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The New Balance 550 first made its debut in 1989 as a basketball sneaker and it is the retro sporty design by Steven Smith.  

The modern new balance 550 is a lifestyle shoe similar to Nike Low Dunks, with a foam midsole and durable cup sole base. The foam midsole provides some squishiness. Ankle padding provides cushioning.

Does the new balance 550 run true to size?

New Balance 550s run true to size depending on the width of your foot. It is suited for a narrow foot ½ sizing down or up is likely to cause heel slippage. For wide and flat feet would suggest trying both a ½ down or up from your normal size to feel how comfortable they are on your feet.

If you are looking for more New Balance trainers that provide a snug true-to-size fit and provide squishy comfort. Check out the New Balance 2002r – Are Comfy & True To Size?

New Balance 550 On Feet

Image source Instagram: nb_overdose

Things to think about when buying the New Balance 550… 

Stable – foot sits nicely on the whole sneaker. No roll or twisting super fit. Firm ride on foot. 
Nice break-in, foot shape and will mold to the shoe over time. The trainer is stiff, not flexible toe area is tight. 
Plenty of overlays and sick designs are available. Chunky and heavy for a sneaker weighs 481.9 grams. 
A damaged sole is easy to repair. The inside fibreboard will break over time. 
In the UK general release 550s trainers retail at £110.00Poor breathability. 

To make sure the New Balance 550 fits, the widest width of your foot needs to fit inside the shoe without being too tight. Going up a size may cause heel slippage. To reduce heel slippage tie the trainers to the last lace hole. 

NB 550s have Ortholite insoles with arch support that are lightweight, stop heat, and give long-term cushioning.

How to clean New Balance 550

The best way to clean the New Balance 550 sneaker is by checking out our cleaning video. 

Apply pink stuff cleaning paste on a dampened cloth, medium bristle brush, or sponge and rub the surface of the shoes and rinse well with clean water. If necessary polish with a clean dry cloth.

To keep the New Balance 550 fresh place them in freezer bags (keeps dust away) and insert shoe trees inside (maintains shape)

Image source Instagram: team_7lifestyle

What to do if you have two different size feet?

Having different-sized feet is normal and if the difference in size is small you should:

  • Choose the larger size if feet are between sizes or if one foot is bigger than the other. 
  • Wear thinner or thicker socks depending on the difference in size. 
  • Measure in the late afternoon when feet are largest due to swelling.
  • Losen laces if the shoes become tight. 

Is the New Balance 550 good for wide feet?

No, the New Balance is a narrow trainer and they’re better suited for narrow feet. If you have wide feet you should… 

  • If you have wide feet the widest part of your foot is likely to be pressed against the side panels, which is uncomfortable. 
  • If your feet are wide this will probably cause blisters and a bit of soreness. 
  • The new balance 550 is flat feet friendly, and the Ortholite insole on top of the fibreboard last.  

Do New Balance 550s sneakers crease easily? 

Yes, the way the sneaker was made using the board lasting technique and the stiff cup sole means any bit of pressure around the toe box and the use of (PU) artificial leather over time will start to crease and crack. 

You can get rid of creases by putting a towel over the crease and ironing for a few minutes and the creases will start to disappear leaving the 550s looking fresh.

Image source Instagram: tessyoj/charcoalsnkrs

Do NB 550s stretch easily? 

No, especially when they are new. The use of cheap suede and thin leather on the upper coated in plastic and the narrow toe box means that the upper does not stretch very much. 

The only bit of stretch you will get from the shoe is how tight or loose you have the laces so find what feels comfortable. 

They take a few wears to break in and fit comfortably, are you prepared to wait for them to stretch?

Do NB 550s use pigskin?

No! Pigskin leather (natural leather) and artificial leather have similar features but it was not used on the New Balance 550. 

The most common types of leather used on sneakers are artificial leather, cowhide, goatskin, sheepskin, and pigskin. 

PU leather, or polyurethane leather, is an artificial leather made of thermoplastic polymer because it is cheaper to make shoes with. 

Image source Instagram: newbalance500s

Editors Thoughts:  

  • Depending on your foot width there is no consistency in sizing but most people stay they run true to size and a half size down with some heel slippage. 
  • Anyone with wide feet should half size up unless you don’t mind your ties being crushed lol
  • All the colorways in the NB 550s are fire! Thank you Teddy Santis from Aimé Leon Dore for giving us back this icon gem. 

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