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New Balance is one of the most popular sports brands globally, especially in the US. If you also love this American brand and want to purchase a pair, first, you need to have the answer to the question: do New Balance run big or small? Maybe true to size?
I have worked for Asics, and over there, New Balance has always been considered the most significant competition, so we had to know a lot about both companies to make a fair comparison to the customers.
I have also worked with New Balance shoes for many years as Footwear Manager of a multi-brand sports company. I have served thousands of people with New Balance casual shoes, running and training sneakers, and tennis and golf shoes. I helped them choose the best size possible for their feet’ needs. So I know what New Balance styles customers went a size up or down (or kept the same size).
Since New Balance has an extensive selection of diverse shoes, I have decided to check the most popular New Balance shoe styles on the market. Let’s find out the answer to the question: do New Balance run big or small or true to size?
Do New Balance Run Big, Small, Or True To Size?
If you are in a hurry, these are the conclusions from my research and personal and professional experience with New Balance shoes.
Do New Balance Run Big?
No New Balance shoe style runs predominantly too big. However, styles 517 and 626 can run too big for some people, alternating between bigger, smaller, or accurate sizes.
Do New Balance Run Small?
The New Balance styles that run small are the 411, 481, 520, and 680. The styles 574 and 626 are prevalent smaller, but some people find them true to size or too big. Styles 515, 608, and 813 can run too small or true to size.
Do New Balance Run True To Size?
No New Balance shoe style runs predominantly true to size. However, styles 515, 517, 608, and 813 can run true to size for some people, alternating between bigger, smaller, or accurate sizes. The styles 411, 574, and 626 are true to size for a tiny percentage of consumers.
New Balance Sizing Chart & Fit
New Balance has created a shoe sizing chart down based on your heel-toe length. This way, you can ensure you buy the correct New Balance shoe size for yourself.
If you place a piece of paper on the floor with one end of your foot against a wall, you can mark the piece of paper where your toes end with a pen. Then, measure the mark you created on the paper with the end and compare the measurement to the New Balance shoe size chart.
That’s how you will get the correct New Balance size. But keep reading because you have other factors you need to consider.
How Do New Balance Shoes Fit?
Most New Balance shoes tend to run too small, but it depends on the New Balance sneaker you select since some can also be true to size or too small.
I vary my size on New Balance shoes according to the style I buy, and the same should happen to you regarding New Balance shoes or any other shoe label. No shoe brand has one-size-fits-all styles.
Do New Balance 411 Run Big Or Small?
The New Balance 411 shoes run too small for most consumers and true to size for a few that tried this style. Most complain this style is too narrow.
My Experience With Customers On New Balance 411:
Customers with wide feet had to go one size bigger, and sometimes even one size and a half. This is a very narrow style, so people with narrow feet tend to buy true to size.
What Reviewers say about New Balance 411:
Most people complain about how narrow this style feels and not so much about the size. But, if you think about it, people will go for a size bigger if the shoes are too narrow.
Do New Balance 481 Run Big Or Small?
The New Balance 481 runs too small for the majority of people. It’s not a narrow style, according to consumers.
My Experience With Customers On New Balance 481:
One of the most popular New Balance sneakers in-store. It’s not a narrow style, but most customers still go a half size up because they felt tight in the toe area. I would go a full-size-up if you wear winter socks and have wide feet.
What Reviewers say about New Balance 481:
The most common complaint is that the toe area is too cramped or the toes touch the end of the shoe. Everyone says that they like the style of the shoe. One guy said he usually wears a size 12 but had to buy a size 13.
Do New Balance 515 Run Big Or Small?
The New Balance 515 runs too small for most users and true to size for others.
My Experience With Customers On New Balance 515:
I can’t recall this style being too small for customers. Most of them bought the 515 true to size since it isn’t the narrowest style in New Balance shoes. But most of the online reviews differ from my experience in-store.
What Reviewers say about New Balance 515:
One customer said the shoes were too tight around the sides and the top of the foot. Another one said he always wears the same size on NB, but this style fits too small and narrow.
Do New Balance 517 Run Big Or Small?
The New Balance 517 runs true to size or is too big for most people. Some people state this style is too wide.
My Experience With Customers On New Balance 517:
The New Balance 517 is definitely different from most New Balance styles and one of the widest sneakers of the brand. Customers usually buy this one true to size since your feet expand when you exercise, and you want a bit of room inside the shoe.
What Reviewers say about New Balance 517:
One customer stated that this style runs too wide compared with other New Balance sneakers. You also have a lot of customers saying the shoes fit true to size and feel great.
Do New Balance 520 Run Big Or Small?
The New Balance 520 runs too small for most consumers.
My Experience With Customers On New Balance 520:
This style was too narrow for most customers in-store. Most would also go for a full-size-up because they would use these sneakers for sports. It wasn’t the most popular style, so I can’t provide much feedback.
What Reviewers say about New Balance 520:
Some people ordered a full size up because the shoes felt too small and narrow. One guy ordered his usual size but had to go for one size bigger because the shoes felt too thin when running.
Do New Balance 574 Run Big Or Small?
The New Balance 574 runs too tiny due to being a narrow style. A small number of customers prefer it true to size.
My Experience With Customers On New Balance 574:
This New Balance style runs too narrow, but my experience says you shouldn’t go for one full-size up. Don’t forget this style has suede, which stretches over time. So if you feel only a little bit tight and not uncomfortable, go with the same size. If you feel slightly tight, go half a size bigger.
What Reviewers say about New Balance 574:
Some online consumers say they tried multiple sizes till they found the correct one. Most also state that the shoe is too narrow but stretches slightly over time. At least two customers said this style was too big on them.
Do New Balance 608 Run Big Or Small?
The New Balance 608 runs true to size or too small, depending on how narrow or wide your feet are.
My Experience With Customers On New Balance 608:
The most popular New Balance sneaker in-store by far and also one where customers would purchase a bigger size if their feet were too broad or true to size if they were too narrow.
What Reviewers say about New Balance 608:
One said he always wears 9.5, but this style severely cramped his toes. Another one said the shoes were true to size and fit perfectly.
Do New Balance 626 Run Big Or Small?
The New Balance 626 runs too small for most customers. However, a very small number of people say this style can also be too big or true to size.
My Experience With Customers On New Balance 626:
I remember the New Balance 626 style where customers would say, “It’s a little bit tight, but if it’s made of leather, it will stretch over time.” So some would go with their usual size, and others would purchase half a size bigger. Can’t recall anyone saying they were too big.
What Reviewers say about New Balance 626:
Most consumers stated the shoes were too tight and small, so they exchanged them for a bigger size. Some said the shoes fitted perfectly with their usual size, and an even small number of customers stated the shoes felt too big.
Do New Balance 680 Run Big Or Small?
The New Balance 680 runs true to size or too small, depending on how narrow or wide your feet are.
My Experience With Customers On New Balance 680:
When it comes to any running shoe, I always advise you to have a little room inside the shoe, which is no different with this style.
If the 680 feels too tight, go for a bigger size because your feet expand with the heat when you run. Many customers with narrow feet would buy this shoe true to size.
What Reviewers say about New Balance 680:
Most online reviewers state the shoe is too narrow and small and had to purchase a bigger size. Others said this style is true to size and fits perfectly.
Do New Balance 813 Run Big Or Small?
The New Balance 813 runs true to size for some and too small for others. A very small number said they run too big.
My Experience With Customers On New Balance 813:
I never sold this style in-store, but velcro shoes usually can be tricky for wide feet since you can’t lose the laces to provide you more space, which is why some people find this style too tight and go for a bigger size. The opposite can also happen since people with narrow feet can’t tighten the laces and feel the shoes are too big.
What Reviewers say about New Balance 813:
Someone said they bought a size 12 (usual size) and couldn’t close the straps since there is a lot of padding inside the heel and on the tongue. Another said the shoes were true to size, but the straps were short once his foot was inside the shoe, which is normal if you have wide feet.
Tips When Buying New Balance Shoes
When buying New Balance (or any shoes), you need to consider some things based on your personal needs. These tips are based on my personal experience with thousands of customers who I have served and sold shoes during the six (or seven) years I have worked in the shoe industry.
Ask To Have Your Feet Measured
You can ask a customer assistant in New Balance stores to measure your feet (depending on your country, they may not offer the foot measurement), and someone will help you. The reason is that different brands have different ways of making their shoes, so sizes can be different, especially within a brand with many styles like New Balance.
Another reason why you should have your feet measured is that multiple people have been wearing the incorrect size their entire life without knowing it.
So many consumers said, “I have been a size nine my whole life. I know what size I require.” Then they have their feet measured and find out they have been wearing a half or full size too big or too small. They just got used to it. If you are buying New Balance kid’s shoes, this is a crucial step.
If you buy your New Balance sneakers online, measure your foot from heel to toe, as I have explained above.
Try The Shoes
This is one of the most important steps when purchasing a pair of shoes online or in-store.
If you buy any shoes in-store, always try them, because sometimes some shoe styles are unsuitable for your feet. Also, the sneakers may have a manufacturing problem inside that you or the footwear specialist are unaware of. So trying shoes is fundamental before buying them.
If you buy your New Balance sneakers online, I advise you (and all the customers I ever had) to try the shoes inside your home for a couple of hours to confirm they are the right size, the correct fit, and comfortable.
If not, you can always return for a different style, size, etc. (always check the refund policy). If you can’t return the shoes and they are too big, learn how to make them smaller to fit better.
Types Of Socks
The type of socks you wear can also determine how much space you will have left on your New Balance sneakers. For example, if it’s Winter, you will probably have thick Winter socks, but you will end up with no socks or thinner ones if it’s Summer.
When buying your shoes, think about what socks you will wear with them, and the time of the year you are on. The thicker the socks, the less room you have inside your shoes.
Your lifestyle is also essential since your feet take a lot of abuse daily, carrying your weight in activities like running, jumping, walking, or just staying on your feet. In addition, all these activities can affect how much your ankles and feet can swell.
Also, buying the correct New Balance style for the activity you want is essential since different New Balance styles can run big or small.
Everyone has some medical conditions that can affect what size of shoe we need to buy. For example, suppose you have diabetes, blisters, bunions, plantar fasciitis, high blood pressure, or claw toe. In that case, all these conditions can affect whether you need a bigger New Balance shoe size or not.
Common Questions About Do New Balance Run Big Or Small
These are the most common questions about New Balance shoes sizing and fit.
Do New Balance Run Smaller Than Nike?
No, New Balance shoes are not smaller than Nike, and both brands tend to be the same size. For example, a New Balance and Nike sneaker UK10/US11 is a European 45.
Does New Balance Run Bigger Than Adidas?
Yes, New Balance shoes are slightly smaller than Adidas shoes. For example, a New Balance sneaker UK10/US10.5 is a European 44.5 but a European 44 2/3 in Adidas shoes. So New Balance shoes are less than half a size smaller than Adidas sneakers.
Do New Balance Cleats Run Big Or Small?
New Balance cleats tend to run true to size or too big due to the need for extra spacing. Don’t forget you need that extra space for your football socks and shin pads. Also, your feet swell during sports activities.
Is New Balance Wide Fitting?
It depends on the New Balance shoe style you choose. New Balance tends to run a bit narrow, especially if you have broad feet. Therefore, you should look for shoes that state they are wide-fit in case you are looking for one.
How Do Skechers Fit Compared To New Balance?
Skechers shoes tend to be broader and more prominent when compared with New Balance shoes. For example, a UK 10.5 in New Balance is a European size of 44.5, but in Skechers, it’s a 45.
Do New Balance Run Big Or Small?
Do New Balance shoes run big or small? It all depends on the style of New Balance shoes you pick since some run too big, some are too small, and others are true to size. Some New Balance shoe styles are too narrow, and others wide.
When buying a pair of New Balance shoes, my advice is to follow the recommendations I provide in this guide since they are based on my experience with thousands of people buying them. However, I also want you to keep in mind if you can try the shoes in-store, do it and decide for yourself.
These guidelines help more online shoppers that can’t try the shoes and keep asking themselves the question: do New Balance run big or small? Now you know.