New Balance 501 Ripple Soul

8.5 score
(WalkJogRun) score (8.5)/10

Our WalkJogRun score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
Editor rating: 8.3 / 10
User's rating: based on 5 user ratings
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New Balance 501 Ripple Soul Review Facts

New Balance has been on fire as of late. Their release of various different running shoe styles has been the cause of their brand going up in both value and appeal to their patrons. The Ripple Sole by New Balance may look like a running shoe but it's so much more. While these sneakers may have the appearance of being running shoes, they can be worn by those who consider themselves athleisure aesthetics. If you simply like to wear running shoes, then it makes sense for you to purchase this pair.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Stylish Design
  • Comfortable
  • Multiple colorways
  • Provides adequate arch support
  • Various styles of the shoe available
  • Decent break in time
  • Gets dirty easily
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Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 3.00 hours analyzing a total of 685 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

  • I got what I wanted with these, wanted good running shoes but also stylish and good for casual and running, pleased with these, good fit, very comfy, nice support, very good grip and the price is right.
  • Right away I liked the comfortable feel of these, I have low arches and using orthotics with these is easy, I run daily and find these are comfortable which is my first wish, they look good and so far I can say price wise these are the best deal around, and the shoe looks good.
  • I thought sizing would be tricky but its not, got perfect fit right away, I don't put in more than 10 miles a week and after two months I think these shoes have to be the best deal I've had, will be buying a second pair so that I can use those when these are done.
  • Love these due to how versatile they are, they can be used for just about any sport ( not swimming) and I have low foot arches but still wanted these, the price is good, got orthotics sorted out for these and I use these shoes daily, I give them five stars because I can't fault these in any way.
  • So happy to get a shoe like these without the usual sizing problems, the shoe performs and gives perfect support and fit, really like the cushion in these and these are a good shoe for running but also they look nice enough to wear for working, walking, other outdoor activities.
  • I use these everyday for just about everything except running, these are good for work, shopping downtown, strolling around, they are a nice design and super comfortable. I thought my feet might get a bit hot in these but the ventilation is very good.
  • 8 months using these and not a single complaint, perfect fit, perfect comfort, I don’t run much but I do walk everyday about two miles, rain, snow or any weather and these are good. If they do get wet they dry out fast. Very grippy and super comfort even after months of use.
  • These are surprisingly awesome, use them everyday and 5 months down the line they are still up to task for a few runs a week and wearing casually.
  • I need more arch support my feet are rotating in these, and this is messing up my gait, I will try out some orthotics to fix this.
  • These could be the worst shoes I've had, after 2 months they started breaking at the seams even though I did not push these that much, Unlucky defect in the pair I bought or not a good shoe?
  • These get dirty so easily, I'm constantly cleaning them, and the toe box is too narrow for my toes, they feel bunched up.
  • The heel area needs a tad more cushion, it’s not right in terms of support, I do wear these but after a few hours, I get a nagging ache in both heels.
  • The right heel on the shoe does not center for my heel which created a distracting discomfort but not friction. Did try these for running but that's a no go, just wearing these as daily now.
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 685 reviews we found in total, 10% were negative, and 90% were positive.


The name of the 501 includes the words “ripple sole” simply to place emphasis on the design of the outsole and its benefits. To provide wearers with the grip that they need during an excursion. The ripple effect of the 501 means that the shoe makes use of a wave-like rubber patterning. The color of the New Balance 501's outsole is also color-coordinated with the rest of the shoe. Basically, if you purchase a majority grey pair of shoes, your shoe's outsole will also be grey.


The midsole on this classic 501 New Balance is designed from the standard EVA foam. EVA is the go-to material for many shoe designers due to its ability to provide wearers with a long-living cushioned feel. This cushioning effect is due to the fact that EVA doesn’t ever fully compress. The foam base in the New Balance 501 also allows the shoe to provide one with a solid foundation for their foot to step in. This works wonders for improving the support of the foot.


The upper of the 501 is quite the blend of materials. For starters, the base layer of the shoe is made from mesh. The perforforated nature of the mesh allows it to easily give one what they need in terms of circulation while in use. The outer layer of the 501 (and this is subject to design choice) comes in a standard suede material. The suede in the design typically stands on the toe area and heel portion of the shoe, acting as a bit of guidance for the shoe (stability proving material). The lacing in the 501 Ripple sole is also relatively standard. It has the basic fabric lacing which doesn't really add much to the functionality of the shoe overall.


While no weight for the New Balance 501 Ripple Sole has been specified, it is safe to say that it is an incredibly lightweight shoe. The blend of EVA foam in the midsole and the utter “lack” of materials in the upper allows this to be so. EVA foam is a material that’s known for being relatively lightweight and for providing wearer’s with the cloud-like feel; the fact that this material was used in the 501 enables the shoe to work incredibly well for wearer’s when on the actual track by reducing fatigue. The upper works in much of the same ways as the midsole and provides wearers with the feeling that they need in order to comfortably conquer whatever activity that they’re being used for.


The upper of the 501 has a nice little blend of both breathable and sturdy materials which allows it to provide just the right amount of airflow to the foot during wear. The mesh base-layer of the 501 allows it to be relatively breathable due to the nature of the material itself. In addition to the mesh in the shoe’s design, the inner lining of the 501 is made of a textile material. Typically, the fact that the New Balance 501 makes use of textile wouldn’t really do much for its ability to provide wearers with what they need in terms of airflow. However, in the case of the 501, it allows the shoe to have moisture-wicking properties that work in tandem with the circulation provided by the mesh in the shoe.


For starters, the breathability provided by the upper of the 501 allows it to provide an adequate level of comfort during use. As mentioned in the previous section, the material in the inside of the 501, while having moisture-wicking properties, also provides wearers with a rough, yet secure feeling; this is the nature of textile. The lacing on the upper of the sneaker, while being relatively average, also provides wearers with a snug fit that works in tandem with the lightweight design that the shoe has. Last but not least, we have the EVA midsole and the cushioning effect that it has; this material conforms to and cushions the underfoot, successfully providing wearers with the comfort that they need during a run.


The New Balance 501 has a style that is very similar to that of various different shoes made by this iconic brand. Many New Balance shoes have a cut that closely resembles that of the 501, the only thing that differentiates them from being that the shoe has a slightly different cut. While the 501 has a running shoe design, it's meant for all individuals who simply seek a bit of comfort for their feet. The laidback style of the 501 makes them relatively versatile and ensures that they easily become your go-to shoe for any occasion.


One of the things that New Balance has been known for with all of their shoes is the level of longevity they hold. The 501, while it may not appear to be so at first glance, has adequate levels of longevity due to the quality with which the shoe was designed. The stitching in the upper of the shoe, for instance, is very tight, effectively allowing the shoe to provide wearers with the comfort security that they’d need in order for it to be worn without coming apart. The same can be said for the actual materials that the shoe is designed from; each of individual parts of the 501 makes use of materials that have what it takes in order to stand up against a rainy day and provide wearers with the value that one would like to receive from their shoes.


The upper of the 501 is where the majority of the shoe’s protection stems from. As previously mentioned, the design of the New Balance 501 makes use of a base layer of mesh as well as an upper layer designed from some other material. The typical material that's used for the upper or second layer is suede and it provides a bit of stability to the shoe. The snug fit that the 501 provides also protects one during actual movement; this is because of the fact that the foot itself experiences very little movement while in the shoe and the wearer can have a bit of surety in their movements during their activities.


The first part of the 501 that must be touched on because of it’s responsiveness is the midsole. The 501 makes use of an EVA material in the design of it’s midsole, effectively allowing wearers to have what they need regarding comfort and cushioning. EVA is a material known for its ability to move according to the needs of the wearer’s foot and thus provides wearers with varying levels of comfort and effectively providing energy to the foot of the wearer; it’s not often that shoes have this type of feel.


First off, the upper of the 501 fits rather snug and provides wearers with security on either sides of the foot. In addition to this, the heel cup provides adequate support for the wearers heel during use. For those who decide to use these shoes for the running capabilities that they hold, this ability should be noted. The EVA midsole in this shoe’s design also allows it to provide wearers with an adequate level of support for both the various high-pressure points of the wearer’s foot.


The 501 ripple sole can definitely handle quite a few different types of terrains. The question is, how likely are you to want your particular sneaker to want to handle those surfaces? Remember that these sneakers may have a design meant for running but, they aren't really meant for it. The craftsmanship New Balance is known for placing into the design of their shoes allows the 501 to provide wearers with what they need on a multitude of surfaces, not just the typical treadmill. The 501's outsole and the durable rubber material that it’s made from can withstand quite the pounding and, due to the patterning that it has, provides functionality on a wide variety of surfaces as well. In addition to the design of the outsole on this shoe, the upper is rather durable and can be used on various terrains as well; materials that are present on roads wouldn’t be able to damage this shoe (or the foot) whatsoever.


You can never go wrong by purchasing a New Balance shoe, that’s for shoe. The prices of their models have effectively been getting lower and lower over the years; the same can be said for this particular model. The great thing about buying this shoe over the rest of the various running shoes on the market is that it’s both inexpensive and durable. There are various other shoes being sold today that are quite expensive but don’t have what one would need regarding functionality. Thankfully, New Balance consistently places a great deal of time into thinking about the design of their shoes and how the wearer will interact with them.


The ripple sole outsole design is in place in the 501 for pure aesthetic reasons. They don't do a bad job of providing grip either. The outsole has teeth-like protrusions which “bite” into the surface the shoe is used for running on. The design of the outsole on this shoe is perfect for those who would like to have a faster take-off simply because of the forward-moving pattern that the outsole has. In addition to the pattern of the material on the outsole of the 501, it’s design is one that makes use of hardened rubber. Rubber is a naturally abrasive material and, due to it’s being an integral part of the design, provides an above average level of grip to the New Balance 501.


Although it may not look like it, the 501 has quite a bit of “give”. It’s relatively easy for the shoe to bend to the will of the wearer’s foot and provide wearers with the range of motion or flexibility that they need on a multitude of surfaces. The level of flexibility that’s present in the shoe’s design is so simply because of the fact that the shoe makes use of various, relatively malleable materials. When it comes to flexibility, EVA and mesh are known are up there on the list of flexible materials; they’re being incorporated into the design is why the 501 is considered so highly when it comes to comfort sneakers.


To ensure that the 501 doesn’t lack a sort of structure, New Balance fit the shoe with various overlays. In addition to the upper of the shoe and the stability providing aspects that it has, the ridges along the outsole of the shoe are horizontal; this fact basically implies that the shoe will have a relatively easy time of staying steady while on foot.


No drop has been specified for the New Balance 501.

Key Features

• Ripple sole
• Mesh Base layer
• EVA midsole


The New Balance 501 is a shoe that just has one of those designs that make it incredibly versatile. It can be worn in various places and provides a relatively high level of comfort to the foot. In addition to the versatility that the shoe is known for providing wearers with, it is inexpensive. How often does one find a shoe with both of those qualities put together? Not often. With that being said, these are a must-grab pair of shoes.