New Balance sneakers resting atop their respective boxes.

Does New Balance Run Big or Small? Shoe Fit Dynamics

When you’re at a shoe store, you may have found yourself pondering the question, “Do New Balance shoes typically run larger or smaller?” It’s a question that often arises when seeking the right fit. In this article, we’re delving into the world of New Balance footwear, unraveling the mysteries surrounding their sizing to provide you with valuable information. Whether you’re a sneaker enthusiast or simply in search of comfortable footwear, this guide is here to be your informative companion.

New Balance Sizing: A General Overview

New Balance shoes are renowned for their comfort, quality, and unique sizing options. However, getting the right size can be a bit complex due to the brand’s varied size offerings. Let’s delve into New Balance sizing, compare it to other popular brands, and explore the factors that influence the fit of New Balance shoes.

Comparing New Balance with Other Brands

When it comes to sizing, New Balance stands out due to its extensive range of size options, catering to a broader audience. However, the question often arises: “Does New Balance run small or big compared to other brands?” The answer is not straightforward, as sizing can vary based on the specific model and an individual’s foot shape.

Factors Influencing New Balance Fit

Several factors play a crucial role in determining how a New Balance shoe fits, and understanding these factors is vital for achieving the perfect fit:

  • Material: The type of material used in the shoe’s upper can influence the fit. For example, shoes with a mesh upper may provide more flexibility and adaptability to different foot shapes compared to leather;
  • Design: The design of the shoe, including its last (the mold or shape around which the shoe is built), can impact how it fits. Some New Balance models are designed with a wider toe box, making them more accommodating for individuals with wider feet;
  • Specific Purpose: New Balance offers a wide range of shoes designed for various activities, from running to walking to cross-training. Each of these categories may have specific design features that affect fit. For example, running shoes often have a snugger fit for added stability during the run;
  • Model Variation: Even within the New Balance brand, there can be variations in fit between different models. It’s essential to consider the specific model you’re interested in and, if possible, try it on or check reviews to gauge how it fits;
  • Individual Foot Shape: Perhaps the most significant factor in determining the right New Balance size is the individual’s foot shape. People have different arches, widths, and sizes, and these unique characteristics can significantly affect how a shoe fits. It’s advisable to measure your feet and consider any specific needs, such as arch support or width requirements when selecting New Balance shoes.

Tips for Finding the Right New Balance Size

Key ConsiderationDetails
Measure Your Feet RegularlyFoot size can change over time, so it’s important to measure them regularly for an accurate fit.
Understand Your Arch TypeIdentify whether you have a low, neutral, or high arch to choose shoes with appropriate arch support.
Try Shoes In-StoreWhenever possible, try on shoes in-store to better assess their fit and comfort for your feet.
Read Reviews and Sizing ChartsConsult New Balance’s sizing charts and read reviews for each specific model to inform your decision.
Consider Specific RequirementsIf you need orthotic insoles or wide-width options, make sure to consider these in your shoe selection.

Does New Balance Run True to Size?

hand holding a New Balance shoe.

The age-old question of whether New Balance shoes run true to size is a pivotal concern for potential buyers. While, in general, many individuals find that New Balance shoes fit comfortably in their usual size, it is imperative to understand that exceptions can arise based on the specific model and design of the shoe.

Achieving a proper fit begins with precise measurements of your feet. Here are steps to accurately measure your feet at home:

  • Gather Essentials: You will need a sheet of paper, a pen or pencil, and a ruler or measuring tape;
  • Foot Preparation: Wear the type of socks you intend to wear with your New Balance shoes to ensure accuracy;
  • Foot Tracing: Place one foot on the paper, ensuring your weight is evenly distributed. Trace the outline of your foot with the pen or pencil, holding it perpendicular to the paper;
  • Length and Width Measurements: Utilize the ruler or measuring tape to gauge the length from the heel to the longest toe and measure the width at the broadest part of your foot;
  • Reference Sizing Chart: Visit New Balance’s official website to access their sizing chart and compare your measurements with their size recommendations;
  • Arch Consideration: Recognize your arch type—low, neutral, or high—as it plays a role in selecting New Balance shoes with appropriate arch support.

How to Measure Your Feet for New Balance

Ensuring the perfect fit when selecting New Balance shoes begins with accurate measurements of your feet. Follow these steps to measure your feet at home:

Sheet of PaperServes as the base for standing and tracing the foot, crucial for accurate foot measurements.
Pen or PencilUsed to trace the outline of the foot, ensuring precision and clarity in the measurement.
Ruler or Measuring TapeEssential for measuring the traced outline to determine the accurate size of the foot.

Steps to Measure Your Feet:

  1. Foot Preparation: Wear the type of socks you intend to wear with your New Balance shoes to ensure accuracy;
  2. Surface and Posture: Find a flat, even surface to stand on. Maintain an upright posture with your weight evenly distributed between both feet;
  3. Trace Your Feet: Place one foot on the sheet of paper, ensuring it is flat and relaxed. Hold the pen or pencil perpendicular to the paper and trace the outline of your foot. Ensure that you trace around the widest points of your foot;
  4. Length Measurement: Using the ruler or measuring tape, measure the length from the heel (back of your traced outline) to the longest toe. This measurement represents the length of your foot;
  5. Width Measurement: Measure the width of your foot by determining the distance between the widest points. Typically, this will be the distance between the two widest points on the sides of your traced outline;
  6. Repeat for the Other Foot: Perform the same measurements for your other foot, as it’s common for one foot to be slightly larger than the other. Use the larger measurements for both length and width when selecting your shoe size;
  7. Reference Sizing Charts: Visit New Balance’s official website or consult their sizing charts to determine the appropriate shoe size based on your measurements;
  8. Arch Consideration: Take into account your arch type (low, neutral, or high) when selecting New Balance shoes, as this will affect your overall comfort and fit.

It’s essential to measure your feet accurately, as even small discrepancies in measurements can impact the fit and comfort of your New Balance shoes.

Women’s vs Men’s Sizing in New Balance

People wearing New Balance sneakers.

Understanding the differences in sizing between women’s and men’s New Balance shoes is crucial when making your selection. These differences extend beyond just size and can encompass width and design as well.

  • Size Differences: In general, women’s sizes in New Balance tend to be smaller than men’s sizes. For instance, a women’s size 8 may be equivalent to a men’s size 6.5;
  • Width Variations: New Balance offers a range of width options for both men and women. Women’s shoes often come in narrower widths compared to men’s shoes;
  • Design Considerations: The design of women’s and men’s New Balance shoes may also differ in terms of color schemes and style elements to cater to gender-specific preferences.

When selecting New Balance shoes, it’s vital to choose the appropriate gender-specific size to ensure the best fit and comfort.

The Impact of Shoe Model Variations

Not all New Balance shoes are created equal. Different models within the brand’s extensive lineup can exhibit slight variations in fit. These variations are influenced by factors such as the shoe’s intended purpose, design features, and the type of last (the mold or shape around which the shoe is constructed) used during manufacturing.

  • Intended Purpose: New Balance offers shoes designed for various activities, including running, walking, and cross-training. Each category may have specific design features that influence fit and comfort;
  • Design Features: The design of a shoe, including its last, can impact how it fits. Some models may have a wider toe box, providing more room for the toes, while others may be designed for a snugger fit;
  • Last Variation: New Balance utilizes different types of lasts for various shoe models. These lasts can influence the shape and fit of the shoe. For example, a shoe built on a “straight last” will have a different fit compared to one built on a “curved last.”

When selecting a New Balance shoe, it’s crucial to consider the specific model and its intended use to ensure that it aligns with your fit preferences and requirements.

Common Myths About Shoe Sizing

New balance sneakers

​​When it comes to shoe sizing, there are several common myths and misconceptions that can lead to ill-fitting footwear. Let’s debunk some of these myths and provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your shoe size.

Myth 1: Your Shoe Size is Always the Same Across Brands

One of the most prevalent myths is that your shoe size is consistent across all brands. In reality, sizing can vary significantly between different shoe manufacturers and even among different models from the same brand. It’s essential to measure your feet and refer to each brand’s sizing chart to find the right fit for a particular shoe.

Myth 2: Going Up a Size Will Always Solve a Tight Fit

When faced with a tight-fitting shoe, some people believe that simply going up a size will solve the problem. However, shoe fit isn’t just about length; it’s also about width and other dimensions. Going up a size may result in a shoe that’s too long and still too narrow. Consider width options and explore shoe models designed for wider feet if needed.

Myth 3: All Shoes Stretch Over Time

While some materials, like leather, may stretch a bit with wear, not all shoes will significantly stretch over time. Relying on the expectation that a shoe will stretch to fit your feet perfectly can lead to disappointment and discomfort. Ensure a proper fit when purchasing shoes.


Finding the perfect fit in a New Balance shoe is like solving a personal puzzle – it’s unique to you. Armed with this guide, you’re now ready to conquer the shoe aisle with confidence. Remember, the right fit is out there waiting for you!


Q: Do New Balance shoes accommodate wide feet well?

A: Yes, New Balance is known for offering a wide range of width options, making them a great choice for those with wide feet.

Q: How often should I replace my New Balance shoes?

A: It depends on usage, but generally, it’s recommended to replace running shoes every 300-500 miles.

Q: Can I use orthotic insoles with New Balance shoes?

A: Absolutely, many New Balance shoes are designed to be compatible with custom orthotic insoles.

Q: Are New Balance shoes good for long-distance running?

A: Yes, many models are specifically designed for durability and comfort during long-distance running.

Q: Is it better to size up or down if I’m in between sizes in New Balance?

A: It’s usually recommended to size up, especially if you have wider feet or plan to wear thick socks.

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