New Balance True Balance Shoes
New Balance True Balance shoes were the toning shoes that set a new standard for style when they were launched in late 2011. They used an altogether different approach to design; one which piled on the style and took away all that thick EVA foam rubber which other shoes of this ilk favored. This made them look just like a standard running sneakers and nothing like toning shoes that were flooding the market at the time.
New Balance True Balance was not the company's first venture into the world of toning. The shoes were released on the back of the Rock & Tone range, which had proved so popular when they were released in early 2011. The Rock & Tone (MW and WW1645) took their design cues from the popular running shoes that the brand was world renowned for. However True Balance trainers took this a step further and improved on looks considerably. This was undoubtedly the main selling point, as they were attractive to women who preferred not to announce to the world that they were trying to tone while walking. Getting some extra help to get the lower body in shape should not mean making a compromise on fashion after all, yet New Balance was the first manufacture to recognize this. Ugly toner shoes became a thing of the past with the release of this brands range of toning and wellness footwear.
The Original New Balance True Balance Range...
New Balance True Balance shoes were put to the test in the research labs at NB HQ and demonstrated that they could increase muscle activity in the lower body (when released, NB claimed up 29% lower body muscle activation). They also were shown to increase calorie burning by up to 10%. It was a good improvement on New Balance's Rock & Tone trainers, which claimed to tone up to 27% more and boost calorie consumption by 8%.
Since then the company has dropped these statistics and have concentrated on the shoes being a good addition to any healthy and active lifestyle. True Balance are now the backbone of the wellness range of shoes from New Balance, and have been favored over the Rock and Tone. They fill the gap between casual sneaker and running shoes, and offer a little extra help to get the lower body into shape, provided that the wearer gets out and gets active in them that is!
New Balance True Balance feature a technical design, and used a different method of getting the lower body muscles working harder. Rather than opting for the usual toning technology to activate muscles in the lower body such as the rocker sole or instability pod design, NB favored a more understated design.
The shoes feature a three component midsole which is the key to the wellness benefits.The outsole is not rounded, but still helps to introduce small instabilities into each step. This is due to the leaf spring system in the heel and in three quarters of the midsole.The design helps to introduce small instabilities which the body then corrects subconsciously, or so the theory goes. These small instabilities causes small changes in the muscles to correct any imbalance, and this means greater muscle activation throughout the stride. The True Balance range also features a soft midsole which offers excellent cushioning to absorb shocks, and this makes walking really comfortable. This shoes are also designed to allow a natural flex in the forefoot, and promote a good heel to toe roll. This makes them feel much more natural to walk in than most toning shoes or wellness footwear.
Why New Balance True Balance are So Popular
It is the comfort and the cool designs which have been the main selling points for these wellness shoes, and naturally the chance to improve the shape of the lower body when walking has certainly helped! The comfort comes from the high level of cushioning from the "balance board technology" inspired design, and the seamless Phantom Liner removes potential sources of irritation making them highly comfortable on the feet. Any lover of New Balance running shoes will certainly appreciate how good the brand is at making comfortable shoes. The design has also shaved important ounces off the weight compared to other toning shoes on the market; and being lightweight and flexible means they are more comfortable on long walks.
Further weight reduction has been achieved by using Acteva Ultra Lite foam in the midsole which is 32% lighter than the standard EVA foam rubber favored by other brands. A mesh upper helps to keep the weight down too, and it is highly breathable. This helps with moisture management and allows sweat and heat to escape from the shoes more easily to keep the feet cool and dry.
Old Style True Balance Wellness Shoes from Amazon.com
True Balance Style
The True Balance range of shoes function perfectly well as standard sneakers giving them great wearability, and whether worn casually or for exercise they can help the wearer to improve lower body shape as part of an active and healthy outdoor lifestyle, and faster than in standard shoes according the NB research.
The New Balance True balance range was originally released in two models; the WW1100 and the WW850. Both of these shoes have cool designs and great styling, and few would argue that the True Balance range is anything but highly attractive (in sneaker terms at least) and certainly when compared to some of the alternatives on the market. However as with any exercise sneaker model, you can't expect them to stay the same for more than a year before updates are made
While the original models are still available with some retailers, they have now been replaced by all new models with updated technology. The Old style True Balance range has now become the WW850, the WW800 and the WW875. All feature new technology and designs aimed at improving comfort further still from the originals.
Check out the New Balance True Balance styles for 2012 detailed below. If you liked the originals, you should love the latest models. But if you prefer to stick with what you love, buy now while the old models are still available.
True Balance WW855 from Amazon.com
True Balance WW855
So how has the True Balance WW850 been updated to make it better (or different) for 2012?
Well, time doesn't stand still where technology is concerned, and 12 months is plenty of time to develop new and improved designs to further improve comfort. The WW855 now features a C-CAP midsole has been added to improve cushioning, but also to improve durability to make the shoes last longer. In any sneaker, the midsole breaks down much faster than the uppers, and this is the reason why it is recommended to change sneakers every 500 miles or so. This increase in durability means better cushioning and greater value for money and should translate into a longer lifespan.
The leaf spring system in the heel is retained, but N-Durance rubber has been added to keep the outsole performing for longer too. In short the True Balance 855 is longer lasting, and tweaks to the styling make it more attractive (well I think so!)
The WW855 weighs in at 268 grams (9.5 oz)
The True Balance WW800
The True Balance WW800 is of a similar ilk to the WW855, with the design the only thing to really differentiate this shoe from the 855 True Balance model. This shoe weighs in at 268 grams (9.5 oz) too.
Although this True Balance model has all the same features, the use of fabric strips in the uppers differs slightly. This is mainly for style, but the fabric strips also reinforce the shoe. This model should feel more flexible, with the 855 offering a little extra support.
WW800 from Amazon.com
True Balance WW875
The True Balance WW875 is styled more for casual wear, and features synthetic suede panels at the front and the sides which adds to the style but also improves durability. Synthetic suede is harder wearing than mesh, although on the downside it is not quite so breathable.The True Balance WW875 also shaves a little off the weight of the shoes. This model weighs in at 264 grams (9.3 oz). OK, so you are not really going to notice the difference in weight of just 0.2 ounces, but every little helps.
So, for casual wear this would be the better choice, and for exercise the mesh should make for cooler feet, so the WW800 and WW855 would get my vote for exercising and long walks. However, the differences are only very slight so you are probably best choosing by style and color choice.
When to Wear True Balance Shoes
If you are more of a walker than a jogger or runner, the True Balance range should be right up your street. However if you run rather than walk, I'd say you should avoid these shoes.
This style of shoe is ideal for walking, but running generates greater forces, especially in the heel. This style of shoe is not designed for running or jogging, and those small instabilities are not ideal when you are moving at speed. If you want to run, you should buy a pair of specialist running shoes or if you want to still increase toning, then choose toning shoes specifically for running: the Shape Ups Resistance Runner and the Reebok Runtone may be a better choice.
- More muscle activation
- Great designs to choose from and wide choice of color schemes
- Good for casual wear, everyday walking and comfortable feet at work
- Highly comfortable design thanks to the Phantom liner and well cushioned midsole
- Lightweight design and highly breathable
- Increased durability in the latest models
- Good outsole grip
- Well priced compared to many models of this type of shoe
- These shoes will not make any difference to your body shape if you do not get out and clock up the miles walking.Remember that toning shoes alone will not give you a shapely and firm lower half, and you will need to exercise regularly in them to notice any difference in body shape.
- Unlike Skechers Shape Ups, MBT shoes, Avia Avi-motion, Ryka reform and Chung Shi shoes, True Balance will do nothing to correct the posture.
- The groove in the outsole is a pig to clean should you step in something soft, squidgy, smelly and unpleasant
All in all, the New Balance True Balance range gets my vote if you want to increase toning while exercising. They are great sneakers for everyday wear, and every little helps when it comes to getting the lower body in shape. They are highly breathable, lightweight and really comfortable to wear and the midsole design offers excellent cushioning.
If you have put off buying toning shoes due to the styles on offer, these could well be the shoes for you. As with all wellness and toning shoes you should bear in mind that simply changing footwear will not see the pounds fall off and your legs turn into svelte perfection. That will only ever come with exercise. However, if you want to lose weight and get in shape, the True Balance range is a great choice to help tip the playing field in your favor. Many women have sworn by the True Balance range for the help that the shoes have offered with getting the lower body in shape, and the feedback on the shoes is still good after 18 months on the market (at the time of writing).
Fortunately it is not just women who can benefit from the True Balance range. Despite being launched as women only shoes, the range has been expanded to give men the benefits. I can testify that they are highly comfortable now I have had the chance to try them on for size. I cant speak for the women's model, but the men's range is incredibly comfortable. The men's and women's range are constructed from gender specific lasts, so they are tailored to the differences in anatomy between men's and women's feet. As such, the women's models should be just as comfortable. From the reviews of the shoes that I read, and the customer feedback that I researched when compiling this hub it appears that this certainly the case.
However for the men, it is just the older models which are available - it appears that the wellness range may be phased out in the mens line. If you have tried these shoes and love them, it may be best to buy up a few pairs now while you can still get them.