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New Balance 237 vs. 327 vs. 574 vs. 996: Differences and Reviews 2024

New Balance 237 vs. 327 vs. 574 vs. 996: Differences and Reviews 2024

    Everyone knows New Balance shoes. Along with huge athletic labels like Nike and Adidas, it’s one of the most instantly recognizable shoe brands on earth.If you are looking for a comfortable pair of trainers, you may have encountered two similar models from New Balance: the 237,373,574 and 996.Their designs are seemingly near-identical.It’s not just the model numbers that are similar, but the styles as well, with many falling into certain “families”.So people looking for the ideal pair of sneakers often compare the four.Actually,they do have subtle important differences.

    What’s the difference between New Balance 237 and 327?What is the difference between New Balance 237 and 574?What’s the difference between 327 and 574?What are New Balance 327 good for?What are New Balance 237 made of?Do New Balance 237 fit true to size?What is the difference between 574 and 996?New Balance 237 vs. 327 vs. 574 vs. 996: which is right for you?which is the best New Balance shoe?In this article, I’ll compare the four models and help you decide which one is the right fit for you. Read on to find out the differences among the 237,327,574 and 996 and which one you should buy!


New Balance 237

1st Release Date: 2021

Price: $48.00 to $165.18(@Amazon)

Review: This model was introduced in 2021 as part of a new wave of New Balance new sneakers. It was designed by Charlotte Lee, the same who came up with the 327, 57/40 and the XC-72 just to name a few. The 237 is a contemporary reinterpretation of ‘70s running heritage that melds a range of heritage design inspirations into one deceptively simple, exceptionally versatile, contemporary silhouette. Many of the 327’s 70s-inspired design aspects are carried through to the 237, joined by a New Balance Como 100-esque midsole that protrudes from the heel, a zig-zag tread and a substantial amount of super soft ankle padding. And just like the shoe’s kin, the silhouette was pushed into the public eye by French-Moroccan designer Charaf Tajer, founder of Casablanca.Suede and nylon uppers come in contrasting retro colorways that are vibrant and make a statement while asymmetrical paneling helps to create a color-blocked pattern.

Details include an oversized, chenille ‘N’ and satin-and-suede body. In a nod to vintage running shoes, the tongue is made of exposed foam layered in ripstop nylon, while the interior is lined in terry cloth.Sneakerheads who are into the aesthetics of '70s running shoes are sure to love the NB 237. Comfort-wise, this shoe may not be as cushy as today's offerings, but you could always pop in your own insoles to improve its underfoot feel, just like what other fans did!


New Balance 237 Pros and Cons

  • Overall design inspired by '70s heritage running shoes for a vintage vibe and added style.

  • Snug fit for all-day wear.

  • Rubber outsole for traction and durability.

  • Very affordable.

  • Easy to match.

  • Surprisingly light.

  • Out-of-box comfort.

  • Materials wrinkle.

  • Firm sole.

  • Not great for intense exercises.

Where to Buy New Balance 237?


Dicks Sporting Goods




Madewell (3% super cash back)

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New Balance 327

1st Release Date: 2020

Price: $99.99

Review: Debuted in 2020 through a collaborative effort with French fashion brand, Casablanca, the 327 takes cues from New Balances first running shoes released in the ‘70s.The New Balance 327 sheds new light on the ‘70s as a time of innovation by boldly reshaping classic design elements with a thoroughly contemporary outlook. The retro-inspired design is modernized with the addition of details like contemporary uppers in bold and sometimes unusual colorways and, most notably, the oversized N logo that adorns the side of the sneaker.,alongside the lugged outsole of the 355 trail runner, in combination with the lightweight uppers of the SuperComp.Despite being inspired by running shoes, the 327s are best suited to more leisurely wear, the rubber outsole and contrasting upper adding a dose of ’70s sportiness to your outfits.

The 327 sheds new light on the ‘70s as a time of innovation by boldly reshaping classic design elements with a thoroughly contemporary outlook. With an angular reworking of the tried-and-true wedge silhouette, outsize, asymmetrically applied ‘N’ branding, and wraparound, trail-inspired lug outsole, the 327 provides nothing less than a complete reimagination of our running heritage.


New Balance 327 Pros and Cons

  • It offers superior cushioning and shock absorption.

  • Fashionably sporty.

  • Lightweight and comfortable construction.

  • Large array of colorways available.

  • Well-ventilated upper.

  • Budget-friendly.

  • Superb grip.

  • Adjustable lace closure for a customized fit.

  • Average quality only.

  • Tight on the midfoot and forefoot.

  • Limited arch support.

Where to Buy New Balance 327?

New Balance (2% super cash back)

Foot Locker (4% super cash back)


KICKS CREW (6% super cash back)

Champs Sports (4% super cash back)

New Balance 574

1st Release Date: 1988

Price: $84.99 - $99.99

Review: One of the most recognizable silhouettes from the brand, the 574 continues to endure as a classic sneaker, largely keeping the same design as the original released in 1988. 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. Its standard suede and mesh upper is a durable combination and has been lined with mesh for comfort. Plus, its ENCAP midsole is still effective to this day, and its lugged rubber outsole, which was originally designed for trail running, is an appropriate choice for slippery streets.With a mesh upper combined with an ENCAP midsole and rubber outsole, these shoes just scream classic performance.

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.And, at around $99.99, they are one of the most affordable options on the sneaker market that don’t look cheap. 


New Balance 574 Pros and Cons

  • It is a versatile shoe that can be worn for a number of activities.

  • They're an affordable everyday sneaker.

  • They're comfortable.

  • Exciting color combinations.

  • Great arch support.

  • Ample cushioning.

  • The upper is not as breathable as the 327.

  • The sole provides less traction and grip.

  • The cushioning and shock absorption is not as great as the 327.

  • Not wide enough.

Where to Buy New Balance 574?

New Balance (2% super cash back)

Foot Locker (4% super cash back)

Champs Sports (4% super cash back)

Joe's New Balance Outlet (3% super cash back) 


New Balance 996

1st Release Date: 1988

Price: $62 - $189.99

Review: Introduced in 1988, the 996 was the first radical offshoot of the original 990. The 996’s technological features represented six years of evolution, and featured a subtly streamlined exterior design, making for an exceptionally wearable, high-performance shoe.

A favorite go-to shoe by many since ’88, the New Balance 996 has been in the market providing functionality to wearers without sacrificing style. Like any NB Classic, it flaunts a fresh look of an old-school shoe that goes well with almost anything. Those who have tried on and tested a pair are generally impressed with its superior quality, supportive fit, and overall comfort.The latest technology available in the Sneakers segment has been used for its design. This 996 model features a leather and mesh upper with welded construction, C-CAP cushioning and an Ndurance outsole.Thanks to their fun and colorful leather and shiny mesh upper, they are not just a sneaker, but a fashionable accessory. Everyday Sneakers that stand out for their elegance and comfort.


New Balance 996 Pros and Cons

  • Classic design.

  • Lightweight and comfortable.

  • Durable construction.

  • Great for long-distance running.

  • Grippy.

  • Great-value.

  • Soft wrap.

  • Narrow fit.

  • Lack of arch support.

  • Expensive.

Where to Buy New Balance 996?

New Balance (2% super cash back)

KICKS CREW (6% super cash back)




New Balance 237 vs. 327 vs. 574 vs. 996: Comparison Side by Side

1. Design

Taking inspiration from the brand's vintage running footwear releases, the New Balance 237 is praised for having superb retro sneaker goodness and modern styling. The shoe references design inspiration from the following New Balance classics: NB 420, 1300, and the Gator cleats.It looks like all-time classics but with a modern twist.

The New Balance 327 has an old-school look with a classic low-top silhouette. The shoe has a lightweight mesh upper and a suede mid-cut overlay for a modern look. 

The 574 is a mid-top sneaker and has a slightly more modern look with a suede upper, a mesh tongue, and a rubber outsole. It has a more sporty look than the 996 and is often seen on the streets and at the gym.

The New Balance 996 is a low-top sneaker with a classic leather upper and a rubber outsole. It features a subtly streamlined exterior design has a clean, minimalist silhouette, making it a versatile choice for everyday wear. 

2. Construction and Materials

  • Upper 

New Balance 237 - New Balance 237 features the classic nylon and suede leather upper which is great for almost all weather conditions. The suede leather is made up of three parts that are connected to each other to give an all 360 around the feet. Aside from its design appeal it also serves to add some containment to the feet, especially given how the midsole is attached to the shoe.The sneaker also features a foam exposed tongue, a nice retro throwback. 

New Balance 327 - The New Balance 327 upper is made of a combination of light padded nylon and suede which gives it that retro vibe some modern styles have. The upper feels very breathable which makes it an ideal summer sneaker. There is light padding around the ankle area and tongue. A signature part of this design is the oversized logo that goes in sync to the elongated outsole that goes all the way up the ankle. 

New Balance 574 - New Balance has brought back the classic suede and mesh upper for this classic model. While the suede gives much-needed structure without the need for standard overlays, the mesh provides breathability to the forefoot up towards the instep. And its textile lining ensures a comfortable wear throughout the day. Unfortunately, it does mean that this particular shoe is not intended for those who are vegan-friendly. It also means that it may not be as breathable as the more modern running shoes that are currently on the market.

New Balance 996 - 996 is outfitted with a premium, pigskin hairy suede and mesh upper.It has a padded collar and tongue.

  • Midsole

New Balance 237 - The sole unit features the basic EVA material for classic sneakers in a new, interesting setup, with the upper sitting on top of the midsole giving it an interesting, bulky look. They also feature a removable insole that is also EVA which adds a bit more plushy feel to the inside of the shoe. 

New Balance 327 - It also features a standard, removable EVA insole that sits on top of a foam midsole that is bulkier in the forefront and heel with a narrow area in the midfoot. This helps make the shoe super light and flexible. Casual , everyday wear is what these are clearly made for. 

New Balance 574 - One of the most popular traits of the New Balance 574 is the ENCAP midsole.Not only is it designed for more support, but it is also built for durability.It also comes with a removable insole, which can easily be replaced by a custom insert if it’s needed.However, ENCAP midsoles can take some time to break into. 

New Balance 996 - With an NB heritage-inspired design atop superior underfoot cushioning, this shoe delivers comfort and timeless, unforgettable style. This sneaker features C-CAP midsole technology that offers support built for everyday wear.

  • Outsole

New Balance 237 - The rubber outsole has an herringbone pattern that is very basic and perfect for a casual shoe which does not need much traction while adding durability. It has an interesting, asymmetric shape in the front where it goes up to the toe box area much like most classics but with a twist. 

New Balance 327 - 327's trail-inspired studded rubber outsole that extends to the heel area. Walking on slippery surfaces will never be a problem as this feature provides a good grip while improving the overall style and detail. 

New Balance 574 - The outsole is made of a simple, non-marking rubber.Its asymmetrical tread pattern features gripping lugs that are mostly placed around the perimeter, with extra ones placed in the middle of the forefoot for a better grasp. It also has a more textured area at the heel which makes it easier to avoid accidental slips. 

New Balance 996 - New Balance 996 has non-marking outsoles and will not leave black marks (or scuffs) on either hardwood or tile floors.The non-marking rubber outsole with lugged traction can grip many surfaces. So whether you are going for casual walks or doing something active, the New Balance 996 can get the job done.

3. Fit and Sizing

New Balance 237 - As we tried them on they felt very comfortable from the get go and they fit true to size. I could see however that for someone with wide feet a half size up may be the best choice. They are very lightweight and stylish, a great combo for the perfect lifestyle sneaker that will not break the bank. 

New Balance 327 - They fit true to size and are not as narrow fitting as other New Balance styles. Stick with your usual size.327 also has a wider forefoot area too compared to other types of athletic shoes.

New Balance 574 - 574 is made using the SL-2 last, which is designed to create a little bit of extra room in the forefoot and toe box. Best of all, its sizes come in standard, wide, and extra wide to better accommodate all foot typesEven though the 574 uses the SL-2 last designed to create a roomier width, don’t expect it to be enough to overcome the need for wide sizing. If you normally order wide sizing in shoes, I would recommend ordering the 574 in a wide size.

New Balance 996 - Compared to other NB models, the New Balance 996's forefoot is a tad narrow. The New Balance 996 is designed to have a snug fit and provide a comfortable ride. It has a padded collar and tongue, a reinforced heel counter, and a removable foam sockliner for extra cushioning. 

Conclusion: Which is Best for You?

These shoes offer a variety of benefits, making it hard to decide which one is the best choice.Overall, these shoes are very similar in that they are lightweight casual shoes that provide a comfortable fit for everyday-use. When it comes to deciding which is better, it really depends on the individual’s needs and preferences.

The 237 is a retro inspired sneaker at an affordable price.It is a lifestyle sneaker that you can take with you pretty much everywhere, being easy to match with any casual attire. 

The 327 is a stylish sneaker that could be part of any rotation, except those with wide feet or in need of extra arch support.It’s lightweight and breathable, making it a great choice for everyday wear. 

The 574 is more of a hybrid road/trail shoe. It offers a bit more versatility. And the New Balance 550 is a great running shoe for neutral runners. It’s comfortable and supportive and provides plenty of cushioning. If you are looking for a new running shoe to help you run your best, this shoe should be at the top of your list. 

If you are looking for a lightweight shoe that offers excellent traction and durability, then the New Balance 996 might be the better choice for you. In fact, the longer you wear the New Balance 996, the better it feels as it does not hurt around the heel. An excellent choice of investment for a go-to, all-year-round.

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2023-06-19 01:133741