You might not think your dad has much in common with today’s hottest celebrities, but we can think of one thing they probably share: their love for New Balance sneakers. It’s a fact the brand highlighted in its 2019 ad campaign for its 990v5 sneakers, which included the tagline “worn by models in London and dads in Ohio.”
And their universal appeal seems to have only grown since then. New Balance has become one of the most in-demand sneaker brands around – according to sneaker news site The Sole Supplier, interest in the company jumped more than 42% in the past year.
So what exactly makes them beloved? “They really are for everyone,” stylist Stacee Michelle told Shop TODAY. “We’ve seen over the past 100 years, everyone from the president to NBA superstars and celebrities wearing sneakers.”
Originally founded in 1906, the sneaker brand has become famous for creating footwear that prioritizes comfort and performance, making it a top choice among athletes, casual sneaker wearers and, of course, the fathers. But a number of high-profile collaborations with fashion companies like Miu Miu and Stüssy have also cemented New Balance as a go-to sneaker brand among fashion- and trend-savvy consumers.
So to find out exactly what makes them so popular and the best styles to buy, we consulted Michelle and Dr. Miguel Cunha, podiatrist and founder of Gotham Footcare in New York. Here, everything you need to know about the beloved shoe brand.
Are New Balance sneakers good for your feet?
Nobody wants to wear an uncomfortable sneaker. And a big part of the popularity of sneakers comes from the fact that they feel great on your feet. Cunha said that because of their design, New Balance is one of the brands he most often recommends to patients.
“Typically, their shoes come with engineered footbeds that are great for arch support, comfort, and stability,” he said. The insoles tend to be well cushioned for comfort and provide anatomical arch support, which can “help minimize fatigue and pain not only for your feet, but also for your ankles, knees and your back,” he added. They also have a deep heel cup that allows your heel to sit firmly inside the shoes instead of riding up your back when walking or running, which can help prevent blisters.
But that’s not all. Cunha said the middle of the shoe has a stiff shank, which prevents it from bending in an area where your foot wouldn’t naturally bend. The shoes also tend to have a wide toe box, which not only gives them the classic, chunky “dad shoe” look, but also allows your toes to move freely without restrictions and minimizes discomfort. forefoot, he said.
“These shoes are also biomechanically designed with a structured saddle, synthetic upper, padded collar and flexible, durable rubber sole that will help provide maximum shock absorption properties and cushioning to maximize motion control,” did he declare.
How to Style New Balance Sneakers
Apart from their benefits for your feet, some people would say that they are also very stylish. Their current popularity is likely due in part to the growing trend of looser trouser styles. Dad sneakers like the New Balances are a great choice to pair with wide-leg or baggy pants because they allow you to keep “the same scale all the way down,” Michelle says.
Another way to style sneakers is to wear a pair with an oversized jacket. “You’ll see a lot of celebrities wearing an overcoat with a thin bottom and sneakers,” she added. It can be a trench coat or a jacket that goes past your knees, but she said the look is “really clean and sleek.”
You can also try pairing them with something unexpected, like a dress or a skirt. “We’ve seen a lot of this trend at fashion week and with street style, where people are wearing matching blazer and skirt sets with a pair of New Balance sneakers,” Michelle said. “Or they’re wearing a slip dress with a pair of New Balance sneakers and maybe something underneath, whether it’s a turtleneck or a jacket. So there are ways to elevate it from the ankle up, but still cool and laid back down there.”
With so many style options, shoes are a versatile staple that anyone can pull off. “It’s great when you can have this crossover of a sneaker that you can wear to the gym but also throw on with a nice pair of jeans, a jacket and go out or a blazer and a skirt,” Michelle said. “Having that versatility is important in your wardrobe, so I always encourage that to customers when looking for new pieces to include.”
The best New Balance sneakers for women
New Balance 237 sneakers
We recently spotted all 237 New Balance sneakers on our social media pages – and searches for women’s style have increased 100% in the past 30 days, according to Google Trends. That’s why we’re not surprised to see that some colors of the shoe are completely sold out or have limited availability at multiple retailers. Inspired by ’70s running shoes, these chic trainers come in multiple hues, but we love the springtime feel of this pastel pair.
New Balance 57/40 sneakers
These pastel print sneakers are as fashionable as they are functional. Not only are they available in this head-turning colorblock design (which is currently out of stock very quickly), but they also feature a cushioned footbed for added comfort and a performance mesh fabric, which helps the shoe retain its shape.
New Balance Women’s 574 V2 Evergreen Trainers
Cunha said the 574v2 is the New Balance shoe he recommends most often. “The shoe is very resistant, very flexible, light, extremely comfortable, [has a] superior arch, has soft shock absorbing padding on the insole for pain relief and it has a classic, vintage old school look but is still modern.
New Balance 327
Michelle loves the retro-inspired 327 sneakers. “They’re not as thick as some of the traditional dad sneakers, so [they’re] a little simpler – that’s what I like – but it still gives you that sneaker look,” she said.
New Balance 997H sneakers
Cunha also recommends the New Balance 997H sneakers, which feature a suede and mesh upper and a color-block design. According to the brand, the shoes provide comfort with every step thanks to the lightweight cushioning.
New Balance 990v5 Core sneaker made in USA
Another pick from Cunha, the 990v5 sneakers combine performance and style. Available in multiple colors, the company says they’re both “a morning errand and fashion show staple.”
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