New Balance 608v5 Review

9.3 score
[Editors rating (9.3) + Users rating (9.2)] / 2 = (WalkJogRun) score (9.3)/10

Editor rating: 9.3 / 10
User's rating: based on 7 user ratings
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New Balance has a long and successful history in the shoemaking business. From walking sneakers and training shoes to running models and casual styles, this brand continues to surprise with innovations. With the creation of new and updated versions, New Balance not only improves their products but also enhances the runner’s performance. Always striving to deliver the best for athletes, the brand continues to produce high-quality trainers, with the latest science and modern technologies. Part of these innovations is the 5th iteration of the 608 model. Since the discontinuation of the 608v4 style, the 608v5 version quickly became famous as the new workout model, designed especially for those long hours in the gym.

Released in November 2018, this newest generation has many great qualities that athletes can contribute from. Featuring an enhanced ABZORB® heel pad for optimum cushioning, together with outsole flex grooves for superior flexibility, the New Balance 608v5 is an ideal choice for fitness fanatics, long gym sessions, light jogging and walking. With their constant changes and developments, New Balance has once more succeeded in delivering a good quality trainer. Not only is the 608v5 versatile but it’s also comfortable, supportive and very affordable. If you want to find out more about the 5th version of the 608 model, remain alert.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Supreme cushioning
  • Comfortable fit
  • Slip-resistant outsole
  • Versatile design
  • Breathable upper
  • Average support
  • Durability issues


According to customers the New Balance 608v5 is an extremely comfortable trainer and well cushioned too. Featuring a new foam insole and a dual-density collar foam that helps prevent irritation at your ankles, the upgraded model became many people’s choice for light jogging and everyday activities. Many agreed that it feels broken in right out of the box, and some reviewers mentioned that the design fits perfectly like a glove. This updated style is also recommended for people with wide feet and bunions issues.

When compared to the 608v4 model, the 5th iteration is better cushioned, more supportive and the toe box is slightly bigger. This gives you more space in the instep area, which makes the 608v5 design ideal for athletes with wide feet and a high instep. On the inside, there is a lightweight Phantom Liner® that offers a snug and comfortable fit. In addition, when compared to its discontinued predecessor, this upgraded model feels a bit lighter.

Besides its use for running and working out, many customers said that they often use this style as an everyday casual model or as a dress shoe. The upgrade that was done to make this design even more comfortable includes the multiple perforations throughout the entire upper to improve breathability. Although some customers were not happy with the leather, they were pleased with the style and that they clean easily with a damp sponge, making them an ideal pair of shoes for winter. In addition, an ABZORB® cushioning is applied in the midfoot that provides exceptional shock absorption.


New Balance is known to deliver high-quality trainers and has always been known for the durability and longevity of their creations. A number of wearers were surprised at how long the 608v5 model has lasted them for. Even after extended wear, this version seemed to hold up well for a number of customers. However, there were some reports that, eventually, the sole starts to separate from the top portion of the shoe. For some customers, durability issues began after weeks of wear, and for others after months of everyday wear. Despite this drawback, customers were happy with the price, the longevity and the high-quality materials used in the latest New Balance 608 version.


The New Balance 608v5 can be found in 3 widths, narrow, medium and wide. When it comes to sizes, men can choose between US sizes 6.5 and 18 while women have the option to choose from US sizes 5 to 12. The selection in different widths and big sizes makes this style desirable amongst people with big feet since it is hard to find a classic looking cross trainer for large feet. According to some reviews, this model runs one size smaller. However, most of the reviewers agree that the model fits true to size. It is recommended to try them on before purchasing a pair online.


When it comes to flexibility, this model is reported to provide a lot. The revamped outsole is designed to conform to the natural shape of the foot. While the new lug pattern improves traction, the updated flex grooves add superior flexibility in the forefoot. Although the upper is not as stretchy and flexible as the 608v4 model, it does a great job at keeping the foot locked in and stable.

Key Features

There are few characteristics of the New Balance 608v5 that work together to make this shoe a better trainer than its predecessors. The flexible rubber outsole is slip-resistant, durable, and non-marking, and helps you move more freely on various surfaces. Then, there is the Abzorb cushioning technology applied to the midsole that works as an excellent shock absorbent. The leather upper gives you a secure foothold, and even though it is not that flexible, it features multiple perforations for better breathability and extra overlays for enhanced support.

Furthermore, the dual-density collar foam helps prevent irritation at your ankles. This updated model comes available in 3 widths, and almost all sizes. Men can choose between the US sizes 6.5 and 18 while women have the option to choose from the US sizes 5 to 12. The comfort levels are maximized with the use of polyurethane insert which provides cushioning all day long. The 5th iteration are versatile workout shoes that can be used for walking, light jogging, in the gym, or for fitness classes.


The 5th version features a chunky design midsole. Using the same full-length foam unit as its predecessor’s, the 608v5 model delivers responsive and consistent cushioning. Due to this foam, which can withstand constant impact, the underfoot remains supported and cushioned throughout your workouts. The only part in the midsole that separates this model from the previous version is that the upper edges have been extended upwards around the heel and on both sides of the forefoot area, providing additional support and stability.

The heel section is boosted with Abzorb technology. This is the brand’s proprietary innovation, which is a mix of lightweight and responsive foam with a hard-wearing Dupont Engage Isoprene rubber. This rubber is known to withstand repeated impacts longer than a standard EVA foam. In addition, the Abzorb heel pad is supposed to protect the athlete’s feet against the harmful effects of repeated impact. Furthermore, due to the lightweight foam, the midsole is light and flexible enough to deliver a pleasant and comfortable ride. Last but not least, the midsole in the new model is known to provide lateral support.


The outsole of the New Balance 608v5 has been fully upgraded. Featuring non-marking technology on the bottom of the outsole, the New Balance 608v5 are great for gym floors since they won’t leave any undesirable marks. Furthermore, the outsole is made of rubber with a new lug pattern that is supposed to provide excellent grip on gym floors and other types of training terrain.

The rubber is designed to be durable and helps protect against abrasion. In addition, the updated flex grooves should make the forefoot more flexible. In order to reduce the weight of the shoe, there is a carved out piece at the bottom of the sole, making the New Balance 608v5 model slightly lighter than the 608v4 design. Last but not least, the updated outsole features slip-resistant properties. Tested by ASTM F2913-11, the outsole is supposed to provide superior traction under various conditions and terrains.


When it comes to support, the New Balance 608v5 offers moderate. However, there is plenty of room to insert your own special orthotics. The Abzorb technology applied to the heel and the forefoot is designed to absorb shock, and with that, it helps deliver soft and protective ride. It has longer lasting cushioning properties than regular EVA foam. The dual density collar supports the ankle and prevents irritations from occurring around it.

Many customers agreed that despite the neutral support, they didn’t have to add arch supports in this model since they had no trouble wearing this pair all day long. The back of the 608v5 design is slightly higher than previous models and grip the heel better. For people with a narrow heel, this is a great feature, that comes in handy during jogging and walking. Customers with plantar fasciitis highly recommend this design for anyone who needs average support.


The upper is constructed of leather designed to snug your fit nicely. Even though the upper construction is not as flexible as the 608v4 model, it provides a secure foothold. The traditional lace-up closure makes it possible to customize tightness. In addition, there is a pull-tab at the back for easy putting on the trainers. On the inside, the breathable mesh lining together with the removable EVA cushioned insole provides additional comfort.

This model features a Phantom Liner on the inside, which is a smooth and lightweight material, designed to prevent blisters and irritations. Moreover, there is a padded collar and a breathable mesh tongue that add to the overall comfort of the design. Compared to the 608v4 upper, this updated model features more perforations throughout the leather, to keep the foot fresh and dry during long workouts. Also, there are added leather overlays in this model, that are placed around the heel and the toes. This update is supposed to reinforce the structure and improve support.


With a chunky design midsole and a classic leather upper design, the New Balance 608v5 is a versatile trainer, that can easily become a staple in everyone's wardrobe. It comes available in different color schemes including black/black, white/navy, white/royal/black, white/white for men and bungee/burlap/wren, black/black, white/light blue and white/pink for women. It is perfect for the gym floors, for tracks and treadmills, jogging and walking. Many customers said that they often use the New Balance 608v5 style as an everyday shoe, going to church, to the park or for running errands, and some said they even wear it as a dress shoe. The model matches well with jeans, shorts, tights and tracksuit pants, giving you a sporty/casual/comfortable look.

Bottom Line

Overall, the New Balance 608v5 model performs great, whether you take it to the gym or on the track. Designed for athletes, this classic lace-up design uses multiple elements to make it perform better than its predecessors. First, the Abzorb technology delivers superior cushioning and shock absorbance every time your foot hits the ground. In addition, the New Balance’s Phantom Liner® provides a snug and comfortable fit. The upper has been upgraded, and multiple perforations have been added throughout the whole unit, making this model breathable in all weather conditions. Also, the upper is made of leather or suede, and it’s easy to clean and maintain.

The outsole received an upgrade too. Now, with added flex grooves, there is improved flexibility at the forefoot area. The outsole is designed with rubber that is slip-resistant and in addition, durable too. Even though there were a couple of negative comments about the durability of the 5th iteration, many reviewers thought it was well worth the price and they were pleased with the other qualities the trainer offered.

The New Balance 608v5 version comes in medium, wide and extra wide width and its available in almost all sizes. This model is available for both women and men who lead an active lifestyle and need comfort, stability, and support during their workouts. With a decent selection in colors, this style makes versatile footwear, easy to be matched with jeans, pants or shorts, and performs great in the gym, walking and light jogging whether it’s on a track, treadmill or outdoors. With the all-day comfort the New Balance 608v5 offers, it’s easy to be motivated to move, work up a sweat and stay active and healthy.