New Balance 574 Sport Review

While New Balance is universally known for making some of the highest quality running shoes on the market, they are underrated when it comes to lifestyle shoes. And that’s a shame because New Balance has been turning out some great sneakers lately. A prime example, the 574 Sport. Launched back in July, the 574 Sport revolutionizes the classic New Balance 574. By combining the quality and craftsmanship they are know for, with a few tech upgrades, New Balance has created a new modern classic.

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Highlights:

  • A complete overhaul of the 574, gives the 574 Sport a sleeker and modern silhouette.
  • Premium suede seamlessly combines with mesh to create a beautifully styled upper.
  • Fresh Foam cushioning in the midsole of the shoe makes the 574 Sport the ultimate urban trekker.

Construction

New Balance brings quality in the construction of their shoes, and the 574 Sport is no different. The evidence is in the details, as the stitching of the shoe is on point and glue marks don’t blemish the connection between the sole and upper of the shoe. It just feels like New Balance built these shoes to last.

In all the 574 Sport variations, New Balance has struck a great balance of combining premium materials (leather and suede) with more “sporty” materials (mesh). This is very evident in the tan 574 Sport. The mesh on the upper of the shoe flawlessly blends in with the tan suede, to the point you need to actually feel the shoe to determine which material is which. This not only tells you that New Balance put a lot of thought into designing the 574 Sport, it also gives the 574 Sport a very premium feel.

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Another aspect of the 574 Sport that showcases New Balance’s commitment to construction is the outsole of the shoe. On many sneakers this is an often overlooked part of the shoe, which can lead to a shorter lived sneaker. However, the chunky tread and high quality rubber New Balance used makes this shoe last for miles. After wearing the shoes for a few weeks on my 1.5 mile walks to and from work, I’ve noticed almost no wear on the outsole of the 574 Sport. Once again, it’s clear New Balance built the 574 Sport to last.

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Performance

The biggest upgrade over the original 574 is the inclusion of New Balance’s Fresh Foam technology. Fresh Foam is a new foam that New Balance has been using on a number of their most popular running shoe models, such as the 1080 and Zante, and provides great cushioning along with solid support.

Thankfully, New Balance has decided to bring the technology over to many of their lifestyle shoes, and boy does it make a difference! With the inclusion of Fresh Foam I feel like I can walk for miles and miles in the 574 Sport. The Fresh Foam compound is incredibly light so it doesn’t increase the weight of the shoe and drag your foot down at all. It also provides great “bounce” to every step, which gives your feet at little more rest when walking for long distances. This is great considering that not all lifestyle shoes are equal when it comes to comfort.

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The only part where the 574 Sport falters a bit is in the breathability department. Although I feel like I can walk for miles in these shoes, after a long day of wearing them my feet are definitely itching to kick them off. I think this might because my tan 574 Sport are primarily suede/leather which traps the heat in the mid and forefoot a little more. Maybe if I had one of the all mesh 574 Sports this would be a different story. Nevertheless, this is a small flaw compared to all the great aspects of the 574 Sport.

Conclusion

Ranging from $99.99 to $109.99 (for the more premium models) the 574 Sport retails around the average price of most lifestyle sneakers. They are a little more pricey than adidas Superstars, Stan Smiths, or Nike Cortez’s but with the 574 Sport you do get a better constructed shoe. The previously mentioned shoes don’t have a premium foam cushioning system standard like you get in the 574 Sport – definitely an upgrade worth the premium. Lastly, if you want to stand out from the crowd of Nike and adidas, pick up the 574 Sport. They’ve got retro-modern styling, great craftsmanship, premium materials, and an ultra comfortable midsole. All the necessary components of an amazing lifestyle shoe. With the 574 Sport it’s clear, people shouldn’t be sleeping on New Balance anymore.

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