Do New Balances Run Big or Small? A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Perfect Fit

Do New Balances Run Big or Small? – Unsure whether New Balances run big or small? This guide explores their sizing, width options, and tips for achieving a comfortable fit, ensuring you don’t end up with shoes that are too big or too small.


New Balance, a renowned footwear brand, boasts a loyal following for its commitment to comfort and innovative technology. But when it comes to sizing, a common question pops up: do New Balances run big or small?

The answer, unfortunately, isn’t a simple yes or no. New Balance offers a diverse range of styles and models, each with its own unique fit characteristics. This guide delves into the intricacies of New Balance sizing, helping you navigate the selection and choose the perfect pair that fits your feet like a glove.

Do New Balances Run Big or Small?

As a general rule, most New Balance sneakers run true to size. This means if you typically wear a size 8 in other brands, an 8 in New Balance should provide a comfortable fit. However, there are certain factors to consider that can influence the fit:

  • Model-specific variations: While most models adhere to standard sizing, some styles might have a slightly different fit. For instance, the iconic 574 and 990 models are known for their roomier toe box, catering to wider feet. Conversely, the Fresh Foam Zante and FuelCell Propel models tend to have a sleeker fit, ideal for narrow feet.

  • Width options: New Balance acknowledges the diverse foot shapes by offering a wider range of width options compared to many other brands. They come in standard (D), wide (2E), extra wide (4E), and even narrow (AA) widths, ensuring a personalized fit for every foot type.

Understanding New Balance Sizing Terminology

New Balance utilizes a standardized sizing system similar to most footwear brands. Here’s a breakdown of the key terms:

  • Men’s vs. Women’s sizing: New Balance offers shoes in men’s and women’s specific sizes. Men’s sizes are typically larger than their women’s counterparts by 1.5 sizes. So, if you’re a woman who usually wears a size 8 in women’s shoes, a size 6.5 in men’s New Balance would likely be the equivalent size.

  • Numeric sizing: This refers to the standard numerical size (e.g., 7, 8, 9) displayed on the shoe label.

  • Letter sizing: New Balance also uses lettering to indicate the width of the shoe. “D” represents the standard width, while wider and narrower widths are denoted by increasing or decreasing numbers after the letter (e.g., 2E for wide, AA for narrow).

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Tips for Finding the Perfect New Balance Fit

Here are some valuable tips to ensure you find the perfect fitting New Balance shoes:

  • Measure your feet: This is the most crucial step. Accurately measure your feet in both length and width at the end of the day, when your feet are slightly swollen. Utilize a brannock device for precise measurements, or simply trace your feet on a piece of paper and measure the distance from heel to toe and across the widest part of your foot.

  • Consult the New Balance size chart: New Balance provides a comprehensive size chart on their website, which can serve as a valuable reference. It lists the equivalent sizes in various regions and also highlights the width options available for specific models.

  • Read online reviews: Customer reviews on retailer websites and online forums can offer valuable insights into the fit of specific New Balance models. Look for comments mentioning the sizing and width, and consider if they run true to size or if there’s a need to size up or down.

  • Try before you buy: Whenever possible, try on the shoes before purchasing them. This allows you to assess the fit, width, and comfort level firsthand. If you’re buying online, ensure the retailer has a hassle-free return policy in case the size doesn’t work out.

Additional Considerations

  • Sock thickness: If you plan on wearing thicker socks with your New Balance shoes, consider sizing up half a size to accommodate the additional bulk.

  • Personal preference: Ultimately, the perfect fit is subjective. While some individuals might prefer a snug fit for activities like running, others might prioritize a looser fit for everyday wear. Choose the size that feels most comfortable and allows for slight wiggle room in the toe box.

Model-Specific Sizing Notes

Here are some additional details about the fit of certain popular New Balance models:

  • 574: This classic model is known for its roomier toe box and relaxed fit, making it a good choice for wider feet or those who prefer a bit more space.

  • 990: Similar to the 574, the 990 also offers a generous fit and is available in multiple width options, catering to various foot shapes.

  • Fresh Foam Zante: This lightweight running shoe has a sleeker fit that hugs the foot, making it ideal for runners who prefer a more snug and responsive feel.

  • FuelCell Propel: Designed for speed and performance, the FuelCell Propel features a streamlined fit with a narrow heel and tapered toe box.

  • 1500: This classic running shoe offers a supportive and comfortable fit, making it a good choice for long runs or everyday wear.

  • 410v7: This versatile training shoe provides a secure and balanced fit, suitable for a variety of activities.

  • Fresh Foam 1080v12: This cushioned running shoe offers a plush and accommodating fit, ideal for those who prioritize comfort and support.

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It’s worth noting that these are just general observations, and the fit of each model can vary slightly depending on the specific design and construction.

FAQs About New Balance Sizing

Q: Do New Balances run big or small for women?

A: In general, New Balance shoes for women tend to run true to size. However, it’s always best to consult the size chart and read online reviews for specific models to get a more accurate idea of the fit.

Q: Do New Balances run big or small for men?

A: Similar to women’s shoes, New Balance shoes for men generally run true to size. However, some models might have a slightly different fit, so it’s important to consider the model-specific variations mentioned earlier.

Q: What if I order the wrong size New Balances?

A: Most reputable retailers offer a hassle-free return policy for online purchases. You can simply return the shoes and exchange them for a different size if they don’t fit properly.

Q: Where can I find the New Balance size chart?

A: The New Balance size chart can be found on their official website. It provides a comprehensive overview of the sizing in various regions and also includes information about the width options available for different models.

Q: How do I know if New Balances are too big?

A: If your New Balances feel too big, you might experience heel slippage, excessive toe movement, or a lack of support. In such cases, it’s recommended to try a smaller size or consider a model with a narrower width.

Q: How do I know if New Balances are too small?

A: If your New Balances feel too small, you might feel pressure on your toes, discomfort in the arch area, or a general feeling of tightness. In these cases, it’s best to size up or opt for a model with a wider width.

Q: Can I wear New Balances without socks?

A: While it’s possible to wear New Balances without socks, it’s generally not recommended. Socks help to absorb moisture, prevent blisters, and provide additional comfort. Additionally, wearing shoes without socks can increase the risk of fungal infections.

Q: How should I care for my New Balance shoes?

To maintain your New Balance shoes in good condition, it’s important to clean them regularly and store them properly. Use a mild detergent and water to clean the shoes, and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials. When storing, make sure the shoes are dry and in a cool, dry place.

Q: Where can I buy New Balance shoes?

New Balance shoes can be purchased from a variety of retailers, including their official website, department stores, specialty footwear stores, and online marketplaces.


Understanding the intricacies of New Balance sizing and taking the time to measure your feet and consider your preferences can lead to finding the perfect pair of shoes that fits like a dream. By following the tips and advice provided in this guide, you can confidently navigate the diverse range of New Balance models and achieve a comfortable and satisfying fit.

Remember, the perfect fit is subjective and personal. The most important factor is choosing a size that feels comfortable and allows for slight wiggle room in the toe box. With a little research and effort, you’ll be able to find the perfect pair of New Balances that will keep your feet happy and comfortable for miles to come.

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