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New Balance VS Nike: Who Makes The Better Shoe?

By October 18, 2022Sneaker News

New Balance VS Nike - AIO BotSo, it always seems like the whole sneaker debate is always about Nike VS Adidas. The long-standing argument on checks over stripes. But, in light of recent events between Adidas and Kanye, it’s safe to say that the Swoosh is winning THAT debate. However, it is time to peg yet another formidable force against the sneaker titan. This is the New Balance VS Nike sneaker debate: who makes the better shoe?

Nike_NB - AIO Bot

If you really think about it, it only makes sense to compare Nike (1964) with New Balance (1906). Although, you might say that the Nike hype is too strong of a force to go up against. And, for the most part, that’s quite true! Nike is notoriously known for their legendary sneaker collaborations, technology, and innovation. PLUS, Air Jordans! So, in the New Balance VS Nike debate, how could NB even stand a chance?

Well, recently New Balance has been upping their game in ways that definitely make them a worthy opponent. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to call it first: who is better, New Balance or Nike?

 

Note: this comparison is mainly based on the two brands’ top-performing running shoes to narrow things down! However, we will provide a general overview of all their sneakers as a whole!

NEW BALANCE VS NIKE

History: New Balance VS Nike

So, before we jump right into the legit New Balance VS Nike thing, let’s take a little HISTORY lesson. Just the basic things you should know about each brand!

New Balance VS Nike (HISTORY)
New Balance Nike
  • Founded in 1906 as New Balance Arch Support Company by William J. Riley 
  • Dropped their first running sneakers – the Boston Brown Bag Harriers – in 1938
  • In 1956, the brand started shifting its focus toward sports footwear
  • Founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbons Sports by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman
  • Dropped their first sneaker – the Tiger Cortez – in 1967
  • In 1971, they rebranded and became “Nike” after the Greek goddess

Durability

Now, as to the actual New Balance VS Nike debate, we’re going to start with DURABILITY. So, durability generally refers to the lifespan of a sneaker. How is it going to fare against time and weather? This is ultimately measured in miles. In other words, how many miles could you walk in the kicks without losing a sole? OR, even tearing through them

However, for the sake of this comparison, we’re going to consider that these are shoes you wear every day. Throughout all your daily activities including working out/running! In other words, giving the experiment the worst possible conditions for a shoe.

 

New Balance VS Nike (DURABILITY)
New Balance Nike
  • The average NB running sneaker has a life expectancy of 300 to 500 miles
  • NB mostly uses foam in their midsoles which generally have a longer lifespan 
  • Nike’s VaporFly has an average life expectancy of about 200 miles
  • Sneakers with Air technology may be prone to breaking in the long-run

Comfort & Cushioning

Also, some of the biggest defining factors for the New Balance VS Nike discussion are COMFORT & CUSHIONING. Of course, regardless of how SLICK a sneaker looks, if it ain’t a comfortable shoe, it ain’t it! And so, this makes the comfort and cushioning technology a brand puts into its shoe CRUCIAL. However, both brands work really hard on providing the right amount of cushioning and comfort to their users. So, this part all comes down to personal preference!

 

New Balance VS Nike (COMFORT)
New Balance Nike
  • Both provide sneakers with cushioning in the entire shoe or part of the shoe
  • Both have their own foam midsoles
  • Mostly uses Hypoknit fabric
  • Uses Fresh Foam and FuelCell foam
  • Offers a selection for wider feet
  • The last two digits on the shoe model help you choose the right one 
  • Feels like running on clouds
  • Mostly uses knitted material for running shoes like FlyKnits
  • Uses Nike Air, Zoom, and React cushioning technology
  • Feels like running on Air

 

Fit: New Balance VS Nike

NewBalance_ - AIO BotAnd then, there’s the whole FIT situation. Naturally, no matter how GOOD a brand is, if it keeps messing up your sneaker size, it ain’t it. So, in the New Balance VS Nike size debate, who would you think wins? Now, the thing is, sometimes you do all the right things:

And yet, things still go wrong. You can always try to fix a slightly small shoe with stretching methods. But, what happens when it’s too big? That’s when shit really hits the fan. So, it’s only fair that we expect sneaker brands to provide GOOD sneaker sizes while also being inclusive in their size range!

 

New Balance VS Nike (FIT)
New Balance Nike
  • Offers wide widths, larger sizes, and 2A
  • Offers a shoe finder service for best fit
  • Tend to generally run smaller in width and length 
  • Does not offer options for wider or slimmer feet

 

Design

Next, we’ve got the DESIGN, which – in some cases – is a deal breaker for people. Let’s be real, not everyone’s going to geek out on the sneaker specs. Although, when it comes to performance and running sneakers, you definitely should care about the specs of these kicks. But, ultimately the design and colorway do play a huge role in most people’s sneaker decisions. Therefore, in the New Balance VS Nike debate, who has the better sneaker designers?

 

New Balance VS Nike (DESIGN)
New Balance Nike
  • The OG dad shoe
  • Generally follows the same vibe throughout their designs 
  • Forever feels like a 90s sneaker
  • Follows the trends and hype of the industry
  • Has a huge selection of designs and colorways
  • Innovative and forward-thinking designs

Price: New Balance VS Nike

Finally, the last thing we’re going to consider for the whole New Balance VS Nike debate is the PRICE. Money talks, fam! And sometimes, money makes decisions for us. When you ain’t got the budget for it, sometimes you don’t have the luxury of choice. And, with recent price changes and inflation, sneaker prices can get ridiculous! So, for the sake of comparing, we considered the top 3 most popular sneakers with the highest sales in 2022. 

 

New Balance VS Nike (PRICE)
New Balance Nike

For New Balance, the top 3 most popular sneakers sold in 2022 are:

The price range for New Balance is $80 – $265

For Nike, the top 3 most popular sneakers sold in 2022 are:

The price range for Nike sneakers is $90 – $300

New Balance VS Nike - GFX - AIO Bot

Who Wins?

So, that concludes all our key points for the New Balance VS Nike discussion. But, who is the actual winner of it? Is Nike better than New Balance? Or, is New Balance the best bang for your buck? 

Although both brands utilize innovative sneaker technology, comfort, cushioning, and design; they’re still VERY different. It all comes down to YOU as a sneakerhead – which brand speaks to your “sole” the most? And, which one caters to your needs (and budget!)? Either way, whichever you choose, you’re going to end up with an awesome sneaker!

However, for a wider range of sizes and a more forgiving price tag, New Balance beats Nike!

BUT, if you’re in this to join the sneaker reselling industry and make money, Nike is better than New Balance. Yet, on the other hand, New Balance has been doing FIRE collaborations like: Joe Freshgoods, BAPE, Selehe Bembury, Bodega, JJJJound, and more! So, this definitely gives them an appeal to sneaker resellers. In short, New Balance VS Nike has one thing in common: they’re both going to need an epic sneaker bot. Click on the button below to check the best and top-performing bots of the year!