Review: New Balance M730

I’m picky about how my clothes and shoes fit but I’m extremely picky about how my running shoes fit and feel. It’s not surprising really, if I’m going to go outside and put myself through 30 minutes-2 hours of running the last thing I want to even think about is ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes. Once I’ve decided I need something for training or racing–I’m quite driven with picking up the proper gear even if it requires trying on a few dozen pairs before deciding.

My day-to-day trainers are currently Asics Gel Hyperspeed 5 racing flats. I bought them after reading great reviews on them (seeing Pete Jacobs run a 2:48:05 marathon and winning the Ironman World Championship in Kona wearing them didn’t hurt either). Anyway, those fit me perfectly with socks on but tend to slip around when I’m sockless and I’m not sure if going a half size down would fit properly (they aren’t available locally). I’m a short course guy and there just isn’t time to put socks on during my races so I found a pair of lightweight, seamless racing flats that fit like a glove.

When I try on a pair of running shoes I like something clicks almost immediately. In the case of my M730s when I tried them on with my thinnest socks they fit like slippers. They are lightweight at 7.3 oz. and there is support exactly where I want it. There are no hotspots in this shoe for me and I’m willing to run/race in these without any kind of break-in period.

I’m a fairly practical person and must admit I kind of hate all the neon, plasticky, and multi-colored shoes that every athletic shoe company has on the market–so the understated color and design of the M730 v. 1 shoes was a welcome addition.

On the downside, arch support in these shoes is surprisingly lacking. New Balance knows how to make  high-performance shoes so I’m not sure why they skipped that component in the M730. The soles are slightly firm in comparison to some racing flats which makes for a long-lasting shoe with a very low stack height, but the compromise is almost no padding with each step. You’ll want really good running form before deciding on minimal shoes for your long runs.

New Balance M730 with aftermarket Nathan Velocity elastic laces