Today we’ll have a closer look and review another shoe omnipresent on the market nowadays, the New Balance 515. This is a sneaker that was released in 2014 being one of the newest retro inspired styles from New Balance. It is a budget every day shoe that even if it has a $75 price tag it can be found on sale at least for some of its colorways. Much like the other major brands, the Boston based manufacturer is capitalizing on its retro designs all while offering a range of affordable shoes. Like Nike and Adidas, they did it by using cheaper materials and limited technology into a simple, stylish designed sneaker.

How They Fit

Recently we came across a pair in white, red and blue that caught our attention, especially as we got it on sale. Out of the box the shoes feel very lightweight and they have the standard, stylish look for a retro New Balance sneaker. It fits true to size with plenty of room in the toe box for wider feet. They need no time to break them in and they seem pretty comfortable at a first try. Unsure about your size? You can check out this New Balance size chart.

New Balance 515 white red navy1

New Balance 515 white red navy3

Upper

The upper of the New Balance is made of mostly mesh with some suede overlays which is the opposite when compared to the 574 big brother. The mesh is lightly padded which adds a bit of extra cushioning and decent air flow. Like the synthetic suede overlays it feels a bit cheap, especially when compared with the more expensive models from this line. The shoe also features a synthetic leather heel tab, lightly padded ankle collar and tongue. The suede overlays add some ankle support and serve as a mudguard in the front. Overall , what we came to find out pretty quickly during our New Balance 515 review is that this is a “beater” shoe that is quite versatile but it may not last too long. Wearing them casually is best but even for light exercises these will do the job. 

Sole Unit 

The sole unit of the New Balance 515 is very similar to the 574, again with cheaper materials. The midsole is made of standard EVA that we’ve seen at classics like the Nike Pegasus 83 which offers basic cushioning and tends to mold on your feet with little to no energy return. In the heel area we have a setup similar to the ENCAP midsole offered at many other sneakers from the New Balance but is not branded so we can only assume it’s a cheaper version of it. Essentially it is a harder piece of plastic that encapsulates the EVA foam under your heels so the feet will stay in place for comfort and stability. The shoes come with a NB comfort insole that is removable, thin and acts more like a memory. The outsole is made of rubber with a pattern that delivers decent traction. 

New Balance 515 white red navy2

New Balance 515 white red navy4

Bottom Line 

As we mentioned above, our review of the New Balance 515 left us with the impression of a decent shoe given the price you can get it for nowadays. As you’d expect from this brand the craftsmanship and style is excellent but the materials is what you can get from a shoe that retails mostly under $70. The comfort is average but it is a versatile shoe that you can do a lot with while sporting a retro, stylish look. There are many colorways available for this style and they come in sizing for the whole family. If still in doubt, the New Balance 997H is another budget friendly option that you can check out. 

New Balance 515 pigment red

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