The Best New Balance Sneakers of 2019

The Best New Balance Sneakers of 2019 1

New Balance has come a long way since British founder William J. Riley emigrated to Boston to launch his footwear label. His original prototypes featured highly engineered arch supports and were marketed at manual workers who needed optimum support after spending long days on their feet. Fast forward to the present day and the brand is considered fashionable and worn by some of the most stylish people on the planet.

New Balance sneakers had a phenomenal year in 2019, largely due to the debut of the latest rendition of the label’s best-selling silhouette – the 990v5. The launch was accompanied by a worldwide marketing campaign with the tagline “Worn by supermodels in London and dads in Ohio” – a statement which sums up the sheer diversity of the customer base.

New Balance is also no stranger to collaborations, working in partnership with many highly-coveted labels such as Aime Leon Dore, Aries, and Engineered Garments (to name just a few). It can be a struggle to keep on top of the constant releases, so we’ve listed the best New Balance shoes of 2019 in a comprehensive and easy-to-read list.

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Model: Stray Rats x New Balance 990v3 Made in USA “Alternate”

Key Features: The upper features a grey mesh base with green, grey, and purple nubuck overlays. Grey New Balance branding can be seen on the sides of the shoe, while a reflective silver heel panel and 990 branding on the heel are also present. The upper sits atop a half-white, half-grey ENCAP midsole.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: StockX

Editor’s Notes: Miami brand Stray Rats has unveiled its collaborative New Balance 990v3 Made in USA. The sneaker features an alternate colorway to the two brands’ previous 990v3, which dropped in September 2018. Instead of a black base and detailing, Stray Rats pairs the green and purple overlays with a grey mesh base.

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Model: New Balance x Red Wing Heritage 997

Key Features: The 997 features supple tan suede with material contrast provided by buttery light brown leather on the tongue.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: StockX

Editor’s Notes: New Balance and Red Wing Heritage team up to give the classic 997 model a premium Americana makeover. Known for their signature burgundy/maroon hues, the New Balance x Red Wing Heritage 997 is also dressed up in supple tan suede with light brown leather on the tongue. An eggshell white midsole offers comfort and support, while special co-branded detailing on the insole completes the look.

The Best New Balance Sneakers of 2019 4

Model: Sneakersnstuff x New Balance 577

Key Features: The Sneakersnstuff x New Balance 577 “Grown Up” features a pigskin suede upper, leather tongue, TPU heel stabilizer, ENCAP midsole, and XAR-1000 rubber outsole.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: StockX

Editor’s Notes: Sneakersnstuff is celebrating 20 years of business by collaborating with New Balance on the 577. Since being founded two decades ago by Erik Fagerlind and Peter Jansson, the SNS family has grown to over 250 sneaker-obsessed “kids.” Admittedly, the New Balance 577 is a special sneaker to Sneakersnstuff. Their limited edition “Grown Up” 577 is therefore designed for “kids who have grown up.”

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Model: New Balance 990/801 Trail Runner

Key Features: New Balance fused the upper of the 990v5 with the trail-ready 801, which got a re-release late last year. The relatively sleek upper contrasts with the rugged ABZORB midsole and treaded outsole for a distinctly hybrid look.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: Foot Locker

Editor’s Notes: Foot Locker is releasing the New Balance 990/801 Trail Runner, a hybrid that mixes the 990v5’s upper and the all-terrain 801’s tooling. This unexpected mashup plays both into the normcore, dad sneaker trend and the current fashion for all things trail- and hiking-inspired.

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Model: New Balance x Todd Snyder 997

Key Features: A suede and perforated leather upper, rainbow embroidery, reflective strip, and cushioning ENCAP technology in the midsole.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: StockX

Editor’s Notes: For his latest collaboration with New Balance, Todd Snyder celebrates Pride Month by reworking the heralded 997. Referred to as “Love,” the sneaker boasts a summer color palette consisting of white peach, cedar quartz, and copper rose hues.

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Model: New Balance x Engineered Garments 990v5

Key Features: Arriving in three colorways, the sneaker features an asymmetric upper constructed of different types of leather over a mesh base. Suede panelling is present at the heel, while an ENCAP midsole locks in the comfort factor.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: END.

Editor’s Notes: Engineered Garments has collaborated with the New England sportswear brand to create three asymmetric colorways of the 990v5. The grey pair features contrasting shades on its lateral and medial sides, while the navy and black pairs mix suedes and alligator skin-like leathers to create a similar effect. The Nepenthes-affiliated brand is no stranger to asymmetric designs, having opted for similar looks on previous Vans and Dr. Martens footwear collaborations.

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Model: New Balance x HAVEN 990v5

Key Features: The shoe gets an all-black upper which mixes three unique materials. Primarily outfitted in durable CORDURA fabric, pig suede lines the toe region and side panels, while a buttery Horween leather spans the heel as well as the shoe’s interior. Furthermore, the toe, laces, side logo, and heel panel feature a reflective 3M material, giving the shoe a utilitarian twist. This all complements New Balance’s ENCAP midsole in dark grey.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: At select HAVEN stores and online at

Editor’s Notes: Canadian retailer HAVEN collaborated with the New England sportswear brand to create a dark interpretation of the classic 990v5 silhouette. The sneaker features a black and dark grey color combination done up in suede, premium leather and a durable CORDURA weave, for an ultra-luxe update. Eye-catching reflective detailing along the upper and laces transforms the shoe after dark.


Model: New Balance x Aimé Leon Dore 990v2 and 900v5

Key Features: The 990v2 features pig suede overlays and mesh underlays, in addition to a TPU collar strap, ENCAP midsole, TPU heel clip, and rubber outsole. The sneaker also incorporates an ALD-co branded woven label and fleece-lined insole. The 900v5 is constructed from pig suede and corduroy, boasting a reflective “N” logo back tab and an ALD-co branded woven label and fleece-lined insoles, similar to the 990v2. The 900v5 is also outfitted with an ABZORB midsole, TPU heel clip, and rubber outsole.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: StockX

Editor’s Notes: After its excellent turn of the New Balance 997, Aimé Leon Dore unveils another collaboration on both the 990v2 and 900v5. Once again, the sneakers arrive in an initial campaign with an immaculately dressed senior, this time a woman with a killer outerwear game and an impressive bag of produce.

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Model: New Balance x BEAMS 990v5

Key Features: BEAMS refreshes the iconic New Balance 990v5 “dad” shoe with bright silver and reflective detailing. The standout feature of this latest iteration is the mismatched gray and white paneling on the uppers.

Release Date: Available now


Editor’s Notes: New Balance joins forces with BEAMS for an asymmetrical version of the 990v5, available exclusively at Nordstrom. As with previous iterations of the iconic silhouette, the latest iteration is constructed from a sporty mix of mesh and suede upper. It’s finished off with EVA foam and a stabilizing framework.

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Model: New Balance x Aries Made in England 991

Key Features: Coming in two vibrant colorways, the Made in England NB991 has been reworked by Aries to include materials such as pearlised leather, fluorescent mesh, and bright suede. Bespoke Aries branding is seen on the heel as well as on the insoles of the shoes. The apparel collection mirrors many of the colors found on the two sneakers, with phrases such as “Unbalanced” emblazoned across some of the pieces.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: END.

Editor’s Notes: London-based Aries teamed up with New Balance on a collection comprising two Made in England 991 sneakers and matching apparel (including T-shirts, socks, sweaters and sweatpants). The collection features the word “unbalanced” on several of its pieces. The collaboration is inspired by the moment in time that sportswear became fashion.

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Model: New Balance x Slam Jam 990v3

Key Features: Slam Jam’s collaborative New Balance 990v3 features an upper that is designed to look unfinished, a custom silver insole, and reflective, Slam Jam-branded laces.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: StockX

Editor’s Notes: This is one of several collaborations between Slam Jam and New Balance. For this particular drop, Slam Jam customized the 990v3 through New Balance’s NB1 program.

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Model: New Balance x Highsnobiety 577 “Ulam Spiral”

Key Features: The sneaker features distinct color blocking that separates the toe box from the side panels, which in turn is blocked off from the heel. Supple suede leather paneling is mixed with a mesh base and reflective synthetic detailing on the upper. A white ENCAP midsole sits between the three-color upper and a treaded gum outsole, which provides a final pop of color.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: StockX

Editor’s Notes: Highsnobiety and New Balance team up for the first time, taking on the popular 577 silhouette to create a colorway whose story is closely linked to the model’s number. The design was inspired by the Ulam Spiral, a random, graphical visualization of prime numbers, due to 577 being prime. Renowned sneaker enthusiast, Solebox co-founder, SONRA designer, and Highsnobiety friend, Hikmet Sugoer, is the man behind the design of this shoe.

The Best New Balance Sneakers of 2019 13

Model: New Balance x YCMC 990v5

Key Features: YCMC’s collaborative 990v5 features a grey pigskin suede upper, dark grey suede underlays, red mesh, and navy laces.

Release Date: Available now


Editor’s Notes: Sneaker and apparel retailer YCMC has partnered with New Balance to reimagine the 990v5. Dubbed “Loyalty,” the collaboration pays tribute to the longevity of the 990 and its subsequent following.

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Model: New Balance x Overkill M1500 and M1530

Key Features: The M1500 features heavy pig skin suede panelling with a broad mesh base and reflective materials throughout. The upper is mostly muted, with pops of color around the ankle collar, sock liner, midsole, tongue, and branding on the mudguard. The colorful insole comes with co-branded logos. The words “Equality,” “Unity,” and “Diversity” are embroidered on the tongue. The M1530 features a triple black design, with heavy pig skin suede and smooth perforated leather making up the majority of the upper. Reflective materials, co-branded lace tags, and a specially-designed insole completes the look.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: In-store and online at Overkill

Editor’s Notes: Overkill and New Balance teamed up for a collaboration that celebrates the unique character of the retailer’s home city, Berlin. The pack of two shoes, an M1500 and the updated M1530, which was released to celebrate the silhouette’s 30th anniversary, have been designed to represent Berlin’s “two faces” when it comes to clubbing.

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Model: New Balance x Aimé Leon Doree 997 Made in USA

Key Features: The ’90s silhouette features a classic white upper and midsole and gray outer enlivened by colorful paneling. The opposing cerise and mustard yellow tongues elevate the shoe from dadcore staple to something sharper. The 997 boasts suede overlays, a pebbled nubuck tongue and heel, mesh underlays, custom floral insoles, an ENCAP midsole, and a TPU heel counter.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: StockX

Editor’s Notes: After a sporty SS19 collection, Aimé Leon Dore has returned to unveil a new project with New Balance. Initially there was only one image to go off, followed by KITH’s Ronnie Fieg giving us a detailed look via Instagram Stories.

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Model: New Balance 990v5

Key Features: Plush suede and mesh construction with leather accents, “Made in The USA” branded tongue badges, signature “N” motif on the side panels and ENCAP tooling with enhanced rubber outsole.

Release Date: Available now

Buy: New Balance

Editor’s Notes: The successor to the New Balance 990v4 is revealed with the new 990v5.

Although New Balance sneakers were initially developed as functional shoes for manual workers, over the years they have become a staple footwear option for fashion-conscious people across the globe. Factor in high-heat collaborations and celebrity endorsements and it’s easy to see how the label has risen to become a key player in the industry.

White sneakers are notoriously difficult to clean, but with the right products and technique it’s very achievable. We recommend using a cleaning brush with a mix of specially developed cleaning solution such as Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaner and hot water. Dip the brush into the mix and scrub the sneakers in a circular motion until they start to foam. At this point, wipe off the excess foam with a dry cloth and leave the pair to dry somewhere warm. Once they are dry, all marks should be removed – if not, repeat the process until they look box-fresh again.

New Balance sneakers are readily available from New Balance and many retailers across the globe such as Sneakersnstuff, END. Clothing, Overkill, BSTN and many more. Either head into your local store or browse the large variety available online to find the perfect pair. For high-heat collaborations and limited releases you may have to turn to the resale market. Sites like StockX, GOAT and Klekt all boast large selections of New Balance sneakers for men and women.

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