Gear Review: New Balance Spring 2021 Apparel

A woman wearing a running tank top

By the Fleet Feet Review Team. With over 80 years of combined experience, our review team is dedicated to providing in-depth gear and shoe reviews to help you find the best shoes and gear for your next run.

New Balance running apparel consistently delivers performance fit and feel no matter the workout.

This spring, New Balance designers rolled out updates to their performance Impact Run line featuring super-smooth fabrics and a lightweight feel. What makes the New Balance Impact run collection unique is the incorporation of their fast-drying technology, NB Ice.

NB Ice fabrics wick away sweat and boast fast dry times to create a cooling sensation through even the hottest, sweatiest workouts.

Fleet Feet reviewers put some pieces from the updated Impact run collection to the test. Through tough miles, hot yoga classes and wear around town, here’s what we thought.

Women’s Printed Impact Run Tight

A woman wearing running tights

Fleet Feet reviewers agree, the women’s Printed Impact Run Tight feels as good as it looks. A unique blend of recycled polyester and NB Ice technology creates a lightweight and breathable feel throughout.

“These tights are soft to the touch and have the perfect balance of stretch and compression. I loved the wide waistband. Even with all the pockets on these tights, they fit really smoothly,” says a reviewer.

New Balance designers loaded the Printed Impact Run tight with enough pockets for you to comfortably carry your essentials, hands free. Two drop-in side leg pockets easily accommodate a smartphone or a larger snack, while a back zipped pocket adds security to items like cards or keys.

One reviewer noted of the pockets, “I can slide my phone into the side pockets if I’m going on a walk and want to listen to a podcast. The back pocket is perfect to hold my keys on the run without bouncing around.”

The waistband includes two smaller drop-in pockets that are perfect for storing nutrition or gels on the run.

With a broad, mid-rise waist band and just-above-the-ankle crop, the Printed Impact Run Tight is as flattering as it is functional. The tights offer gentle compression that hugs your body as it moves. That means no bulky fabric, uncomfortable pinching or chafing.

“I feel comfortable wearing these on a run or even to yoga class, and they don’t get loose in weird areas or bunch up. They’re great for really any activity,” says one reviewer.

In addition to comfort, the Printed Impact Run Tight performs under a range of conditions. The ladies of the Fleet Feet review team noted how well the tight transitions from cold-weather runs to cozy lounging, thanks to the moisture-wicking polyester blend.

“These tights kept me warm and comfortable on an abnormally cold April day, and they don’t overheat on a warmer morning, either,” says one reviewer. “These tights can do it all: from walks, to yoga and even lounging around the house.”

The New Balance Printed Impact Run Tights are the perfect transition piece from cold to warm weather and are ready to go wherever your day takes you.

Women’s Impact Run Hybrid Tank

A woman wearing a running tank top

New Balance elevates their breezy Impact Run Hybrid Tank by bringing together performance polyester and mesh paneling to create a sporty look that can go anywhere.

The secret to the Hybrid Tank’s relentless performance? A fabric blend of 95 percent recycled polyester and NB Ice technology absorb sweat and dry at lightning speed to keep you cool while you bring the heat.

A trapeze cut and racerback hem create an effortlessly ventilated feel while adding to the flattering silhouette.

Our reviewers wore the Hybrid tank to yoga classes, gym sessions and on long runs, and they loved how it performed in all situations.

“The cut is versatile as it offers enough fabric for coverage during high motion activities and is loose enough to provide the ventilation you need to stay cool during a workout,” says one reviewer.

The mesh paneling not only adds to the overall lightweight, breathable feel of the Hybrid Tank, but also adds an element of streetwear aesthetic that helps this top transition easily from workout to day out.

“The strappy back cuts and mesh panels are really cute. I would definitely wear this tank out and about or to something low-impact like yoga,” says a reviewer.

Women’s Impact Run 3” Short

A woman wearing running shoes

Whether you’re looking for a go-to running short or a I-don’t-want-to-wear-pants-in-my-house kind of short, the New Balance Impact Run 3” Short has got you covered.

Off the bat, reviewers noticed the sleek cut of the Impact Run 3” Short. The minimalist hem and wide waistband work together to create an effortless, chafe-free feel.

Designers make the most of the polyester blend fabric and NB Ice technology to create a cool, fast-dry feel without adding extra stiffness to the short.

“I can’t get over how feather light these shorts are yet they still perform the way you’d expect New Balance apparel to,” says one reviewer. “If you’re looking for some extra coverage, the mesh brief liner is great. The shorts have an overall airy feel and don’t feel soggy even after long workouts!”

Though the short inseam may be a point of hesitation for some people, New Balance provides extra coverage with a mesh brief liner that is equally supportive and ventilated.

Reviewers liked the no-slip, dependable fit of the Impact Run 3” Short, making it versatile enough for hard workouts or long, slow runs.

“The waistband and athletic cut give the shorts a flattering shape, and I loved the variety of key and gel pockets in the waistband,” says one reviewer.

The short includes an interior drop-in front pocket that can easily hold snacks or gels without excess bouncing. Additionally, a back zipper pocket offers a secure place to hold keys and cards on the run.

Men’s Impact Run 5” Short

The Men’s Impact Run 5” short offers a sleek, minimalist look and maximum performance.

A winning combination of polyester fabric and NB Dry technology help the fabric deal with moisture over even the longest workouts. This means no sogginess, chafing or uncomfortable rubbing. Only smooth fabric and super-fast dry times.

Our reviewers loved the soft, stretchy fabric and athletic cut of the Impact Run short.

“These shorts feel minimalist in the best way. They’re extremely lightweight and not cut too tight. I feel like I can run easily without being restricted by a slim cut,” says one reviewer.

Running shorts

There’s plenty of attention to detail when it comes to these shorts, too. Designers included an internal drawstring, drop-in pockets, a zippered back pocket and side leg slits to aid in ventilation.

“I love the elastic waistband that also has an internal drawstring. I sometimes have to size up in running shorts, so the drawstring helps me find a secure fit,” says one reviewer.

The three pockets are placed across the back of the waistband to help create a secure, no-bounce feel. The two side drop-in pockets easily accommodate gels or snacks while a middle, zippered pocket keeps you cards and keys safe while you run.

One of our reviewers notes of the middle pocket, “It’s not quite big enough for my phone, but it might fit some smaller models.”

Reviewers felt these shorts are the perfect summer running short because of their lightweight, breezy feel. In addition to the polyester shell fabric, an internal mesh brief liner adds to the overall breathable feel of the shorts.

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