I thought they were a running company? Yes New Balance soccer cleats are the new kids on the block and have primarily been for running but are moving on up in the soccer world. I know what you're thinking, why in the world would you buy a pair of cleats from New Balance when Adidas, Nike and Puma have the same cleats but have been around longer and are known in the industry and trusted by the best players and teams. Well that's a fair, but don't write them off quite yet, mainly because their background should make you think they have something different to offer.
New Balance is probably the most trusted and advanced company for producing running shoes in the world, their expertise in this area may be the reason they could succeed in the soccer cleat game. They are known for their superior expertise in foot stability, support and comfort which is something not all soccer cleats can provide, they are really looking for the gains they've made in foot support for runners their special sauce when selling soccer cleats. If you're new to the New Balance brand then here you will find video reviews, where to buy them, things to consider and avoid when buying a pair and everything you need to know about how they are made and how much they cost. Most people couldn't tell you much about New Balance boots and I suggest you pop into a store and try a few on for size before making your final choice. Oh and if you don't like them then they kind of looks like Nike's with that massive N on the side, just smile and nod, smile and nod.
1. Ergonomic Shoe Background - The good thing about a running company now creating soccer cleats is that you know the shoe will be made with the best possible support and technology for your foot. Imagine a company that only produced high quality wings now started to build planes, you know at the very least their wings are going to be the best money can buy. New Balance has built an incredible reputation amongst elite athletes for their ergonomic designs and overall comfort for an athletes foot, if you've ever had alignment issues or injuries this might just be the cleat you've dreamed of.
2. Laceless - Perhaps the company that makes the best laceless soccer cleats. Not only is it easy to put on and take off (just as important) it also has an incredible upper material that perfectly morphs to the shape of the foot like no other cleats on the market. It is the right balance between durable upper material and flexible enough to allow your foot to be covered and move around freely.
3. Lightweight - If you're the type that likes a light shoe then the New Balance soccer cleats could be the right match for what you're looking for. This shoe is the perfect cross between durable and light weight so you can fly up and down the pitch and also get stuck in with some tackles knowing your shoe will be up for any challenge, literally.
4. Comfort - With a background of making incredibly comfortable running shoes for elite athletes we knew they were always going to make a soccer cleat to match that same comfort. There hasn't been a company that has put so much technology into a shoe like New Balance so from their soles to the upper this shoe is top of the market in comfort.
5. Well Built - With a hardshell sole, soft insoles and flexible upper the New Balance soccer cleats are ready to challenge the big boys of high performance soccer. If you're looking for a shoe that will last and feel comfortable you can't go wrong with the latest and greatest shoe New Balance has on the market. It's like a tire company that decides to make cars, if they've specialized in tires for 20 years you know the tires on their car you buy will be top of the line.
1. Avoid Early Models - New Balance soccer cleats have come so far since they came onto the scene and their early models aren't a shadow of what their current models are. It took them a few years to perfect their shoe and it is pretty close to perfect these days so if you go New Balance be sure to get the newest models for best quality and satisfaction.
2. Narrow Foot - If you have a really narrow foot and like cleats that are very snug you may want to think twice about going New Balance. Just like their running shoes they typically cater to a medium width to a wide footed players feet. So depending on how you like the feel of your shoes around the sides of your feet be sure to try a pair on before making your final choice. I can hear all the wide footed players smiling from here.
3. Upper Needs Time - To really get that upper flexible part of the shoe to your soft standards it is going to take some time. You're not going to take the shoe out of the box and then right away slip into a soft upper, you're going to need to work it in and if you are inpatient or have a game the same day you buy them you might be a little disappointed, fingers crossed for no blisters.
4. Not Established - New Balance although a well trusted running brand is still working on its credibility in the soccer space. With that comes a learning process and a gap to close in terms of shoe development, customer loyalty and overall investment in their shoes. Although they are making progress and earning the trust of some professional players they still have a ways to go to be a household trusted name such as Nike and Adidas.
5. To Lace or Not to Lace - New Balance has started to move towards laceless cleats so if you're a dead set on having boots with laces then your options will be smaller should you go with them. Although they do have options in both be sure you know what you're getting yourself into before foolishly buying online without knowing the feel of the laced shoes versus the non laced one.
New Balance are competitively priced with other top brands and provide a wide range of prices for their different cleat models. Your high end Teleka's will set you back a cool $300 where a 1.0 Pro is at about $160 a pair. Now you want want to be careful here to not to go under the $160 mark or the quality in shoe really takes a dive. There are New Balance soccer cleats that are under $160 and will do a job for you but if you're looking for a soccer cleat that gives you all the benefits of high end shoe I would stick between that $160-$300 range.
Tongue - New Balance soccer cleats typically come with a shorter tongue or none at all in some cases with their laceless models. If you're one of those players who likes a big tongue you can tape down that flaps all over the place then NB isn't for you.
Upper - An upper that hugs the shape of your foot like none other and whether it is the typical soccer shoe upper or the laceless one, both provide a high level of comfort and stretch.
Toe Box -The toe box tends to be a little longer on these cleats then most competitors so if you're looking for that tight snug fit in the front part of the shoe you may not get exactly what you want here.
Studs -With a wide variety of stud patterns New Balance soccer cleats are comparable to any of the bigger soccer brands that produce cleats for elite players.
Insole - With an insole that is wider than most New Balance soccer cleats provide unique insole variety not seen by many other brands that cater to those with both wide and narrow feet. If you you like a spacious inner part of the shoe then NB could be a perfect fit (no pun intended).
Soleplate - Soleplates on NB shoes are made of a light hard plastic that is durable and flexible, a perfect marriage for players looking for a sole that can take a hit but also keeps your light on your feet.
Heel -Nothing special here, although it lacks some of the anti-blister tech you see in Nike and Adidas shoes the heel on a NB shoe is reliable and well constructed.
Good question, well as always the answer always depends on the preference of the user. Sadio Mane who plays for Liverpool may say they are top of his list where others may have New Balance soccer cleats out of their top 5 so if it works for you don't worry about where it ranks. Now if we are talking tried, tested and true you have to put New Balance behind the obvious Nike, Adidas and Puma, and then there is this next tier of Joma, Diadora, Under Armour and New Balance is somewhere in the mix with that group but probably towards the bottom to be fair. Brands such as Joma and Diadora only produce soccer products and are known to be specialists in this space so they are clearly ahead of the new up and comers such as New Balance and Under Armour. If New Balance wants to make up ground and get in that top category it will take years of producing top of the line cleats that players love, oh and signing a handful more of top tier pro's to wear their products wouldn't hurt their rise either I think.
New Balance is known for their quality craftsmanship and use of high end materials so you can be assured that they are making a soccer cleat of the highest quality. Of course it depends on how frequently you use them but if you are looking for a pair of boots to last at least 3 or 4 seasons without blinking then you can count on New Balance soccer cleats to provide that for you. You are looking at the higher end of 4 seasons if you go with a more expensive New Balance shoe such as the Tekela which is in that $300 range. These more expensive models are made with better quality materials and craftsmanship so you can expect them to last longer, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for in life.
Far and away the most popular soccer player on the planet to be sponsored by them and wear their boots is Liverpools Sadio Mane. Other than that there are a few others such Vincent Kompany, Jesus Navas and Samir Nasri to name a few. When it comes to high profile players wearing a company's soccer cleats not only do they have to be of the highest quality and the player must enjoy them but you also have to have the money to compete with the Nike and Adidas's of the world or you will be left with 2nd and 3rd tier players wearing your stuff.