What Do the Numbers Mean on New Balance Shoes?

What Do the Numbers Mean on New Balance Shoes?
It's likely that New Balance makes a shoe designed especially for whatever activity you enjoy, whether it's hiking, running, walking or something else. But before you start shopping, you need to know the meaning of those numbers on New Balance shoes.


The purpose of the numbering system for New Balance shoes is to denote different shoe models.



Arthur Heckler introduced the unique numbering system for New Balance shoes. He chose to use model numbers instead of names to emphasize the company philosophy instead of focusing on any one shoe.


A NewBalance.com representative states that the numbers do not indicate any special code. In general, a higher model number denotes a shoe that includes more technology and specialization than a shoe with a lower number.

The Letters

The letters before and after the numbers denote a specific characteristic of the shoe. The letters before the numbers indicate whether the shoe is for men or women and the purpose of the shoe design. For example, WT means the shoe is a woman's trail shoe. The letters after the numbers usually denote the shoe color, but not always. W/B indicates the shoe is white and blue. Occasionally, the letters after the numbers indicate another special characteristic of the shoe, such as ST for stability shoe. See the Resources section of this article for a link to a complete list of letter codes.


The complete model number, with the letters included, is located inside the shoe on the tongue. Normally, only the numbers are displayed on the exterior of the shoe.


Article Written By Linda Hinkle

Linda Hinkle has been a writer since 2004. She spent 29 years teaching mathematics in public high schools and now maintains a private tutoring practice. In addition to writing about education and parenting issues, she writes mathematics assessment and test prep items. Hinkle is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, where she earned a bachelor's degree in education.

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