t your first idea or last stop, but it should be. The New Balance 1300JP is a sneaker so rare it’s only released every five years and 2020’s contribution was certainly what fans of the brand were expecting. The design hails from 1985 and was originally loved by runners who described them as a “sports car for your feet.” The colorway is the same as the original design and with production only running every five years for the 1300, you can bet it’s going to be top-notch. Another cool detail is that the sneaker is made in Japan, a nice note for anyone trying to add to their collection of non-USA made New Balance sneakers.
The New Balance 327 saw its debut in 2020, but before the general release of the new waffle runner, the brand partnered with luxe streetwear brand Casablanca for a hot summer collab. The partnership brought two sneakers, one in green, one in orange, to the public, giving them a sneak peek at the brand’s new silhouette. The Parisian brand elevated the style of the silhouette and set forth a strong precedent for future collabs with the 327.
If you’re even slightly familiar with New Balance you know that they have strong ties to vintage running. Among those early runners is the 850, a 1996 classic brought back to life by the brand in 2019 with an OG Reissue. The wide-soled sneaker is a pillar of stability with opportunities for skating, working out, and casual wear. The sneaker looks best in it’s white/blue colorway covering which highlights the mesh and suede upper with an ABZORB midsole to finish off the simplistic and minimalistic design.
Kawhi Leonard has been one of eBay’s biggest sellers over the course of this past year, proving not only his star power, but the power of New Balance in general. While Leonard has released multiple colorways with the brand, the “Sunrise” iteration remains arguably his most popular.
Dropping this past June, the “White Green” colorway was just in time for college football aka “University Season” if your team happened to have white and green colors. Yes we’re in winter, but white and green colorways always work well with the spring and summer seasons, and sneaker buying is always about planning ahead.
There are two “automatics” in the sneaker world, retro styles and neutral colors. The 530v2 has both. It’s a classic look that can be paired with anything, and while isn’t too “overbearing,” it does stand out (especially when paired with the right outfit).
Another university/team classic. If you’re even in doubt about whether or not a sneaker is going to work, go with a University Red colorway. It has never failed anyone in the history of sneakers.
Every sneaker list needs a grey colorway. Don’t ask us why, it’s an unspoken sneaker rule. The 990v5 “Made In USA” dropped summer 2019, and while it’s been two years, they are very much still in style.
Stray Rats has collabed with New Balance a few times, and each iteration has become a relative grail for a lot of fans of the Miami-based label. The 827 from a few years back is our pick for the best of their work together, but pretty much everything Stray Rats has done with NB is a certified classic.
JJJJound’s collabs with a lot of sportswear giants over the past few years have been incredible. The label really demonstrates how a few minor changes to existing silhouettes can put the cherry on top, making them a grail-level sneaker. This iteration of the 990v3—like with many JJJJound collabs—is an IYKYK sort of collab that will get diehard sneaker heads pretty excited.
This iteration of the 2002R from earlier this year is a fun, minimal take on a classic silhouette. The fraying will continue to wear with consistent use, making these a great option for sneaker fans who like to watch their kicks deteriorate and enjoy the wabi-sabi element of fashion.
This is the second Aime Leon Dore collab to make this last, and with good reason. All of NB’s collabs with the New York-based designer have been beautiful, but our pick is this brown iteration of the 993, a perfectly muted sneaker to add to your rotation. These won’t turn heads like some of the more vibrant entries on the list, but they’re an incredibly approachable and versatile pair of kicks to add to your rotation.
550s have had a meteoric rise to prominence in the last few years, in part due to the high profile iterations produced in collaboration with Aime Leon Dore. A lot of the hyped colorways of this silhouette boast pretty atmospheric resale prices, but these beautiful royal blue kicks can be copped for a pretty accessible price. So if you’re in it for the style, not the hype, pick these up.
Part of what makes New Balance so amazing is how many silhouettes the brand has produced in its lengthy tenure as a leading sportswear company. In this collab with Joe Freshgoods, they dove deep into the bag to utilize a very slept on silhouette: the 9060. This is a great option for those looking for an approachable pair of accent kicks that aren’t particularly vibrant, but certainly not dull.