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New Balance 480 vs. 574 vs. 550: Differences and Reviews 2023

New Balance 480 vs. 574 vs. 550: Differences and Reviews 2023

    When style, comfort, and quality are your priorities in sneakers, the best brand you must consider is New Balance.Throughout its history, New Balance has relied on word-of-mouth from their client base as opposed to athlete or celebrity endorsements.Three of their most renowned models are the New Balance 480,574 and 550.These shoes contain their versatile features and are adaptable for distinct activities.Some factors must be considered regarding selecting among them.What is the difference between New Balance 480 and 550?What's the difference between New Balance 480 and 574?What is the difference between New Balance 550 and 574?What's the difference between New Balance 550 and BB550?What is BB550?New Balance 480 vs. 574 vs. 550: wihci is best for you?In this article,I'll take a detailed look at the New Balance 480,574 and 550, exploring their key features and benefits, so that you can make the best decision for your running needs.


New Balance 480 Review

  • 1st Release Year: 1983

  • Official Price: $59.99-$89.99(from kids to adult)

Manufactured in Maine and debuting in 1983, the 480 was worn by legendary pro players like James Worthy and M.L. Carr.This shoe is inspired by the original BB680, a game-worn shoe loved by basketball players. It combines timeless style with functionality, making it a must-have for anyone in need of a reliable and comfortable shoe.

The older brother of the New Balance 550, a sneaker slamming on the zeitgeist in recent years, the 480 looks set to go on a similar, NBA Jam-style scoring run.This shoe is a timeless classic that combines style with functionality. With a leather upper for durability and a sporty look, a flextended saddle and sturdy heel counter for stability, and a lace closure for a secure fit, this shoe is perfect for all-day wear.The rubber outsole provides traction and durability, while the Ortholite insert ensures all-over comfort and stability. Lightweight and available in various sizes and widths.

Boasting the classic New Balance branding on each side, heel, and tongue, these kicks are sure to turn heads and make a statement wherever you go. Whether you're hitting the streets or just running some errands, the New Balance 480 has got you covered through it all.


Who Should Buy The New Balance 480?

The New Balance 480 is suitable for:

  • Anyone in need of a reliable and comfortable shoe. 

  • Sneakerheads looking for a shoe that has a sleek retro vibe.

  • Anyone with wider feet in need of an accommodating toebox with extra toe room.

New Balance 480 Pros And Cons

  • Dope retro vibe.

  • All-day wear.

  • Versatile performance.

  • Feels stable and supportive.

  • Foot slides smoothly in and out.

  • Great traction.

  • Easy to clean and keep clean.

  • Accommodates wide feet.

  • Budget-friendly.

  • Customizable fit.

  • Unmatched comfort.

  • Excellent durability.

  • May not be suitable for those with specific orthopedic needs.

  • Leather isn’t genuine and lacks quality.

  • Durability could be better.

Where To Buy New Balance 480?

New Balance(up to 5% cash back) 

KICKS CREW(3%-3.5% cash back)

Champs Sports(3%-4% cash back) 

Dicks Sporting Goods

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New Balance 574 Review

  • 1st Release Year: 1988

  • Official Price: $55.99-$99.99(from kids to adult)

The New Balance 574 is the company’s archetypal casual sneaker. Initially released in 1988.The 574 was built to be a reliable shoe that could do a lot of different things well rather than as a platform for revolutionary technology, or as a premium materials showcase. This unassuming, unpretentious versatility is exactly what launched the 574 into the ranks of all-time greats. 

As a hybrid road/trail design built on a wider last than the previous generation’s narrow racing silhouettes, the 574 offered a uniquely versatile mix of new, different, uncomplicated, rugged, durable, and comfortable that was adopted as a closet staple across the globe. That’s why today, the 574 is synonymous with the boundary defying New Balance style, and worn by anyone.

While the 574 has seen numerous iterations over the years, its basic makeup remains the same: suede panels, a mesh toe box and tongue, an ankle collar that blends leather and mesh, a colored plastic heel stabilizer, and a large leather New Balance “N” logo on each side. Since its re-release, the 574 is also equipped with New Balance’s Encap technology in its midsole, which combines an EVA foam (a cushioned, rubbery type of plastic) with a polyurethane (a durable plastic-like material) rim that helps extend the life of the shoe’s sole.

The 574’s popularity can be attributed to its wide variety of colorways, the continual climb of trendy “dad shoes,” and numerous celebrity endorsements. Although the 574 exists in several variations, the 574 classic retails for $79.99 in men’s, women’s, and unisex sizes.


Who Should Buy The New Balance 574?

It's hard to go wrong with the New Balance 574 if you are after the following:

  • an affordable classic sneaker.

  • a very comfortable pair that can get you through the day.

  • a highly versatile kick that's available in numerous color combinations.

New Balance 574 Pros And Cons

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

  • Classic NB silhouette.

  • Affordable everyday sneaker.

  • Exciting color combinations.

  • They're comfortable.

  • Great arch support.

  • Real suede.

  • Highly durable.

  • Stable and supportive.

  • Great for wide feet.

  • Easy to style.

  • The sole provides less traction and grip.

  • Lacks breathability.

  • Stiff and firm platform.

  • Tongue shifts a little.

Where To Buy New Balance 480?

New Balance(up to 5% cash back) 

Foot Locker(1.6%-2% cash back) 

Joe's New Balance Outlet(6.5%-8% cash back)

Champs Sports(3%-4% cash back) 

Dicks Sporting Goods

New Balance 550 Review

  • 1st Release Year: 1989

  • Official Price: $69.99-$129.99(from kisd to adult)

The original 550 debuted in 1989 and made its mark on basketball courts from coast to coast. After its initial run, the 550 was filed away in the archives, before being reintroduced in limited-edition releases in late 2020, and returned to the full-time lineup in 2021, quickly becoming a global fashion favorite. The low-top basketball shoe is a revived ’80s-era style from the NB archive, which was catapulted into the limelight by a collab with Aimé Leon Dore founder Teddy Santis, and has remained a firm favorite among celebrities ever since.

It boasts a clean and straightforward style that amplifies its adaptable vibe from the hardwood to the playground. Despite having no modern technology, this kick will not disappoint in providing you with lasting cozy strides while keeping you stylishly chic on the city streets.The shoe also featured innovative reflective detailing, making it an ideal choice for runners, athletes, and casual wearers. 

In short, the popularity of New Balance 550 can be attributed to its superior design, high-quality construction, and on-trend aesthetic. With a pair of New Balance 550 shoes, you can wear them casually or stand out from the crowd.


About The New Balance BB550

The 550 and BB550 are the same from the overall look/silhouette.Like the design is the same. They are all part of New Balance bball line but there is a difference between the two quality wise. The 550 has leather the BB550 has premium leather. Another 550 has suede but the BB550 has premium suede. It you want to buy a shoe with softer but higher quality leather,you’d go BB550.

Who Should Buy The New Balance 550?

Grab a pair of New Balance 550 if you:

  • enjoy wearing throwback-styled sneakers with modern comfort.

  • are looking for an affordable New Balance model to add to your rotation.

  • prefer kicks that are easy to maintain.

New Balance 550 Pros And Cons

  • Lightweight design and comfortable feel.

  • Suitable for various outfits.

  • Designed with the latest technologies, including shock absorption systems and responsive cushioning materials.

  • There are a variety of colors and classic retro styles.

  • Durable materials and construction.

  • Incredibly clean details.

  • Reasonably priced.

  • Easy to clean.

  • No visible wear after several uses.

  • Released in a limited quantity.

  • A bit heavy compared to more contemporary sneakers.

  • Limited sole cushioning.

  • Fits wider than expected.

  • Insufficient lockdown feel.

Where To Buy New Balance 550?

New Balance(up to 5% cash back) 

Foot Locker(1.6%-2% cash back) 

Champs Sports(3%-4% cash back) 


Flight Club

New Balance 480 vs. 574 vs. 550: Comparison Side by Side

1. The Upper

New Balance 480 - The New Balance 480 features a leather upper that not only adds durability but also provides a sporty and stylish look. With this shoe, you can trust that it will withstand the test of time and keep up with your active lifestyle.

New Balance 574 - The 574 offers a fusion of suede, mesh, and fabricated materials, which gives permeability and flexibility. 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.The shoe also contains a more adaptive midsole and porous upper.

New Balance 550 - The 550 is engineered with a leather upper, which offers longevity and a standard feel.These materials allow your feet to stay calm, dry and supported as you move.There are some synthetic materials in the ankle collar and the logo area.Even if most of the upper leather is perforated you’ll get moderate ventilation in these so wearing them on hot summer days may not be a great idea.

2. The Outsole

The outsole of the New Balance 480,574 and 550 is structured of rubber, with good grip and durability. 

New Balance 480 - With a durometer reading of 79.8 HC, the 480’s outsole is slightly softer.This means that the shoe should be soft enough to bite into and grip most surfaces with relative ease while still being hardy enough to withstand repeated impact and abrasions.

New Balance 574 - The outsole of the 574 is massive and sturdy, which makes it better suited for outdoor activities.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 550 - The rubber sole unit is the classic one you’ll find on sneakers from the 80’s. It is stitched to the upper to match the overall design adding more to its durability. The outsole itself is held on with a row of stitching that runs everywhere but the cutout.

3. The Midsole

New Balance 480 - Featuring a reinforced toe cap and a full-length FuelCell midsole that delivers a high energy return, these shoes are built to endure the stresses of skateboarding.

New Balance 574 - The 574 has a midsole designed with ENCAP technology, an amalgamation of EVA foam and polyurethane. This offers more steadiness and support but also makes the shoe massive.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 550 - The New Balance 550 offers a lightweight EVA foam midsole, which gives padding and support while maintaining the shoe’s light. Along the midsole, you have various patterns, stripes, and two different versions of the New Balance Logo. There is also a cut out directly to the EVA foam on in inside of each shoe. This cut out gives an otherwise pretty bland shape shoe some curves – it’s a really nice touch. 

4. Comfort

New Balance 480 - Comfort is king with the 480. It is equipped with an Ortholite insert, offering all-over comfort and stability. You can say goodbye to sore feet and hello to a shoe that will keep you feeling great all day long.

New Balance 574 - The 574 is a bit more adaptive and provides more padding, making it a finer choice for those who require more support.The inside of the shoe feels perfectly soft and plush which allows breathability across the forefoot. 

New Balance 550 - The New Balance 550 is structured to be comfy and adaptive. It offers a cushioned collar and tongue, padding around the ankle. The shoe also comprises a cushioned insole, contributing to its overall comfort.

5. Durability and Quality

New Balance 480 - New Balance is known for its commitment to quality, and the 480 is no exception. Crafted with attention to detail, this shoe goes through a rigorous manufacturing process to ensure top-notch quality. You can trust that the New Balance 480 will live up to your expectations and provide you with extended comfort and durability.

New Balance 574 - The 574 has a fabricated and mesh upper, which is more deterioration-resistant. For the most part, users seem to be generally satisfied with the 574’s level of durability. However, there are a few reviewers who have noticed that they start to look worn out after being used only a small handful of times.

New Balance 550 - The 550 has a suede and netting upper, prone to scrapping and staining, but the shoe is still hard-wearing overall. However, some wearers have mentioned that the 550’s outsole can deteriorate swiftly with heavy use.

6. Fit and Sizing

New Balance 480 - Shoe fit true to size and makes for a great chill shoe. It is available in various sizes and widths, ensuring that you find the perfect fit for your unique foot shape. Say goodbye to the frustration of ill-fitting shoes and enjoy the customized comfort that the 480 offers.

New Balance 574 - The New Balance 574 fits true to size.It also has a broader toe box, which can benefit those with extensive feet.Best of all, its sizes come in standard, wide, and extra wide to better accommodate all foot types.

New Balance 550 - The 550 contains a true-to-size fit, accessible in medium and broad widths. Some users have mentioned that the shoe runs moderately narrow, so it may be obligatory to size up if you have extensive feet.

Conclusion: Which One Should You Choose?

In conclusion, the New Balance 480,574 and 550 are all remarkable sneakers with versatile attributes and advantages. Which is right for you?At the end of the day, it will depend on personal choice.

The New Balance 480 is a shoe that lives up to its name. It combines durability, comfort, and style to create a truly remarkable footwear option. Whether you’re playing sports, running errands, or simply want a stylish and comfortable everyday shoe, the 480 delivers on all fronts.

If you want more flexible and breathable sneakers, you can choose New Balance 574. In the case of comfort, the 574 may be a finer choice for those searching for a more padded and supportive shoe, as it has a massive sole and cushioning around the ankle. 

The 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. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When did New Balance 480 come out?

he 480 trainer was NB's very first B-ball shoe. Originally made in Maine, the 480 first came on the scene in 1983.

Are New Balance 480s comfortable?

They are very comfortable with a nice, roomy toe box, which is kind of a rounded box style. The insoles are ortholite foam and feel really good walking around on.

Is New Balance 480 leather?

New Balance 480 is a leather trainer inspired by basketball shoes of the past. It features an upper with a simple, clean and authentic style dedicated to the BB680 model from which it takes several distinctive traits. Fabric lining . Fabric insole with Ortholite insert for added comfort and moisture control.

Do New Balances 480 run big or small?

Shoe fit true to size and makes for a great chill shoe. This is NOT a skate shoe within new balances numeric line, and will deteriorate faster due to being a basketball shoe.

Why are New Balance 550 so popular?

One of the main reasons that the New Balance 550 has become so popular is due to its timeless design. The 550 is a modern take on a classic basketball shoe from the 80s, and it's all about the retro vibe designed by legendary sneaker architect Steven Smith in 1989.

Are New Balance 550 comfortable?

The New Balance 550s are praised for their plush cushioning, providing a comfortable and supportive feel during extended wear.

Are New Balance 550 good for running?

The New Balance 550 features a rubber cupsole stitched at the toe and heel for extra reinforcement. Capable of withstanding miles of use, it won't deteriorate as you change running surfaces and will provide excellent stability with each movement.

Do New Balance 550 fit big or small?

The sneaker falls true to size, but should you have wider feet, we recommend going half a size up.

Is New Balance 550 real leather?

The upper is made from high-quality, smooth and perforated leather and the breathable mesh lining is on a rubber sole. The two-tone, high-profile outsole and minimalist NB logo give this almost forgotten legend a vintage look to match.

Can you use New Balance 550 for gym?

New Balance is known for its commitment to comfort, and the NB550 lives up to this reputation. It offers a cushioned sole and excellent arch support, making it ideal for extended wear, whether you're walking the streets or hitting the gym.

Should I size up or down for New Balance 574?

The New Balance 574 fits true to size. They have a relatively wide footbed and a roomy toe box, which means that they won't squish your feet, unlike some more narrow New Balance styles.I recommend taking your usual size. 

Are New Balance 574 good for walking all day?

The NB 574 is designed in such a way that it can do a variety of things well. The hybrid outsole of the 574 positions it well for walking, running, light hiking, going to the gym, or simply running errands.

Is New Balance 574 durable?

The 574 was one of the first sneakers to use a combination of suede and mesh materials on the upper, which made it both breathable and durable.

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