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New Balance 574 Vs 501

Shopping for the right shoes can sometimes be overwhelming. Many trusted brands have multiple lines to suit a variety of consumers.

We’ve put together a list of the similarities and differences between two New Balance lines, the 574 and 501 sneakers.

Comparison Table: New Balance 501 Vs 574

Product NameMaterials Heel Padding Style
#1. New Balance 574
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Mesh, leather Yes Athletic
#2. New Balance 501

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Fabric, leather NoCasual

#1. New Balance 574

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The New Balance 574 series is an updated take on a classic shoe. The shoes have new technology that brings the classic design into the modern era. There are a number of different colors and styles available throughout the line.

The low-cut sneakers have suede material at your fingertips. The construction is entirely created from leather and mesh, with a rubber sole that provides ideal traction.

The heel has a measurement of about 1.25 inches.

The laid-back sneaker is styled in leather, with dozens of available colors and patterns. Built-in mesh panels offer a level of breathability, helping your feet stay dry and cool throughout your stride.

The collar and tongue of the shoe are both padded, helping to cushion your ankles and provide an added layer of comfort. Many shoes without padding can lead to discomfort around the ankle and even blisters.

The athletic shoes feature a heel cushion made of EVA foam, which helps cushion the impact as your heel strikes the ground.

Because of this, high-impact sports like running are much more accessible. You can run faster and farther without experiencing pain in your legs.

The die-cut midsole is also made of EVA foam, providing support to the arch of your foot. This makes the shoe ideal for people with high arches and those who otherwise need arch support.

An outsole made of carbon rubber helps increase your traction, so you’re less likely to experience slippage, skidding, and injury.

#2. New Balance 501

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The New Balance 501 sneakers are made more for overall lifestyle wear than active wear. They’re stylish enough to wear from work to your workout to casual outings with friends.

They also feature a padded collar and tongue, helping keep your ankle comfortable. This means that the break-in period is shorter.

Rather than having mesh paneling, these shoes are made completely out of fabric and leather. They don’t have the same level of breathability, so they may not be the best for running and other intense fitness activities.

The casual sneaker comes with lightweight cushioning throughout the sole, helping to keep your feet comfortable throughout the day. The midsole has dual-foam layering, providing arch support to your foot.


There are a few notable similarities between the shoes. Both have the iconic New Balance styling found throughout the New Balance brand.

Both also have strong padding in the midsole, so you have excellent arch support if you stand all day. They also both have padding on the tongue and collar to cushion and support your ankles.


There are a few notable differences between the shoes. It’s important to keep in mind that the 574 series is made to accommodate athletes and fitness buffs. As such, the 574 tends to suit people who are looking for an athletic shoe.

The 574 is available in dozens more colors and styles than the 501, so it might suit you if you prefer to find unique colors and styling in your shoes.

However, the 501 has a more solid and professional appearance than the 574, so it’s a good option if you want to wear sneakers to work or other professional environments.

The 574 has a significant amount of padding in the heel, much more than the 501. This foam cushioning is essential if you participate in high-impact sports.

When you run, you generate a significant impact every time your heel strikes the ground. The same is true when you play sports like tennis or basketball.

With a non-padded shoe, the impact reverberates throughout your entire leg. This can lead to pain in your shins, knees, and thighs.

Some people also experience pain in their hips. By lessening the impact, you reduce strain on your legs, so you can run faster and farther.

The 574 also reduces the heel drop, helping to keep your heels and toes on a similar level. This helps you to keep your strides even and naturally shift your weight between your toe and heel throughout each stride.

The mesh paneling of the 574 is also significant for athletes. As you run, your feet generate heat and begin to sweat.

Shoes without breathable paneling will trap the heat inside, causing your feet to become wet and uncomfortable.

At worst, an ill-fitting and non-breathable shoe will make your foot slide around, which could lead to injury.

Meanwhile, breathable mesh helps disperse fresh air throughout the shoe with every stride. It circulates out the overheated air and ensures your feet stay dry and comfortable.

The 501 doesn’t have breathable mesh, so it’s not suitable for heavy athletic purposes.

There are some advantages that the 501 has over the 574, though. One is that the sneakers tend to be lighter weight, so they might be good for people who stand on their feet all day.

Another is that they’re more professionally styled, while the 574 very obviously look like an athletic shoe.

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Final Thoughts – New Balance 574 Vs 501

Both the New Balance 501 and 574 are well-made, durable sneakers that will keep your feet comfortable. The best one for you just depends on your needs.

If you’re looking for a more athletic shoe that can keep you comfortable during high-impact activity, the 574 is best for you.

Its heel padding and breathable mesh combine to provide the best experience as you work out.

If you want a more casually styled sneaker that you can wear in multiple everyday situations, the 501 is more ideal.


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