The New Balance (NB) 758 is, like a million other shoes, a neutral trainer. More specifically, it is the lighter alternative to the supremely cushioned NB 1064. The 758 has all the top-of-the-line features available, so it’s a clear step above the NB shoes sold at your local department store, but NB marketing it as the little brother to the 1064 makes it quite a bit more affordable. Its lighter weight makes it come close to being a performance trainer. Unless you absolutely must have the 1% more cushion in the 1064, this shoe is probably the best buy from NB’s selection of neutral trainers.
The sole is made of a hard rubber that handles wear well. The “Stability Web” bridge in the arch area is made of a hard plastic and shows no wear or damage from rocks. The midsole is very tall and thick. Compression here would be a death knell for the shoe, but NB’s midsole stays firm to prevent significant compression.
The overlays and supports in the upper hold the foot well in place. Well, it might be more accurate to say the overlays hold their ground and you better hope your foot fits in there. The upper resists the elements well. The harder-material designs on the upper seem a bit overdone, but are strategically placed to help the shoe keep its shape.
I consider myself to have a medium-to-high arch and the upper accommodates that well, as was probably a safe bet on NB’s part since medium or high arched runners typically get fit into neutral shoes when they visit their local running store.
The shoe does not fit like a glove. It will be tight or roomy depending on what size you get. The toe box is tall, as the front of the shoe mesh gets stitched in a good inch or more above the front of the midsole. I find this helps to air out the forefoot and has a way of making the shoe seem more accommodating in the forefoot.
The shoe has a firm ride. Despite being a cushioned shoe, the midsole provides a consistently firm landing on any surface.
The shoe is firm enough all around to provide the same footstrike with each step. Sounds good, right? Well, keep in mind this is billed as a neutral shoe. The sole and upper do not provide significant side-to-side flexibility, as a very hard piece of plastic under the sole prevents this. Okay, okay. The insole area is flat (nothing poking up into the arch) and provides the expected neutral feel underfoot. If not for that, this would be a stability shoe.
The shoe is a little unstable in one regard. The shoe has a standard heel height. This keeps the foot from landing near to the ground, which encourages heel striking for most runners. The firmness of the midsole in the 758 means impact is strong at the point of landing, but quickly moves the foot into transition. The heel collar is built high up and holds the ankle in place. In a neutral shoe with only a few ways to stop excessive pronation, the built up heel and ankle may create more instability. Runners with quick turnover are unlikely to experience this, though they’ll be battling against the flexibility of the shoe, whereas runners with slow turnover will benefit from the transition, but likely suffer higher impact.
Many shoes attempting to fit the performance neutral classification give a soft ride, as they try to cut weight and be minimal in as many regards as possible. The NB 758 is not terribly light, but it is far from heavy and provides a firm ride. It may be a good option for performance neutral runners desiring a firm feeling.
“The 758 running shoe is built on the Acteva® Lite midsole with Stability Web® to provide a lightweight, supportive, well-cushioned ride. Perfect for a runner with a neutral gait, this shoe is packed with premium features, but still weighs in at just 10 ounces.”
I went through a few pairs of NB 757s a few years ago. I usually got about 300 miles out of each pair and this is when I was weighing about 200 pounds. As the shoes aged, the shoes seemed to get really hardened by the weather. I was excited when the 758s came out and I scooped up a few of them. I enjoyed them quite a bit for a while. I logged maybe 200 miles between two pairs I rotated, but this was at the same time I started wearing other shoes like the Nike Free 5.0. The flexibility and softness of materials between the two were about as opposite as you can get.
I recommend the 758s mostly to neutral runners who are content with traditional training shoes, as it can be a great every day trainer and work fine in the occasional race. The shoe served me well and only lost its appeal when I no longer felt the pseudo-stability would continue to benefit my running.
I feel as if my review became more negative as I typed. This is because balance was the last item discussed, and I think the shoe is a bit too stable for a shoe that gets called neutral. If I were to put comfort and durability last, though, the review becomes quite positive, especially to people who like a firm ride.