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New Balance 530 vs. 2002R vs. 725 vs. 990: Differences and Reviews 2024

New Balance 530 vs. 2002R vs. 725 vs. 990: Differences and Reviews 2024

    New Balance started building running shoes in the 70's and grew to become one of the world's leading brands.When style, comfort, and quality are your priorities in sneakers, the best brand you must consider is New Balance.A top choice for fitness walkers and runners, New Balance shoes are known for their plush comfort and quality construction. The brand also offers sneakers in a wide range of styles that provide extra support for different types of wearers, like those with flat feet or fallen arches.The 990,2002R,530 and 725 are the most popular New Balance models in recent years.Their designs are seemingly near-identical yet have subtle important differences.So,the process of finding just the right New Balance sneaker for you can turn complicated and confusing.

    New Balance 530 vs. 2002R: which is better?What's the difference between New Balance 990 and 530?What's the difference between New Balance 2002R and 990?What is the difference between 990 and 725?What is the difference between 530 and 725?New Balance 530 vs. 2002R vs. 725 vs. 990:which is best for you?What is the most comfortable New Balance model?In this article,I'll take a detailed look at the New Balance 530,2002R,725 and 990, exploring their key features and benefits, so that you can make the best decision for your running needs.


New Balance 530 Review

1st Release Year: 2010

Official Price: $99.99

This sneaker was originally released in 1992 as a performance running shoe, featuring a lightweight construction and the Abzorb technology in the heel. It did not make a whole lot of a splash back then but around 2013 it started to make a comeback as a lifestyle sneaker given that its chunky looks aligned with the trends at the time. How do you make a prototypical dad shoe feel even dadlier? If you're New Balance, you introduce the 530, which ditched the brand's legendary gray suede uppers in favor of pristine white mesh—lending this early-'90s classic a sporty-but-ready-to-mow-the-lawn energy. 

In terms of construction, the New Balance 530 comes with renowned comfort thanks to the use of NB's ENCAP and ABZORB cushioning in the midsole. Designed for running, you get guaranteed support and lots of padding underfoot. The upper usually comes with a mixture of mesh and synthetic leather overlays, meaning that the pair are some of the most breathable kicks about.Not only is the 530 New Balance equipped with advanced cushioning, but it also boasts a sleek design that never goes out of style. It’s the ideal shoe for any occasion, whether you’re running errands or going for a casual stroll. And with its affordable price point, you can enjoy the perfect combination of style and comfort without breaking the bank.If you’re in the market for a versatile and stylish pair of shoes that also prioritizes your comfort, the 530 New Balance is a perfect choice. 


Who Should Buy The New Balance 530?

The 530 New Balance is ideal for anyone who prioritizes comfort and style in their footwear. Thanks to the ABZORB cushioning technology, the 530 New Balance provides all-day comfort. This makes it an excellent choice for those who are constantly on their feet or engage in activities that require long hours of walking or standing. The superior support and cushioning ensure that your feet stay comfortable and pain-free throughout the day.

Its sleek design and versatile color scheme allow you to effortlessly elevate your style.Whether you’re a busy professional, a student, a fashion-conscious individual, or simply someone who wants to upgrade their shoe collection, the 530 offers something for everyone. 

New Balance 530 Pros And Cons

  • Budget-friendly.

  • Classic look.

  • Comfortable.

  • Stable.

  • Easy to style.

  • Breathable upper.

  • Versatile for different occasions and activities.

  • High-quality construction for durability.

  • Limited color options.

  • Narrow.

  • Rubs against the toe.

  • Only good for casual wear.

Where To Buy New Balance 530?

New Balance (up to 5% super cash back)

KICKS CREW (7% super cash back)

Foot Locker (4% super cash back) 



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New Balance 2002R Review

1st Release Year: 2010

Official Price: $74.99 - $179.99 (From kids to adult)

The original version of the sneaker was released in 2010 and was considered to be a premier and high-end running shoe. And like the newer silhouettes over the last two or three decades, these didn't quite pan out at first, likely due to the eye-popping $250 retail price tag. Luckily, New Balance corrected the formula to re-introduce the shoe in 2020, this time with an updated sole borrowed from the 860v2, a new “R” suffix and a much more palatable price tag. And the sneaker now has a sleeker design than the original.

Building on the success of the 990 line, the 2002R carries over the dad-shoe aesthetic with additional comfort granted by the N-ergy and ABZORB midsole. This has made it the choice sneaker for collaborators like thisisneverthat, Joe Freshgoods, Salehe Bembury, J.Crew and Bape.Made with premium materials and ample amount of cushioning, support, and shock absorption, these shoes keep you ready for anything. The ABZORB midsole absorbs impact through a smashing combo of cushioning and compression resistance for a smooth ride. Finish off your everyday look with the New Balance 2002R.If you like the look of the 990s yet want something less ubiquitous, consider the 2002R…However, if you are a serious runner, it may be best to opt for a more-modern type of New Balance running shoe (like the 1080).


Who Should Buy The New Balance 2002R?

This running-inspired sneaker is perfect for those who:

  • prefer the old-schoolish dad-shoe vibe in their footwear.

  • are looking for a lifestyle shoe that provides arch support.

  • need an NB shoe that they can wear all day long.

  • want a sneaker that feels airy when worn.

New Balance 2002R Pros And Cons

  • The improved sole unit makes the NB 2002R a very airy and light shoe.

  • Multiple colorways.

  • Stylish classic look.

  • Comfortable for all-day wear.

  • Steady Fit.

  • Accurate Sizing.

  • Good breathability.

  • Helps to relieve foot pain.

  • Stable platform.

  • Reliable arch support.

  • Some wearers complain that the NB 2002R has a very narrow forefoot and can be too tight.

  • Suede overlays lack durability.

Where To Buy New Balance 2002R?

New Balance (up to 5% super cash back)

Foot Locker (4% super cash back) 

Champs Sports (4% super cash back)


Shoe Palace

New Balance 725 Review

1st Release Year: 2021

Official Price: $110

A stylish pair of sneakers with cushioning galore is what the New Balance 725 is all about. The basic design is based loosely on the silhouettes of the athletic sneakers that graced the early 2000s, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a weekday shoe that looks or feels better on your feet. Tailored with a suede and mesh upper for added breathability, these shoes come with a padded collar, round toe, and C-Cap cushioned midsole so you can step in comfort wherever you go. Finished with a branded tongue and treaded rubber outsole delivering good traction, the New Balance 725 is a great addition to your everyday rotation.

This is one of the most highly-anticipated retro models the brand has ever released, and you can see the old-school influences that were pulled straight from the archives. Yet, while they might look nostalgic, these sneakers are decidedly modern and built to last. The 725s shine thanks to thoughtful details woven into the interior of each pair. At the same time, these sneakers never feel heavy or tight on your feet. Whether you're planning to hit the gym or just run a few errands, you'll find yourself reaching for these New Balance shoes time and again. 


Who Should Buy The New Balance 725?

The New Balance 725 is perfect for anyone in search of a comfortable and stylish shoe that can be worn for various activities. Whether you’re an athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or someone looking for a versatile sneaker for everyday wear, this shoe is a great fit for you.

New Balance 725 Pros And Cons

  • 2000s running shoe design.

  • Cool and stylish.

  • Lightweight design.

  • Breathable.

  • Suitable for various activities.

  • Unmatched comfort and durability.

  • The sturdy construction provides long-lasting support.

  • Adjustable lace closure for a customized fit.

  • It has been recognized by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) for its exceptional design that promotes foot health.

  • Limited color options.

Where To Buy New Balance 725?

Foot Locker (4% super cash back) 

KICKS CREW (7% super cash back)

Champs Sports (4% super cash back)


Flight Club

New Balance 990 Review

1st Release Year: 1992

Official Price: $59.99 - $219.99 (From kids to adult)

The 990, first introduced in 1982, became a groundbreaking model for New Balance with its revolutionary Encap technology. In this shoe, EVA foam in the midsole was encapsulated by a polyurethane shell, which helped the foam keep its shape and bounce over time. The result was a springy, highly durable running shoe that athletes loved. It’s still a popular model today, and one of the main shoes in the company’s “Made in USA” series.The 990 shoes was updated and different volumes of the original 990s were launched throughout the years.Designed with cushioning and stability in mind, these shoes are perfect for long runs, and yet they are lightweight enough for everyday use.With a classic look and a number of great colorways, this is the ideal addition to your collection.

The MADE in USA 990v6 embraces this original mandate, with a series of performance-inspired updates.The upper dispenses with the standard midfoot saddle, allowing the pigskin and synthetic overlays to flow from heel to toe across the mesh underlay, for a speedy, streamlined look. While the evolved design marks one of the most dramatic changes from one generation model to the next that the 990 has ever seen, the greatest leap forward occurs on the inside. The addition of FuelCell midsole cushioning means that the evolution of the 990 can be felt as much as it can be seen.Yet, like its immediate predecessor, the v6 adopts a sporty aesthetic, indulging in a slimmer shape and more angular lines than past New Balance shoes.


Who Should Buy The New Balance 990v6?

This is a modern shoe for modern times, and it looks great in every situation, whether it’s a long run or going out with friends.The New Balance 990 v6 is a solid pick for:

  • Runners and walkers who want a pair of kicks that they can take for casual strolls without giving up the forward propulsion that they love in their trainers.

  • Dad shoe lovers who want that modern twist to the classic retro vibe of members of the New Balance 990 series.

New Balance 990v6 Pros And Cons

  • It features a modern look and design.

  • They come in a number of different widths.

  • All-day comfort

  • No break-in needed

  • FuelCell foam delivers a propulsive feel to help drive you forward.

  • It provides greater stability for runners.

  • It offers more cushioning and shock absorption.

  • Lighter and more breathable than 2002R.

  • Also great for walks and easy jogs.

  • Spacious toe box.

  • Worth every penny.

  • May be too narrow for some runners.

  • May not provide enough arch support for some runners.

  • Doesn’t have the same retro charm the older models have.

  • It is not as durable as 2002R.

Where To Buy New Balance 990v6?

New Balance (up to 5% super cash back)

Foot Locker (4% super cash back) 

Finish Line (5% super cash back)

Champs Sports (4% super cash back)

Flight Club

New Balance 530 vs. 2002R vs. 725 vs. 990: Comparison Side by Side

1. Design and Style

New Balance 530 - The 530 New Balance showcases a timeless design that never goes out of fashion. Its sleek and clean appearance, paired with natural indigo accents, enhances its versatility and makes it a great addition to any outfit.

New Balance 2002R - The 2002R features a classic basketball shoe silhouette. They are available in a variety of colors, so you can choose the one that best suits your style.The 2002R does not have  reflective material, but it does have a stylish look that will make you stand out from the crowd.

New Balance 725 - The New Balance 725 is inspired by the running styles of the 2000s, offering a retro yet contemporary look. The synthetic and mesh upper provides a sleek appearance that effortlessly elevates your style.They are refreshingly simple and understated, with muted colorways. They may not be as bold, but their goes-with-anything look makes them infinitely more versatile.

New Balance 990v6 - The 990v6 features a classic running shoe silhouette.And it also features a reflective material, which makes it perfect for running in low light conditions. They have a timeless design that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.The various colorways, including the iconic grey and navy combination, make it easy to find a pair that suits your needs.

2. The Upper

New Balance 530 - The upper of the New Balance 530 is made of a see thru mesh material with synthetic leather overlays.The mesh is built like a 2 layer material that is both strong and see thru. The synthetic overlays are what do not inspire much durability so I cannot suggest going too hard on these as they may not last. You should wear them as everyday casual shoes and that’s about it.

New Balance 2002R - The 2002R is made with breathable leather/suede/mesh uppers. While the purpose of the suede overlays is to add durability and style, its suede overlay did not hold well after several uses. Also, those who used the shoe for moderate daily wear complained that the mesh material started to develop holes too. Some reported signs of wear after only a few weeks of using the shoes.

New Balance 725 - The 725 features a synthetic and mesh upper (and interior lining) that add breathability and flexibility. Once you adjust the lace closure and get the customized fit just right, you'll be set. 

New Balance 990v6 - One of the most noticeable changes from the previous model is the upper. The standard midfoot saddle has been dispensed with, allowing the pigskin and synthetic overlays to flow from heel to toe across the mesh underlay. This gives the shoe a streamlined, modern look that is sure to appeal to runners who value style as well as performance.There are reflective elements that can be found on the “N” lettermark and below the collar. To complement the reflective elements, metallic finishing is applied to the 990 logos at the rear of the sneaker and on the tongue’s branding while the V6 is done in a curvy font in red. Alongside the suede, most of the rest of the upper is a polyester blend. Elsewhere on the upper, plastic panels on the tongue and heel cap are just that – plastic – but they have a bit step up compared to previous models.

3. The Midsole 

New Balance 530 - The midsole of the New Balance 530 features EVA foam and the ABZORB cushioning technology. The latter is made of a rubber material that strikes the right balance of cushioning and compression for a comfortable ride. The whole setup may have been performant 30 years ago  but nowadays we cannot recommend these for running or gym for that matter. 

New Balance 2002R - The ABZORB cushioning technology found on the midsole offers a springy feel for maximized comfort and stability.The visible N-ergy technology, which effectively absorbs shock, is seen on the lateral side of the back heel and pretty much looks like the popular Nike Shox.On top of that, it uses a very well-padded foam insole which contributed to the underfoot comfort. It can be easily removable to fit in your custom orthotics if needed.

New Balance 725 - Featuring a C-CAP midsole cushioning, this sneaker ensures durable support and optimal comfort. Whether you’re hitting the gym, running errands, or going on a casual stroll, your feet will feel cushioned and well-supported.

New Balance 990v6 - The New Balance 990v6 midsole gets a complete revamp. New Balance used three different types of EVA foam represented by the three different colors. New Balance has given the sneaker a chunkier, textured midsole with a much taller stack height. In terms of design, the forefoot is given much smoother lines while the grey Encap heel sports more aggressive, sharper lines.FuelCell foam delivers a propulsive feel to help drive you forward.

4. The Outsole

New Balance 530 - The outsole features a durable rubber with a pattern that does not add a whole lot of traction.I recommend to wearing these in a more urban setting. 

New Balance 2002R - The N-ergy outsole provides superior shock absorption, and Stability Web outsole technology ensures added arch support for a stable and secure fit.

New Balance 725 - 

New Balance 990v6 - Thick rubber panels make up the majority of the outsole.The outsole is much more classic New Balance. Thick rubber with minimal cut outs shows that this was still designed with durability in mind.

5. Comfort

New Balance 530 - Thanks to the ABZORB cushioning technology, the 530 New Balance provides all-day comfort. This makes it an excellent choice for those who are constantly on their feet or engage in activities that require long hours of walking or standing. The superior support and cushioning ensure that your feet stay comfortable and pain-free throughout the day.

New Balance 2002R - Due to its lightweight feature and cutout design with mesh fabric, it makes the shoes both breathable and comfortable. They can be worn all day during hot weather as the shoes allow enough air to pass through the mesh cutouts.

New Balance 725 - Wearing the New Balance 725 means experiencing day-long comfort. Whether you’re on your feet for hours at work or exploring the city on a weekend adventure, these sneakers offer the support and cushioning your feet need to stay comfortable.

New Balance 990v6 - The 990 shoes are known for being extremely comfortable. The shoes are made with the user’s comfort and safety in mind.Many wearers say that this sneaker is more comfortable than its predecessor. There are also those who say that wearing the featured shoe is like “walking on a cloud.”

6. Fit and Sizing 

New Balance 530 - They fit true to size with a quite roomy toe box. Given their upper construction I would say that they are wide foot friendly, they mold nicely on your feet. 

New Balance 2002R - The New Balance 2002R sizing is a little small. They fit more snug so it would be best to go up half a size from your usual. They are wide foot friendly with a slightly roomy feel.

New Balance 725 - These New Balance sneakers tend to run true to size. When shopping for your own pair, you shouldn't have to size up or down. With its lace closure system, the New Balance 725 guarantees a secure and customizable fit. No matter the shape of your foot, you can confidently wear these sneakers without concerns of them slipping or feeling too loose.

New Balance 990v6 - The New Balance 990 v6 has a surprisingly good last.These new 990s are shaped much more like a normal foot.Even better, they come in a number of different widths. The heavy padding also makes the shoes pretty accommodating if you’re in between sizes. 

7. Performace

New Balance 530 - While the 530 New Balance is primarily a casual shoe, it also offers performance benefits. The cushioning system helps absorb shock and reduce the impact on your feet, which can be particularly beneficial for those engaged in light workouts or physical activities.

New Balance 2002R - This sneaker delivers reliable arch support and stability, and many reviewers are all for it. You can trust that you will be able to walk around steadily with the support that the New Balance 2002R provides. Aside from providing support, this sneaker also feels very light on the feet!

New Balance 725 - As mentioned, these are designed more as lifestyle shoes, though that doesn't mean they'll look out of place at the gym. These are great if you're looking for a versatile shoe you don't have to change out of when it's time to go to dinner after a workout. They're padded and chunky enough to look sporty, but the neutral colorways allow you to dress them up or down. 

New Balance 990v6 - While the design and features of the 990v6 are impressive, the most important factor for any running shoe is its performance on the track. Thankfully, the 990v6 delivers on its promise of being one of the best running shoes on the market. The addition of FuelCell foam provides a noticeable boost in energy return, making it easier to maintain a steady pace and pick up the speed when needed.The ENCAP midsole cushioning also provides excellent support, helping to reduce the risk of injury and keeping the feet feeling comfortable even on longer runs. 

8. Durability

New Balance 530 -  These shoes are made with attention to detail, using high-quality materials that ensure durability and longevity. With proper care, the 530 New Balance can accompany you on your adventures for a long time.

New Balance 2002R - The New Balance 2002R were meant to be luxury running shoes. They were famously worn by celebrities like Steve Jobs.To justify the high proce of these shoes they almo made it up to premium quality. The shoes are considered as an investment and will last you a very long time.

New Balance 725 - Crafted with precision and attention to detail, these sneakers are built to last. The combination of synthetic and mesh materials ensures durability, while the sturdy construction provides long-lasting support.

New Balance 990v6 - The New Balance 990 are made with suede leather and mesh upper and midsoles making the shoes very comfortable and durable. These shoes are also often recommended by podiatrists as they are built to support various foot problems.

Conclusion: Which Is Best For You?

The New Balance 990 series has been a staple of the brand from the days of its inception. The 990s are a perfect blend of performance and quality. The shoes are extremely versatile and can be worn during your morning runs as well as on fashion runways.

The 2002R is a newer model that is designed to provide superior stability and support. It has a more supportive upper, which can help to prevent pronation and over-pronation. It also offers a higher level of cushioning than the 990, making it a great choice for those who need extra cushioning. However, the 2002R is heavier than the 990, and it may not be suitable for those who are looking for a lightweight running shoe.

New Balance 530 could be seen as a more affordable option of 2002R. The material felt more premium and the suede felt more buttery on the 2002R.If you want a comfortable and cheap sneaker, The New Balance 530 would be a solid option. If you have a little more in your budget, I would highly recommend getting the New Balance 2002R which can be seen as an upgraded version!

The New Balance 725 is a stylish and comfortable shoe that meets the standards of both fashion and functionality. With its retro yet modern design, C-CAP midsole cushioning, and lightweight construction, these sneakers provide the perfect balance of style, support, and convenience.It offers excellent value for money and is suitable for various activities, making it the perfect addition to your footwear collection. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is New Balance 530 so popular?

The New Balance 530 phenomenon is based around their simple shape, referring to the 80s, where at that time a lot of other manufacturers released so-called "Daddy Shoes". Their silhouette and wide range of colorways will give your outfits a unique and fresh look.

Do New Balance 530 run small or large?

The New Balance 530 is known to fit true to size.

Can you put New Balance 530 in the washing machine?

Putting shoes through a washing machine cycle is NOT recommended, as some shoe materials should not be exposed to heat or submerged in water. Be sure that any cleaning product you purchase and plan to use is silicone-based to prevent any possible damage to your shoes.

Do New Balance 2002R fit true to size?

The sneaker fits true to size. Going with your standard athletic shoe size when purchasing the New Balance 2002R is a safe bet. If you have wide feet, you may want to size up half a size from your standard shoe size.

What type of shoe is New Balance 2002R?

The forward-thinking style of the 2002R is rooted in performance running. Inspired by the MR2002, a high-end running model originally released in 2010, the 2002R offers a ready-to-wear take on sleek, technical design.

Are New Balance 725 comfortable?

Tailored with a suede and mesh upper for added breathability, these shoes come with a padded collar, round toe, and C-Cap cushioned midsole so you can step in comfort wherever you go.

Can you run in the New Balance 725?

Yes!The New Balance 725 series combines some of the functional features you'll find in a typical running shoe with everyday comfort.

Should I size up in New Balance 725?

These New Balance sneakers tend to run true to size. When shopping for your own pair, you shouldn't have to size up or down. The unique lacing system of the 725s allows you to tailor the fit slightly so it's perfectly snug each time.

Why is New Balance 990 so popular?

New Balance first released its 990 sneakers the same year Nike first dropped its iconic Air Force 1's—in 1982. At around $100 each—a pretty penny at the time—streetwear fans deemed them an attractive investment, which partly explains their popularity within hip-hop culture.

Do New Balance 990v5 run big?

These run true to size.They are also really comfortable and feel amazing on the feet from day one.

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2023-11-09 18:223635