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I’m leaning into “dad” fashion as of late (see here and here) and I have it on good authority that New Balance sneakers are the OG “dad” sneakers. They’ve experienced a surge in popularity in recent years (though my father-in-law has never stopped wearing them) and for a while, it was near impossible to get your hands on a pair of the retro styles like the 550s, 574s and 530s. With the adidas Sambas arguably taking some of the limelight, there’s no shortage of retro New Balance shoes to try. I’m already the proud owner of the 574s but I thought I’d lean further into the “dad” sneaker trend and try on the retro inspired 530s and 2002Rs and share my thoughts on comfort.
New Balance 574
These are already part of my collection so it’s safe for you to assume I’m already a fan. They’re probably the more recognisable New Balance style and strike the perfect balance between modern and retro. Made from a mix of suede and mesh, it doesn’t get more classic than the iconic grey colour combination. I’m pleased to report they’re a comfortable shoe, which is to be expected from a pair of sneakers, but there’s a noticeable spongy quality to the sole that’s worth a mention.
SHOP THE NEW BALANCE 574 SNEAKERS
New Balance 530
I’ve really leaned into dad territory with the 530s, and despite these being categorised as “ugly dad sneakers”, I think they’re awesome aesthetically. In fact, I was most excited to receive this pair at the time I placed my order. Unfortunately I won’t be hanging on to these as they just didn’t deliver on the comfort front. They were quite stiff and lacked support at my arch in comparison to the other New Balance styles I’ve tried. The silver colour wasn’t my first choice, I actually was hunting for a white pair with the contrast navy stitching but couldn’t find a pair in my size. Despite that, I was pleasantly surprised with how neutral this silver pair was. A note on sizing, these are a unisex style so I bought a mens size 5 which equates to a women 6.5 and they fit me perfectly.
SHOP THE NEW BALANCE 530 SNEAKERS
New Balance 2002R
This pair of 2022Rs is the ultimate Goldilocks pair of the styles I’ve tried on. It balances a minimal and neutral aesthetic while at the same time channels 80s dad vibes. Aesthetically, I can’t fault these and comfort-wise, they’re pretty great too. They were actually designed to be proper running shoes (but I feel like they’re too good-looking for that purpose!). If you’re leaning into a more chunky sneaker silhouette, you’d be happy with a pair of 2002Rs. If you prefer a minimal sneaker, the 574s might be your best bet.
SHOP THE NEW BALANCE 2002R SNEAKERS
I hope you found my try-on / first impressions to be helpful.
As always, thanks for stopping by!