Do New Balance Run Small, Big, or True to Size?

If you’ve landed on this page, you’re going to get detailed answers to these queries: do New Balance run small? How do they fit? Are they run true to size?

Generally, New Balance shoes run true to size if the model comes in a wide range of widths to accommodate feet of different widths.

But, this is not true for all New Balance shoes. There’s a lot more than just answering Yes or No regarding New Balance shoes sizing. So, read this guide till the end as I’ve given some examples that’ll make all your confusions regarding New Balance shoes sizing clear.

Whether it’s walking, jogging, running, or just standing all day long on your feet, getting a pair of New Balance shoes that look and feel comfortable is crucial to your activities. New Balance shoes have been one of the most popular brands in America since its inception in 1906.

The increased success helped lead to their creation of the NB line which included different models and sizes to meet consumers’ needs. New Balance shoes are known for combining comfort, support, functionality, and fashion. The primary thing you need to know about New Balance sizing is that they have a different range of sizes than most other shoe brands.

Your feet aren’t one-size-fits-all. New Balance design their shoes differently based on their style and your foot type. As a result, if you’re 8 in brand 1 and 7 in brand 2, that doesn’t mean that when you get 8 on brand 3, you’d get a perfect fit! It might turn out to be extra wide or extremely narrow for you. Moreover, the size you’ve for New Balance running shoes might not be the same for their walking or working shoes series.

So, here are all the things that I’m going to cover regarding New Balance sizing and comfy fit:

  • New Balance size chart
  • The fit of New Balance Shoes
  • New Balance sizing comparison with other brands like Nike

How Do New Balance Shoes Fit – Do They Require Break-in?

New Balance shoes are known for their maximum comfort and support, no matter what your foot type may be or what activity level you prefer.

If you’ve ever had to break in a new pair of shoes, you know how uncomfortable it can be. New Balance shoes are different because they’re designed to fit your foot from day one and provide continued support as you break them in.

New Balance have put together the following simple guidelines to help you get just the right fit for your new shoes.

  • Make sure that your heel fits snugly and doesn’t slip
  • There should be enough room in the toe box for your toes to wiggle
  • The midsole should be in the correct area of your foot’s arch

Regarding New Balance shoes’ fit, after interviewing several users and going through New Balance sizing relevant forums discussions, I’d say in general, New Balance shoes are true to size if you’ve medium-wide feet. Their shoes normally offer enough room in their toe box due to which they give a snug fit around your forefoot, and you won’t feel your toes being crunched.

In general, I’ve told you how New Balance shoes mostly fit. Now, I’ll give examples of some famous New Balance shoes, and specifically discuss them about their fit.

How New Balance Shoes are Classified?

New Balance shoes are classified based on their fit, comfort, stability and support. If you check each shoe model, it consists of some numeric numbers which tell about its category.

Let’s take an example of the New Balance 570 model. You should only focus on the last two digits to get the maximum information of New Balance shoes regarding their performance. The two digits i.e. 70 specify the category of that particular shoe. It ranges from 40 (lowest) to 90 (highest).

The lower numbers like 40, 50, and 60 are for high stability purposes. You can wear them for walking if you’re suffering from overpronation. The numbers 70 and 80 are for short-distance or casual runners. The highest number 90 is for long-distance high-speed marathons.

Numbering system of new balance shoes sizing and fit

You can also check the numbering system guide by New Balance for a detailed understanding of the last two numbers. These series, represented by the last two numbers, are further categorized. For instance, the 70 series ranges from 71 to 79.  Here, the technology is more or less the same as long as the shoe model lies in the ‘570’ category. The higher number only represents the newer series and modern style. The comfort and support will be almost the same.

How Do New Balance 574 Fit?

I’ve interviewed several New Balance 574 users and carried out a detailed survey on relevant forums. According to the majority, New Balance 574 shoes have a small toe box due to which they offer a snug fit in the front. But, after some days of wearing, they stretch out and offer a comfy fit.

New Balance 574 shoes seem to be both light and strong to make you feel comfortable when moving around. This versatile shoe combines old-school style with modern comfort, featuring a mixture of premium leather upper and mesh.

New Balance 574 shoes offer a wide range of sizes to fit any foot and come in standard and wide-width options to fit any foot shape.

So, for most people, New Balance 574 shoes pair came out to be true to size. If you’ve extra wide feet, you might have to go for a half size up. But, I’d still suggest you first go for your original size with a wide width. If you find the shoes small, you can return them and go for a half size up.

I analyzed the reviews of New Balance 574 sizing and fit on Zappos and Amazon, here is the breakdown.

How Do New Balance 574 Fit

Based on the users’ reviews, these shoes provide moderate arch support due to which you may have to put your custom orthotics that can disturb the overall fit. So, if you have high arches and need to place orthotic inserts, you might have to buy a half size up.

Do New Balance 530 Run Small?

New Balance 530 shoes will run small for people with extra wide feet. These are some casual type sneakers that you can wear to walk around the house, and for just casual low-mileage running. This is the shoe that you can wear just about anywhere casually without looking out of place.

New Balance 530 shoes are available in only standard width pairs. Furthermore, this is a unisex pair that comes in in terms of Euro sizes. You can refer to new balance shoes size chart to convert it to US standard sizes. If you’re men or women, having regular width feet, these shoes will run true to size. If you have even medium-wide feet, then you might have to order a half size up as their toe box is a bit tight.

Do New Balance 990 Run Small or True to Size?

If you’ve wide feet, New Balance 990 shoes run true to size for you. These are lightweight and high-performance iconic style running sneakers for long mileage marathons with high responsiveness. These shoes come in a large range of widths from extremely narrow to extremely wide to fully adjust to your foot’s shape.

These shoes are specifically designed for people with wide feet. Even with the narrow width options, these shoes offer plenty of room in the toe box. Therefore, they run a bit large. But, it doesn’t cause a problem for people with wide feet. The shoes will run true to size for them. But if you like a snug and tight fit and want to prevent heel slippage, you can try a half down.

If you have slim and narrow feet, I’d advise you to definitely go for half a size down so that they fit perfectly around your front foot.

New Balance Width Size Chart

The ball of foot is the widest section of the foot based on which width of a particular shoe is decided. For this, the length of the foot from heel to ball of foot is measured. Then, based on the length, the width of the New Balance shoe is decided.

You can measure your foot width easily using Brannock Device I have explained in detail in another article on sizing guide. On this foot size measuring device, there is a scale on which widths (from A to D) are expressed corresponding to the length you measure from heel to the ball of foot.

New Balance has defined different ranges of width for men and women because they’ve different foot structure. Women’s shoes are wider in the forefoot region to keep their posture stable. Due to this reason, shoe width range is different for men’s and women’s New Balance shoes. I’ve better explained the concept of difference between men’s and women’s foot size with an illustration and video in my timberland shoes sizing guide.

New Balance Width Size Chart for Men

Here is the width chart that New Balance have designed for men’s feet.

New Balance Width Size Chart for Men

So, according to the above chart, width of men’s shoes ranges from 2A (minimum) to 6E (maximum). As I explained with some examples above, not all New Balance shoes models come in a wide range of widths. Some are made in only standard widths like New Balance 530, while some models cover wide range of widths like New Balance 990.

New Balance Width Size Chart for Women

Here is the width chart that New Balance have designed for women’s feet.

New Balance Width Size Chart for Women

As I’ve mentioned, women’s feet are usually wider in the forefoot region as compared to their rearfoot region, but still, they tend to be less wide as compared to men’s feet because men’s feet are comparatively stronger and contain more mass.

Men’s feet are sort of symmetrical. The width, they’ve in the rearfoot region, will be the same in the forefoot as well. Due to this reason, women can get extra wide shoes by selecting the 2E width option, while men will get the extra width to feel by selecting the 4E width of their shoes.

To learn more about the crux of shoes widths, you can check this article.

New Balance vs Nike Sizing

The size of New Balance shoes as compared to Nike depends on which model you want to buy. For instance, if you are going to buy New Balance 420s or 574, these are low-cut sneakers with tight-toe box for a snug fit. So, if you’ve wide feet and wear size 9 in Nike, you’ve to take half a size up i.e. 9.5 in New Balance 420s or 574.  

On the contrary, there are some New Balance shoes with deep and wide toe boxes like 990s or 1500s. If you’ve size 9 in Nike, then for these shoes models you’ve to go for half a size down i.e. 8.5.

Final Thoughts about New Balance Shoes Fit

So, if you ask me do New Balance run small? I’d say both YES and NO. New Balance have defined a wide range of widths for men and women in their width size chart. But, it isn’t necessary that their all shoes models cover those wide range of widths. Some shoes are available in only standard widths, while some famous models of New Balance cover all those wide and narrow width ranges to adjust all types of foot.

If you’ve regular width feet, then most of the time New Balance shoes will run true to size. For wide feet, New Balance can run small, and you may have to buy half a size up.

Last but not least, when comparing New Balance sizing with other brands like Nike, just stick with the CM length that you measure with any tool. This is because each brand has its sizing charts. So, if you want to buy New Balance shoes, just stick with the New Balance size chart, don’t compare it with Nike shoes size chart if you previously own their shoes. Otherwise, you’d have a lot of confusion.

In the end, if your friends are also struggling like you for getting the correct size of New Balance shoes, please share my New Balance sizing guide with them as I’ve spent a lot of time researching relevant forums and interviewing several New Balance shoes users to write this sizing kind.

Please also share your valuable thoughts in the comments section below so that other people could also benefit from your knowledge.


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