From streamlined runners to chunky dad shoes, Nike has plenty of sneakers that look like New Balance. Here are some of the best options for both men and women.
1. Nike Air Tailwind 79 (Unisex)
New Balance’s rise to the top of the sneaker industry has been made possible by many collaborations, but the simple 574 is still the sneaker most people associate with the brand.
Therefore, it’s only fitting that the first Nike sneaker I mention resembles the NB 574.
Introducing the Air Tailwind 79. It’s the Nike shoe that looks like New Balance 574. Both share the same no-frills silhouette that people love because of the sub-$100 price and timeless look.
Since making its debut in 1978 for the Honolulu Marathon, the Nike Air Tailwind 79 has been upgraded with the Nike Air unit but still features the nearly original materials and colors.
Not only does the Nike Air Tailwind 79 share a similar upper design with the NB 574, but both also have recognizable gum rubber outsoles on the bottom.
For many people, the 574 remains the ideal entry point into the expansive New Balance universe, while the Nike Air Tailwind 79 is an approachable and affordable version from Nike.
2. Nike Waffle One (Unisex)
The New Balance 327 is inspired by track sneakers of the 1990s, but its unmistakable wedge-like shape and huge logo make it a versatile silhouette for casual wear.
Sharing a similar look with the New Balance 327 is the Nike Waffle One. It features the same vintage suede upper on top of a thick ridged sole look.
What’s even more uncanny is that both sneakers have the same waffle outsoles, which extend to the heel area. It provides a good grip on a variety of surfaces.
For a pair of sneakers with stacked rubber soles, the Nike Waffle One is actually pretty light. I think it’s great to wear as your daily trainers and run errands.
They just might be the best pair of Nikes I’ve ever owned.
In terms of durability, I’d say I’m quite satisfied. For something so lightweight, I beat the hell out of these shoes, and yet, they continue to endure wear and tear. Great sneakers.
3. Nike Daybreak (Unisex)
Featuring the same rubber waffle outsole and a nylon upper with suede and synthetic leather overlays, the Nike Daybreak is another one of Nike’s take on the iconic New Balance 327.
I love the Nike Daybreak because the rubber waffle outsole provides traction and durability, while the foam midsole offers lightweight cushioning for all-day comfort.
There’s no shortage of colorways for this vintage-looking pair of kicks. Fanatics of old-school-style sneakers love the expressive hues it comes available in.
I think it’s a must-get for the budget-conscious.
The Nike Daybreak isn’t only attractive, but easy on your wallet too. A considerable number of people are buying this pair of throwback shoes because it’s one of the cheapest from Nike.
4. Nike Air Monarch IV (Men’s)
We can’t talk about Nike shoes that look like New Balance without bringing in Nike’s most popular “dad shoe” into the mix: the Nike Air Monarch IV.
Also known as “ugly sneakers” or “chunky sneakers”, the term “dad shoes” is used to describe any pair of functional and comfortable kicks. But what does this mean?
It means that “dad shoes” tend to offer a lot of arch support via their signature chunky soles and are also the everyday footwear of choice for many dads and middle-aged men.
Chief among them is the Nike Air Monarch IV, a dad shoe that resembles a lot like the 990, one of the best chunky runners, if not the best, in New Balance’s repertoire.
Many sneakerheads compliment the Nike Air Monarch IV for its comfort, especially for regular daytime activities. In fact, I wear them for walking, exercising, and even basketball on occasion.
The upper is wide and made of nice materials that feel soft and plush, while the full-length Air unit does a great job of taking any pressure off of my feet.
As soon as you slide into the Nike Air Monarch IV, you’ll feel ready to stand for hours. Overall, it’s a great pair of dad shoes from Nike that looks a lot like the famous New Balance 993.
At one point, dad shoes were deemed ugly, but much like a lot of fashion trends, it’s back — and is actually now cool. So much so that even celebrities are wearing them on rotation.
5. Nike Air Max Bliss (Women’s)
The Nike Air Max Bliss is a pair of women’s sneakers that look a lot like the New Balance 992. Both sneakers are chunky shoes with thick midsoles.
However, both sneakers are different in terms of cushioning.
The New Balance 992 is not known for its ultra-soft cushioning. It does have a firm dual-midsole for better stability and balance but doesn’t offer a soft, pillowy ride.
On the other hand, the Nike Air Max Bliss is satisfyingly roomy and is undeniably super-plush. It’s light, airy, and provides a lot of support for long hours of walking.
I think these female sneakers are great for you if you’re looking for something with an athleisure vibe. Not only can you wear them to the gym, but they’re also perfect for casual wear.
The New Balance 992 is often associated with Steve Jobs, so if you want to distance yourself from Apple’s majordomo, do yourself a favor and get the Nike Air Max Bliss.
6. Nike Air Pegasus 83 (Men’s)
If you’re a NB fan you’re definitely familiar with the 373. I think the Nike sneaker that looks the most like New Balance 373 is the Nike Air Pegasus 83.
Like the New Balance 373, the Nike Air Pegasus 83 has an upper made of a combination of mesh and suede accents on the toe, heel, and eye stay, thus, contributing to the luxurious look.
I like the plush padding around the ankles that reminds me of my grandma who likes to give me a hug. In fact, the shoes feel comfortable right out of the box and don’t need a break-in period.
Overall, Nike Air Pegasus 83 is suitable for the city, ideal for relaxed and stylish casual days. With its affordable price and comfortable features, it’s a great alternative to the NB 373.
7. Nike MD Runner 2 (Women’s)
The female equivalent of the New Balance 373 is the Nike MD Runner 2. Similar to the Pegasus 83, the MD Runner 2 has an upper made of a combination of mesh and suede accents.
I don’t actually own a pair, but I asked my friend who owns one.
She said these sneakers not only look good with casual, ordinary outfits, but they feel amazing, especially after two pairs of cheaper shoes tore her feet up during a recent trip to Arizona.
The “swoosh” logo is subtle but it goes well with the overall realtor look of the sneakers. Overall, these shoes are comfortable and lightweight, perfect to wear with jeans or athleisure attire.
8. Nike Venture Runner (Men’s)
First released in 1988, the New Balance 996 was designed to be a hybrid sneaker, equally as apt for a run/walk in the park as a training session in the gym.
I think the Nike shoe that looks like the New Balance 996 is the Nike Venture Runner.
Like the New Balance 996, which is a heritage running sneaker, The Nike Venture Runner nods to the iconic shoes of the 1980s that started the running revolution.
Even though I’m a runner myself, I bought these as an every day (walking around) pair of shoes just because they look so casual. They have great ergonomics and support my feet perfectly.
The New Balance 996 is still a part of NB’s lifestyle lineup today, so if you want something similar from Nike, consider the Venture Runner. Both are amazing heritage running sneakers.
9. Nike Challenger (Men’s)
Going back to the New Balance 327, I’ve got another sneaker from Nike that looks similar. It’s the Nike Challenger, which is a streamlined pair of runners with waffle outsoles.
In terms of comfort, I like these more than New Balance sneakers because they softly cradle the foot. Many people enjoy walking on these as they gently cushion the foot and aren’t heavy at all.
Moreover, I think the inner cushioning feels amazing. I’ve only worn them for a day, and I’ve already gotten several compliments on the style and the color of the shoe.
Although they work as running shoes, I intend to wear them for fashion purposes to keep them pristine. In fact, I’m planning on getting a second pair just so that I don’t wear out the first pair.
I actually might even get a third pair in a different color.
10. Nike Runtekk (Women’s)
Dubbed the Runtekk, Nike’s newest silhouette adopts the aesthetics of the Y2K era.
At first glance, it’s likely images of the New Balance 530 are quick to come to mind, as the upcoming pair features silver metallic paneling and detailing through much of the upper.
The chunky sole unit also gives the sneaker a modern touch, inspired by the omnipresent dad-shoe trend that seems to get reinvented with each passing season.
Exclusive for women, the Nike Runtekk is such a good shoe, and even if you already have an array of white sneakers, these deserve a rightful place in your rotation.
Similar to the New Balance 530, the Nike Runtekk is the perfect travel shoe – easy to get on and off at the airport and gives you plenty of support for walking all day long.
11. Nike Air Max SYSTM (Men’s)
One of the newest additions to Nike’s versatile runners is the Air Max SYSTM. It’s a pair of sneakers made with an 80’s vibe but packed with superb cushioning.
In terms of design, I can’t help but notice the resemblance with the New Balance 580, although I feel like the cushioning on these Nikes are far better than the NBs.
I like that Nike is able to make a pair of sneakers that makes a 10-hour day filled with constant standing and walking feel like a 2-hour day. In other words, they’re so comfortable.
In fact, I think these sneakers lend the feeling of walking on clouds because the cushioning is so plush yet so light. The Air Max SYSTM could be my new go-to pair of runners.
Overall, the combination of the tried-and-true Air Max cushioning paired with a sleek, sport-inspired upper makes for an amazing pair of sneakers.