New Balance 574 Review

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Just because the 574 from New Balance is a popular running shoe doesn’t mean you have to run in them. There are plenty of consumers who wear them simply for the style and comfort and/or because they can stand up to their everyday activity level.

The design was influenced by men’s classic running shoes. It carries on the traditional plush and lightweight suede and mesh material for the upper. This may not provide a flashy look, but it is a very aesthetically pleasing look nonetheless, especially when you consider the wide array of gorgeous color variations available.

The NB symbol is placed on both the inner side and outer side of the upper. The lining, heel, and tongue are toweled textile material. The midsole is EVA foam material and the heel is Encap, focusing on cushioning. The soles are rubber. There is a convenient removable insert. You can lay back and enjoy the day because these sneakers are super casual while being completely functional and they are stacked with comfort measures throughout the construction.

One of the best things about the 574 is how many different sizes it is offered in. It’s very challenging to find shoes that come in wide, let alone extra wide, and you have both to choose from here. The sizes also range from four to eighteen, with half sizes offered from four through twelve. The huge variety of color available is storm blue, varsity orange, team red, classic blue, forest green, navy, green, blackout, nimbus cloud, grey, black iris, burgundy, and black.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Trusted brand
  • Quality materials
  • Huge variety of color/size
  • Versatile (Casual/running)
  • Competitive pricing
Cons
  • Easy to stain
  • Requires upkeep for longevity
Brand

Brand

New Balance’ goal and focus when designing and manufacturing footwear are to help its customers achieve their goals, no matter how big or small. Starting at the beginning of the chain, the company is sure to treat those that they employ with the utmost respect and dignity.

Another commitment that the company takes seriously is their dedication to only working with manufacturers and suppliers which also feel as though the top priorities are productive labor, remaining environmentally friendly, and following the Code of Conduct.

The company is highly active in the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) movement. The creation of the audit tool used to score environmental compliance was partially thanks to New Balance.

A small specialized group of around twenty employees globally works together, tirelessly holding the company accountable for environmental and social factors in the supply chain. The team makes surprise visits to the suppliers to score them on their performance, help solve any issues that they may be experiencing, and offer to consult outside help via educational sessions. This isn’t a tactic to intimidate companies or employees. It is a way to assist suppliers in improving their business.
Upper

Upper

It is important to have a good quality upper covering your foot. The difference between okay and not so okay is whether or not the upper gives you any benefits. If it doesn’t, why are you wearing them? The upper of the 574 is made from smooth suede and mesh material. There are benefits to both of these materials. Mesh is fantastic for flexibility and airflow.

While suede isn’t quite as durable as full-grain leather due to the fact that it is cut from the leather and the top layer is not included from the animal’s skin, it is still a sturdy material. It will work just as hard as full grain leather to prevent abrasions, and will even hide the wear and tear better. However, suede is significantly more susceptible to staining.

Every so often, when they’ve been a little more than gently used, you’ll want to give them a brushing. You need to purchase and suede brush specifically for this so that you don’t ruin the suede. In order to work the dirt out of the fibers, stroke quickly and lightly as long as needed.

There is a plethora of advice on the internet about what products to use for every stain imaginable. This is probably something you’ll want to look up and have on hand because you never know when you’re going to have a spill and need to perform an emergency cleaning.
Midsole

Midsole

This sneaker is dedicated to optimal comfort that will last all day long whether you’re standing, walking, or running. The midsole plays a detrimental role in the comfort or discomfort you’ll experience throughout the day. It rests between the insole and the outsole and provides support, shock absorption, and relief from pain, discomfort, and fatigue.

EVA foam material is what rests under your feet in these shoes. EVA is the abbreviation of ethyl vinyl acetate. This is a material that is man-made and is categorized as a foam. EVA is soft and provides flexibility, these thermoplastic properties aid in the manufacturing of products. EVA is a popular choice when it comes to midsole material. This is because of its resistance to stress cracks, waterproof capabilities, toughness, and UV resistance.

At the heel is New Balance’s Encap technology, which is EVA the is encapsulated in a polyurethane shell. Encap was designed and created in order to be able to provide consumers with improved shock dispersion and stability in the heel.
Outsole

Outsole

Whether your intent is to lounge around the house, walk around the block, go for a jog, or take these shoes with you the whole way through your day, you’re going to appreciate that they have an outsole made of rubber. There are many benefits to a rubber sole, and when it comes to casual or activewear, rubber is the primary choice over leather.

The reason that rubber is so desirable, especially for those who are active and need to be able to change direction quickly or traverse over uneven terrain, is that it naturally has better grip and traction. To add to that, rubber soles for these types of sneakers are typically designed with grooves cut throughout the length of the foot that will offer even more traction. With the added grip and traction, you’re also going to be able to reap the reward of added speed.

Rubber will also work nonstop to protect you from moisture, abrasions, punctures, slips, and falls. These benefits are all beneficial in casual and active footwear for both indoor and outdoor activities. The disadvantages to rubber are that rubber soles cannot just be repaired or replaced as leather soles can.

Rubber has the potential of being dangerous for the environment when it is carelessly discarded, created in factories that use crude techniques, or not properly managed and supervised. Thankfully, New Balance is dedicated to only working with companies that are dedicated to protecting the environment.
Comfort

Comfort

Classic running shoes are obviously designed for running, but with the update from New Balance, they’re designed with a lot more in mind. The main focus in the construction is on providing comfort that has a custom made feel. And this comfort can be utilized for strenuous workouts or the laziest of afternoons.

The tongue, collar, heel, and lining are all plush, toweled textile material. Not only will this provide you with immediate step-in comfort, but it will keep you comfortable throughout your day with the added support that it gives your feet and ankles. The foam midsole and Encap heel are added comfort measures between the insole and outsole. They play an important role in support and comfort and provide shock absorbancy to alleviate pressure from the rest of your body as well.

There is a removable insert, so if it is not sufficient enough for your specific needs, you can easily just remove it and replace it with one that is more specialized for your foot type. If you’ve got issues with arch pain, plantar fasciitis, diabetes complications, calluses, or a multiple of other misfortunes, you’ll most likely want to consult your doctor on what insole will best suit you and your needs.
Aesthetics

Aesthetics

The style of the 574 is definitely a classic running shoe, but with a brand new taste for modern fashion and a passion for flare. Whether you’re on the track, trail, court, or couch, you’ll be turning heads with any of the vibrant color options available to choose from.

There are thirteen colors to choose from. These include burgundy, black, black iris, grey, blackout, nimbus cloud, green, forest green, navy, classic blue, storm blue, varsity orange, and team red.

Don’t be afraid to break the mold and go outside the box with your outfit choices. If your shoes are bold that doesn’t mean that the rest of you can’t be as well. You can always play it safe and classicly simple with neutral colors so that the shoe is the highlight of the outfit. But you can also add pops of color in every piece of clothing you have on that day.
Your possibilities are virtually endless with thirteen color options each with an array of color combinations to please the eye. These sneakers are so classicly chic that you can wear them with jeans, leggings, skirts, shorts, or whatever kind of garment you’d prefer. It’s hard to look bad with these as part of your attire.
Fit

Fit

The way your shoe fits you is extremely important, and not just while you’re trying them on in the store and during the first week that you’re at home with them. You need to be sure that your shoes will be comfortable and secure for the long haul.

Also, if you’ve got wider or larger feet than the typical person, you’re in luck here. These sneakers come in sizes four through eighteen and widths up to extra wide. The only width not included is narrow. The six-eyelet lacing system can assist in a more secure fit for narrow feet. Sizing down a half size may also help if you can afford that loss in the toe box.

The shaft height is considered a low top, the collar of the opening protecting your Achilles heel and then dipping down to curve around the shape of your ankle. This allows your ankle more freedom to pivot and breathe. There is also cushioning around the collar, on the tongue, and on the inside which will aid in producing a more personalized, secure feel.
Durability

Durability

When purchasing any kind of footwear, it is important to know how long you expect them to last and how to decide what to buy based on that conclusion. When it comes to running shoes and the New Balance brand footwear, durability is a must.

The construction includes measures to increase the longevity of its life. The upper being made of quality suede and mesh material will stay intact for quite some time as long as it is properly cared for. The rubber outsole is going to put up resistance to all kinds of wear and tear, extending the life of the entire shoe.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The 574 comes with maintenance recommendations that may seem overwhelming to some. But it is important to understand the difference a cleaning routine is going to make in the appearance of your sneakers and how long they hold up for you. If getting your money’s worth and keeping your sneakers looking fresh is important to you, plan a routine for spot cleans and deep cleans.

Suede is more susceptible to stains than full-grain leather is, but this is something that can easily be combatted as well. Before you wear them outdoors, spray them all over with waterproofing spray specifically for suede material.

Why not choose a pair to keep in the closet, one for yard work, one for easy access when racing out the door, and one to keep in the car for spontaneous runs or adventures? There are so many color options that you can color coordinate your schedule with your shoes. Enjoy the comfort and versatility you’ll receive from the New Balance 574 running shoe anytime, anywhere, and at a price that you won’t feel the need to hide from your partner.