The cobbler’s kids, it’s said, go barefoot. It’s a good thing my father wasn’t a cobbler, because my feet take a beating as it is, even wearing shoes. Or I should say my shoes take a beating, because I walk. A lot – not as much as did before I started biking 600 miles a month, but more than most people. I ran out of old running shoes to wear while walking, so I hit a shoe store for something new. I left some New Balance 409 Cross-training Shoes. Here’s the rundown:
- “NDurance” rubber outsoles, non-marking, with a pattern like street running shoes
- Molded EVA midsole for improved shock absorption and added bounce
- Hydrophilic nylon mesh lining that wicks moisture
- Heavy-padded heel counter, ankle and tongue
- Seven-hole lacing system and a tongue keeper
- Water-resistant leather uppers, sealed seams to repel moisture; small ventilation holes
- Both men’s and women’s stylesBlack or gray and white for men, powder blue and white for women
- Men's sizes 7 to 15 in D and EE, 7 to 16 in 4E; half sizes 7.5 to 11.5
- Women’s sizes, 5 to 12 in AA, B, and C/D, half sizes 5.5 to 10.5
- General classification: Cross-Training shoe
- A removable EVA insole that can be replaced by an orthotic
- USA-made from imported materials
The 409s are comfortable; especially the padded tongue and heel counter. These make it nearly impossible to lace them too tight. The midsoles aren’t as cushy as running-specific shoes. Not waterproof, though they can withstand a brief shower or a couple of puddles. The wicking lining is useful here in the sunny South.
Sole traction is OK for sidewalks, gravel, or packed dirt; though something with deeper lugs would be needed for using off-trail or in rugged terrain. High- quality construction overall.
design-wise, they’re clearly cross-trainers. If your exercise regimen calls for running a mile to the gym and shooting some hoops or playing a game of tennis with your grandmother, they’ll be fine. They’re essentially “jack of all trades” shoes, so they’re not for someone who’s serious about a single sport.
In my experience, they run small. New Balance shoes I’d worn in the past were size 10-1/2 or 11, and loose enough that I could wear thick socks. I got these in size eleven, and they’re so small that I had to buy some extra-lightweight socks to wear with them.
New Balance 409 Cross-Trainers are a good, sturdy low-top shoes best for light duty in multiple sports – jogging, basketball, tennis, walking, aerobics. They’re best-suited for wearing in streets and on light hikes. Cross-trainers can’t replace shoes designed for a specific sport but these will suffice for general exercise. They’re comfy, cushy shoes that have proven well-made and durable. Just make certain you try them on to get the size right.