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Some know them as premier running shoes; some know them for their exceptional comfort; some know them as the signature shoe of dads everywhere. We’re, of course, speaking of New Balance shoes.
Since its inception in 1906, New Balance has released a long line of iconic shoes. What are the best New Balance shoes of all time?
Here are some of the top shoes in the company’s history.
New Balance 574
First released in 1988, the New Balance 574 is one of the company’s most iconic shoes. Though it was originally designed as a running shoe, it’s now commonly worn for its style characteristics.
Absurdly comfortable and exceedingly lightweight, these shoes excel at all activities, including but not limited to walking, running, and even just standing in place. Offering ample support, yet still providing a great deal of flex and freedom, they’re as relaxing of shoes as you’re ever going to find.
574s are available in a number of different styles and colors. In fact, this is what helped them catch on in the late 80s rap scene. Famously worn by hip-hop stars such as Biz Markie and Raekwon, they’re now lauded for their retro feel and sensibility.
New Balance 550
Released in 1989, just a year after the 574 was released, the New Balance 550 sneakers offer a sporty design and low-cut top. An athletic shoe, it was originally designed for basketball. These days, however, it’s worn primarily for its aesthetic flair.
The 550 features a leather top uncharacteristic of most other New Balance shoes. It’s available in a variety of colors. However, its base color is typically white.
When released, this shoe was meant to rival similar shoes from brands like Nike, Adidas, and Reebok. As such, it possesses a look similar to those brands’ basketball shoes.
New Balance 624
Middle-age dads the world over can agree on at least one thing: the New Balance 624 is the quintessential dad shoe. Made out of synthetic leather and sporting a bland white aesthetic, it’s slowly grown into an icon.
Now, you might wonder: why has such a bland shoe become so popular over the years? Simple: it’s comfortable.
Not only does the 624 possess tons of width, allowing for plenty of flexibility and movement but it also offers ample arch support. This makes it a great shoe for those with plantar fasciitis and related foot issues.
Who suffers from plantar fasciitis and similar foot issues? Well, anybody can. However, middle-aged men (ie. dads) tend to take the crown.
New Balance 992 Multicolor
If you like loud color schemes, you’ll love the New Balance 992. Released in 2020, this shoe is known primarily for its vibrant color schemes. It comes in a number of different styles and is one of the more aesthetically bold shoes ever to hit the market.
Want a pair featuring green, pink, and yellow pastels? You’ve got it!
Want a pair featuring an array of browns, yellows, greens, blues, and other assorted colors? It’s out there!
There are more neutral designs available as well. However, even those are over-the-top when compared to other neutral-colored shoes.
In terms of functionality, this is really more of a lifestyle shoe. In other words, it’s designed primarily for aesthetic purposes. That said, if you wish, you could conceivably use it for walking, weightlifting, and perhaps even running.
New Balance 999
Featuring a wide and bulky sole and coming with all sorts of cool color schemes, the New Balance 999 is one of the sharper-looking shoes that the company has released. Prominently featuring “999” on its upper, it has an almost futuristic quality that sets it apart from many other New Balance models.
The 999 was originally released in 2011. Note, though, that new styles and iterations have been put out since then. Perhaps the most popular version of the 999 is the Kennedy, a shoe that honors President John F. Kennedy.
New Balance 576
The next shoe we’re going to discuss is the New Balance 576. This shoe is known for its popping color schemes as well as its slight size and low-cut top. It was released in 1988, the same year as the iconic 574.
Upon its initial release, this shoe struggled to catch on with the buying public. However, after it was re-released in the late 90s, it gained popularity with many different sub-sets of people, from teenagers to runners and more.
New Balance 996
One of New Balance’s most high-quality shoes, it was and continues to be manufactured at the company’s Boston-based factory. Featuring a suede upper, it’s available in a wide variety of colors and is generally regarded to be more refined than the 576 and the 574, both of which were released in the same year as the 996, 1988.
Though this shoe is often worn for its style characteristics, it doesn’t exactly lack in the comfort or functionality departments. It’s great for walking and running, and is also a terrific shoe for nurses and other individuals who have to spend long periods of time on their feet.
New Balance Shoes Are Iconic
Though they might not carry the flash or renown of Nikes and Adidases, New Balance shoes are just as iconic. These uber-comfortable shoes have been at it for over 100 years, and — no doubt — have at least 100 more years in front of them.
So, whether you’re looking for a running shoe, a lawn mowing shoe, or just something to wear while running errands, New Balance is the company to turn to.
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