Skechers vs New Balance – Comfort Clash! Which Brand Wins?

Finding the right athletic shoe can make all the difference in your workouts and daily activities.

Two of the top athletic shoe brands on the market are Skechers and New Balance.

But with so many styles to choose from, how do you decide which brand is best for you?

We compare Skechers vs New Balance on key factors like fit, performance, price, and more. We’ll break down the key differences between the two shoe giants to help you choose the perfect pair for your needs and preferences. Let’s get started!

Skechers vs New Balance

The main difference between Skechers and New Balance is their brand identity and target audience. Skechers focuses on fashionable athletic shoes with a trendy appeal for a broader consumer base.

While New Balance emphasizes performance-oriented footwear for serious athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Before comparing the specifics, here is an overview of Skechers vs New Balance Shoes:

CriteriaSkechersNew Balance
Brand HistoryFounded in 1992 in Manhattan Beach, California. Known for casual and performance footwear.Founded in 1906 in Boston, Massachusetts. Originally focused on arch supports and orthopedic shoes, now known for athletic and casual footwear.
Product RangeCasual shoes, sneakers, sandals, boots, apparel, and accessories for men, women, and children.Running shoes, walking shoes, cross-training shoes, apparel, and accessories for men, women, and children. Emphasis on performance athletic shoes.
PricingLower-priced, with shoes ranging from $50 to $100 on average.Mid-range pricing, with shoes ranging from $80 to $150 on average.
Cushioning TechnologyAir-Cooled Memory Foam, Skech-Air, and Ultra GO cushioning systems.ABZORB, ENCAP, and Fresh Foam cushioning systems.
Stability FeaturesM-Strike technology for stability in the midfoot.Rollbar stability posts and dual-density collar foam for stability.
FitEmphasis on comfort and a relaxed fit.Emphasis on performance and a snug, secure fit.
MaterialsSynthetic materials, mesh, and leather uppers. Rubber outsoles.Synthetic materials, mesh, and leather uppers. Rubber outsoles with aggressive tread patterns.
Arch SupportDecent arch support, suitable for casual wear.Excellent arch support, suitable for athletic activities.
DurabilityAverage durability, with shoes lasting 6-12 months with regular use.Above-average durability, with shoes lasting 12-18 months with regular use.
StyleCasual, lifestyle-focused designs. A wide range of colors and patterns.Primarily athletic-focused designs, with some casual crossover styles. Subtle colors and patterns.
MarketingFocused on comfort, style, and affordability. Celebrity endorsements.Focused on performance, quality, and innovation. Athlete endorsements.

In summary, Skechers and New Balance both offer a wide range of footwear, but New Balance shoes are better suited for athletic performance while Skechers has more lifestyle-focused casual shoes. New Balance emphasizes technical features like stability, arch support, and snug fits to provide a secure feel during sports and exercise.

They use performance materials and technologies like ABZORB cushioning to promote responsiveness and comfort. Their shoes also tend to be more durable, lasting over a year with regular athletic use.

In contrast, Skechers focuses on casual styles, prioritizing comfort and relaxed fits over performance. They use softer, memory foam cushioning systems and have a wider range of trendy, colorful designs.

However, their shoes are lower-priced and may only last 6-12 months with regular wear.

New Balance is the better option if you want a shoe to handle fitness activities, while Skechers offers more affordable and fashionable options for casual everyday use.

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Pros and Cons

Pros: Skechers

  • Generally more affordable than New Balance
  • Comfortable and cushioned for everyday wear
  • Diverse style options, from casual to athletic
  • Good value for the price point
  • Suitable for light outdoor activities

Cons: Skechers

  • May not be as well-suited for intense outdoor use
  • Perceived as a less premium or “cheaper” brand
  • Reliability and durability may not match New Balance
  • Limited brand prestige and recognition
  • Not as specialized for technical performance features

Pros: New Balance

  • Excellent reputation for high-quality, durable construction
  • Wide range of shoes for different activities and foot types
  • Known for their superior comfort and support
  • Innovative technologies for enhanced performance
  • Customizable fitting options for optimal comfort

Cons: New Balance

  • More expensive compared to Skechers
  • May have a more limited stylistic range than Skechers
  • Can be heavier and bulkier than some casual shoe options
  • May not have the same level of cushioning and shock absorption as Skechers
  • Smaller selection of trendy or fashionable designs

Which Shoes Are Good for Different Activities

Shoes for Running

  • Skechers: As mentioned earlier, Skechers makes a variety of running shoes, but they are generally not considered as high-performance as more premium running shoe brands. Skechers running shoes tend to have more basic midsole and outsole technologies, often lacking the advanced cushioning and responsiveness found in top-tier running shoes. However, Skechers does offer some models like the GOrun line that are designed for a more performance-oriented running experience.
  • New Balance: New Balance is widely regarded as one of the top brands for performance running shoes. They invest heavily in research and development to create shoes with excellent cushioning, stability, and energy return. Models like the Fresh Foam, 1080, and 1080 series are highly praised by runners for their comfort and responsiveness. New Balance’s running shoes are often recommended for their blend of support and flexibility.

Shoes for Walking

  • Skechers: Many Skechers walking and casual shoes are designed with comfort and all-day wearability in mind. Models like the Skechers GO WALK line have responsive but cushioned midsoles and breathable uppers that provide excellent comfort for extended periods of walking. Skechers shoes are often a good choice for those who need a comfortable, supportive walking shoe for everyday use.
  • New Balance: New Balance also has a strong reputation for producing high-quality walking shoes. Their shoes often feature technologies like ABZORB and FRESH FOAM to provide superior cushioning and support for long walks. New Balance walking shoes are known for their comfort, stability, and durability.

Shoes for Standing All Day

  • Skechers: Skechers makes a number of shoes specifically designed for standing and working on your feet all day. Models like the Skechers Work line have features like memory foam insoles, reinforced heels, and slip-resistant outsoles that provide comfort and support for prolonged periods of standing. The more casual, lower-profile design of many Skechers work shoes may also be better suited for occupational use compared to more athletic-focused footwear.
  • New Balance: While New Balance is primarily known for their athletic and running shoes, they do offer a selection of work and occupational shoes that can be suitable for standing all day. Features like cushioned midsoles, reinforced toe boxes, and slip-resistant outsoles can make certain New Balance models a good option for those who need to be on their feet for extended periods. However, Skechers may have a more comprehensive line of shoes designed specifically for this purpose.

Now that you have an overview of Skechers vs New Balance Shoes differences, read on for an in-depth feature-by-feature comparison.

Skechers Overview

Founded in 1992, Skechers is an American footwear company headquartered in Manhattan Beach, California. Their shoes are sold in over 170 countries and territories around the world.

Skechers offers a wide range of casual, dress, athletic, and outdoor shoes. Some of their most popular styles include:

  • Skechers GOwalk – lightweight walking shoes with Memory Foam insoles
  • Skechers GOrun – responsive running shoes with cushioned Midfoot Strike technology
  • Skechers Work – safety and work shoes like steel-toe boots
  • Skechers Sport – athletic lifestyle shoes like sneakers and slip-ons

New Balance Overview

Founded in 1906, New Balance is one of the world’s major sports footwear manufacturers. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, they offer athletic shoes for running, walking, tennis, soccer, baseball, and more.

New Balance is especially renowned for its technical running shoes designed for various foot types, speeds, and terrains. The New Balance numbering system helps guide runners to the right shoe based on their foot shape and running style.

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Head-to-Head Comparison

Now that we’ve broken down the key features of Skechers and New Balance shoes, let’s directly compare the two brands across a few categories:

CategorySkechersNew Balance
FitRelaxed and roomy fit for comfort. Inconsistent sizing between styles.Precise fit dialed in for athletic performance. Multiple widths are available. True and consistent sizing.
PerformanceDesigned more for casual wear. Lack of some key technical features for intense training.Serious athletic performance from data-backed engineering and designs. Made for athletic functionality.
StyleFashionable and trendy designs. Fun colors and materials.More basic and traditional looks focused on the performance. Limited styling, especially for women.
Price$50-$80 per pair typically. Budget-friendly pricing.$100-$150+ per pair. Significant investment due to premium performance quality and materials.
Use CasesCasual wear, walking, lifestyle athletic shoes.Running, training, and sports that require technical foot support and stability.

As you can see, Skechers and New Balance have distinct strengths and weaknesses that cater to different needs and preferences. Key differences come down to:

  • Fit: Skechers offers a relaxed and comfortable fit in a wide range of sizes. New Balance dials in a precise athletic fit engineered for foot performance.
  • Performance: Skechers focuses more on lifestyle and casual uses, while New Balance zeros in on athletic functionality.
  • Style: Skechers has trendier, flashier styles, whereas New Balance sticks to more basic looks.
  • Price: Skechers provide greater value and budget-friendly pricing, while New Balance shoes cost more due to premium performance features.
  • Use Cases: Skechers work better for casual uses and light activity. New Balance is ideal for serious training, running, and athletic support.

Let’s explore how these key differences should influence your shoe choice below.

When to Choose Skechers

Skechers is the best option for:

Casual Wear

With their comfortable Memory Foam insoles and stylish fashions, Skechers shoes work great for all-day wear around town, school, or traveling. Models like the Skechers GOwalk provide cushioned support without an overly athletic look.

Walking and Light Activity

For easy walking, errands, sightseeing, and light exercise, Skechers shoes provide sufficient flexibility and support without the degree of performance technology required for intense training. Affordable pricing also makes them a great choice for growing kids’ active lifestyles.

Trying New Styles

For trying footwear trends without a huge investment, Skechers allows you to experiment with fun, fresh styles each season. The more affordable pricing means a lower risk if the shoes end up not fitting your preferences.

Width and Size Options

While Skechers sizing runs inconsistently, they do offer shoes in a wide range of men’s, women’s, and kids’ sizes and widths. The Relaxed Fit designs have roomy toe boxes suitable for wider feet as well.

User Reviews and Ratings

Skechers (Walking Shoes)⭐⭐⭐⭐I love my Skechers walking shoes. The cushioning retains its bounce even after miles on the trail and they have great shock absorption. Much cheaper too than specialty brands.
New Balance (Running Shoes)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐As an avid runner, I only buy New Balance sneakers now. They offer excellent stability and breathability mile after mile. Well worth the investment for me to prevent injury.
Skechers (Work Boots)⭐⭐⭐The Skechers work boots I bought are okay quality for the affordable price, but I wish they offered more arch and ankle support for jobsites. They run a bit large in sizing.
New Balance (Cleats)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐New Balance makes the best soccer cleats that provide me good traction in all field conditions. Great comfort and they hold up well season to season. True to size fit.
Skechers (Slip Ons)⭐⭐I found the Skechers slip on shoes to run uncomfortably narrow, even sizing up. The elastic irritated my ankles as well with extended wear. Disappointing quality overall.

Price Comparison

CategorySkechers Average PriceNew Balance Average Price
Men’s Running Shoes$60 – $80$100 – $140
Women’s Running Shoes$60 – $80$100 – $140
Men’s Casual Shoes$50 – $70$80 – $120
Women’s Casual Shoes$50 – $70$80 – $120
Men’s Sandals$40 – $60$60 – $100
Women’s Sandals$40 – $60$60 – $100
Men’s Boots$70 – $100$100 – $150
Women’s Boots$70 – $100$100 – $150
Men’s Athletic Apparel$30 – $60$40 – $80
Women’s Athletic Apparel$30 – $60$40 – $80

This table provides a comparison of the average price ranges for various product categories from Skechers and New Balance.

As you can see, Skechers generally offers lower prices across the board, with their shoes typically ranging from $50 to $100 on average.

New Balance, on the other hand, typically falls into a mid-range pricing tier, with their shoes often ranging from $80 to $150 on average, especially for their performance athletic shoes.

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When to Choose New Balance

New Balance is the better choice when you need:

Running Performance

New Balance running shoes are specially engineered based on your foot strike pattern, speed, support needs, and preferences to excel at running gait efficiency. Advanced cushioning absorbs impact while remaining firm and responsive.

Athletic Support and Stability

Serious athletes need shoes that support quick cuts, jumps, and multi-directional movements during training and competition. New Balance designs provide lateral support and stability with features like Rollbar technology to prevent injury.

Durable Quality

Athletes and active folks who want their shoes to withstand hardcore use need New Balance’s durable leathers, abrasion-resistant materials, and high-mileage midsole foams. With proper care, many styles log 500+ miles.

Proper Fit for Foot Type

To prevent injury and improve performance, runners and athletes need shoes that fit their foot anatomy and biomechanics precisely. New Balance offers narrow, wide, and extra wide widths and analyzes factors like overpronation to recommend the optimal shoe model.

Direct Competitor Models

New Balance and Skechers have direct competitor models that go head-to-head in terms of use cases:

Skechers ModelNew Balance Equivalent
Skechers GOrun 7 HyperNew Balance FuelCell RC Elite
Skechers GOrun Ride 8 HyperNew Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11
Skechers GOwalk Arch FitNew Balance 608v5

As you can see, Skechers Sport competes with New Balance’s performance running lineup with models comparable to flagship shoes like the FuelCell and Fresh Foam series.

For all-day comfort, Skechers GOwalk goes head-to-head with stability walking shoes like the New Balance 608v5.

When deciding between comparable Skechers and New Balance models, consider factors like your intended use intensity, foot support needs, comfort preferences, and budget.

This can help determine which brand’s version suits your needs best for a particular athletic or lifestyle shoe.

The Verdict: Skechers or New Balance?

So should you choose Skechers or New Balance? Here are some quick tips:

  • For fashion-forward casual and lifestyle shoes, go with Skechers.
  • For serious athletic performance and maximum support, choose New Balance.
  • For runners needing pronation control, opt for New Balance.
  • For wide feet and roomier toe boxes, consider Skechers.
  • For budget-friendly pricing, Skechers is better.
  • For durable quality and premium materials, go with New Balance.

There you have it! By understanding Skechers vs. New Balance’s strengths and differences, you can zero in on the best shoe choice for your personal needs and preferences.

Consider where you’ll wear them and the fit, style, support, and budget factors important to you.

This makes it easy to select between these two top athletic shoe brands. Happy shopping and train in comfort!


Skechers and New Balance both make quality athletic shoes, but are suited for different needs. Skechers provides greater value and style variety for casual use, while New Balance offers unparalleled athletic performance and support.

Consider your intended uses, foot type, fit preferences, and budget when choosing between these two brands.

Skechers excels for lifestyle wear but falls short for serious training. New Balance reigns supreme for running and demanding sports due to precise engineering that enhances stability and biomechanics.

By understanding their strengths and weaknesses, you can confidently pick Skechers or New Balance shoes that check all your boxes for comfort, performance, and style.

Visit a specialty store to get professionally fitted if unsure which brand suits your needs. With the right pair, you’ll be off and running in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Skechers good for walking and standing all day?

Many Skechers styles like GOwalk or Work shoes are ideal for being on your feet all day. Cushioned Memory Foam insoles provide comfort, shock absorption, and support. Relaxed Fit designs allow roominess for swelling feet. The affordable pricing also makes Skechers a great value choice for nurses, teachers, retail workers, and others needing all-day wear.

Where are New Balance shoes manufactured?

While New Balance does outsource some manufacturing overseas, they pride themselves on still producing 4 million pairs of shoes each year domestically in the United States. Several facilities in New England craft their premium Made in USA shoes using local materials and labor. Many sneakerheads seek out the “Made in USA” models specifically for their quality craftsmanship.

Do Skecher shoes run big or small?

Unfortunately, Skecher sizing can be quite inconsistent across styles. Some users find they need to size up or down compared to their normal shoe size depending on the model. Your best bet is to try them on in-store even if you normally know your size in other brands. Skechers’ roomier Relaxed Fit designs tend to run large to accommodate wider feet.

Can New Balance shoes help pronation or supination?

Yes, correcting over or underpronation is one of New Balance’s major strengths thanks to their technical shoe designs. Models like the 860v11 or 1365 use medial stabilizing posts and T-beams in the midsole to provide motion control against overpronation. Other shoes like the FuelCell Rebel have lateral wraps to support supination by preventing excessive outward rolling. New Balance can recommend models tailored to your specific pronation needs.

How long do Skechers and New Balance shoes last?

Skechers shoes typically last around 6 to 12 months with regular wear. But many report the foam cushioning compresses and loses bounce after about 6 months. New Balance shoes can log 500+ miles with proper rotation. Using them just for athletic activity extends their lifespan. With quality care and maintenance, some New Balance models last several years of heavy usage before needing replacement.

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