The New Balance 624 (aka the “Dad” shoe) has long been a staple for men who prefer a leather casual athletic shoe. New Balance officially markets this shoes as a “trainer”, but what exactly does that mean? Are New Balance 624 shoes good for running and walking?
New Balance 624 shoes have a flexible, supportive design that makes them appropriate for gym training and light exercise (like walking). The New Balance 624 shoes are not made to be running shoes. If you need running shoes, I would recommend the New Balance 1080 because it provides that “squishy” comfort under the foot that many people enjoy.
That said, the New Balance 624 is not a stiff shoe. In fact, I took videos as I tested the flexibility and “twistability” of the shoe. This is where you can view those quick videos to get a better idea how flexible the 624 shoes are.
In this article let’s take a closer look at the 624, and what activities it makes the most sense for.
Is the New Balance 624 Good for Running and Jogging?
If you are looking for a running shoe, there will be better options. The New Balance 624 is not made to be a running shoe. These are the four shoes I would suggest you consider if you need a running shoe.
There are three main reasons why the 624 isn’t a great option for running:
- Weight – The shoe is made with a leather upper, which makes it heavier compared to modern running shoes that are made with lightweight mesh uppers.
- 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.
- Breathability – The leather uppers also trap heat, and won’t allow your feet to breathe as much as modern running shoes do.
The truth is, yes, you probably *could* use the 624 for running, but there will certainly be better options. That said, don’t think of this as a stiff leather shoe. When I tested the shoe, I found it to be surprisingly flexible. Let’s discuss.
How Flexible is the New Balance 624?
When I tested the flexibility of the New Balance 624, I was a bit surprised by what I found. These aren’t stiff leather shoes. They had more flexibility and twistability than other types of leather New Balance shoes For example, I found the 624 to be more flexible than the 608 (learn more about the 608 vs 624).
Here I am testing the flexibility of the New Balance 624:
Here I am testing the “twistability” and reactiveness of the New Balance 624:
As you can see, despite being made with leather, they aren’t too stiff. In fact, they are as responsive as many types of athletic shoes that I have tried.
And I guess that shouldn’t be too shocking because they are made to be trainers and are appropriate for light exercise.
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 624 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).
Is the New Balance 624 Good for Walking?
Yes, I think the New Balance 624 is good for walking. The flexible design makes it easy to move and the shoe is responsive on the foot.
As we discussed above, the 624 won’t be as breathable as modern running shoes. But when I compared the 624 to many types of New Balance leather walking shoes (813, 577, 877, 928), I felt like the 624 was much more flexible.
So my conclusion is yes, the New Balance 624 is good for walking as long as you don’t mind walking in a leather shoe. If you prefer something more lightweight and breathable, there are better options (see those options).
How Does the New Balance 624 Perform on Foot?
Here I am wearing my New Balance 624 shoes:
As you can see, they have a reasonably flexible and responsive design considering they are leather shoes.
But compare that to a modern running shoe like the New Balance 1080, which provides that “squishy” comfort under the foot:
Or the New Balance FuelCell Rebel, which was the most lightweight New Balance shoe when I recently tried over 30 shoes (and also provides that “squishy” comfort):
Alternatives to the New Balance 624 for Running and Walking
Here are some of my favorite options after I tried over 30 types of New Balance shoes.
- New Balance 1080 – This shoe was the most comfortable New Balance shoe that I tried. The midsole is thick and provides that “squishy” comfort under the foot.
- New Balance FuelCell Rebel – This shoe also provided that “squishy” comfort under the foot. It was the most lightweight and breathable shoe that I tried.
- New Balance 860 – This shoe offers more support and stability under the foot than the two options above, but is more lightweight and breathable than the 624.
- New Balance MW840 – This is an all-leather walking shoe, but what I like about this shoe is it is made in a way to help increase breathability. It’s also very comfortable around the heel.
- New Balance 990v5 – This is another shoe that fits the description of “casual athletic shoe”, only it is built to be more of a running shoe. To read more, visit my article about New Balance 990 vs 624.
In conclusion, the 624 is surprisingly flexible and responsive, but because it is an all-leather shoe, there are better options for running and jogging.