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Recently I tried over 30 different types of New Balance shoes, including the New Balance 237 shoes, to compare them on comfort and design. The New Balance 237 surprised me in many ways compared to other New Balance options. Are New Balance 237 Shoes Comfortable?
Yes, the New Balance 237 Shoes are comfortable to wear. In my experience, they provide nice support under the foot and also have a flexible design that does not feel stiff. When I recently tried 30+ New Balance shoes, these were the shoes (in addition to the 237) that I thought were the most comfortable:
- New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 (click here to view)
- New Balance FuelCell Rebel (click here to view)
- New Balance Made in USA 993 (click here to view)
- New Balance 327 (click here to view)
The New Balance 237 was originally designed to be a running shoe in the 1970’s. Because of that, it has a retro-athletic design that is very lightweight and flexible, but the vintage style also makes the 237 a popular casual shoe.
This is where you can see how the 237 compresses under my foot and this is where you can see me testing the flexibility of these shoes. But I did think a few New Balance shoes were more comfortable than the 237 (show me a list of those shoes).
One thing that stands out to me about this shoe is how lightweight and soft the upper material feels against my foot. The 237 has a retro exposed-foam tongue that creates a soft fit across the top of the foot, and the lightweight suede/mesh conforms nicely and does not choke my foot.
This is a lifestyle casual shoe that can also be used for occasional exercise. Even though this shoe was originally designed to be a running shoe, if you are a serious runner, I would opt for a more-modern type of New Balance running shoe (like the 1080).
In this article let’s examine how comfortable the New Balance 237 shoes are. I will show you how they compress under my foot and how flexible they are, and I will also compare the weight and design of these shoes to other popular New Balance shoes.
Videos of Me Testing New Balance 237 Comfort
The New Balance 237 shoes are comfortable retro-athletic shoes. They are not as squishy under the foot as modern running shoes, but they have a flexible design that also has soft support under the foot.
How the 237 Feels
Below is a video of me wearing my New Balance 237 shoes to give you a better idea how the shoe compresses under my foot:
You can see the foam midsole compress as my foot moves. This foam midsole helps absorb impact stress under the foot.
However, it is also worth noting that New Balance has many other options that are much more “squishy” and soft under the foot. Most of these options are running shoes, so they might not fit exactly what you are looking for.
For example, one type of New Balance running shoe that is very squishy under the foot is the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2. It provides that “squishy” comfort under the foot. And even though the 237 is comfortable, it does not have a thick, “squishy” midsole like the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2.
For comparison, here is how the Rebel responds on my foot:
You can see the thick foam midsole of the Rebel squish under my weight as I move. The 237 does not provide this level of comfort, but again, the Rebel is used first and foremost as a running shoe, so it has more cushioning on purpose.
And I do think the 237 has a comfortable feeling under the foot compared to other types of casual shoes. But I did think a few New Balance shoes were more comfortable, even a couple types of casual shoes. This is where you can see the full list of New Balance shoes I think are more comfortable than the 237.
New Balance 237 Flexibility
Flexibility can play a large role in the fit and comfort of a shoe.
The New Balance 237 shoes have a flexible design that feels responsive on my foot. The upper material is very lightweight, which adds to the flexibility of the shoe.
In the videos below, I tried to capture how flexible these shoes are:
Although the 237 has a flexible design, there were certain types of New Balance shoe that I found to have a more flexible design. For example, I thought the 327 was more flexible than the 237. If you want to see a list of shoes I think are more comfortable than the 237, click here.
New Balance 237 Padding
I really like the padding around the collar and tongue of the 237. This shoe has a retro exposed-foam tongue that fits soft against the top of the foot. I found the padding in the 237 to be one of the best among all the 30+ New Balance shoes that I tried.
Here’s a look at mine:
If you make me choose, there may have been a couple New Balance shoes I think have a bit more padding in this area.
For example, I thought the New Balance shoe that had the most padding in this area was the W840v3 (offered in both a men’s and women’s version). Here’s what the W840v3 looks like at the collar:
I also thought the popular New Balance Made in USA 990v5 casual athletic shoes had a bit more padding around the collar than the 237:
Again, I thought the 237 was one of the most comfortable options around the collar and tongue. This shoe provides soft padding and a comfortable fit.
New Balance 237 Lightweight Comfort
Yes, the New Balance 237 are lightweight to wear. A size 12 men’s New Balance 237 shoes weigh 0.77 pounds per shoe.
After trying over 30 different types of New Balance shoes, below is a weight chart comparing the New Balance 237 weight to all the other New Balance shoes that I tried:
*Weights below are based off of one size 12 men’s shoe.
Are New Balance 237 Comfortable in Hot Weather?
What about summer hot weather? How breathable are the New Balance 237 shoes?
I found the 237 to be very breathable. No, they won’t be the most breathable New Balance options, but they do have a lightweight suede/mesh upper that offers breathability.
Here is a close-up look at the material on my 237 shoes:
Which New Balance shoes are more breathable? Well, as you would expect, many of New Balance’s dedicated running shoes are much more breathable than the 237. For example, when I hold my New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2 running shoes up to the light, you can actually see light passing through the material:
But if you are looking for more of a retro athletic shoe (similar to the 237), there was one New Balance option that I found to be more breathable than the 237. It was the New Balance 2002r.
When I hold my New Balance 2002r up to the light, you can also see light passing through it:
New Balance 237 Insole Comfort
I found the New Balance 237 insoles to be very similar to other types of New Balance insoles. They are removable, so if you prefer a thicker insole, they can be swapped.
I measured the insoles on my New Balance 237 shoes to be approximately 1/6th of an inch thick. This was very similar to other New Balance shoes I tried:
It’s a foam insole that provide adequate cushioning, but there are certainly better insoles on the market today. In fact, there were certain New Balance shoes I found to have thicker, softer insoles.
For example, the here is the removable insole on my New Balance 840:
It uses a thicker, dual-layer insole. The top layer is foam, but there is also a gel-like bottom layer that adds extra cushioning to the shoe. The New Balance 237 insole measures at about 1/6th of an inch thick, but this 840 insole measures over a quarter inch thick:
The main takeaway is I found the New Balance 237 insole to be quite average compared to other New Balance shoes. But the insole is removable in case you want to swap in a thicker insole that you prefer.
Are New Balance 237 Shoes Comfortable for Wide Feet?
In my experience, New Balance 237 do not fit too wide or too narrow. These shoes have a very regular amount of width.
If you have wide feet, the good news is the upper material is very lightweight, and forms easy to the shape of my foot. Still, if you have wide feet, there may be better options (the 574 shoes have a wide design).
Overall, the toe box area has what I would describe as average width. For example, here are my New Balance 237 shoes compared to Nike Air Max:
For those with wide feet: To get a better idea of how wide these shoes are, below is the width of my New Balance 237 shoes (in standard width) compared to the Nike Air Monarch 4E (which is a popular extra wide shoe):
For sizing help, I would suggest you visit my New Balance 237 Sizing Guide where I use sizing comparison photos to compare the sizing of the New Balance 237 shoes to other popular brands.
Comfortable New Balance 237 Alternatives
New Balance 993
The New Balance 993, much like the 237, has a retro-athletic style. The 993 is a shoe you can easily pair with jeans and a t-shirt, but also wear for occasional exercise. The 993 is popular due to its comfort, and due to the fact that it is made in the USA (the 237 is not made in the USA).
Here’s a look at my 993 compared to my 237 (237 on right):
I thought the 993 was the most comfortable New Balance Made in USA shoe, and one of the most comfortable casual shoes that New Balance offers. In my opinion, it has a softer compression under the toe pad than the New Balance 237.
Here is how the New Balance 993 responds on my foot:
New Balance 327
The New Balance 327 is often compared to the 237. Both have retro designs inspired by 1970’s athletic shoes. Overall, I think the comfort is very similar under the foot. The 327 is a bit more flexible than the 237, but the 237 has more padding around the collar and tongue.
Here is a look at my New Balance 237 compared to my New Balance 327 (237 on left):
Overall, I think the cushioning under the foot is very similar between the 237 and the 327. This is how the 327 responds on a foot:
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080
I’d be remiss to not mention my favorite New Balance shoe. When I recently tried over 30 different types of New Balance shoes, the 1080 was the most comfortable. It provides sink-in, squishy softness under the foot.
Below is a comparison of the 1080 vs 237 (237 on right):
It is a modern running shoe, and because of that, it has a sleeker design than the 237. But the main difference is under the foot, where the 1080 provides max cushioning.
This is how the 1080 responds on my foot:
New Balance 720
The New Balance 720 is designed very similarly to the 237. Both are retro running shoes, but I wanted to discuss the 720 because I did find it to weigh less than the 237.
To be fair, the 237 is also very lightweight, but the 720 was one of the most lightweight New Balance shoes that I tried. The 720 has a lower profile than the 237, which helps keep the weight down even more.
Overall, the foam cushioning under the foot on the 720 is not as thick as the 237, but the 720 is still very comfortable to wear. This is how the 720 responds on my foot: