A Quick Guide to New Balance Mathematics

September 26, 2013 BY / 3

For decades, New Balance has been a force to be reckoned with in the world of running shoes. Originally, it was their premium next level performance models that put them on the map, and while they remain a formidable competitor in the field, a large segment of the brand’s following is rooted in the love of those timeless classics. Throughout the years, several original New Balance silhouettes have endured the test of time and flourished mightily as retro mainstays, but unlike most of their peers, becoming household names in the sneaker world has proved a bit challenging thanks to the brand’s numerical model designations.

By using numbers instead of names for their shoes, more casual consumers can have a tough time remembering and differentiating the numerical model names, relying more on visual cache than name recognition to ingrain them into our memory banks. Obviously, models like the 574, 993, and 1500 have become a bit more recognized than some of their counterparts, but a large


portion of the catalog is less than common knowledge. Through noteworthy collaborative endeavors and valiant in-house efforts, the brand’s popularity has been surging within the “sneakerhead” market, and along with it, a growing awareness of additional New Balance Classics models.

Nowadays, the average sneaker enthusiast can probably rattle off more NB model names than ever before, but it can still be difficult to keep them all straight in your head. As a result, we thought we’d put together a basic reference guide to the New Balance numerical naming system, allowing you to learn a little background on each shoe, compare one to the next, and get a basic appreciation for the progression and evolution of the designs. We’ve highlighted twenty New Balance runners that every sneaker aficionado should be familiar with, so take a look through and get a quick and easy crash course on deciphering the finer points of elementary New Balance mathematics.


3 thoughts on “A Quick Guide to New Balance Mathematics

  1. This is great, loving it!  The 997 (CM997HWB) that you show is in fact also a 997.5, the sole is a 998 sole and the upper is a 997 upper.

  2. New balance are where its at when combining premium materials, comfort, shape and classic colorways in a HAND MADE SHOE. Real heads know whats up. Great write up. I think more people have a hard time differentiating between US, UK, and Asian made models. While Asian models and Uk models were much better for older models, recently they have adapted new shapes to their shoe making process making them less appealing to OG NB collectors, while USA made NBs are the real deal, encompassing everything NB stands for. Would like to see pictures of the real (USA) 997, 999, 996, amongst other models. NB was always referred to as Grandpa shoes for those that had no perspective on the subject so its good to see them get some attention, although not all attention can be good, as seen with Asics nowadays. If you want the hype shit, buy Js made with plastic for 1$ in China from recycled bottles and cans. If you want some Quality shit, do your homework and realize what your putting on your feet and seperate yourself from everyother wankster out there. 🙂

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