Gear Review: New Balance Heat Apparel
Warming up (and staying that way) is tough when temperatures dip, and that’s why New Balance created the NB Heat collection.
The cold-weather running apparel is lightweight for easy running and stylish for all-day versatility. These New Balance pieces achieve warmth without weight or bulk—perfect for when you’re running in cold weather.
Fleet Feet reviewers tested the gear in the NB Heat collection to see how it feels and how it performs. Here’s what they thought.
New Balance Heat Grid Hoodie
The New Balance Heat Grid Hoodie is easy to love. One reviewer was quick to dub it a favorite.
“This is one of my new favorite pieces,” she says. “It’s soft, warm and breathable.”
New Balance made the Heat Grid Hoodie with NB Heat tech. Designers covered the inside of the women’s running hoodie with a grid of fleece. The fleece is soft against skin, but it also provides the warmth you need when the temperatures drop.
Each raised fleece square creates loft between the fabric and your skin, and the grid pattern creates channels filled with air. All that dead space traps the warmth generated by your body to keep you comfortable throughout your run.
Designers added a hood and longer collar to seal out drafts and thumb holes on the cuffs for more coverage. The sleeves are also long enough to drape over your knuckles for a mitten-like feeling.
Reviewers also loved the longer cut that drops just below the hips and kangaroo pocket where you can stash a few things or warm your hands. Like the other gear in the Heat collection, the women’s Heat Grid Hoodie has an athletic fit that’s ideal for running.
New Balance Heat Grid Half Zip
The New Balance Heat Grid Half Zip puts the NB Heat technology on full display.
With the same grid pattern as the Heat Grid Hoodie, the Heat Grid Half Zip increases airflow and helps trap the warm air that keeps your temperature up when the mercury drops.
Fleet Feet testers say it works as advertised.
“The Heat Grid Half Zip is amazing for cold weather,” says one tester. “It’s a great layer for quick warmups, and it’s perfect as a midlayer because it’s not bulky at all.”
The half zip has an athletic cut that’s designed to stay close to your body, and the sleeves end in stretchy cuffs to seal out cold air. Integrated thumb loops help lock the sleeves in place.
One of the best parts of the Half Zip is the band on the hem in the front. The slightly stuffer band adds more structure to the fit, which keeps it from riding up as you run.
New Balance cut the shirt with a drop-tail hem for extra coverage, while a zippered chest pocket provides a secure place to stash a phone or keys. With a bit of stretch for easier movement and a collar for the coldest days, the New Balance Heat Grid Half Zip makes a comfortable, warm midlayer for cold-weather running while not stifling you if the temperature rises.
"My favorite aspect of this piece is how breathable it is," one tester says. "If you start the run in freezing temps in the morning and it starts to warm up, the top is versatile and will be comfortable throughout the run."
New Balance Heat Grid Vest
Reviewers love the New Balance Heat Grid Vest for its warmth on cold days and versatility when temperatures rise.
The Heat Grid gives you the classic, sleeveless performance with some technical upgrades. New Balance deployed its NB Heat technology to maintain warmth while wicking moisture, and a bit of loft in the front helps keep your core warm.
One Fleet Feet runner says the vest worked great on its own in weather up to 50 degrees. It also pairs well with the Heat Grid Hoodie for cold and wind protection in below-freezing temps.
“It feels strange to start and end a run at the right temperature when it’s cold outside,” she says. “Sometimes you’re wearing too much and overheat, and other times you don’t have enough and want to turn around early. The vest-hoodie combo hit the sweet spot.”
The Heat Grid is a stellar warm-up piece, too. One tester likes to wear it in the car on the way to the trailhead on warmer days and then shed it when she gets going.
The other great part of the Heat Grid vest is its casual vibe. A reviewer says she loves the look of the vest with jeans, and the drawstring back lets you dial in the fit for an athletic silhouette.
New Balance Impact Run Heat Tight
Snug and warm, the New Balance Impact Heat Tight is a cold-weather running essential.
The brushed fabric inside the tights creates a fleece-like lining. The fleece-y touch makes the tights feel thicker and provides extra warmth for the coldest, windiest days.
One of the best parts of the Impact Run Heat Tight, though, is the number of pockets. New Balance sewed a stretchy drop-in pocket onto each thigh, and the left-side pocket includes a zippered compartment for secure storage.
On the back of the waistband, there are three more pockets: two small pockets for gels or keys and a wide pocket for more space.
For runs that start before the sun rises or end after it sets, New Balance also makes the men's Reflective Impact Run Heat Tight.
Following the same design as the standard Impact Run Heat Tight—stretchy, fleece-y fabric loaded with pockets and zippered ankle closures—this version adds tons of reflective detailing to make you more visible to passing drivers, cyclists or any other early risers.
The reflective print covers the front and outside of each leg.
The materials and built quality are best-in-class, but two male testers said the fit in their normal sizes felt a bit snug. Consider sizing up if you're between sizes, or try them on first if you can.
New Balance nailed the cold-weather performance of the NB Heat gear.
The athletic fit of the Heat Grid Half-Zip minimizes excess fabric, and the extra stretch in the Impact Run Heat Tight gives you a snug fit and full range of motion. But it’s the warmth that shines; by using brushed fabric and grids of fleece, New Balance managed to make the apparel warm without bulky insulation or unnecessary weight.
While they’re not ideal for sitting still in the cold, this NB Heat apparel does exactly what it’s meant to: keep you warm and comfortable while you move.
Still not convinced? Don’t sweat it. Fleet Feet's return policy means you can test drive your shoes and gear without risk. If you’re not happy with the way your gear performs, looks or fits, we’ll take it back within 60 days. Plus, you’ll get free shipping on orders over $99 and free return shipping on all fleetfeet.com orders. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.
By Evan Matsumoto. Evan played many sports growing up but didn’t go pro in any of them. Now, he’s the digital copywriter for fleetfeet.com and editor for the Fleet Feet blog where he writes about different foam densities and engineered mesh uppers.