Review: New Balance 1500v3

There are so few performance shoes with stability, anymore. That’s why it was such a shock when New Balance debuted the 1500, two years ago: it was a new entry in an all-but-extinct category. The shoe earned high praise, though, and the version 3 continues to be excellent, though specific.

Photo courtesy of New Balance
Left: Chevron grips help traction on grass. Right: A plastic shank gives the model greater stiffness.

The midsole is very firm and stiff, much moreso than the Vazee Pace, which uses the same Revlite foam. This is due to the medial posting and shank. This isn’t really a problem though, because this shoe was essentially made for racing and a firmer ride is a faster ride. Whether you’re a heel striker or midfoot striker, the 1500 feels really good, though the 6mm drop and shoe overall are more conducive to a mid/forefoot orientation. A special note is the outsole, which has chevron-shaped lugs and give the shoe a little extra grip on grass. Grass or track is where I would stay, were I to choose this model. The lack of cushion is noticeable with top-end sprinting and over the longer distances.

The upper runs narrow, but not excessively. The tongue is actually part of a half-sleeve inside the main material and overlays wrap the foot without irritation. The tongue is definitely a little shorter, but this was never a problem. Sizing is on the cusp of being small, so if this is going to be your racing flat, go .5 up. If you’re using it for speed work, don’t worry, though.

Photo courtesy of New Balance
The shoe runs narrow throughout and you may want to size up if you’re going to race in them.

The NB 1500v3 is a fine complement to any runner’s repertoire, and it can serve multiple roles. Heavier runners may even find that its firmness allows them to wear it without feeling like it’s bottoming out and lighter runners can go a bit faster in it. The downside is really that the 1500 can be pushed too far or too fast.

Score: 8.5/10

New Balance Men’s M1500V3 Running Shoe
New Balance Women’s W1500V3 Running Shoe

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