New Balance Omn1s Review

This is my review of the Omn1s from New Balance. In my opinion, it is a versatile shoe that comes with great cushion and a lighter feel despite not hitting high marks in the traction or lockdown categories. 

Read my detailed review below to learn more about its pros and cons so you can make a more informed decision about whether it’s for you or not.

Quick Summary

  • Where to Buy: New Balance
  • Best for: Players who want a comfortable shoe. Great for those who enjoy good ventilation too.
  • Pros: Fuel cell cushion foam. Flexible and comfortable. Textile upper. Breathable. Strong fit and ample mobility.
  • Cons: Traction quickly loses durability. Lockdown could be better. Slides on dusty surfaces.
  • Alternatives: Harden Stepback, Nike Hyperdunk X, Lebron Witness V

Why Trust Me

I have worn just about every shoe and shoe style, from light, mobile low tops to heavy high tops with strong lockdown, in my twenty five years playing basketball. I know what makes a good shoe, and I know what makes one mediocre.

Those years of experience helped me properly review the Omn1s, as did additional research and a plethora of in-depth firsthand reviews.

Detailed Review of New Balance Omn1s

If you value versatility, comfort, and solid balance, the Om1s is a great shoe. The pair doesn’t just look great, it also comes with many cushion-focused features, including the FuelCell foam and ultra heel design, to keep your feet supported and properly protected as you play.

On top of that, they are flexible, feel great, and allow you to breathe. Players who need good lockdown may want something else, as will people who cannot play without excellent grip, but for those who want a more well-rounded option they fit the bill just fine.


Comfort is easily one of the Omn1s’ biggest highlights. Unlike many lighter models on today’s market, it comes jam-packed with cushion. The Fuel-Cell foam provides an incredible amount of support for your foot, giving you balance and comfort in one stable package.

New Balance then backs that up with a soft feel and flexible design. That gives the shoes extra responsiveness and provides a lot of impact protection. Players who prioritize rebounding, jumping, or dunking as part of their game will love coming down hard on the Omn1s’ sole. 

Durability and Support

The shoes aren’t the most durable pair you’ll ever wear, especially considering the standard textile upper, but the design takes quite a few steps to improve longevity. They have solid stitching and the sole has enough built-in toughness to withstand a lot of use over time.

There’s also a decent amount of support, especially up around the ankle area. The extra material can be a bit limiting from time to time, but it also holds you in place and resists twisting. The heel counter, torsion shank, and outrigger all do a great job towards that end as well.


I’m a bit torn when it comes to the Omn1s’ traction. On one hand, the herringbone traction pattern allows you to stop on a dime or pull up for a quick shot when the court is clean. On the other, that reliability only holds up when your playing surface is clean and dust-free.

When playing on dirty surfaces, you’re going to slide around. That can be annoying, especially for anyone who likes to mix it up out on the blacktop. They can work well. Just know you’re going to spend quite a bit of time wiping them off during long games or practices.

Lockdown and Fit

Unfortunately, the Om1s’ fit isn’t up to par. This is perhaps the weakest part of the shoe, as it can lead to some performance issues. First, the pair tends to run big. You want to go down a half-size to prevent any unnecessary or uncomfortable sliding while you run.

On top of that, the lockdown is truly lacking. The shoes hold your heel and ankle firmly in place, but the front of the shoe doesn’t hold that same standard. Unless you get an exact fitting shoe or have extremely tight laces expect some interior movement from time to time.


These shoes have a lot of breathability, which is incredibly important if you’re a serious player who spends long hours on the court. Overheating or becoming too stuffy is a big nuisance, and being able to sweat without worrying about build up is a great way to prevent blisters.

Such ventilation also adds to the general comfort. Additional airflow allows for better cooling, which in turn makes the shoes much more fun to wear.


As much as the Fuel Cell cushion aids in the Omn1s’ comfort, it also adds a lot in terms of performance. The shoes come with reliable springiness in all parts of the foot, from the toes all the way back to the heel. You’ll especially feel that as you run or navigate a packed court.

From there, the design promotes stability and balance. Where some shoes can’t get out of their own way, the Omn1s allow you to turn or spin without ever slowing down. If you value being able to quickly operate during a game, these will make you quite happy.

What I Like

My favorite aspect here is the comfort. New Balance set out to make a great feeling shoe with the Omn1s, and they definitely succeeded. The sole is extremely soft without having too much give or flexibility, and the material itself never rubs or chafs in an uncomfortable way.

On top of that, the ventilation is top notch. The shoes are extremely breathable, which is something I especially appreciate. Add on the great heel fit as well as the built-in spring and responsiveness that comes with the FuelCell foam and you get a shoe that’s great to wear.

What I Dislike

As mentioned, I wasn’t a big fan of the Omn1s’ fit. It’s a solid enough shoe in many areas, but the interior sliding is definitely noticeable. That’s especially true when you’re pushing hard. The lack of lockdown won’t matter early in games, but expect to readjust as you play.

I also wish the sole was a bit better. Even if the traction works when conditions are perfect, losing some serious traction anytime there’s dust or dirt is a bummer. I wish the traction didn’t have that caveat, and I wish that it lasted just a little bit longer.

The Alternatives

If you’re someone who likes the Omn1s but wants something with different features, the following shoes are worth a look. You may also read our roundup review of the best basketball shoes for more options.

1. Harden Stepback

Outfitted with soft mesh-synthetic construction, excellent ventilation, and a well-balanced base, the Harden Stepback is a more well-rounded shoe for guards who value breathability. Not only is it lightweight, but there’s plenty of airflow to ensure you never get too hot during a game.

On top of that, the shoe is flexible and comes with a fully cushioned forefoot. It has many fun colors and the style is unique. While some players may not enjoy the tighter fit, that snugness is completely offset by the ventilation and stretchy materials used in the shoe.

2. Nike Hyperdunk X

If you like the Omn1s but want something with a bit better performance, check out the Hyperdunk X. As the name suggests, the sneaker is a perfect complement for those who like to fly out on the court. The ample spring in the shoe and the traction helps you stop on a dime.

The lockdown and construction are both impressive as well. The outsole is a bit soft, which means the shoes aren’t the best for outdoor use, but gym players who need that extra inch will absolutely love what they bring to the table.

3. Lebron Witness V

If you value the Omn1s’ protection but want something with a better or more secure fit, the Witness V is a great shoe. These high tops come with plenty of extra strength and protection all throughout their design. The top helps support your ankle and the durability keeps you safe.

They are incredibly comfortable too. The mesh construction allows for premium ventilation, while the foam midsole and Momentum 2 Air Zoom units cushion your steps. The shoes are on the larger side, but the premium characteristics more than make up for that extra bulk.


Are the Omn1s Good for Outdoor Play?

The shoes do have enough durability and traction to be used on the driveway, blacktop, or street.

How Do These Fit?

The Omn1s have a solid fit that’s true to size. You should get your normal number and you’ll be fine.

Are These Shoes Good for Big Men?

Yes. New Balance outfitted the Omn1s with a bit of extra room inside the shoe to make them friendly for both forwards and centers.

Final Verdict

The Omn1s is a good, if slightly flawed shoe. The lockdown is one of its biggest weak points, and the traction does not hold up over time. That being said, it’s lightweight, comes with a good amount of breathability, and has some of the best cushion on the current market.

You aren’t getting a performance powerhouse with this model. Rather, you’re getting a well-rounded option that helps support all parts of the game. If you want something reliable that stays out of the way, it’s a great choice.

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