Which New Balance trail running shoes are best?
One of the best forms of exercise you can engage in is running. It builds your endurance and strength while lowering your resting heart rate and improving your mood. The best place to run isn’t on the treadmill or on the road, but out in nature. New Balance offers good-quality trail running shoes — such as the comfortably padded and highly durable and breathable New Balance 481 V3 Trail Running Shoes — so you can improve your life and health in comfort without breaking the bank.
What to know before you buy New Balance trail running shoes
Size and width
New Balance trail running shoes come in men’s and women’s sizing, where men’s sizing is roughly 1.5 sizes larger than a matching women’s size. For example, if you typically wear women’s size 7 shoes and you want to buy a pair of men’s-size shoes, you’ll need to buy a men’s size 5.5. Men’s sizes are also wider than women’s sizes, though shoe width isn’t usually listed specifically — it’s typically given as either standard, wide or extra wide.
It’s imperative to wear trail running shoes that are the proper size and width. If the shoes are too small, they won’t fit at all, and if they’re too big, then you risk many kinds of harm. A properly fitted shoe should be snug enough that it won’t slip loosely around your foot, but it should also have roughly an inch of empty space in front of your toes. This will leave room for your feet to shift on impact.
The types of trails you plan on running on should determine what kind of New Balance trail running shoes you buy.
- Concrete and unpaved trails: Light trail running shoes designed for roads and trails work best here.
- Average trials: More natural but still mostly maintained trails benefit from specialized trail-only shoes, but you don’t need the thickest protection.
- Rough trails: Wear thick, padded and rugged-treaded shoes for wild-like trails strewn with debris.
What to look for in quality New Balance trail running shoes
Running is hard on the body no matter where you do it, so the best New Balance trail running shoes include cushioning in the middle of the shoe to reduce the impact you feel.
Most trail running shoes sacrifice a little breathability for more protection so they can get sweatier, which leads to higher chances of bacteria growth. Some New Balance trail running shoes include antimicrobial linings to fight this effect.
How much you can expect to spend on New Balance trail running shoes
New Balance trail running shoes typically cost $50-$150, marking them as midrange shoes. Most shoes that exceed the $100 mark are large or extra-wide sizes.
New Balance trail running shoes FAQ
How long will my New Balance trail running shoes last?
A. That depends on how well you treat them and how rough the trails you run on are. Generally speaking, New Balance trail running shoes should last for roughly 300-500 miles’ worth of running or for about 18 months. The best ways to tell if it’s time to replace your shoes are if they have worn down treads, if you can wring them or if you start developing aches and pains after running.
Are New Balance trail running shoes also suitable for hiking?
A. That depends on the type of shoes you use and the type of hiking you do. Light shoes are more than enough for a short hike with no gear, but you need the heaviest and sturdiest shoes for up to medium range hiking with light gear. Anything else and it’s recommended to buy a good pair of hiking boots.
What are the best New Balance trail running shoes to buy?
Top New Balance trail running shoes
What you need to know: These use tough yet soft materials for a durable and comfortable fit.
What you’ll love: These use a combination of leather and mesh for the upper half in order to stay stiff but breathable. These have a comfort collar around the ankle for added support and to prevent rubbing. The outsole uses rubber with a patterned inlay for maximum traction.
What you should consider: Some consumers reported the shoes to run small and narrow. Others were unhappy with the rate at which they wear out.
Top New Balance trail running shoes for the money
What you need to know: These are lightweight and cushioned.
What you’ll love: These come in sizes 5-12 with many sizes having a wide variant. These also come in 17 designs, most of which look like and can be worn as a standard shoe. These have cushions in the midsole for comfort and the tread has plenty of traction.
What you should consider: A few customers reported them running small and narrow. Others had issues with the back rubbing the heel and causing blisters.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These are packed with foam for comfort on the trail.
What you’ll love: These use a mix of synthetic fibers and textiles for breathability and durability, plus plenty of foam in the form of midsole cushioning and an insert. The tip of the shoes is reinforced for protection against accidental impacts. They are available in seven designs.
What you should consider: Some purchasers felt the ankle comes up too high in the back, causing uncomfortable rubbing. Others reported discoloration caused by sweat.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.