Home > Running Shoes > New Balance 730 – Our Take

New Balance 730 – Our Take

February 15th, 2012

New Balance 730 Women's and Men's Shoes

Our Tweet

730 is the number to know if you want a light, low and fast road running shoe that feels simple on your feet while you rack up the miles.
(View Men’s 730 and Women’s 730)

Big Features

  • Light and Low Platform: With stack heights of just 13mm in the forefoot and 16mm in the heel, the 730 is one low shoe. The midsole of the 730 is made from ACTEVA LITE, an EVA foam that retains its structure over time for increased durability.
  • Lightweight Upper: Open mesh keeps weight down and breathability up. Overlays provide just enough structure to keep your foot secure throughout the gait cycle.
  • Shaped for Midfoot Striking: Built on the NL-1 last, the 730 has a wide and low toebox that gives your foot room to expand laterally on foot-strike.
  • Widths Available: We are carrying the Men’s 730 in 2E sizes.

Road Test

A Minimus collection shoe in almost all respects except the name, the 730 is about as light as it gets for a daily trainer. You’re looking at 7.0 oz for a Men’s 9 and just 5.5 oz for a Women’s 8. The lack of heft is noticeable both when the shoe is in your hand and on your foot.

The 730 is the perfect example of a “barely there” upper. It fits well – anchoring your heel, giving you structure in the midfoot and offering plenty of room in the toebox. This shoe is built on the same last as the MR10 / WR10 and MT110 / WT110, shoes that we’ve praised on many occasions for their upper fit. The 730 actually feels more deconstructed than either of those models, with light mesh that doesn’t quite hug the foot.

The mid/outsole of this shoe is what surprised many of our testers. It offers good protection given how little material separates you from the road, but most of us thought the shoe would feel softer than it does. The 730′s platform is flexible in all directions, but it’s also firm. We attribute that to the ACTEVA LITE midsole material, which prizes lightweight durability over cushion and softness.

Even though the 730 offers a firm ride, it stays away from the harsh feel of some other shoes with similarly low stack heights. The 730 skews more minimal than the Minimus shoes of just a year ago, and we think it ticks enough boxes to appeal to a wide range of runners today.

Runners Say

“I’d be comfortable in this shoe up to about an hour. It’s not soft, but it’s not as harsh as some other shoes with stack heights in this range. I’m impressed by the amount of protection given the midsole’s thickness.” – Jonathan

“There is a lot to like in this package. I think any runner would give the upper a thumbs up – it just fits so well – and for the person who wants to get in touch with the road, this shoe gives you enough protection to go further than just around the block.” – Matt

“Lightness doesn’t truly capture the feel of the 730. It’s more about simplicity for me. New Balance made some smart choices about where to strip down the shoe so that no part feels compromised.” – Joanna

Matt Running Shoes , ,

  • Mitch Figas

    Own the shoe. Low, light and flexible for sure. 3 problems. Not wide enough for my arch so you can really feel the insole on the arch. Tongue will not stay in place. Laces will not stay tied.

  • Matt

    Thanks for the feedback Mitch. We were surprised to see the tongue didn’t have a lace loop on it. We found the arch to be a medium height but glad to hear your perspective.

  • Jacob

    I have an extremely high arch which has recently become a problem with shoe fit. I am interested in this shoe but I am concerned with Mitch’s points. Any of NB’s, or other minimal shoes known to be generous in the arch and forefoot?

    Thanks!

  • Matt

    Thanks for the question, Jacob. We don’t carry a minimal-type model with a high arch. You may want to consider using an insert to give you added support in this shoe category.

  • Shelley

    I LOVE these shoes. I only run 10-15 miles a week, but I’ve noticed my times have improved even though I’d been running less before I bought these. I have a high arch, but I don’t find the “lack of support” to be a problem; I bought these shoes for a barefoot feel; I wasn’t expecting support. I have found that the tongue doesn’t stay in place, but it’s not something that I feel happening. I only notice it when I look down. The laces don’t stay tied, but my boyfriend showed me a different kind of knot, and I’ve had no problems since. I ran 7 mi. in these for my first longer run, and my pace was faster by about 12 sec. per mile even though I hadn’t run more than 6 miles in almost a month! I liken it to getting better gas mileage when you put air in the tires…the driving is the same but the ride feels effortless. Also, I bought a half size smaller than my other New Balance shoes which I wear with inserts, and the fit is just right. (Also bought some very thin socks.)

  • Matt

    Thanks for the feedback, Shelley. The 730 has turned into a bit of a “sleeper” hit for New Balance and offers a really nice mix of features for runners who want a more stripped down experience. We’ve also experienced the tongue moving around during runs. Glad to hear it’s only a minor issue and not affecting your performance. Happy running!

  • Jane

    I have flat feet so I have custom made insoles. Would I be able to insert them in these shoes? I love the look of these! I would primarily use these for cross training/weights instead of running.

  • Matt

    Thanks for the question, Jane. The 730 is about average when it comes to shoe volume, so you should be able to place an orthotic inside and still fit comfortably. The 730 also has a removable insole, so you can take that out if you need a bit more room for the orthotic.

  • Mon

    I have a pair of these and in my opinion..they are great, its just so simple and a good buy. I rotate this with my MR10 and MR00 for road trainings and i have logged almost 80+ miles in it and it still feels good. Too bad though that the 730 is now kinda hard to find in the Philippines and if ever you can find one, only small sizes are available.