The New Balance 574 is back again with more colorways, making it a good time to get a closer look and review its features. This sneaker is a 1988 release and it was one of the first successful styles from the Boston based footwear company. It was introduced as a budget running shoe and it was one of the first models from the brand to feature the big N letter on the sides. While there was never any hype around it ,the New Balance 574 has steadily become and remained popular over the years. It is undeniable the most popular from the 500 series, one that include the 515 and the 550 among others. Given its comfort and durability it was labeled for a while a “dad’s shoe” , much like the Nike Monarch IV was to be knows as later on. However, the brand has changed that by making a few updates and coming up with new, vibrant colorways to keep up with the trends. 

How They Fit

One of the pairs we came across recently was one from the recently started collaboration with Cordura brand which is surely an upgrade to the materials used. The black, blue and orange colorway is also a good example of a more vibrant look made to appeal to the younger generation. The shoes look good and feel sturdy out of the box and they feel very comfortable from the beginning, fitting true to size. What these are known for is that they mold to your feet and they get better with time, being a great every day shoe. Not sure what size to get? Check out this New Balance size chart.

ML574HI2 Balance black orange blue 4

ML574HI2 Balance black orange blue 1


The classic construction of the New Balance 574 is one made of suede and textile materials. The brand has been known for their craftsmanship and these are no different. The suede is of high quality and it is placed in all the right places to offer support and durability to the shoe. The fabric, in our case Cordura fabric, delivers optimal air flow in the toe box area. There is plenty of room in the forefoot but New Balance made these even more accessible by also making them in wide and extra wide versions. They run true to fit but if you’re unsure on what size to get you can check out our New Balance size chart here.   The shoe features just the right amount of cushion in the heel area and tongue which create a plushy feel as you put them on. The upper construction recommends these for casual wear, for walks but also light exercise in the gym or outdoors. When we decided to review the New Balance 574 we knew what to expect but it’s always good to check out the latest tweaks made to the retro styles. 

Sole Unit 

The sole unit is made of classic materials but the brand also added the ENCAP system designed to improve stability. Its hard polyurethane edges make it so the feet stay in place and fully absorb the cushioning provided both by the ENCAP foam and the classic EVA placed right under. Lastly the rubber outsole is shaped to provide some advanced traction and it does just that. Whether you take these for a walk outside or a run they’ll do the job. The midsole offers excellent support for long hours and even if you have a high arch the EVA midsole will mold to your feet. This is the classic foam that we are used to see at retro shoes and even boots like the Rainier. Of course, the energy return pales in comparison to today’s modern running shoes. However, the retro looks of the 574 and the overall comfort makes up for it. There is a reason why many buy these over and over again. 

ML574HI2 Balance black orange blue 2

ML574HI2 Balance black orange blue 2

Are New Balance 574 comfortable?

New Balance 574 is a very comfortable shoe, despite lacking any modern cushioning technology. The shoes feel sturdy and comfortable out of the box, fitting true to size with a roomy toe box. They are known for molding to your feet and getting better with time, making them a great everyday shoe.

Are New Balance 574 good for running?

The New Balance 574 was originally introduced as a budget running shoe, but it is no longer considered a true running shoe. However, they can be used for light exercise in the gym or outdoors, and they offer a comfortable and supportive sole unit for walking and running.

Are New Balance 574 good for walking?

Yes, the New Balance 574 are great for walking. They are comfortable and have a supportive sole unit, making them a great everyday shoe.

Bottom Line

To conclude our New Balance 574 review, they are a great retro shoe that is worth considering when looking for a casual pair to wear every day. They are no longer a true running shoe as they were originally designed but that is the case with all retros. They make up with an iconic look and they are as comfortable as ever. With the brand refreshing it with new colorways and updated materials it will surely make new fans in the new generations to come. In 2021 New Balance launched the modern version of this shoe, the 57/40 which you can take a look here