Nike vs New Balance Sizing

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On the left, an off-white and orange Nike Air Max sneaker. On the right, a pin, grey, and white New Balance shoe on a black blanket.
Credit: Luis Felipe Lins & Maksim Larin

Are you struggling to nail down your perfect fit by not knowing the difference between Nike vs New Balance sizing? Look no further - we've got you covered!

We've broken down the similarities and differences between the fit of these two iconic sportswear and sneaker brands, so you can shop with confidence and avoid any sizing mishaps by receiving ill-fitting trainers.

So, whether you're a seasoned sneaker collector or just looking for your next pair of stylish and comfortable kicks, our guide is your one-stop shop for all things Nike and New Balance sizing. Let's get into it then and figure out how the best sneakers from these two brands should fit.

How should they fit?

Both Nike and New Balance offer a diverse selection of sneakers, catering to various needs and preferences. From everyday wear, exemplified by the New Balance 574 and Nike Air Max 90, to top-tier basketball shoes, their sneaker catalogues are extensive.

Therefore, it is crucial to understand the proper fit of your shoes to ensure lasting comfort for your feet, whether you're engaged in a game or simply going about your daily routine.

According to Clarks, a good rule of thumb to follow for the length is you should have about one finger's width of space between your longest toe and the end of your shoes, with the natural bend falling around the balls of your feet.

Clarks goes on to suggest allowing for a small amount of wiggle room in your shoes to avoid blisters. Ideally, the balls of your feet should fit comfortably in the widest part of your sneakers, allowing for a small amount of slippage at the heels. With that covered, it's time to see how the two brands' size charts compare.

Nike vs New Balance size guides

It's widely considered that New Balance sneakers run slightly bigger than Nike shoes by roughly around 0.5 to 1 US size.

This is evidenced below as a US size 6 from Nike measures 0.3cm smaller than a US size 6 from New Balance.

New Balance and Nike size charts compared.
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Credit: New Balance and Kohl

This is also said to be the case with the width of the shoes as well, with New Balance shoes supposedly slightly wider-fitting in general compared to Nike sneakers according to some online forums.

Which shoes fit wide feet?

With New Balance shoes generally being slightly wider than Nike's, you may find its sneakers to be more accommodating if you have wider feet.

However, New Balance also offers wider and even X-Wide widths for most of its shoes, including the Fresh Foam X More v4s, which should give you a little more peace of mind if you're not 100% sure your shoes will fit.

New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 product image of a white running shoe featuring blue and yellow gradient details and black and grey NB branding.
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Credit: New Balance

That said, as touched on in our comparison of Nike and adidas sizing, Nike also has its own collection of wide-fitting shoes which includes a wider version of the highly popular Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40s.

We'd also say some of the best Air Force 1 models provide a slightly wider fit compared to other sneakers offered by Nike, based on our personal experiences. Therefore, it's worth considering AF1s when you're on the lookout for a new pair of shoes.

Nike Air Force 1 "Metallic Silver" product image of a white low-top featuring a grey sole and silver Swoosh down the side.
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Credit: Nike

In general, though, it's evident that both brands make commendable efforts to accommodate a diverse range of foot shapes and sizes.

Read More: Best places to buy sneakers

Which shoes run narrow?


Both brands recognise that some of their shoes are slightly narrower, or feel narrower than others. In Nike's case, it appears runners, like these Phantom Run Flyknit 2s, can feel slightly narrower due to the mesh uppers being designed to conform to the shape of your feet for a secure and snug fit whilst exercising.

Nike React Phantom Runner Flyknit 2 product image of dark grey mesh, laceless running shoe.
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Credit: Nike

This is also said to be the case amongst some of Nike's Free range due to the internal webbing providing a tighter lock-in, something we cover in more detail in our Nike vs. Reebok sizing guide.

If you're a little worried about the width of Nike trainers, then we'd suggest opting for a pair of Air Force 1s, or some of the best Jordan 1 Lows or Mids, as they both typically feature slightly wider toe boxes than runners.

Air Jordan 1 Low "Concord" product image of a white and black patent leather low-top featuring an icy blue sole.
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Credit: Nike

You may also find some of New Balance's runners to be slightly narrower due to their more feet-hugging, knitted designs. However, New Balance states that it offers the largest selection of shoe widths, ranging from 2A X-Narrow to 6E XX-Wide, with the aim of having a pair of sneakers to suit every foot type available.

Therefore, it would seem both Nike and New Balance have shoes that run narrower than others. If you're a little uncertain about which size to get though, we'd recommend trying on both Nike and New Balance shoes in a physical store to double-check you've found the right fit.

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