New Balance 373 vs. 574 Sneakers Comparison

If you are looking for a comfortable pair of trainers, you may have encountered two similar models from New Balance: the 373 and 574. Because of their near-identical silhouette, people looking for the ideal pair of sneakers often compare the two.

So, what’s the difference between the New Balance 373 vs. 574?

While both the New Balance 373 and 574 have EVA foam midsoles and similar sneaker designs, only the New Balance 574 has its midsoles covered with a tough, polyurethane rim called ENCAP, which provides more support and durability

But is the New Balance 574’s ENCAP enough to justify its higher price? In this post, we will compare the NB 373 vs. 574 to find out which sneaker is the right one for you.

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Quick Overview

New Balance 373 (buy on Amazon)

  • Generic suede and mesh materials
  • EVA foam midsole
  • Shoes run true to size

New Balance 574 (buy on Amazon)

  • Premium mesh and suede materials
  • EVA foam midsole with ENCAP
  • Shoe size runs small

New Balance 373 vs. 574 Comparison:

The purpose of this sneaker comparison is to make your buying decision easier, not to overwhelm you with a bunch of vanity metrics.

With that in mind, we will compare both sneakers using three criteria: sneaker design, comfort and cushioning, and value for their price. Here’s the 373 vs. 574 comparison: 

1. Sneaker Design

At first glance, both the New Balance 373 and 574 look near-identical to one another, but if you look closely, there are three subtle nuances that distinguish them.

The first difference is located between the side reinforcement and toecap.

New Balance 373 shows a glimpse of the secondary material between the side reinforcements and the toecap. On the other hand, the side reinforcements of the New Balance 574 completely overlap over the secondary material.

Secondly, the finish near the ankles is also different in both models. The 373’s side leather layer overlaps on top of the secondary material, while the 574 has another leather layer of a different color. This provides contrast and highlights the upper eyelets of the shoe.

It also has a patch of mesh structured in neat lines near the ankles, which is very pleasing to look at because of the perfect combination of similar colors.

Finally, the New Balance 574 has outside heel reinforcement, located in the heel seat of the shoes, highlighted by the iconic NB logo.

The heel reinforcement on both sides of the 574 shoes helps secure your heels much more effectively than the 373, which fits your heels more loosely.

VERDICT ON DESIGN: The New Balance 574 has a better design than the 373. While both shoes look similar, we like the 574 better because of the neat and precise detailing of each part of the shoes. After all, there’s a reason why the New Balance 574 is an iconic shoe.

2. Comfort and Cushioning

Don’t be fooled by its entry-level price, because the New Balance 373 is well-cushioned and very comfortable. In fact, one New Balance buyer from Croatia said that the 373 is the shoe that made him switch to New Balance after years of wearing other brands.

Even after trying more expensive and more hyped-up New Balance models, he kept coming back to the 373, thanks to its comfort and excellent fit.

The New Balance 574, however, takes the 373’s comfort to a whole new level.

The 574 has heel reinforcement and ENCAP, which encases the midsole with a tough, polyurethane rim for added support and stability.

Whatever the 373 can do, the 574 can do it better. In fact, the New Balance 574 is much more cushioned and supportive than the 373 thanks to its ENCAP midsole, which maintains the integrity of the midsole even after several years of regular use. 

While you need some time to break into the New Balance 574 (because it’s tougher at first), it’s much more comfortable and supportive over the long term than the New Balance 373.

Moreover, the uppers of the 574 are made with more premium materials than the 373. This provides better snugness and gives you better ankle and heel support, especially for walking long hours every day. Overall, the 574 just feels amazing on your feet.

VERDICT ON COMFORT: The New Balance 574 has better cushioning than the 373. Thanks to the ENCAP midsole, the 574 provides better support and is much more durable than the 373. In fact, the 574 gets more comfortable over time as the midsole softens to your feet.

3. Value For Price

There are some people who feel like the 373 is a downgrade from the 574, which makes sense, considering how the New Balance 373 uses cheaper materials than the 574. 

However, there’s no denying that the New Balance 373 is a great value-buy.

For its low price, you’re getting a reliable pair of sneakers for day-to-day activities. While they may not be ideal for sports, they are the perfect pair of trainers for everyday wear. 

The New Balance 373 is also lighter and easier on your feet because they are made with less expensive materials, even though both the 373 and 574 have similar silhouettes.

In terms of getting your money’s worth, it all comes down to your budget. If you have more than $90 to spend, then go for one of New Balance’s timeless classics in the 574. However, if you are looking to spend around $50, then the New Balance 373 is a great value option.

VERDICT ON VALUE: The New Balance 373 provides a better value than the 574. Overall, the 373 is a greater value-buy than the 574 mainly because of its affordable price. You’re getting a reliable pair of casual trainers for just about $50. Now that’s an excellent value that’s hard to beat!

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Final Verdict

WINNER: New Balance 574

New Balance 574 (buy on Amazon)

  • Premium mesh and suede materials
  • EVA foam midsole with ENCAP
  • Shoe size runs small

For us, we think that the New Balance 574 is the overall better choice. The shoe looks amazing as always, and it keeps up with the trend while having a retro look. All versions of the 574 come in neutral colors, which makes them easy to match with any outfit.

There is also a lot of support coming from the upper and toe box of the shoes, so expect the 574 to deliver decent comfort after you’ve broken into them.

And there you go, the New Balance 373 vs. 574 sneaker comparison.

While the NB 574 is more expensive, it delivers greater support and better aesthetics (a combination of retro and modern) than the 373. You can pair the 574 with any outfit easily.

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