How to Make Sure Your New Balance Shoes Fit Correctly

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How to Make Sure Your New Balance Shoes Fit Correctly

Wearing a good pair of athletic shoes that fit just right prevents injury and enhances your performance, be it in running or other forms of physical activity. New Balance's custom fit shoes factor in size, foot width, and different levels of support, as well as 31 unique foot lasts (or foot shapes). With such a wide range of choices, how do you make sure your New Balance shoes fit correctly?

The first step is not to get overwhelmed by the long parade of options. Then, consider three things before beginning your search: purpose, support level, and size and fit. What kind of workout or sport will you be using the shoes for? Do you prefer lightweight shoes or are your feet prone to injury and thus require special cushioning? Lastly, be sure to choose the right size and width for your unique pair of feet.

 

Purpose: Casual or Competitive?

The type of physical activity should determine the type of shoes you buy. New Balance has several specific categories and subcategories of men's and women's athletic footwear.

 

Category

Sub-categories

Running

Road, Trail, Competition

Walking

Casual, Country, Fitness

Cross-Training

None

Classics

None

Hiking / Multi-Sport

None

Casual Athletics

None

Sports

Baseball, Tennis, Competition, Golf, Lacrosse (Women), Basketball (Men), Cross-Training (Men)

 

Your feet interact with footwear in different ways as your activities—such as running or jumping—change. Choosing from the right category increases the level of comfort and stability your shoes give. If you have more than one sport in mind, choose a model that provides support for the more strenuous activity, or get a pair for each sport if possible.

 

Support Level: Lightweight or Motion Control?

Cushioning (or support) provided by New Balance athletic shoes ranges from minimal lightweight support to maximum motion control cushioning.

How Barefoot Do You Want to Go?

Some runners, especially during competition, prefer lightweight running shoes that allow them to feel the ground more. However, a barefoot feel comes at the expense of having less foot support, so others prefer more cushioning. Each type of footwear support offers unique advantages; New Balance customers may choose according to their personal preference or to accomidate special medical requirements.

 

Support Type

Support Level

Advantages

Cushioning

Standard

Standard support

Minimal

Minimal

Optimum control, barefoot feel

Motion Control

Maximum

Support for moderate to severe pronation

Spikes/Competition

Minimal

Lightweight, high traction for competition

Stability

Standard

Support for moderate pronation

 

If your feet have no special medical conditions, choosing shoes with minimal support should be fine. However, overpronators are better off with footwear with motion control support, so if you experience foot pain after running, assess the degree to which your feet pronate.

What is Your Pronation Level?

Pronation—the degree to which your foot rolls inwardly while running—can either be neutral, moderate, or advanced. New Balance shoes provide different levels of support for different levels of pronation. Without adequate support, feet that excessively pronate are prone to injury. If your pronation level falls under neutral, you have more options available.

 

Pronation Level

Foot Motion

Support Type

Neutral

Slight inward rolling from the outer heel to the front

Last ground contact is at the center

Cushioning (Neutral), Minimal, or Spikes/Competition

Severe/Overpronation

Excessive inward rolling from the outer heel to the midfoot

Foot remains inward until it leaves the ground

Motion Control

Moderate

Somewhere between severe and neutral pronation.

Stability

 

 

To find out your feet's pronation level, check your most worn out footwear for signs of overuse at the inner forefoot of the sole, or videotape your feet from behind while running on a treadmill to observe whether your foot leans inward too much.

 

Size and Fit: Standard or Snug?

After you have created a short list of your preferred models according to shoe type and support, it is time to choose the right size and fit.

Size and Width

When buying athletic footwear, generally choose one half-size larger than your dress shoes. Aside from foot length, New Balance shoes also have foot width options, which vary slightly between men's and women's styles.

 

Width

Women

Men

Assessment

X Narrow

4A

2A

Most shoes are too wide for you

Narrow

2A

B

Most shoes are a bit spacious in width

Standard

B

D

Most shoes fit feet well

Wide

D

2E

Most shoes are snug or slightly narrow

X Wide

2E

4E

Most shoes are too narrow

XX Wide

4E

6E

You always need shoes that are wider at the ball

 

If you are trying to decide between two sizes or widths, always choose the bigger one.

Shoe Last

New Balance offers shoe lasts that combine different toe box, instep, and heel fit variations. The NBJ shoe last, for example, provides a really snug, foot-hugging fit. If you are looking for a particular fit in one or more areas of the shoe, check out the shoe models made from shoe lasts that match your preference.

 

Fit

Shoe Last (Women)

Shoe Last (Men)

Standard

CW-2, PL-0, PL-8, RL-1, SL-1, WX-001

AL-1, MB-001, MF-001, MF-004, MX-001, PL-0, PL-8, RL-1, SL-1

Deep Toe Box

AL-2, SL-2, WOL-01, SL-3

AL-3, MF-002, MOL-1, SL-2, SL-3

Wide Forefoot

SL-2, WOL-01, NL-0, NL-1

AL-3, MF-002, MOL-1, SL-2, TSL-1, NL-0, NL-1

High Instep

AL-2, SL-2, WOL-01, SL-3

AL-3, MF-002, MOL-1, SL-2, SL-3

Performance/Snug

NBJ, PL-1

NBJ, PL-1

Wide Heel

UL-1

UL-1

 

You can also refer to shoe lasts if you want to avoid features like a high instep. If you are not picky and if most shoes fit you comfortably, a standard fit is a dependable choice.

 

In-Store Fitting Tips

For the best results, visit a New Balance outlet near you. A store attendant can guide you through the whole process of choosing according to type, support, pronation level, and foot size.

When trying on shoes, try to go later in the day since your feet expand throughout the day. Try on both shoes with your usual athletic socks, and if your feet differ in length or width, choose the size that better fits your larger foot. Do not hesitate to choose a bigger size than usual since your feet expand during workouts. Lastly, test run the shoes in the store.

New Balance shoes come designed to fit directly out of the box without any need to break them in. The perfect fit is snug at the heel and around your arch but leave wiggle room for your toes at the toe box. You should also feel all your bones fit well to sit on the base of the shoe. Your heel should not slide down, but the shoe should not squeeze your arch tightly.

 

How to Buy New Balance Shoes on eBay

To buy New Balance shoes on eBay, search for your preferred style or model by typing it into the search field found on any page. Carefully check the model specifications; normally, listings clearly indicate the shoe type, size, and width, but may not specify details like support and shoe last. Unless you are already sure which model you want, ask the seller or research these details on your own. When buying second hand, remember that typical running shoes last up to 500 miles, so the level of wear and tear depends on the previous owner's workout habits.

New Balance shoes are a popular option for custom-fit footwear, and a basic understanding of their shoe sizing takes you a long way in making the right purchase.

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