11 Best New Balance Men's Running Shoes for 2018

11 Best New Balance Men's Running Shoes for 2018

New Balance has had a lot of time to perfect its model of the human foot. It’s actually been over a century since its founding in 1906. But at the moment, New Balance—like most running shoe companies—is undergoing a transition in how it classifies running shoes, only the consequences for New Balance are more obvious. Its traditional numbered models are giving way to names like Vongo, Zante, and Boracay, and the traditional categories of neutral and stability shoes are being replaced by the “feel” or “ride” runners can expect from a shoe. But some runners still love their New Balance 860s, 1080s, and 1260s, and are in no hurry to move on to something else. So while model names and product lines are shifting, we’re letting runners decide on the best men’s New Balance running shoe. Keep reading to see what New Balance model you might want to try on next.

Number 11

New Balance Minimus 10v1

New Balance Minimus 10v1

Among the New Balance trail running shoes, men’s votes pointed to an unusual top choice: the Minimus 10v1. Where other trail shoes tend to be bulky and heavy, the Minimus, as its name implies, is flexible and light, weighing less than some racing shoes. True to the minimalist running philosophy, the heel rises just 4 mm above the height of the sole at the toe. The Minimus still provides the support and durability needed for trail running. Like Nike’s Terra Kiger, the New Balance Minimus 10v1 is a compelling option for competitive trail racers.

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Number 10

New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v2

New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v2

While the source of the name “Vongo” is a mystery, “Vongo” isn’t the most important part of this shoe’s name. “Fresh Foam” is more than New Balance’s midsole EVA foam—it also identifies shoes meant to provide soft cushioning and smooth transitions. The Vongo v2 is the only model in the Fresh Foam line to provide extra support for overpronators. The Vongo also features a minimal 4 mm drop in sole height from heel to toe, and an especially soft forefoot sole. If you’re looking for the best New Balance walking shoes, men’s feet often respond well to a soft forefoot in a supportive shoe like the Vongo that avoids excessive flexibility.

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Number 9

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v8

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v8

The 1080 v8 has kept its place in runner’s hearts and on their feet as a premium neutral daily trainer and one of the best New Balance running shoes. The 1080 has long stood out for its luxurious cushioning and soft forefoot and heel, so it was natural for New Balance to give it a midsole makeover and adopt the 1080 into its Fresh Foam lineup. Running in shoes that keep your feet happy from mile 1 to mile 15 (or farther) never gets old.

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Number 8

New Balance 1260 v7

New Balance 1260 v7

While the 1080 is a shoe for neutral runners (as the final -80 reveals, if you know the New Balance code), the 1260 is a support shoe (as the final -60 indicates). But otherwise the 1260 and 1080 form a matching pair with premium cushion that goes all the way up to 10 (or 12, as the case may be). With a reputation for gentle shock absorption and smooth transitions, the 1260 seems destined to remain popular (and eventually get its own Fresh Foam update). The soft heel also makes the 1260 one of the best New Balance shoes for plantar fasciitis.

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Number 7

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v4

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v4

Soft cushion and a smooth ride aren’t limited to easy runs. The Zante shows that Fresh Foam also works phenomenally well for fast uptempo running and racing. The Zante comes equipped with cushion for any distance, but in a lightweight and responsive format: it weighs just 8.5 ounces in a men’s size 9, with an aggressive 6 mm heel-toe drop. This makes the Zante incredibly versatile, ready for a 13-mile long run, a 13-mile workout with 6 miles at half marathon pace, or an all-out 13.1-mile PR effort. And thanks to New Balance, “best running shoes” doesn’t mean “expensive running shoes,” as you can buy a pair of Zante’s for an incredibly low price.

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Number 6

New Balance 1500 v4

New Balance 1500 v4

The best men’s New Balance shoes include several speedy models besides the Zante. The New Balance 1500 v4 is a racing shoe built to provide moderate stability over a wide range of race distances. At 8.1 ounces it’s a whisker lighter than the Zante, while the moderately cushioned heel transitions to a firm forefoot for a fast and responsive ride.

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Number 5

New Balance 860 v8

New Balance 860 v8

If you prefer a daily trainer with stability features and a classic running shoe feel, the best men’s New Balance shoes offer great options like the 860 v8. The transition from a moderately cushioned heel to a firm forefoot is similar to the 1500 racing shoe, and both models also feature flexible soles. If you like racing in your 1500’s, you might want to pair them with 860’s for your daily miles.

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Number 4

New Balance Vazee Prism v2

New Balance Vazee Prism v2

While the Fresh Foam half of the New Balance family emphasizes soft cushion and a smooth ride, the Vazee branch is all about speed and responsiveness. (What’s a Vazee? No one knows, which may be why New Balance is in the process of repositioning these models under the name FuelCore.) Rather than Fresh Foam, the Vazee Prism 2 uses Revlite for its midsole material for increased energy return, and the flexible sole rides firm in the heel and forefoot. You might call the Vazee Prism a daily trainer with an uptempo feel. We call it one of the best New Balance running shoes for men.

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Number 3

New Balance 1400 v6

New Balance 1400 v6

As you might guess from the name, the New Balance 1400 is a racing shoe like the 1500, although built for a neutral footstrike. Including fewer stability features allows the 1400 to save weight; it comes in at just 7.1 ounces. Even at that weight, it has a generous 10 mm drop from heel to toe, so the 1400 can absorb more impact in the heel during longer races. The moderately cushioned heel transitions to a very firm forefoot, giving the shoe the springy responsiveness you need for racing performance.

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Number 2

New Balance Fresh Foam Boracay v3

New Balance Fresh Foam Boracay v3

Unlike other New Balance models, “Boracay” can be identified with a specific place, an island in the Philippines that’s highly popular with tourists. As a shoe, the Boracay is in between the Zante and the 1080 in the Fresh Foam family, but it’s no mushy middle: The Boracay is a neutral daily trainer with a lightweight feel, a firm ride, and a minimalist 4 mm drop from heel to toe.

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Number 1

New Balance 890 v6

New Balance 890 v6

In the traditional New Balance system, the -90 models were built for speed. The 890 v6 comes in at the same weight as the Boracay and with a sporty 6 mm heel-toe drop, making it a versatile trainer that’s ready for faster workouts. The firm heel is combined with a forefoot TPU insert for extra responsiveness on toe-off. The mix of modern and traditional in the 890 v6 may be why Runner’s World gave it a Best Update award.

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