Do New Balance Run Small or Big? – A New Balance Sizing Guide 

Selecting the right shoe size is more than just a number; it’s about comfort, shoe performance, and long-term foot health. One shoe brand that often comes up in conversations about quality and comfort is New Balance. Known for its wide range of athletic and lifestyle footwear, New Balance has been a staple in the shoe industry for over a hundred years.

However, a common question that many prospective New Balance buyers face is, “Do New Balance run small or big?” This seemingly simple question can be the difference between a comfortable step and a painful walk.

In this comprehensive guide, we aim to delve deep into the world of New Balance sizing. Through customer testimonials, expert opinions, and specific model analyses, we will offer an in-depth look to help you find the perfect fit in New Balance footwear and answer the persistent question, “Do New Balance run small or large?”

Table of Contents show

Does New Balance Run Small or Big?

Generally speaking, most New Balance shoes run true to size. 

In the context of footwear, “true to size” refers to the shoe fitting as expected based on its labeled size. For example, if you typically wear a size 9 shoe, you can anticipate that a New Balance shoe in size 9 will offer a snug and comfortable fit.

While New Balance strives for sizing consistency, it’s essential to understand that individual experiences can differ. Various factors, such as the specific shoe model, the unique contours of your foot, and even the thickness of the socks you choose to wear, can influence how the shoe fits and feels.

Thus, while many find New Balance shoes fit true to size, it’s not guaranteed for every model and individual.

Does New Balance Come in Half Sizes?

Yes, New Balance offers many of their shoe models in half sizes.

For adult footwear, New Balance provides half sizes ranging from 4 to 13 in US sizes for men and from 4 to 14 in US sizes for women. This ensures that a broad spectrum of customers can find their ideal fit. 

The significance of half sizes in the footwear world cannot be overstated. For individuals who often find themselves floating between two standard sizes, half sizes can be the difference between a shoe that fits just right and one that doesn’t. For example, if you often find a normal shoe size 9 too snug but a size 10 too roomy, there’s a good chance that a 9.5 from New Balance might be your ideal fit. 

While New Balance is committed to offering a wide range of sizes, it’s worth noting that the availability of half a size might vary depending on the specific shoe model and region. Therefore, when eyeing a particular model, it’s a good idea to check its sizing options or refer to the brand’s sizing guide.

Expert Tip – If you find yourself between sizes, it’s often recommended to opt for the larger size. Size adjustments can be made with thicker socks, insoles, or different lacing techniques. For detailed step-by-step guidance on making shoes smaller, check out our guide on how to make shoes smaller.

New Balance Size Chart

Selecting the right shoe size is crucial for comfort and performance. New Balance provides detailed size charts to help customers find their perfect fit. These charts are tailored for men, women, and kids, ensuring every family member gets a shoe that fits just right.

New Balance Size Chart for Men

For men, finding the right shoe size ensures optimal performance, whether you’re hitting the gym or just taking a stroll.

US SizeUK SizeEU SizeLength(cm)

New Balance Size Chart for Women

Women’s feet have unique contours, and New Balance’s size chart for women caters to these specific needs.

US SizeUK SizeEU SizeLength(cm)

New Balance Size Chart for Kids

Kids are always on the move, and the right shoe size ensures they play and explore with utmost comfort.

Crib to Toddler 

Kids – US SizeShoe TypeKids – UK SizeKids – EU SizeLength(in)
0Crib0153 1/8
1Crib0.5163 1/2
1.5Crib116.53 5/8
2Crib/Infant1.5173 3/4
3Crib/Infant2.518.54 1/8
3.5Crib/Infant3194 1/4
4Crib/Infant3.5204 1/2
4.5Crib/Infant420.54 5/8
5Crib/Infant4.5214 3/4
6Infant5.522.55 1/8
6.5Infant6235 1/4
7Infant6.523.55 1/2
7.5Infant7245 5/8
8Infant7.5255 3/4
9Infant8.5266 1/8
9.5Infant926.56 1/4
10Infant9.527.56 1/2

Little Kids

Kids – US SizeShoe TypeKids – UK SizeKids – EU SizeLength(in)
10.5Pre-School10286 5/8
11Pre-School10.528.56 3/4
12Pre-School11.530 7 1/8
12.5Pre-School1230.57 1/4
13Pre-School12.5317 1/2
13.5Pre-School13327 5/8
1Pre-School13.532.57 3/4
2Pre-School1.533.58 1/8
2.5Pre-School234.58 1/4
3Pre-School2.5358 1/2

Big Kids 

Kids – US SizeShoe TypeKids – UK SizeKids – EU SizeLength(in)
3.5Grade School335.58 5/8
4Grade School3.5368 3/4
4.5Grade School4379
5Grade School4.537.59 1/8
5.5Grade School5389 1/4
6Grade School5.538.59 1/2
6.5Grade School6399 5/8
7Grade School6.539.59 3/4

New Balance Sizing for Men vs. Women: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to New Balance shoes, there are distinct differences in sizing and design between men’s and women’s shoes. These size differences are not arbitrary but are based on the anatomical variations between male and female feet. 

Let’s explore these differences in detail and understand why New Balance size differs for men and women:


The “last” of a shoe refers to the overall shape or mold around which it is designed and constructed. It plays a pivotal role in determining the fit of the shoe.

Men’s New Balance shoes are designed with a wider heel and forefoot. This accommodates the generally broader shape of male feet. Additionally, they have a higher instep and a longer arch, reflecting the average foot structure of men.

Women’s New Balance shoes feature a narrower heel to snugly fit the typically slimmer heel area of female feet. The forefoot is slightly wider, and the instep is lower. The arch is also shorter, aligning with the average female foot’s anatomy.


The sizing conventions for men’s and women’s shoes also differ, reflecting the foot length and width variations. 

Men’s New Balance shoes predominantly come in even-numbered sizes, like 8, 10, or 12. On the other hand, women’s shoes often come in odd-numbered sizes, such as 8.5, 9.5, or 10.5. (Note – This size difference happens when converting men’s size to women’s size.)  

Refer to our guide on men-to-women shoe size to learn about shoe size conversion.  

Length Difference

The overall length of the shoe is another area where men’s and women’s shoe models differ.

Men’s shoes are generally longer, catering to the average male foot’s length. Conversely, women’s shoes are slightly shorter, reflecting the average length of female feet.

This shoe length difference is why women’s shoes are labeled in odd numbers when the equivalent model in men’s shoes is an even number. 

Widths Available

New Balance offers men’s shoes in X-Narrow (2A), Narrow (B), Standard (D), Wide (2E), Extra Wide (4E) and Extra Extra Wide (6E) options. Whereas women’s shoes in X-Narrow (4A), Narrow (2A), Standard (B), Wide (D), Extra Wide (2E), and Extra Extra Wide (4E)    

Foot Pronation and Q-Angle

Foot pronation (the way the foot rolls inward when walking or running) and Q-angle ( the angle between the quadriceps muscles and the patella tendon) differ between men and women.

Women tend to have a higher degree of pronation and larger Q-angle that influence the alignment of the foot and ankle, leading to differences in shoe design and size to accommodate this anatomical variation. 

Understanding New Balance Shoe Widths

Choosing the right shoe width is just as important as selecting the correct size for achieving the ultimate comfort. New Balance offers a variety of shoe widths to cater to different foot shapes and sizes. 

Below is a table that outlines the different shoe widths available for men, women, and kids New Balance shoes.

Width LabelMen’s Width Women’s Width Kids’ Width
Extra Wide4E2EXW
Extra Extra Wide6E4E

X-Narrow (2A for Men, 4A for Women)

The X-narrow width New Balance shoes are specifically designed for individuals with exceptionally slender, narrow feet. They offer the tightest fit across the heel, forefoot, and midfoot, minimizing internal foot movement. 

The X-narrow shoes are ideal for individuals who find narrow widths too roomy.

Narrow (B for Men, 2A for Women)

The narrow-width New Balance shoes are tailored for people with slightly slimmer feet than the average. These shoes provide a tighter fit compared to a standard width, reducing internal foot movement and providing better foot support, stability, and comfort.

The narrow shoe width is ideal for those who find standard shoes a bit too spacious.

Standard (D for Men, B for Women, M for Kids)

The standard-width New Balance shoes are the most common shoe width and are designed to fit the average foot. It offers a balanced fit, ensuring comfort and support for a wide range of foot shapes. This width is the go-to choice for most buyers.

Expert Tip – Always try the standard width first. If it feels uncomfortable, then consider other width options.

Wide (2E for Men, D for Women, W for Kids)

The wide-width New Balance shoes cater to those with a broader feet profile. They offer additional space in the toe box and the forefoot area, ensuring comfort for individuals who find standard widths restrictive. 

The wide-width shoes are best suited for people who need a bit more room to wiggle their toes.

Extra Wide (4E for Men, 2E for Women, XW for Kids)

The extra-wide New Balance shoes are tailored for people with significantly broader feet. They provide even more room in the heel, forefoot, and midfoot areas, ensuring a comfortable fit for wider feet.  

The extra wide-width shoes are ideal for individuals who require additional space and find wide shoes restrictive.  

Extra Extra Wide (6E for Men, 4E for Women)

The extra extra wide option is the widest shoe width available from New Balance. It is designed for individuals with exceptionally wide feet or requiring extra space due to specific foot conditions such as hammertoes or bunions. 

The extra extra wide New Balance shoes feature extremely spacious heel and forefoot areas to provide maximum comfort. The extra wide width shoes cater to a niche but essential population segment.

New Balance Sizing Based on the Type of New Balance Shoes 

Selecting the right New Balance shoe isn’t just about picking a model that catches your eye; it’s also about understanding how different models fit. 

While New Balance is known for producing true-to-size footwear, variations can occur depending on the specific model. 

In this section, we break down the fit and recommended sizing for some of the most popular New Balance shoe models to help you make an informed decision.

Note – These New Balance Sizing recommendations in this section are based on user testimonials, expert consultations, and extensive research. While these guidelines can serve as a useful starting point, individual experiences may vary. Always try on the shoes to confirm the best fit for you.

New Balance Shoe ModelTypeNew Balance Shoe Fit and Recommended Sizing 
New Balance 990v6LifestyleRuns Larger – Order Half Size Down
New Balance 993LifestyleTrue to Size
New Balance 574LifestyleRuns Smaller – Order Half Size Up
New Balance 327LifestyleRuns Larger – Order Half Size Down
New Balance 1906RRunningTrue to Size
New Balance MX608v5TrainingTrue to Size
New Balance 928v3WalkingTrue to Size
New Balance Fresh Foam X880v13RunningTrue to Size
New Balance Fresh Foam X860v13RunningTrue to Size
New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi v4 GTXRunningRuns Smaller – Order Half Size Up
New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3RunningTrue to Size
New Balance DynaSoft Nitrel v5Hiking and TrailTrue to Size
New Balance FuelCell COMPv3BaseballTrue to Size

Do Women’s New Balance Shoes Run Big or Small?

Generally speaking, women’s New Balance shoes tend to run true to size. However, it’s essential to remember that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer.  

Women’s New Balance shoe fit can vary depending on the specific model and your foot’s shape. It’s always advisable to try on the shoes in person to ensure they fit comfortably, especially if you’re considering a model you haven’t worn before.

Do New Balance Sneakers Run Small?

Yes, New Balance sneakers tend to run on the smaller side. 

The common advice is to go a half size up from your regular size. For example, if you wear a size 9 shoe, opt for a 9.5-sized New Balance sneaker. 

In certain instances, even a full-size-up might be necessary for optimal comfort. This is particularly crucial if you plan to wear thicker socks or have a wider foot shape.

Do New Balance Sandals Run True to Size?

Yes, New Balance sandals run true to size, adhering to standard sizing and simplifying the selection process. However, as with any footwear, it’s recommended to try New Balance sandals on to ensure they meet your comfort and fit expectations.

What Factors Influence New Balance Shoe Fit? 

Selecting the perfect fit for your New Balance shoes isn’t just about knowing your size. Several factors can influence how a shoe fits, and understanding these can help you make a more informed decision. These factors include.

  • Shoe’s material
  • Intended use 
  • Design features 
  • Foot’s unique shape
  • Gender differences
  • Sock choice
  • Personal fit preferences 
  • Size conversions

Let’s delve deeper into each of these factors:

Material of the Shoe

The material from which a New Balance shoe is made can significantly impact its fit. For instance, shoes made from synthetic materials may offer less stretch compared to those made from natural fibers. Understanding the material can help you anticipate how the shoe will adapt to your foot over time. 

For instance, based on our experience, we have found that leather New Balance shoes tend to be tighter than mesh or knit New Balance shoes. 

Intended Use

Different New Balance shoes are designed for a specific activity, be it running, training, or casual wear. This intended purpose dictates the shoe’s design and construction, influencing the fit.   

For instance, New Balance running shoes, tailored for forward motion, often have a more snug heel fit but provide ample toe space. In contrast, New Balance cross-training shoes, designed for side-to-side movement, offer a more uniform snugness.

Design Features

New Balance shoes come with distinct design elements like the width of the toe box or the level of arch support and overall shoe shape. These features influence how the shoe fits your foot. 

For instance, someone with bunions might prefer a shoe with a wider toe box.

Your Foot’s Unique Shape

Every foot is unique. Some might have a high arch, while others might be flat-footed. Understanding your foot shape, whether narrow, wide, or high arch, will influence how a shoe fits. 


New Balance designs shoes keeping in mind the anatomical differences between men’s, women’s, and children’s feet. This is why there’s a difference in shoe design and sizing between genders. 

In general, Men’s shoes have broader dimensions, while women’s variants feature a narrower heel and a wider forefoot.  

Recognizing these subtle differences is crucial when selecting the perfect fit.

Sock Choice

The type and thickness of socks you pair with your New Balance shoes can alter the fit. Thicker socks make a shoe feel more constricted, while thinner ones can result in a looser feel. It’s essential to consider the sock-shoe combination, especially if you’re gearing up for specific activities.

Personal Fit Preference

Fit preference is subjective. While some individuals lean towards a snug fit for athletic shoes for athletic endeavors, others might opt for a more relaxed fit for leisurely activities. 

Being aware of your personal preference can significantly influence your shoe selection.

Size Conversions

New Balance shoes have different sizing standards based on the region they are sold in. A US size 8, for instance, will not align with a UK size 8 

When purchasing New Balance shoes, especially from international sources, it’s imperative to consult the brand’s size conversion charts to ensure an accurate fit.   

What to do if New Balance Shoes Don’t Fit?

Every foot is unique, and sometimes, even the most well-researched shoe choice might not align perfectly with our expectations. It’s not uncommon to eagerly unbox a new pair of New Balance shoes, only to find that they don’t fit quite right. 

Whether they’re a tad too snug, a bit too roomy, or just feel off somehow, it’s essential to know your options. Before you resign to the discomfort or consider returning them, here are some actionable steps you can take to make the best of the situation.

  • Break Them In: Some shoes might feel tight initially but can become more comfortable as you wear them. Wear your New Balance shoes around the house for a few days to see if they adjust to your feet. Our how to break in shoes article provides more practical tips. 
  • Use Shoe Stretchers: If the shoes are slightly tight, consider using shoe stretchers to expand them. This can be especially useful for leather shoes. Refer to our shoe stretcher guide to learn how to use one.
  • Adjust Your Lacing Technique: Believe it or not, the way you lace your shoes can make a significant difference in fit. Try different lacing methods to alleviate pressure points or secure your foot better.
  • Consider Insoles: If the shoe feels too big, adding an insole can provide a snugger fit. Conversely, if the shoe is too tight, removing the existing insole might offer some relief.
  • Wear Appropriate Socks: The thickness of your socks can influence the fit. If you’re trying on shoes with thick socks, they might feel tight. Conversely, thin socks make the shoes feel loose.
  • Consider Width Options: New Balance offers a range of width options. If the standard width isn’t comfortable, consider trying a narrow or wide version of the same shoe by exchanging them.
  • Consult a Cobbler: If minor adjustments don’t help, consider taking your shoes to a professional cobbler. They can provide solutions tailored to your specific fit issues.
  • Return: If everything fails, consider returning your New Balance shoes for a refund. Most retailers, including New Balance’s official stores, have a return and exchange policy. Please check the retailer’s specific return and exchange policies from which the shoes were purchased. For the New Balance’s official website, click here

Frequently Asked Questions

Does New Balance Run True to Size? 

New Balance shoes generally run true to size. However, the fit can vary based on the specific model and your foot’s shape. It’s always a good idea to try them on or check reviews for specific sizing recommendations.

Should I Size Down New Balance? 

Sizing down New Balance depends on the specific model. 

While some New Balance shoes might run larger, most tend to be true to size. Always refer to the shoe’s sizing chart and customer reviews for guidance.

Should I Go Up a Half Size in New Balance? 

For some New Balance models, especially those that run smaller, it might be advisable to go up a half size for a comfortable fit. Again, checking the specific model’s reviews can provide insights.

Are New Balance Shoes Supposed to Be Tight? 

New Balance shoes should offer a snug fit without being overly tight. Your heel should fit securely without slipping, the midfoot (under the arch and foot top) should feel snug but not constricting, and there should be enough room in the toe box to wiggle your toes.

Why Do New Balance Shoes Feel Tight at First? 

New shoes, including New Balance, might initially feel tight for several reasons. The shoe material, especially in leather models, may need some time to stretch and mold to the shape of your foot. In other words, the shoe requires a break-in period. 

Other reasons can be due to the design and construction of certain models. The tightness can arise from a narrow toe box, the shoe’s overall length being too short, or the shoe’s shape not conforming to your foot.  

We have several specialized guides to assist you in quickening the shoe break-in process without causing any harm to them. Explore the links below for detailed insights. 

How Do New Balance Shoes Fit Compared to Nike? / Do New Balance Run Smaller Than Nike? 

While both brands have their unique design and fit, most users find that New Balance shoes run slightly larger than Nike Shoes.  

Our article on New Balance vs. Nike sizing compares the sizing of the two brands. Do check it out for more information. 

Do New Balance Run Smaller Than Adidas? 

No, New Balance does not run smaller than Adidas. In fact, most users reported that New Balance shoes run lightly larger than Adidas shoes.  

However, individual experiences can vary, so it’s recommended to try on both brands.

Do New Balance Run Small in UK Sizing? 

No, in general, New Balance does not run small in UK Sizing. 

However, New Balance’s sizing can vary based on the region. A US size might differ from a UK size and a European size.  

Do New Balance Run Wide? 

No, New Balance does not run wide. 

However, New Balance is known for offering a variety of width options, from extra narrow to extra extra wide. 

If you voluntarily choose a wide-width New Balance shoe, it will obviously run wide. 

If you have accidentally bought a pair of big shoes, take a look at our blog post “How to Make Big Shoes Fit” for tips on making oversized shoes fit better.

So, How Do New Balance Shoes Fit – The Final Verdict

In the world of footwear, New Balance has carved a niche for itself, offering a diverse range of shoes that cater to various needs, activities, and foot shapes. While the general consensus is that New Balance shoes run true to size, it’s essential to remember that fit can vary based on the specific model, design features, and individual foot characteristics.

Our comprehensive exploration shows that factors like the shoe’s material, intended use, design features, and even sock choice can influence the fit. Moreover, with New Balance’s commitment to providing width options and specialized designs, there’s likely a shoe that’s just right for you.

However, as with any shoe brands, it’s always a good practice to try before you buy. And if you’re shopping online, ensure you’re purchasing from a retailer with a flexible return and exchange policy.

In conclusion, while New Balance has a reputation for consistent sizing, individual experiences may vary. Armed with this guide’s knowledge, you’re better equipped to find that perfect New Balance fit. 

Thanks for reading! & Happy shoe shopping!

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