New Balance vs Skechers – A Comparative Overview

Looking for a comparison between New Balance vs Skechers? Check out this article for an overview of these popular footwear brands and make an informed decision.

Choosing the right pair of shoes goes beyond just style. When it comes to athletic and comfort footwear, New Balance and Skechers have emerged as titans in the industry. But with distinct focuses and target audiences, deciding between these brands can be a challenge.

This comprehensive guide delves into the world of New Balance vs Skechers, helping you understand their unique strengths and ultimately find the best fit for your needs.

Brand History & Focus


New Balance: American Heritage & Performance

Founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1906, New Balance has a rich history rooted in innovation. Their initial focus on arch supports and custom-fit shoes demonstrates a commitment to foot health that continues today. While they cater to a broader range of activities now,

New Balance still prioritizes performance and remains a popular choice for serious runners. A significant portion of their shoes are still manufactured in the USA, appealing to those who value American-made products.


Skechers: California Cool Meets Comfort

Skechers, a relative newcomer established in California in the 1990s, exploded in popularity with its trendy casual styles. However, they’ve steadily expanded to offer performance shoes as well.

Skechers has cultivated a reputation for comfortable footwear with a focus on walking and everyday wear. Their focus often leans towards a more fashion-forward aesthetic.

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Features & Benefits

Let’s breakdown the core areas where these brands differ:

Feature New Balance Skechers
Cushioning Technology Fresh Foam, FuelCell, and more Memory foam, responsive cushioning systems
Support Motion control, stability technologies Arch support, emphasis on overall foot comfort
Materials Premium leather, engineered mesh Breathable mesh, synthetic materials
Design Variety Classic to modern styles Trend-focused designs, wider selection of colors and patterns
Price Range Higher average price point Generally more affordable

Detailed Comparison

Now, let’s explore the nuances of each brand in key aspects:


When it comes to athletic endeavors, New Balance is often the preferred choice. Their commitment to research and development results in advanced technologies tailored for running, walking, and various sports. Skechers, while suitable for light workouts and everyday activities, might not provide the specialized support and responsiveness needed for high-intensity training.


Skechers undeniably excels in the comfort department. Their signature memory foam conforms to your foot, providing a luxurious, cushioned feel. New Balance also prioritizes comfort, but their emphasis is on support for your foot structure and long-lasting wear, even if it means slightly less initial pillowy softness.


Skechers takes the lead in the style category. They constantly update their designs, offering a vast array of trendy colors, patterns, and silhouettes. From chunky sneakers to sleek slip-ons, Skechers caters to a fashion-conscious crowd. New Balance’s aesthetic leans towards classic and functional, often incorporating performance-inspired details.


New Balance typically wins out in durability. Their use of premium materials and meticulous construction result in shoes that can withstand wear and tear. Skechers’ durability can vary depending on the model, with some lasting just as well as New Balance, while others may be better suited for occasional wear.

Discover more about the New Balance vs. Skechers - A Comparative Overview.

Technology and Innovation

  • New Balance: Support, Stability, Speed

New Balance houses some of the most recognizable technologies in the athletic footwear industry including:

  • Fresh Foam: Their signature cushioning, offering a balance of plushness and responsiveness.
  • FuelCell: High-rebound foam designed for a propulsive feel.
  • Stability Technologies: Features targeted at runners who need additional support.

They often partner with universities and research centers to develop cutting-edge footwear solutions.

  • Skechers: Plushness for the People

Skechers is all about comfort, deploying technologies such as:

  • Memory Foam: Contours to your foot for a personalized fit.
  • Arch Fit: Specially designed insoles for enhanced arch support.
  • Goga Mat Insoles: Provide high-rebound cushioning for a comfortable stride.
  • Hyper Burst: A lightweight foam offering impressive energy return.

Main Features Overview: New Balance vs. Skechers

Feature New Balance Skechers
Comfort Varied; some prioritize support over plushness Often prioritize plush cushioning
Performance Strong focus on running and athletic categories Growing performance line, good for walking
Style Mix of heritage, retro, modern Often trend-driven, some chunky designs
Price Can be more expensive, some premium lines Generally more affordable
Durability Known for long-lasting construction Can be less durable than some New Balance models

When to Choose New Balance vs Skechers

The best brand for you depends entirely on your individual needs and preferences. Here’s a breakdown of when each brand might be the better fit:

Choose New Balance if:

  • You’re a serious athlete: Runners, competitive walkers, and those engaging in high-intensity sports benefit from New Balance’s specialized support and performance focus.
  • You need maximum support: Stability features and technologies tailored for overpronation or other biomechanical needs make New Balance a wise choice.
  • Longevity is key: If you prioritize investing in shoes that will last for many miles or years, New Balance’s quality craftsmanship is worth it.

Choose Skechers if:

  • Budget is a concern: Skechers is a wallet-friendly option without sacrificing comfort.
  • Style is top priority: Skechers’ fashion-forward designs and vast selection ensure you’ll find something that fits your personal style perfectly.
  • All-day comfort is paramount: If your primary focus is a soft, plush feel that keeps your feet happy all day, Skechers excels in this area.

Popular Models

Let’s take a look at some of the most sought-after models from each brand:

  • New Balance

    • 574: An iconic classic, loved for its versatility and timeless design.
    • Fresh Foam 1080: Premium cushioning with cloud-like comfort, perfect for running and long walks.
    • 990 Series: Represents New Balance’s highest quality construction and materials, offering superior support and durability.
  • Skechers

    • Go Walk: Skechers’ flagship walking shoe, featuring arch support and ample cushioning.
    • D’Lites: A chunky, retro-inspired sneaker with a huge fanbase for its trendy look and comfort.
    • Ultra Flex: Designed for flexibility and a barefoot-like feel, popular for casual wear and light workouts.

Target Audience

  • New Balance

    • Serious runners and athletes who demand top-tier performance and durability.
    • Fitness enthusiasts who appreciate a balance of support and comfort.
    • Individuals who value the quality and heritage of American-made products.
  • Skechers

    • Everyday walkers who prioritize all-day comfort.
    • Style-conscious consumers who appreciate trendy and affordable designs.
    • Those who value great comfort at a lower price point.

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Where to Buy

  • Both Brands: You’ll find New Balance and Skechers at major sporting goods retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Foot Locker, and Academy Sports + Outdoors. Major department stores often carry both brands as well.

  • Brand-Specific Outlets: Seek out New Balance and Skechers factory outlets for potential discounts.

  • Online: The official websites for New Balance and Skechers offer the widest selections, and you might snag online-exclusive deals. Retailers like Amazon also carry a massive range of both brands.


The battle of New Balance vs Skechers doesn’t have a clear-cut winner. Both brands offer distinct advantages, making the ideal choice dependent on your lifestyle and priorities. If you’re a performance-driven athlete or need specialized support, New Balance’s focus on innovation and technology makes them the better fit. If you prioritize stylish affordability and plush comfort for everyday wear, Skechers is the way to go. That’s it…Final Summary:

  • Choose New Balance if:

    • You’re a committed runner or athlete in need of maximum performance.
    • Superior support and stability features are crucial. for you.
    • You appreciate the craftsmanship of American-made products.
  • Choose Skechers if:

    • Unrivalled comfort is your top priority.
    • You seek stylish and trendy footwear at a budget-friendly price.
    • You primarily need shoes for walking and everyday wear.

The best way to determine your winner is always to try both! Head to your nearest store and experience the comfort and fit of each brand on your own feet. Ultimately, the best shoe is the one that makes you feel great and allows you to achieve your goals.

Beyond the Brands: Factors to Consider

Remember, your choice shouldn’t be solely based on brand name. Take into account these additional points:

  • Specific Needs: Do you have flat feet, overpronation, or a particular foot condition? Research models from either brand that address your requirements.
  • Your Activities: Are you primarily walking, running, or engaging in other sports? Choose a shoe specifically designed for your main activities.
  • Personal Style: Ultimately, you want to feel confident in your shoes. Opt for a brand and model that resonates with your style preferences.

Additional Considerations

  • Foot Type: If you have flat feet, overpronate, or have other foot concerns, consult a podiatrist or running store specialist for personalized recommendations.
  • Personal Style: Don’t underestimate the power of loving how your shoes look! Confidence translates to how you feel when you wear them.
  • Sales & Discounts: Be on the lookout for deals – both brands offer promotions throughout the year.

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Are New Balance shoes good for walking?

Answer: Yes! While New Balance is known for running shoes, they offer many excellent walking options. Look for models featuring Fresh Foam cushioning for a soft and supportive ride. They also often include stability features beneficial for longer walks.

Which is better for running, New Balance or Skechers?

Answer: New Balance tends to dominate for serious runners. Their focus on performance technologies like FuelCell and stability features cater specifically to the demands of running. Skechers has a growing running line, but it may not offer the same level of performance for high-mileage or competitive runners.

Do New Balance shoes run true to size?

Answer: Generally, yes. New Balance is known for consistent sizing. However, it’s always wise to try shoes on, especially if you’re between sizes or have wider/narrower feet. New Balance frequently offers shoes in various widths for a more customized fit.

Are Skechers good for standing all day?

Answer: Absolutely! Skechers prioritize comfort, making them popular among people who spend a lot of time on their feet. Features like Memory Foam and Arch Fit provide cushioning and support to prevent foot fatigue during those long shifts.

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