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New Balance 574 vs. 515 vs. 990 vs. 997H: Differences and Reviews 2024

New Balance 574 vs. 515 vs. 990 vs. 997H: Differences and Reviews 2024

    New Balance is a staple sneaker company of the previous decades and beyond.If you haven’t tried New Balance shoes before, they are well-cushioned, long-lasting, and can be used as both sports and casual footwear.The brand typically assigns numbers to their shoes rather than traditional names.While you might be able to spot a New Balance sneaker from afar, identifying the exact style number can still pose a challenge.So, the process of finding just the right New Balance sneaker for you can turn complicated and confusing.To help you more easily navigate the world of New Balance sneakers and determine which style is best for you, I’ve compiled this guide to the brand’s many options, detailing the differences between each. Included are styles you’re probably already more than familiar with, like the 574,515,990 and 997H.What is the difference between 574 and 515?WWhat is the difference between New Balance 574 and 997H??New Balance 574 vs. 515 vs. 990 vs. 997H:which is best for you?Keep reading and you will know which pair of trainers is right for you.


New Balance 574 Review

  • 1st Release Date: 1988

  • Price: from $69.99


Described as the symbol of ingenuity, the New Balance 574 has undergone countless spin-offs.New Balance broadened its reach in the world of sneakers with the 574. The big “N” logo, suede side, panels, new color palette, and lower price point made the brand more accessible. 574 is a versatile shoe that can be worn for a number of activities.This New Balance shoe was created with the intention of being a running shoe. The collection has grown throughout time to include sneakers, golf shoes, and the 574 iconic running shoes. You can wear these New Balance shoes for jogging, walking, golfing, or simply for fun.

Originally designed as a running sneaker, the 574 has found favor as a casual, everyday shoe thanks to the durable suede-and-mesh uppers and vintage-inspired design. Modern updates like supportive ENCAP midsole cushioning help to ensure it remains a favorite. The lightweight EVA foam cushioning in the arch and heel helps the sneaker mold to your feet as you wear them. They are also available in three different widths.If you’re in search of the 574s most classic colors, consider checking out the 574 Core, which includes the sneaker in the iconic New Balance grey.

New Balance 574 Core Pros and Cons

  • They're comfortable.

  • Exciting color combinations.

  • They're an affordable everyday sneaker.

  • Suitable for long walks.

  • Great arch support.

  • Wearable for every sort of event.

  • Ample cushioning.

  • Adaptable to countless attires.

  • Inflexible outsole.

  • Not wide enough.

  • Not durable.

  • Not padded.

New Balance 515 Review

  • 1st Release Date: 2014

  • Price: $44.99 to $149.99

male model modeling 515

The 515 is a new addition to New Balance’s Classics line,it is is a low top running kick.New Balance’s 515 features an elegant, vintage-inspired shape with a low profile and modern aspects.And,It has some of the brighter colorways in the New Balance collection. Functionality is a primary attribute with the shoe's superb comfort that, according to testimonials, is like walking on clouds. The 515 is ideal for a variety of activities ranging from gym workouts, jogging, and hiking to more informal occasions such as meetings and social gatherings.

The Achilles heel and collar entrance are padded for extra comfort while the outsole consists of a durable rubber that supplies stability and grip. It also has a wide toe box that allows the wearer to use an orthopedic footbed insert for additional support if needed. A multi-colored EVA midsole is located at the bottom along with a removable EVA insert providing cushioning and comfort. It is also important to note that this particular shoe provides ample arch support which is great news for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. 

Although intended as a lifestyle sneaker, the shoe's versatility enables users to maximize their daily routines and athletic activities while maintaining an attractive style.

New Balance 515 Pros and Cons

  • Wide-feet friendly.

  • Great cushioning.

  • Vogue colorways.

  • Enough arch support.

  • Extremely durable.

  • Day-one comfort.

  • Lightweight.

  • Lack of harmony between the colors.

  • Rough sole.

  • Odd shape.

  • Unusual form.

New Balance 990 Review

  • 1st Release Date: 1982

  • Price: $184.99


The 990 soaked up four years of research and development. By the time it was finally released in 1982, the shoe was packed with every cutting-edge component New Balance designers could throw at it.Since its introduction in 1982, the New Balance 990 series has offered a combination of protection, comfort, and stability within a sophisticated package. To balance out the new-found flex, the 990 implemented the polyurethane heel-cradle known as the ‘Motion Control Device’. In fact, the MCD was so successful that it maintains a presence in New Balance’s current crop of performance runners.

One of, if not the most, popular running shoes from New Balance is the 990. With version 5, the legendary shoe gets an update. The 990v5 is the flagship New Balance shoe adored by celebrities and streetwear pundits alike. The New Balance 990v5 continues the legacy of using premium materials to guarantee superior comfort and stability. The iconic and timeless appearance stays but the 990 v5 features some key updates to structural elements and technologies.The suede and mesh upper provides a balance of good looks and breathability, and its lightweight foam and polyurethane midsole reduces impact on the joints and provides a slight bounce to your step.

New Balance 990v5 Pros and Cons

  • Dual density collar foam offers support and comfort for ankles.

  • Suede and mesh upper.

  • Made in the U.S.A.

  • ENCAP midsole cushioning combines lightweight foam with a durable polyurethane rim to deliver all-day support.

  • All-day comfort with Ortholite insert and firm -yet- supportive midsole.

  • Yielding footbed.

  • Weighty.

  • Bunching issues.

  • Flimsy upper (big toe area).

New Balance 997H Review

  • 1st Release Date: 2009

  • Price: $89.99


An all-time NB favorite, the 997H brings bold, independent style to those who wear it. Choose from a variety of head-turning color combinations based on your personal style expression. A relative of New Balance’s 997 style, the 997H offers a modern, streamlined take on its predecessor’s silhouette. Staying mostly true to the shape and design of the 997, the 997H has a sportier feel, and it’s lighter, too — whereas the 997 uses an Encap midsole, the 997H has a REVLite midsole, a foam compound that’s 30 percent lighter than other foams but delivers the same responsiveness and comfort.With the 997H, New Balance introduces a budget-friendly alternative to those who wish to dabble with the expensive all-time classic NB 997.

Streamlined for contemporary times, the New Balance 997H maintains the visual aesthetic of the OG's. It uses a mix of materials to give depth to the look while also taking on bright '90s color accents.According to reviewers, the shoe is very comfortable and affordable in price.

New Balance 997H Pros and Cons

  • The shoe is the remake of model 997 that came in 1990.

  • Retro vibes.

  • Affordable.

  • Wide foot friendly.

  • Easy to style.

  • These sneakers are very comfortable.

  • It comes in different colors.

  • Lacks in quality.

  • Not supportive for some.

  • Many people have complained about it having a narrow toe box.

Where to Buy New Balance Shoes Cheapest?

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New Balance 574 vs. 515 vs. 990 vs. 997H: Comparison Side by Side

1.Construction and Materials

  • Upper

New Balance 574 - New Balance 574 is made of a combination of suede, leather, and mesh. It has a mesh upper with suede overlays for added durability. The 574’s mesh upper promotes breathability, while suede overlays add durability. Starting off around the tip of the toe, the 574 has a suede mudguard, which is followed by mesh in the toe box. Overlapping the mesh is another suede panel, which houses the laces.The only flaw is that the tongue isn’t padded, which could lead to discomfort, especially if you’re participating in sports or doing something physically demanding.

New Balance 515 - The uppers of the shoe are composed of a variety of materials, including suede, mesh, leather, nubuck, and nylon, and come in a variety of hues.A basic leather makeover with a perforated top or a suede overlay with a mesh mix may be seen on the New Balance 515. Because of the differences in materials, the sneaker can adapt to any activity, be it summer or winter. 

New Balance 990 - New Balance 990 is made from 50% mesh and 50% pigskin. Pigskin material makes the New Balance 990 much more breathable, loose, light and easy to take care of. However, it may not be as water resistant as other New Balance shoes. It is also obvious that no matter how soft and spongy the pigskin is, suede looks much better than pigskin.

New Balance 997H - Coming in a mix of suede, mesh and leather materials, the 997H models come in contrasting upper panels lined with Cordura fabric. Sewn at the top of the tongue is a diamond-shaped patch, etched with “New Balance” branding, complemented with round laces below.

  • Midsole

New Balance 574 - The New Balance 574 uses ENCAP, which is a midsole technology that combines a supportive, durable rim of polyurethane and a soft, cushioning core of EVA.Because of this technology, the ENCAP midsole is known for its toughness among New Balance shoes, providing extra support and durability.

New Balance 515 - The New Balance 515 uses the Fresh Foam cushioning technology. It provides an ultra-plush and flexible feel, creating a super comfortable and lightweight fit. Not only is it perfect for casual runs, but it is also ideal for long hours on your feet.

New Balance 990 - New Balance 990 shoes midsole features Encap technology.which is made up of more than one material and New Balance has labeled as their own. Encap has soft EVA foam in its core with a tough polyurethane shell for increased support and durability. Polyurethane is compression resistant as compared to the EVA foam, which makes New Balance 990 shoes more supportive. This polyurethane shell helps in fighting arch fatigue during long hours of standing.

New Balance 997H - The 997H replaces the popular New Balance ENCAP midsole with GCEVA construction and lightweight outsoles. It is noticeably softer than the traditional ENCAP midsoles (which is very tough), making the 997H much more cushioned than the New Balance 574.

  • Outsole

New Balance 574 - The outsole of the New Balance 574 is made of solid rubber with a distinctive design that increases friction and protects the wearer from slipping on smooth surfaces. It also sports a textured rubber outsole for traction on a variety of surfaces.

New Balance 515 -  Its form is based on an SL-2 last for a comfortable fit. For enhanced comfort, the Achilles heel and collar entrance are both cushioned. While some consumers have complained that the NB 515’s rigid sole causes them pain, others have stated that it is really comfortable.

New Balance 990 - It’s made from blown rubber and there are flex grooves in the forefoot for added flexibility.The blown rubber is one of the most used rubber material. It is light and flexible so this is why there is enough space for forefoot. 

New Balance 997H - Durable rubber outsoles for flexible traction.

2.Comfort and Fit

New Balance 574 - Men’s and women’s sizes are available for the New Balance 574, which is both comfortable and attractive. As far as comfort goes, the New Balance 574 is good, not great. his is because the uppers are made of suede, a material that does not provide good ventilation. However, after wearing them several times, they get more comfortable. They are comfortable for walking, but not for running.The New Balance 574 runs small so I recommend buying one size up. 

New Balance 515 -  The uppers are made of breathable mesh, perfect for casual walking or light running. The shape of the shoes is streamlined, so it hugs your feet effortlessly.The New Balance 515 modernized the typical snug fit by replacing the sturdy old saddle overlay with a stark “N” emblem on the vamp. This redesign allows the midfoot to move freely, which is ideal for persons with broader feet. And they are true to size. 

New Balance 990 - The New Balance 990 fit true to size.The New Balance 990v5 comes with more width options, as this shoe is available from extra-narrow to XX wide. The shoes also range in size starting at size 7 to 16 for men and are available from size 5 to 13 for women.

New Balance 997H - While the New Balance 997H has suede materials just like the 574, it is much more comfortable and more “roomy” for your feet. They are more streamlined and longer than the 574.However, don’t expect enough arch support from the 997H because they are somewhat flat. The midsole is made of GCEVA (Ground Contact EVA), which is soft and cushioned but is not arched in any way. They are still very comfortable and fit nicely though.They are true to size.

Comparison Table

New Balance 574New Balance 515New Balance 990New Balance 997H
Width OptionsStandard/Wide/X-WideMedium/WideX-Narrow/Narrow/Standard/Wide/X-Wide/XX-WideStandard
SupportLight Stability ShoeNeutralNeutralNeutral

Shoe size runs small

True to sizeTrue to sizeTrue to size
FlexibilityFlexible Rigid Flexible Flexible 

Conclusion: Which is Best for You?

All the four sneakers are well-made by New Balance and both deserve your consideration.At the end of the day, it will depend on personal choice.If you want more flexible and breathable sneakers, you can choose New Balance 574. However,if you desire more durable and padded sneakers, you can go with New Balance 515.If you want something supportive for long walks, the New Balance 990v5 is the better choice.The 997H is an affordable option to the expensive and iconic New Balance 997. The 997H is widely praised for its comfortable cushioning and lightweight feel, but the best part of the shoes is its budget-friendly price.

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2022-09-27 01:015590