New Balance 619 Vs. 608: How Do These Iconic Sneakers Stack Up?

New Balance has been making quality athletic shoes for over a century, and two of their most iconic styles are the 619 and 608 models. Both are versatile cross-training shoes perfect for everyday wear, but they have some key differences that cater to different needs.

This guide breaks down the pros, cons, features and purposes of the New Balance 619 and 608 to help you decide which is the better choice.

A Brief Comparison Table

Ideal UseIndoor training, cardio, casual wearWeightlifting, HIIT, outdoor training, high impact
UpperSynthetic meshPremium leather
MidsoleREVlite foamENCAP polyurethane
OutsoleRubber, flex groovesCarbon rubber
SizingD, 2ED, 4E

An Overview of the New Balance 619

New Balance 619

The New Balance 619 is one of NB’s most lightweight and flexible cross-training shoes. It was originally designed for indoor workouts like cardio, HIIT, aerobics and circuit training, but its sleek design also makes it suitable for casual everyday wear.

Pros of the 619

  • Extremely lightweight at just 8.8oz
  • Breathable mesh upper keeps feet cool and dry
  • REVlite midsole provides responsive cushioning
  • Flexible outsole allows natural foot movement
  • Available in wide sizing options
  • Stylish, low-profile design works for gym or streets
  • Often cheaper than the 608

Cons of the 619

  • Less supportive than 608 for rigorous workouts
  • Mesh upper not as durable as leather
  • Lack of structure better for indoor not outdoor use
  • Smaller toe box may pinch toes
  • Not suitable for heavy lifting or high impact exercise

An Overview of the New Balance 608

The 608 is NB’s old school legacy cross-trainer, around since the 80s. It’s known for superior stability, support and durability – ideal for rigorous training, high impact sports, long hours on your feet and outdoor wear.

Pros of the 608

  • Extremely durable full-grain leather upper
  • ENCAP midsole technology provides support and stability
  • Thick EVA foam outsole absorbs shock
  • Wider toe box accommodates wide feet
  • Available in 4E extra wide sizing
  • Classic style never goes out of fashion
  • Better for outdoor training and high impact sports

Cons of the 608

  • Heavier than 619 at 12.7oz per shoe
  • Stiffer leather doesn’t contour to feet as well
  • Lacks flex grooves for natural foot movement
  • Not great for speed work or cardio classes
  • Bulky design not as stylish for everyday wear
  • RUNS HOT – not the most breathable shoe
  • More expensive than the 619

Also Read: Comparison Between the New Balance 623 and 624

Key Differences Between New Balance 619 and 608

Two noteworthy models in their lineup are the 619 and 608, each designed with specific features to cater to various activities. Here we’ll delves deeper into the characteristics of these two iconic sneakers, ensuring you make an informed choice.

New Balance 608
New Balance 608

Weight: 8.8oz Vs. 12.7oz

  1. 619
    • At 8.8oz, the 619 is a lightweight option, making it an ideal companion for indoor activities and cardio workouts. The lighter weight means your feet won’t feel heavy, allowing for nimble movements and less fatigue during exercises like jumping jacks or running on the treadmill.
  2. 608
    • Weighing in at 12.7oz, the 608 is a bit on the heavier side, which can be advantageous for high-impact activities like weightlifting and HIIT. The extra weight provides added stability, helping you maintain balance during vigorous workouts.

Ideal Use: Varied Training Needs

  1. 619
    • The 619 is versatile, suitable for indoor training, cardio, and casual wear. It’s a go-to for those who prefer less strenuous activities but still want a reliable shoe that can transition from gym workouts to casual strolls in the park.
  2. 608
    • The 608 is a robust option for weightlifting, HIIT, outdoor training, and high-impact exercises. If you’re engaging in activities that require more support and stability, this shoe is a reliable choice.

Upper Material: Synthetic Mesh Vs. Premium Leather

  1. 619
    • The 619 features a synthetic mesh upper, which is known for its excellent breathability. This material allows air to circulate, keeping your feet cool and comfortable, especially during indoor and cardio workouts where your feet tend to sweat more.
  2. 608
    • Premium leather graces the upper of the 608, offering a luxurious look and feel. Leather is durable and provides excellent support, making the shoe a sturdy option for high-impact activities. However, it might not be as breathable as synthetic mesh.

Also Read: Choose Between Sperry Tarpon And Billfish.

Midsole: REVlite Foam Vs. ENCAP Polyurethane

  1. 619
    • The 619 employs REVlite foam in its midsole, a technology designed for a responsive ride. This foam is lightweight yet provides adequate cushioning, ensuring your feet stay comfortable during workouts and casual wear.
  2. 608
    • The 608 utilizes ENCAP polyurethane in the midsole, offering superior support and durability. This material is ideal for those engaging in strenuous workouts as it provides extra stability and helps absorb shock during high-impact activities.

Outsole: Rubber with Flex Grooves Vs. Carbon Rubber

  1. 619
    • The outsole of the 619 is made of rubber with flex grooves. These grooves allow for greater flexibility and adaptability to different surfaces, making it a suitable choice for varied indoor activities and casual wear.
  2. 608
    • The 608 features a carbon rubber outsole, known for its exceptional durability and traction. Whether you’re lifting weights or running outdoors, this outsole provides a steady grip, ensuring you stay balanced and secure.

Cushioning: Responsive Vs. Supportive

  1. 619
    • The cushioning in the 619 is designed to be responsive. This means that the shoe adapts quickly to your movements, providing immediate comfort and support, making it an excellent option for dynamic activities and casual wear.
  2. 608
    • In contrast, the 608 offers supportive cushioning, which is essential for high-impact exercises. Supportive cushioning ensures that your feet are well-protected, reducing the risk of discomfort or injury during strenuous workouts.

Durability: Average Vs. Excellent

  1. 619
    • The 619 offers average durability, which is sufficient for its intended use in indoor training, cardio, and casual wear. It’s a reliable option for everyday activities but might not withstand the wear and tear of more rigorous exercises.
  2. 608
    • The 608 is built for excellence in durability. It’s designed to endure the demands of high-impact activities, outdoor training, and weightlifting, making it a dependable choice for those who engage in varied and intense workouts.

Breathability: Excellent Vs. Average

  1. 619
    • Breathability is where the 619 truly shines. The synthetic mesh upper allows for optimal air circulation, ensuring your feet stay cool and dry, which is particularly beneficial for indoor and cardio workouts.
  2. 608
    • The 608, with its premium leather upper, offers average breathability. While it may not keep your feet as cool as the 619, it still provides adequate ventilation for most activities, especially outdoors where there’s more air circulation.

Sizing: D, 2E Vs. D, 4E

  1. 619
    • The 619 is available in D and 2E widths, accommodating a range of foot sizes. This means more people can find a comfortable fit, whether they have narrow, regular, or slightly wider feet.
  2. 608
    • Offering sizes in D and 4E widths, the 608 caters to an even broader spectrum of foot sizes. Whether you have narrow, regular, wide, or extra-wide feet, there’s a good chance you’ll find a fit that’s just right.

Also Read: Comparison Between Wally Funk And Wally Sox Casual Shoe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are New Balance 608 good for walking?

With their supportive ENCAP midsole and shock absorbing outsole, the 608 is an excellent choice for walking. The stability keeps your foot aligned while the cushioning softens every step. The wider toe box allows your feet to splay naturally when walking for maximum comfort. Just be aware the heavier construction may cause fatigue over long distances compared to a dedicated walking shoe.

What is the difference between 608 and 623?

The New Balance 623 is an update on the 608 model. The 623 features a fresh, modern design while maintaining the same stability and support. Differences include a lighter weight construction, more flexible grooved outsole and a partial ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole rather than full ENCAP. It provides a blend of the traditional 608 support with more modern comfort.

What is the difference between the New Balance numbers?

New Balance numbers refer to the different models of shoes. The main headline number (e.g. 623) designates the overall line of shoe. The last 2 digits provide more specific detail on factors like fit, cushioning or purpose: 06 to 19: Stability shoes like the 608 and 623, 20 to 29: Cushioned neutral shoes, 30 to 39: Lightweight/fast shoes, 40 to 49: Trail shoes, 50 to 59: Cleated shoes, 60 to 79: Workout shoes like the 619, 80 to 99: Lifestyle shoes. So in summary, the main number identifies the broader category while the last 2 digits get more specific on the exact style and build.

Is New Balance 608 leather?

Yes, the upper of the 608 is made from premium leather (either pigskin or cowhide). This provides durability and structure but isn’t as breathable or flexible as a knit or mesh material. The leather does require some breaking in but will mold to your feet over time. It can also be treated with products to improve softness and water resistance.

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Final Thought

So which of these iconic kicks is better for you? Here are some tips:

Choose the New Balance 619 if you want:

  • A super lightweight and flexible shoe
  • Breathable, fast-drying material
  • A stylish sneaker for everyday wear
  • A budget-friendly price point
  • Cushioning for low impact cardio

Choose the New Balance 608 if you want:

  • Ultimate stability and support
  • A durable leather shoe built to last
  • Lateral support for weightlifting or HIIT
  • A wider toe box for wide feet
  • Shock absorption for high impact
  • A vintage, retro-cool style

For most people doing typical gym sessions and everyday activities, the 619 is likely the better all-around choice. But hardcore lifters, HIIT fanatics and those hard on their shoes may want to invest in the tried-and-true stability of the 608. It comes down to your priorities and preferences. Luckily you can’t go wrong with either of these cross-training OG’s.

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