Are New Balance 574 Shoes Good For Running? [My Advice]


The New Balance 574 is one of New Balance’s most popular shoes. It has an athletic, comfortable fit, but what about running? Are New Balance 574 shoes good for running and jogging?

Answer: The New Balance 574 shoe is not designed to be a running shoe. Although it is inspired, in part, by retro athletic shoes, there will be better options for running. The 574 has neither the thick foam cushioning nor the support of New Balance shoes dedicated for running. This is the list of New Balance running shoes I would recommend you consider instead.

The New Balance 574 does have a flexible, athletic design, but it just isn’t purposed to be a running shoe. Because of that, it lacks many of the qualities you see in modern running shoes.

For example, it doesn’t have a thick foam midsole for cushioning under the foot. It also has suede on the upper which reduces breathability and adds weight to the shoe. And for those who need extra stability and support, it isn’t built with things like medial posts and other types of technologies to help control improper foot movement.

That said, don’t think of the 574 as a stiff shoe. It is actually reasonably lightweight and flexible. But its primary purpose is to function as an all-day casual athletic shoe that has a versatile design to handle multiple surfaces and purposes. But it is not designed to be a running shoe.

In this article let’s take a closer look at the 574. I want to show you next how the 574 responds on my foot, so you can get a better idea how cushioned it is under the foot.

Is the New Balance 574 Good for Running and Jogging?

If you are looking for a running shoe, there will be better options. The New Balance 574 is not made to be a running shoe. These are the shoes I would suggest you consider if you need a running shoe.

Think of the 574 as a casual athletic shoe. It is not stiff, and provides a comfortable fit as an everyday shoe. But it is not as lightweight, flexible, or supportive as certain types of modern running shoes.

To give you a better idea how the 574 responds on a foot, here I am wearing mine:

Why Isn’t the 574 Good for Running?

There are four main reasons why the 574 isn’t a great option for running:

  • Weight – The New Balance 574 isn’t too heavy, but it does weigh more than many types of modern running shoes. Recently I tried over 30 types of New Balance shoes – this is where you can see how the 574 weight compared to other options.
are-new-balance-574-good-for-running
  • Midsole – It lacks the thick foam midsole that certain types of modern running shoes use to help reduce impact stress on the bottom of the foot. If you want a midsole that is thick and “squishy” to help reduce impact stress, these will be your better options.
  • Breathability – The uppers are made with a combination of suede and mesh. And although they are breathable, they trap more heat than many types of modern running shoes.
new-balance-574-material
  • Support/Stability – For those who need extra support and stability for running shoes, the 574 has no type of enhancements to help control improper foot movements. If you need extra support or stability, these are the better options.

The truth is, yes, you probably *could* use the 574 for running, but there will certainly be better options. That said, don’t think of this as a stiff shoe. When I tested the shoe, I found it to be very flexible. Let’s discuss.

How Flexible is the New Balance 574?

When I tested the flexibility of the New Balance 574, I was a bit surprised by what I found. These aren’t stiff shoes. They had more flexibility and twistability than many other types of New Balance shoes (but they were not more flexible than New Balance running shoes).

Here I am testing the flexibility of the New Balance 574:

Here I am testing the “twistability” and reactiveness of the New Balance 574:

As you can see, they have a flexible design. And I guess this shouldn’t be too shocking since they are inspired, in part, by retro athletic shoes.

However, they aren’t as “twistable” and responsive as New Balance running shoes. For example, here is one of my favorite options, the New Balance FuelCell Rebel:

Notice how flexible that midsole is?

The main takeaway is although the 574 is an athletic shoe, there are other types of shoes that are much better for running. Even if you prefer a running shoe with plenty of support, there are better options (see those options).

Alternatives to the New Balance 574 for Running

If You Prefer Maximum Cushioning

If you like a running shoe that provides premium cushioning under the foot (that “squishy” feeling), there are four specific options I like a lot. They are:

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v12

When I recently tried over 30 types of New Balance shoes, the 1080 was the most comfortable I tried. It weighs less than the 574, and is built for running. The thing I love about this shoe is is provides that “squishy” feeling under the foot, which helps reduce impact stress while running.

Here’s how the 1080 responds on my foot:

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2

The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2 was the only other shoe that I tried that I felt like was as comfortable as the 1080 above. This Rebel shoes was actually the lightest-in-weight when I tried over 30 shoes. It is much more lightweight and breathable than the New Balance 574 for running.

Here’s how mine responds on my foot (you’ll notice it also has that “squishy” response under the foot):

These types of maximum cushioning running shoes are great options for those who want to reduce impact stress. They are much better served to be running shoes that the 574 is.

That said, they won’t provide premium support and stability. If you need a stability runner, let’s discuss your options next.

If You Prefer Maximum Support

The New Balance 574 may be an athletic shoe, but it isn’t designed to provide stability and support while running. But New Balance does offers different types of running shoes built for support.

These shoes often rely on technologies like New Balance’s ROLLBAR technology which is a medial post in the rear of the shoe under the heel which helps stabilize the foot and prevent improper foot movement.

If you need supportive running shoes, I’d recommend considering:

New Balance 1540

The New Balance 1540 is designed with New Balance’s ROLLBAR technology which helps prevent improper rearfoot movement. It has an athletic design, but it won’t be as lightweight and breathable as the running shoes we discussed above.

But this shoe will provide more support than those lightweight running shoes, and will also provide more stability and support than the 574. The drawback? It will weigh more than these other options.

Here’s how the 1540 responds on my foot:

New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v12

Think of this shoe as almost a hybrid running shoe that delivers a nice combination of both lightweight cushioning and support. No, it won’t be as supportive as the 1540 above, but it does weight much less, and provides more flexibility.

Here’s how this shoe responds on my foot:


Other New Balance 574 Resources

Although the New Balance 574 is not designed to be a running shoe, it does have a comfortable and athletic design that makes it great as a casual shoe. If you are interested in the 574, and want to read more, visit my articles linked below.


Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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