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New Balance | The complete trainer style guide

There is no denying New Balance’s influence within the trainer world. In the true merry-go-round nature of fashion, retro-style dad trainers are right back in and those basketball-inspired sneakers are everywhere. However, we still can't wrap our heads around the numbering code they use to name their trainer styles. It’s a 'know it when you see' situation that is not helpful for shopping. So here’s our complete guide to New Balance trainers… 
New Balance


New Balance Coding

If we are going to get technical, part 1 is the beginning letters which refer to the gender and trainer type for example ML = Men's leisure. Part 2 tells you the performance and structure of the trainer, this is the most important part to know. Part 3 are the letters after the numbers that indicate the major colourways of the shoe. For example, WB means white and blue. This might change slightly depending on heritage, style, release and colour, but you get a general idea. Honing in on the numbers which are part 2, will allow you to see what the trainer design specialises in. 40 (Optimal Control): Footwear that is designed for several podiatric needs with a focus on the full range of body motions. 50 (Fitness Running): Designed with a modern vision for training on roads or for indoor workouts. The 50 Series offers innovation with the responsiveness that power athletes need.60 (Stability): Designs that offer industry-leading stability to reduce pronation while also providing unparalleled cushioning and comfort (e.g., 860).70 (Light Stability): The perfect combination of stability and speed, all in a lighter, sleek profile designed for runners who train at a faster pace (e.g., 770).80 (Neutral): For high-mileage runners who require light shoes and the protection of superior cushioning (e.g., 1080).90 (Speed)*: For faster runners who want every advantage, including a superior ride and fit. The choice styles for professional and nonprofessional speed and distance runners (e.g., 890).

00 (Competition) Footwear that delivers performance and speed-focused feel. 

New Balance

The Styles

  • 574 Legacy 
  • 327 
  • XC - 72 Intent 
  • 550
  •  RC30
  • 90/60
  • 1906
  • 2002 \ 2002R 
Other Styles 
  • 237
  • 577 
  • 373 
  • 996 
  • 997 
  • 990 
  • 530 
  • 720
  • 920 
  • 991 
  • 1500

Are New Balance trainers vegan?

They are not a vegan brand but many of their shoes are vegan. New Balance vegan shoes include their bestselling models such as Fresh Foam and FuelCell which are their most-vegan friendly.

Many of our products are made with synthetic or plant-based materials that typically do not contain animal materials. We have worked closely with our top adhesive suppliers to ensure that they are not using animal byproducts.

Since New Balance does not use animal-based glues, dyes, or any other cruel byproducts, it is easy to identify vegan shoes based on their material composition.Most of New Balance’s running shoes are cruelty-free since synthetic materials like mesh ensure better performance than animal-based ones. However, a few of their top streetwear styles, like 574 and 720, are not vegan.New Balance

What you didn’t know about New Balance?

Founder William J. Riley originally started New Balance to produce arch supports for people's feet. The inspiration came from watching his chickens and studying how their feet gave them incredible balance.


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Holly Thompson
Holly Thompson Writer and expert

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