New Balance 990 vs 574 Shoes Compared [What’s the Difference?]


*This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. (info)

When I compared the New Balance 990 vs 574, this is what stood out the most to me:

  • These shoes are similar in that they both are casual athletic shoes. Both are comfortable, but they won’t be as “squishy” under the foot as modern athletic shoes. If you prefer that “squishy” comfort, I would recommend the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 (click here to view) or the New Balance FuelCell Rebel (click here to view) which are my two favorite options.
  • The New Balance 990v5 is part of New Balance’s “Made in USA” collection (the 574 is not). The 990 was not my favorite Made in USA option – the 993 was. This is where you can view the New Balance 993 Made in USA shoes (affiliate link takes you to NewBalance.com).
  • I think the 990 provides a little more cushioning under the foot, but it very close. Both shoes are what I would describe as comfortable casual athletic shoes. This is where you can see the videos of me wearing both shoes and see the compression under the foot as I move.
  • I think the 574 has a slightly more-flexible design than the 990v5, but both styles are flexible compared to average shoes. I’ll let you be the judge: this is where you can see the videos of me testing the flexibility and “twistability” of the New Balance 990 vs 574.
  • The 990 is a more of a running-style athletic shoe. The 574 is designed to have a “hybrid road/trail” design which makes it a versatile casual shoe that can fit a wide range of needs. Regardless, the purpose of these shoes is reasonably similar. Both shoes are casual athletic shoes that can be used for occasional exercise, but also be paired with jeans.
  • The 574 weighs less than the 990. The 990 weighs 1.01 pounds and the 574 weighs 0.78 pounds per shoe for a size 12 men’s. Click here to read more about how these weights compare to other New Balance shoes.
new-balance-990-vs-574

In this article let’s take a closer look at the New Balance 990v5 and the New Balance 574 by using the videos and pictures I took of the shoes that I own.

Table of Contents

New Balance 990 vs 574 Comfort

New Balance markets both of these shoes as “lifestyle” shoes. That means although they have an athletic design, they’re best thought of as casual athletic shoes. These types of shoes are popular because you can use them occasionally for exercise, but also easily pair them with jeans.

How They Respond on Foot

To give you an idea how these shoes respond on a foot, here I am wearing mine:

When comparing the under-foot comfort of the New Balance 990 vs 574, I thought the 990v5 offers a bit more cushioning than the 574. But it was very close. Both have comfortable designs in comparison to other types of casual shoes.

They do not, however, have as much cushioning under the foot as modern running shoes. For example, I recently tried over 30 types of New Balance shoes, and the 1080v12 was my favorite regarding comfort under the foot. It provides that “squishy” feeling and even though the 990 and 574 are comfortable, they don’t have a thick, “squishy” midsole like the 1080v12 (990 vs 1080).

Here is how the 1080v12 responds on my foot:

I also compared the flexibility and the “twistability” of the 990v5 and the 574 shoes, and you can view those results here.

Alternative Options

If you like the casual athletic design of the 990 (which is a bit sturdier than modern running shoes), then I would also suggest the Made in USA 993. I actually thought the 993 was the most comfortable shoe in the New Balance “Made in USA” series. Click here to view the New Balance 993 shoes (paid affiliate link takes you to NewBalance.com).

If you like the retro athletic design of the 574, the New Balance 237 shoes have a more traditional retro running style than the 574. Just like the 574, you can pair the 237 with jeans, or also use it for occasional exercise. Click here to view the New Balance 237 shoes (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

New Balance 990 vs 574 Flexibility

In the videos below, I tried to capture how flexible these shoes are:


Overall, these shoes are very similar in how flexible they are. There is, however, a difference in weight. Click here to view the difference in these shoes regarding weight.

New Balance 990 vs 574 Padding

Both the 990 and the 574 have quality padding around the collar and tongue, but I feel like the 990 has more padding. Here are mine (990v5 first):

new-balance-990-padded-collar
new-balance-574-padded-collar

Insole Thickness

Yes, both the 990v5 and the 574 have removable insoles, so you can clean or swap them as needed. First, here is the insole of the 990v5:

new-balance-990-insole
new-balance-990-insole-measurement

And below, is the insole for the New Balance 574:

new-balance-574-insole-photo
new-balance-574-insole

By my measurements, the insole thickness was basically the exact same. I did find the fit of these shoes to be slightly different. This is where you can view the side-by-side photos I took regarding sizing.

New Balance 990 vs 574 Design

Both the 990 and the 574 are made with breathable mesh/suede uppers. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important design differences.

Sole Height

Below is the height measurements I took for the men’s New Balance 990 vs 574 (size12; 990 first):

new-balance-990-sole-height
new-balance-574-sole-height

As you can see, the midsole is thicker on the 990v5 (top). And the overall height of the 990v5 is also a bit taller.

Here is how the women’s 990 vs 574 shoes compared (both size 7):

new-balance-990-women-sole-height
new-balance-574-heel-height

Just like the men’s, the laces of the women’s 990 (top) finish a little bit higher on the foot than the 574.

I also found a difference in the heel-to-toe drop for the New Balance 990 vs 574. This is where you can read more about those differences.

Outsole Width

Below is the width measurements I took for the men’s New Balance 990 vs 574 (990 first):

new-balance-990-width-outsole
new-balance-574-outsole

And below is the width measurements I took for the women’s New Balance 990 vs 574 (990 first):

new-balance-990-women-width-measurement-outsole
new-balance-574-womens-outsole

As you can see, the width of these shoes is similar, but in both the men’s and women’s version, the 990v5 measured just a tiny bit wider at the base.

Here’s a look at these shoes on my feet (990 first):

new-balance-990v5-on-foot
new-balance-574-on-foot

If you are concerned about fit, I would highly suggest you view these side-by-side sizing photos I took of each shoe (for both men and women) to get a better idea how both the 990 and the 574 fit.

New Balance 990 vs 574 Weight

For men, the 990 weighs 1.01 pounds and the 574 weighs 0.78 pounds per shoe for a size 12 men’s.

new-balance-990-weight
new-balance-574-weight

For women, the 990 weighs 0.72 pounds and the 574 weighs 0.62 pounds per shoe for a size 7 women’s.

new-balance-990-women-weight
new-balance-574-womens-weight

As you can see, the 574 weighs less than the 990 for both men and women.

Recently I tried over 30 different types of New Balance shoes and I found the average to be 0.89 pounds per shoe for a size 12 men’s. If you prefer a lightweight shoe, the 574 will be the better option. To view the full list of weights (in a chart) I took for over 30 New Balance shoes, click here.

New Balance 990 vs 574 Heel Drop

When I measured my New Balance 990 shoes using an 8-inch Digital Outside Caliper, I found the heel drop to be approximately 12mm. When I measured my New Balance 574 shoes using an 8-inch Digital Outside Caliper, I found its heel drop to be approximately 13-14mm.

It is important to understand that although I tried my best to get accurate measurements, the best way to measure heel drop is to cut the shoes in half and use an industrial caliper. Obviously, I didn’t want to destroy my shoes, but this is a convenient alternative way to measure heel drop.

The point is, think of these heel drop numbers as an approximation. For all official measurements, it would be best to reach out to New Balance directly.

Here I am measuring the heel drop of the New Balance 990 shoes:

new-balance-990-heel-drop
new-balance-990-heel-drop-measurements

Here I am measuring the heel drop of the New Balance 574 shoes:

new-balance-574-heel-drop
new-balance-574-heel-drop-measurement

New Balance 990 vs 574 Sizing

Length: Both fit within the realm of what I would describe as “true-to-size” regarding length. However, the 990 does fit a little bit longer than the 574. If you made me choose, I would say the 990 is true to size, and the 574 fits just a tiny bit shorter than my normal shoe sizing regarding length.

Width: It’s important to note that the 574 is made using the SL-2 last, which is designed to create a little bit of extra room in the forefoot and toe box. The 990 is made using the SL-1 last, which creates a more regular width.

new-balance-990-vs-574

Even though the 574 uses the SL-2 last designed to create a roomier width, don’t expect it to be enough to overcome the need for wide sizing. If you normally order wide sizing in shoes, I would recommend ordering the 574 in a wide size.

The main takeaway: Expect the 990 to be slightly longer than the 574, and the 574 to be slightly wider. Here they are side-by-side (990 on right):

new-balance-990-vs-574-sizing

To give you a better idea how wide these shoes are, here they both are (in standard width) compared to the Nike Air Monarch 4E, which is a popular extra wide shoe (990 first):

new-balance-990-vs-nike-air-monarch-sizing
new-balance-574-vs-nike-air-monarch-sizing

To read more about sizing, visit my article that discusses New Balance sizing and fit.

In the sections below, I compare both of these shoes to other popular shoes so you can get a better feel for sizing.


New Balance 990v5 Sizing Photos for Men

These photos below all use a size 12 men’s shoe. To see women’s 990 sizing photos, click here. If you would like to skip ahead to 574 sizing, click here.

New Balance 990 (right) vs Adidas 2k Boost Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-adidas-2k-boost-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Reebok Classics Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-reebok-classics-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Nike Zoom Winflo Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-nike-zoom-winflo-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Skechers Go Walk Slip On Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-skechers-go-walk-slip-on-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Brooks Adrenaline Sizing

brooks-vs-new-balance-990-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Skechers Go Walk Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-skechers-go-walk-sizing-1

New Balance 990 vs Saucony Shadow 6000 Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-saucony-shadow-6000-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Adidas Superstar Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-adidas-superstar-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Nike Air Max 90 Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-nike-air-max-90-sizing-1

New Balance 990 vs Crocs Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-crocs-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Under Armour HOVR Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-under-armour-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Hey Dude Wally Sox Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-hey-dude-sizing-1

New Balance 990 vs Vans Slip On Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-vans-slip-on-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Nike Air Force 1 Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-nike-af1-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Adidas Cloudfoam Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-adidas-cloudfoam-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Asics Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-asics-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Hoka One One Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-hoka-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Converse Chucks Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-converse-chucks-sizing-1

New Balance 990 vs Vans UltraRange Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-vans-ultrarange-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Vans Old Skool Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-vans-old-skool-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Converse Pro Leather Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-converse-pro-leather-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Adidas Gazelle Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-adidas-gazelle-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Skechers Afterburn Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-skechers-afterburn-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Nike Cortez Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-nike-cortez-sizing

New Balance 990 vs Nike Blazer Sizing

new-balance-990-vs-nike-blazer-sizing

New Balance 990 (left) vs 880 Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-990-sizing

To read more, visit my article about the sizing and fit of New Balance 990v5 Shoes.


New Balance 990v5 Sizing Photos for Women

New Balance Women’s 990 (right) vs Under Armour Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-under-armour-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 (right) vs 880 Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-880-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 (right) vs 860 Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-860-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 (right) vs 327 Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-327-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Vans Slip On Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-vans-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Hey Dude Wendy Sox Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-hey-dude-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Skechers D’Lites Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-skechers-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Adidas Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-adidas-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Nike Air Max 90 Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-nike-air-max-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Converse Chucks Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-converse-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Keen Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-keen-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Crocs Sizing

new-balance-990v5-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Nike Air Max 1 Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-nike-air-max-one-sizing-1

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Nike Blazer Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-nike-blazer-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Air Force 1 Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-nike-air-force-1-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Hoka Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-hoka-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Brooks Adrenaline Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-brooks-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Asics Gel Kayano Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-asics-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Nike Internationalist Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-nike-internationalist-sizing

New Balance Women’s 990 vs Columbia Sizing

new-balance-990-womens-vs-columbia-shoe-sizing

New Balance 574 Sizing Photos for Men

These photos below all use a size 12 men’s shoe. To see women’s 574 sizing photos, click here.

New Balance 574 (right) vs Reebok Classics Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-reebok-classics-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Adidas 2k Boost Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-adidas-2k-boost-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Vans UltraRange Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-vans-ultrarange-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Vans Slip On Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-vans-slip-on-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Vans Old Skool Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-vans-old-skool-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Skechers Go Walk Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-skechers-go-walk-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Saucony Shadow 6000 Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-saucony-shadow-6000-sizing

New Balance 574 (left) vs Numeric 272 Sizing

new-balance-numeric-272-vs-574-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Nike Cortez Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-nike-cortez-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Nike Blazer Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-nike-blazer-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Nike Air Max Excee Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-nike-air-max-excee-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Nike Air Max 90 Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-nike-air-max-90-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Nike Air Force 1 Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-nike-af1-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Hey Dude Wally Sox Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-hey-dude-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Crocs Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-crocs-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Converse Pro Leather Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-converse-pro-leather-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Converse Chucks Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-converse-chucks-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Adidas Superstar Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-adidas-superstar-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Adidas Gazelle Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-adidas-gazelle-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Skechers Afterburn Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-skechers-afterburn-sizing

New Balance 574 (right) vs 997 Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-997-sizing

New Balance 574 (left) vs 515 Sizing

new-balance-515-vs-574-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Skechers Go Walk Slip On Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-skechers-go-walk-slip-on-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Asics Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-asics-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Adidas Cloudfoam Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-adidas-cloudfoam-sizing

New Balance 574 (left) vs 992 Sizing

new-balance-992-vs-574-sizing

New Balance 574 (left) vs 993 Sizing

new-balance-993-vs-574-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Vans Sk8-Hi Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-vans-sk8-hi-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Vans Authentic Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-vans-authentic-sizing

New Balance 574 (left) vs 2002r Sizing

new-balance-2002r-vs-574-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Under Armour HOVR Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-under-armour-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Hoka One One Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-hoka-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Brooks Adrenaline Sizing

brooks-vs-new-balance-574-sizing

New Balance 574 vs Nike Zoom Winflo Sizing

new-balance-574-vs-nike-zoom-winflo-sizing

New Balance 574 (left) vs 860 Sizing

new-balance-860-vs-574-sizing

New Balance 574 (left) vs 1080 Sizing

new-balance-1080-vs-574-sizing

New Balance 574 (left) vs 5740 Sizing

new-balance-5740-vs-574-sizing

New Balance 574 (left) vs 1540 Sizing

new-balance-1540-vs-574-sizing

New Balance 574 (left) vs 880 Sizing

new-balance-574-sizing

New Balance 574 (left) vs 720 Sizing

new-balance-720-vs-574-sizing

New Balance 574 (left) vs 237 Sizing

new-balance-237-vs-574-sizing

New Balance 574 Sizing for Women

All women’s shoes pictured below are size 7.

New Balance Women’s 574 vs 1540 Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-vans-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Under Armour Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-under-armour-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Skechers D’Lites Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-skechers-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Nike Cortez Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-nike-cortez-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Nike Air Max 90 Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-nike-air-max-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Nergize Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-nergize-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Keen Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-keen-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Hey Dude Wendy Sox Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-hey-dude-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Crocs Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-crocs-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Converse Chucks Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-converse-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Adidas Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-adidas-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 (right) vs 860 Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-860-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 (right) vs 880 Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-880-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 (right) vs 327 Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-327-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Nike Air Max 1 Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-nike-air-max-one-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Nike Blazer Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-nike-blazer-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Air Force 1 Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-air-force-1-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Hoka Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-hoka-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Brooks Adrenaline Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-brooks-sizing

New Balance Women’s 574 vs Asics Gel Kayano Sizing

new-balance-574-womens-vs-asics-sizing

To read more, visit my article about the sizing of New Balance 574 Shoes.


New Balance 990 vs 574 Conclusion

The New Balance 990v5 and 574 are both listed as “lifestyle” shoes. Think of these shoes as casual athletic shoes that you can use for occasional exercise, but also easily pair with jeans.

The 990 is part of New Balance’s Made in USA line, and the 574 is not. Although both are casual athletic shoes, the 990 is more of a running-style shoe and the 574 is more of a hybrid road/trail shoe. The 574 offers a bit more versatility.

I think the 990 provides a little more cushioning under the foot, but it very close. This is where you can see the videos of me wearing both shoes and see the compression under the foot as I move.

I think the 574 has a slightly more-flexible design than the 990v5, but both styles are flexible compared to average shoes. This is where you can see the videos of me testing the flexibility and “twistability” of the New Balance 990 vs 574.

The New Balance 990 vs 574 sizing is a bit different. Both fit within the realm of what I consider “true-to-size”, however, I did find the 990 to fit a little bit bigger than the 574. I would suggest you check out these side-by-side comparison photos I took to compare the sizing of these shoes to each other, and to other popular brands.

If you are searching for ultra-lightweight athletic shoes, there are better options. I like that “squishy” comfort under the foot. My favorite lightweight New Balance running shoes are the Fresh Foam 1080 (click here to view) and the New Balance FuelCell Rebel (click here to view).

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.

Recent Posts