Our Top New Balance 990 Shoes

The New Balance 990 was originally designed as a running shoe. It was so popular that it evolved into a whole range of shoes suitable for everything from walking to running to hiking.

These are our current favorite New Balance 990 shoes:

  1. Men’s 990 V5 Sneaker
  2. Men’s New Balance 990 V4 Sneaker
  3. Women’s 990 V4 Sneaker

 

How to Buy the Right Pair of New Balance Shoes

Of prime importance when you purchase your New Balance shoes is that they fit comfortably. They should also support your foot and have plenty of wiggle room, with at least a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe and the front of the shoe.

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While we have a guide on how New Balance shoes fit, you can also follow these key points:

Cushioning

With every stride, whether walking or running, your foot absorbs up to three times your body weight when it lands. So, cushioning is important as it can add arch support, which can prevent injuries, joint pain and tendonitis.

By using a shoe that has the proper amount of cushioning, it could also help with overpronation and supination and will minimize the risk of shin splints, knee pain, and plantar fasciitis.

New Balance running shoes have added midsole cushioning to reduce the shock, adding support to the arch and ankles. This makes them ideal for minimizing the risk of injury and developing the above foot problems.

Support

When you’re looking at supportive shoes, they’ll fall into one of the following three categories:

  • Neutral.
  • Stability.
  • Motion control.

Neutral Shoes

Neutral shoes are lightweight, with most of the cushioning in the heel, as the whole foot will come into contact with the ground, and the wearer’s weight is evenly distributed.

To find out if you’re a neutral runner, look at your feet position while standing:

  • Neutral If both your feet are pointing straight forward.
  • Overpronate: If your feet form the shape of a V—with your toes pointing outwards— then you’re likely overpronating.
  • Underpronate: If your toes point inward, and it looks like they’re making an A.

Stability Shoes

Stability shoes are carefully designed with features that provide more support, like the midsole and guide rails, preventing excessive side-to-side movement.

These shoes provide support from the front to the heel of the shoe and help with overpronation by bringing the feet into a neutral alignment.

990 New Balance shoes are widely considered to be stability shoes. In particular, the New Balance 990v5 may qualify for a Medicare reimbursement if they’re prescribed by your healthcare professional.

Motion Control Shoes

You’ll find these shoes in specialty stores, as they’re designed for individuals whose feet roll in.

They tend to have stiffer heels, denser foam and reinforce the side of the arch of the midsole. This helps bring the foot into a neutral position from the beginning of the heel into the arch.

Breathability

Breathability is important when you’re buying a new shoe, as it allows the air to circulate in the shoe, helping keep your feet cool.

It also helps draw moisture away from the skin to the shoe’s exterior, where it evaporates, and reduces unpleasant smells.

 

Reviews of Our Favorite NB 990 Shoes

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The new V5 shoe is expertly made right in the US, which is important for many since it’s more environmentally friendly for US customers.

It has a stiff upper that offers excellent support as it’s made from pigskin, and the mesh allows for high breathability. The shoe also features a dual-density collar foam, which helps keep the foot in a neutral alignment.

The Ortholite® cushioning insert, combined with the ENCAP midsole, provides additional comfort and support from the front to the back of the shoe.

Sticking with the sole; it’s made from textured rubber, which helps provide better grip on surfaces and reduce the force of impact.

The only downside we could find is that some may feel the heel cushioning isn’t as supportive as needed.

The new V5 is available from size 7 to 20 and is available in regular, wide or extra-wide.

Pros:

Cons:

  • al-density collar foam.
  • ENCAP midsole.
  • Ortholite® cushioning insert.
  • Made in the U.S.
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  • Heel cushioning not as supportive as expected.

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The V4 sneaker features a hybrid upper made from pigskin and mesh, which allow for air circulation to keep your feet cool in warmer climates. The shoes also have removable insoles so you can insert your own Ortho insole.

You’ll also get additional arch and ankle support with the ENCAP PU ring and EVA Core midsole. These provide more stability and help bring your feet into a neutral yet comfortable position.

On top of this, the shoe features a blown rubber outsole making it durable and reducing impact while providing stability.

Note that with the added cushioning and built-in support, some runners may find this shoe to be heavier than previous versions.

The New Balance 990V4 is available from size 7 to 16 in regular, wide or extra-wide.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Removable insert.
  • Encap PU ring with EVA core midsole.
  • Hybrid upper.
  • Enhanced ankle support and stability.
  • Some runners may find this shoe to be heavy.

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The women’s V4 provides additional arch and ankle support as it combines the ENCAP midsole with the dual-density collar foam. This allows for a good mix of comfort and stability, as it prevents your foot from pronating.

Also, the upper features a combination of mesh and pigskin for stability, preventing the foot from over-flexing, as well as being moisture-wicking.

This combines well with the durable rubber sole that you can use on most surfaces, no matter the activity.

We will say that, with the new built-in support features, some may find the arch support to be a bit too high for comfort.

The women’s V4 is available from size 5 to 13 in regular, narrow, wide or extra-wide.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Pigskin suede is firm and durable.
  • Textured rubber sole.
  • Available in regular, narrow and wide.
  • Heel cup with additional padding.
  • Some people may find the arch support to be too high.

 

New Balance 990 Shoes FAQs

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Is New Balance 990 a Stability Shoe?

Yes, the 990 New Balance shoe is considered a stability shoe, with healthcare professionals advising them. If a healthcare professional sends you to the New Balance 990V5, check with Medicare to see if you’d qualify for a reimbursement.

Is New Balance 990 Good for Running?

With added support features, the New Balance 990 is good for running and will make it more pleasurable. It’s recommended for road and track running and can handle mild trail running comfortably.

What is the Difference Between New Balance 990 and 993?

The differences between the 990 and 993 are small. The 993 is slightly heavier—12 to 14oz—than the 990—11 to 13oz. The heel drop on the 993 is 14 mm, while the 990 is 12 mm. Also, the 993 has extra padding and a thicker heel.

When Did the New Balance 990 Come Out?

The 990 made its debut in 1982 and has grown in popularity over the years. The shoe design has evolved to the V2, V3, V4 and now the new V5.

new balance 990

 

Final Thoughts

This New Balance shoe series is striking and well-designed, and easy on the eyes and feet.

Every model in the range has great cushioning and is supportive and durable. Whichever one catches your eye, your feet will be happy and comfortable, whether you’re just looking for something stylish or need something for specific foot problems.

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