The New Balance NB565 is a pair of affordable running shoes exclusive to the Singapore Armed forces. It goes by the unique identifier of NB565. Notably, the NB565 pair was co-launched sometime back in 2017 about a year ago with the Adidas Duramo, which is meant for normal to high arch shoes. I didn’t grabbed a pair back then till now until my recent reservist cycle, and it’s a good time to take look at the running shoe which you could not actually buy in-stores.
The shoe is clad in grey mesh and matching grey coloured laces. Also, the entire sole assembly is a solid piece of foam running the entire length of the shoe. Hard wearing luminous yellow rubber soles are glued on the base of the foam assembly. This gives it a grey white yellow sandwich look. It of yellow ascents dotted the brand logo on the tongue.
Also, the front of the shoe is made of lightweight breathable mesh material. Reflective sliver strips running along the shoe sides and rear. It does give the shoe a premium look and a far cry from the earlier generations of SAF New balance shoes. We had definitely came a long way.
Having said that, the shoe is only obtainable via SAF e-mart or in-camps and not sold via regular retail channels. It is ridiculously well-priced at under $35 a pair, which could nearly be at cost considering shipping, logistics and destination costs.
Fit and comfort
The SAF NB565 new balance shoes are suited for flat to normal feet arches. On contrary,the Adidas Duramo, a sister pair launched at the same time too is suited more for normal to high arch feet. Also, the New Balance NB565 is best built for short runs. The shoes does look well-suited to offer good cushion by the sole thickness.
On first impressions, the shoe does have a good amount of return and cushioning. Especially great on tarmac (road) and concrete surfaces. The toe box of the shoes is notably wide and fits wide feet. After all, it is meant to be a shoe used in a conscript army meant to equip the masses affordably.
Not good for speed and long distances
However, I found the high thicker mid-sole, though good for impact cushioning, does reduce the shoe horizontal stability. The shoe’s support is largely neutral, built more for a neutral heel-strike and not quite suited for more common under-pronaters, where you tend to land on the outer edges of your feet.
While the shoe has reasonable vertical compliance, the shoe lacks horizontal compliance, and tends to go all over the place. This is more prevalent on quicker paces like when using the shoes for high intensity intervals. Also, the shoe is heavy, but still a better improvement over last generation SAF new balance shoes. The thicker sole does cause your feet to land in a more which is not recommended for over-pronators.
The shoe sole is best built for distances under 6km the most or your annual run of 2.4km IPPT run. In my runs, I do feel considerable red and soreness on my feet for runs beyond 10km. I could attribute this to the more inferior mid-sole foam for a mass-market and cheap shoe for the masses.
Also, the shoe is similarly made in Vietnam like most typical New Balance shoes. I did suffer a nasty sprain on my right leg on one of my circuit runs. The lack of compliance. Hence, given the risk of injury, it pays to watch your running pace on the N565. I would recommend to avoid the New Balance 565 if you do speed work to reduce your chances of injury.
Buy and throw away
If you need a simple and cheap pair of shoes to just hammer away on your long steady daily miles, the NB 565 might have a place in your running arsenal. Also, priced at $35 and payable with free SAF credits for in-service servicemen, it is even cheaper than most mainstream brands stock clearance prices.
Hence, it is a good alternate mid-distance running shoe, allowing you to conserve the lifespan of your better running shoes for competitions and races. But you do pay for you get, hence, do not expect to breeze through a marathon with his pair of shoes, or risk the chance of injury on quicker paces.
All in all, the New Balance NB 565 is a good well-made cheap pair of universal running and casual shoes made to fit all. But that is not without its limitations. It is not for those looking to milk performance out of their runs and not great for long distances exceeding 5km. But it is my go-to shoes if you need to crank in the miles on the cheap, just make sure to limit your pace and you be good.
New Balance NB565- Pros
- Universal fit
- Good for wide feet
- Very very cheap
- Limited cushioning over 5km
- Not good for over-pronators
- Not good for speed work