New Balance vs Nike Sizing: Finding Your Perfect Fit

When shopping for athletic footwear, the question of sizing between brands is a common dilemma faced by consumers. Sizing can often vary significantly from brand to brand, which can be confusing. Specifically, in the case of New Balance and Nike, two leading sportswear giants, their approach to shoe sizing is not identical.

Understanding the nuances in their sizing can help shoppers make better purchasing decisions and find the perfect fit.

New Balance typically offers shoes that are true to size, providing a fit that many find consistent with their expectations based on their measured foot size. On the other hand, Nike shoes tend to run slightly smaller, necessitating a thorough comparison, especially if a shopper is transitioning from one brand to the other.

Here is a summary provides an overview of how New Balance and Nike shoes compare in terms of sizing across different categories. It’s important to note that individual experiences may vary, and trying on shoes for the best fit is always recommended.

Category New Balance Nike
General Sizing Tends to run slightly bigger than Nike, about 0.5 to 1 US size larger. Typically measures 0.3 cm smaller in the same US size compared to New Balance.
Fit for Wide Feet Generally wider; offers wide and X-Wide widths in most shoes. Offers wide sizes, but has a smaller selection of inherently wide designs.
Fit for Narrow Feet Offers a range of narrow options; has the largest selection of shoe widths. Models like Phantom Run Flyknit 2s are narrower; offers narrow options.
Retro Lifestyle Shoes Similar sizing length to Nike; exceptions include models like 992 running large. Cortez runs small, Air Force 1 runs big; generally similar to New Balance.
Casual Athletic Shoes Mostly true to size; 992 model runs large. Air Max 90 runs slightly small; generally true to size.
Running Shoes Mostly fit true to size; exceptions like 1080 and Fresh Foam Cruzv1. Generally fit true to size; some exceptions may exist.
Leather Casual Walking Shoes Uses SL-2 last for a wider forefoot and deeper toe box. Air Monarch has a wider design; generally true to size in length.
Special Technologies SL-2 last for wider design, especially in walking and running shoes. Specific designs for secure fit in athletic models.
Recommended for Those needing wider shoes or with specific width requirements. A variety of foot shapes, with specific models for narrow feet.

 

Understanding Shoe Sizing: New Balance and Nike

 

When selecting athletic footwear, understanding the sizing differences between brands is crucial. New Balance and Nike are two prominent brands with distinct sizing standards. They cater to a wide range of sizes, including options for men and women, providing various widths for comfort and performance.

New Balance shoes generally fit true to size, which means their US sizes align closely with the standard measurement of your foot length in inches or cm. They offer a comprehensive sizing chart which includes US, UK, and EU sizes, facilitating a straightforward conversion.

On the other hand, Nike footwear often runs slightly smaller. Consumers may find they need to go half a size up from their usual shoe size for a proper fit, especially if they have wide feet. Here, length and width play a pivotal role in finding the right shoe size, with the brand recommending an increment of 0.5 to 1 US size difference when transitioning from other brands.

To assist in sizing, below is a simplified reference:

US Size (Nike) Approx. CM US Size (New Balance)
6 23.7 6 or 6.5
7 24.5 7 or 7.5
8 25.4 8 or 8.5

It’s important to note that both brands offer options for varied widths—from narrow to wide, adapting to individual needs.

Each brand provides specific sizing charts with detailed measurements to guide consumers in finding the optimal shoe size, which is especially helpful when shopping online.

For both men’s and women’s sizes, measuring one’s foot and referencing these charts ensures a comfortable, supportive fit.

 

The Difference Between New Balance and Nike Sizing


When selecting footwear, understanding the differences in sizing between brands is crucial for comfort and performance. New Balance and Nike have distinct sizing conventions that may affect the fit of their shoes.

Width Sizing Comparisons

New Balance offers a broader range of width options compared to Nike. This makes New Balance a preferable choice for individuals with wider feet.

New Balance width options typically include:

  • Narrow (B)
  • Standard (D)
  • Wide (EE)
  • Extra Wide (4E)

Nike, on the other hand, tends to have a narrower fit with fewer width options.

Standard Nike widths are as follows:

  • Narrow (not commonly available)
  • Standard
  • Wide (designated with a “W”)

Because of New Balance’s more extensive width offerings, one can find a more precise and comfortable fit, especially if their feet are wide or require more room.

Length Sizing and Fit

Regarding length, New Balance shoes are recognized for being true to size, which implies the shoe’s size closely corresponds to the length of the foot measured.

Nike shoes, conversely, often run slightly smaller in size, which can mean selecting a Nike shoe a half size larger than one’s typical shoe size may provide a better fit.

The difference in sizing can also be understood through a direct comparison of US shoe sizes:

US Size New Balance (cm) Nike (cm)
6 24.1 23.8
7 25 24.5
8 25.8 25.4
9 26.6 26.2

This table illustrates that New Balance shoes generally provide a slightly longer length measurement in centimeters compared to Nike for the same US size.

As such, it’s important for consumers to measure their feet and consult size charts or perhaps even try on shoes when transitioning between these two brands.

 

Exploring Width Options: Narrow to Extra-Wide


Choosing the right shoe width is as important as selecting the correct size for comfort and foot health. Different brands offer varying width options, and understanding these can significantly enhance the shoe-fitting experience, especially for those with non-standard foot widths.

Identifying Your Width Needs

People with wider feet often struggle with standard width shoes, experiencing discomfort and restricted movement. Conversely, those with narrow feet may find that shoes fit too loosely, leading to poor stability. Identifying width needs involves measuring foot width and considering any specific foot conditions or requirements.

New Balance Widths

New Balance acknowledges the diversity in foot shapes by offering a wide range of widths for their shoes:

  • Narrow: Women’s 2A, Men’s B
  • Standard: Women’s B, Men’s D
  • Wide: Women’s D, Men’s 2E
  • Extra-Wide: Women’s 2E, Men’s 4E
  • XX-Wide: Men’s 6E

Their sizing extends beyond the norms, catering especially to individuals needing extra-wide options, such as 6E, to accommodate wider feet.

Nike Widths

Nike tends to offer a more streamlined width selection. The primary widths available are:

  • Standard: B for women, D for men
  • Wide: D for women, 2E for men

While they do provide for wide feet with their 2E width shoes, the options for extra-narrow or extra-wide like New Balance’s 2A or 6E are less prevalent in Nike’s shoe range, potentially making it challenging for those requiring sizes at the ends of the width spectrum.

 

Special Considerations for Fit and Comfort

When selecting between New Balance and Nike shoes, purchasers should consider the distinctive features that contribute to fit and comfort. These factors include arch support, cushioning, material, and structural design.

Arch Support and Cushioning

Arch support plays a vital role in the overall comfort of a shoe. New Balance shoes typically provide substantial arch support, making them a favorable choice for individuals with high arches in need of extra stability.

They often integrate cushioning technologies that enhance comfort levels, such as their ABZORB cushioning, which absorbs impact through a combination of cushioning and compression resistance.

In contrast, Nike offers a variety of insole technologies like the Air Zoom and Nike React. This range addresses different needs and preferences, as some consumers may require firm support, while others may benefit more from the plush, responsive cushioning that adapts to their foot’s shape.

  • New Balance: Enhanced arch support suitable for high arches
  • Nike: Wide range of cushioning options from firm to soft

Material and Structure Impacts on Sizing

The material and structure of a shoe significantly affect its sizing and fit. Nike shoes often have a snugger fit, partly due to the materials they use, which can provide a feeling of a secure, locked-down fit, particularly beneficial for athletes needing precise control.

However, this means that some individuals may need to size up to obtain an optimal fit.

New Balance takes a different approach, with an emphasis on structural variety to accommodate different foot shapes and widths.

They offer multiple width options, ensuring a comfortable fit, especially for individuals with wider feet.

  • New Balance: Offers multiple widths, generally truer to size
  • Nike: May require sizing up due to snugger material fit

By understanding these special considerations regarding fit and comfort, consumers can make more informed choices between New Balance and Nike footwear that best suit their individual needs.

 

How New Balance and Nike Categorize Sizes Across Different Demographics

When selecting athletic shoes, it’s essential to understand how New Balance and Nike categorize their shoe sizes across demographics such as men, women, and children. These brands use distinct sizing charts and have variation in fit that could affect your shoe choice.

Men’s Sizing Variations

New Balance and Nike both offer a range of sizes for men, but they differ slightly in their sizing standards. New Balance typically provides sizes that run larger. For example, someone who wears a size 9 in Nike might find that a size 8.5 in New Balance offers a better fit. New Balance also tends to offer a broader size range, catering to men with wider feet.

In contrast, Nike men’s sizes are often perceived to fit true to size; however, they have a reputation for being narrower, particularly in the toe box area. It’s not uncommon for a consumer to go half a size up with Nike, especially for those with wider feet.

Women’s and Unisex Options

Both brands present a variety of women’s sizes and unisex options. New Balance and Nike use separate charts for women, with the standard New Balance sizes often correlating more closely to the UK size chart, whereas Nike tends to align with US sizing principles.

Despite this, both brands assert their sizes are designed to meet the standard demands of athletic shoes, providing the functionality required for sportswear.

For unisex models, such as certain runners or sneakers, both brands suggest that women typically size down by 1.5 to accommodate the size difference. For instance, a unisex shoe in a men’s 7 would equate to a women’s 8.5 in both New Balance and Nike’s categorization.

Sizing for Kids and Infants

Sizing for kids and infants is an area where both brands pay special attention, ensuring that the fit caters to growing feet with appropriate room for movement.

New Balance offers generous sizing for children’s shoes, and in some comparisons, these sizes may run larger than those of Nike. For example, a child who fits in a size 3 Nike might require a size 2.5 in New Balance. Both brands offer US, UK, and EU sizes for children, with Nike typically providing a more snug fit.

This is crucial since a well-fitted shoe is important to support the active lifestyles of children.

For infants, Nike and New Balance both offer adorable mini versions of their popular sneakers, often with flexible soles and Velcro closures for easy wearing. The size charts for infants consider the rapid growth phase and generally advise purchasing a slightly larger size for longevity.

 

Comparing Athletic Shoe Features between New Balance and Nike

When comparing New Balance and Nike, shoppers will notice differences in technologies and performance models that cater to a variety of athletes’ needs.

Technologies Unique to Each Brand

New Balance and Nike have developed their own proprietary technologies aimed at enhancing athletic performance through better shoe structure and comfort. New Balance features their Fresh Foam cushioning, providing a plush feel with more natural underfoot support.

Conversely, Nike has introduced numerous technology innovations, such as their Nike Air cushioning which offers responsive bounce and their Flyknit material that delivers a lightweight, sock-like fit.

Table 1: Brand-Specific Technologies

New Balance Nike
Fresh Foam cushioning for soft, smooth landings Nike Air for responsive cushioning
Ultra Heel design to secure the rearfoot Flyknit uppers for a supportive, adaptive fit
S-Curve technology for lateral stability Nike ZoomX foam for maximal energy return

High-Performance Shoe Models

Each brand offers standout models that exemplify their approach to running shoe design. New Balance’s 1080 series or Fresh Foam shoes are known for their comfort and fit, appealing to runners seeking a stable and cushioned ride. Nike’s Zoom Vomero stands out in their lineup, offering a balance of cushioning and responsiveness, with emphasis on comfort for long-distance runners.

List of Notable High-Performance Models:

  • New Balance:

    • 1080 series
    • Fresh Foam More
  • Nike:

    • Nike Zoom Vomero
    • Vaporfly series

The sole structure and overall support systems in these models are tailored to different running gaits and preferences, illustrating the brands’ commitment to accommodating various runners.

 

Customer Experience: Purchasing and After-Sale Services

When purchasing shoes, customers value a smooth shopping experience and reliable after-sale services. Both New Balance and Nike understand this and have tailored their policies to ensure customer satisfaction.

Nike Shoes for Women

Shopping Experience

When customers shop for New Balance or Nike shoes, comfort is often a top priority, along with the assurance of finding the correct size. New Balance and Nike both cater to these needs with detailed sizing charts and measurement guides.

In addition to sizing information, both brands have leveraged digital transformation, especially during the pandemic, to enhance their e-commerce platforms for a cohesive cross-channel experience. Not only do they offer an array of shoes, but accessories like socks are also available to match with the footwear for a complete shopping solution.

Return Policies and Customer Support

After the purchase, the customer experience extends to after-sale services like return policies and customer support.

  • New Balance boasts a generous return policy, allowing customers to return shoes within a specified period if they are not satisfied with the comfort or fit.
  • Nike, on the other hand, not only offers a comparable return policy but has also implemented infrastructure for effective data usage to foster better direct-to-consumer engagement and support.

The support provided by both brands includes dedicated customer service teams to assist with any inquiries post-purchase, adding another layer of reassurance for customers investing in their products.

 

How to Measure Your Feet for New Balance and Nike Shoes

To ensure a comfortable fit when purchasing New Balance or Nike shoes, one must know the precise measurement of their feet in either centimeters or inches. Correctly measured feet help in using size charts effectively to find the ideal shoe size.

Tools and Techniques

Tools Required:

  • A piece of paper larger than the foot
  • A pencil
  • A ruler or measuring tape

Measuring Steps:

  1. Place the paper on a flat surface and step on it, ensuring one’s foot is flat.
  2. With the pencil, mark the longest part of the foot (from the heel to the toe tip) and the widest part of the foot on the paper.
  3. Use the ruler to measure the distance between the marks in centimeters and inches to determine foot length and width.

Size Conversion and Interpretation

  • Size Charts:

    • Refer to the official New Balance and Nike size charts.
    • Match foot measurements to the closest size on the chart.
  • Standard Sizing:

    • Be aware that while New Balance shoes are often true to size, Nike shoes may run smaller.
    • One must factor in the shoe material which can affect the sizing and comfort.
  • Fit Consideration:

    • Ensure there is a thumb’s width of space between the longest toe and the end of the shoe to guarantee comfort.

By measuring the feet using these guidelines and interpreting the size charts correctly, one can enhance their chances of finding a well-fitting pair of New Balance or Nike shoes.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do New Balance sizes typically run compared to Nike?

New Balance shoes are generally true to size, whereas Nike shoes often run a bit smaller. Someone who fits comfortably into a New Balance shoe might find Nike shoes a tad snug.

Can I expect the same fit from New Balance if I’m used to Nike sizing?

No, if a person is accustomed to Nike sizing, they may find New Balance shoes to feel different. They may need to adjust the size they order when switching from Nike to New Balance because of the size discrepancy between the brands.

What size should I choose in New Balance if I’m a 9.5 in Nike shoes?

If a person is a size 9.5 in Nike, they might consider starting with a size 9 in New Balance, but it’s important to refer to the specific size chart from New Balance for the most accurate fit.

Do New Balance and Adidas sizes align more closely than New Balance and Nike?

In general, Adidas and New Balance sizes are often more alike to each other than to Nike, but there can still be differences. It is advisable for shoppers to check each brand’s sizing chart.

Are New Balance shoes generally wider than Nike shoes?

New Balance provides a wider array of width options, offering widths from narrow to extra-wide, which can result in a better fit for people with broader feet compared to the standard widths typically found in Nike shoes.

Should I consider sizing up or down when switching from Nike to New Balance?

When switching from Nike to New Balance, it may be necessary to size down due to New Balance’s tendency to run true to size, in contrast to Nike’s smaller fit. It’s recommended to try on the shoes or consult the New Balance sizing chart for guidance.

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