We spent 8.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

7 reasons to buy

  • The upper is made with mesh and synthetic materials for comfortable upper coverage.
  • Most reviewers appreciated the no-sew material application, which reduces discomfort or irritation.
  • The 4th version of the New Balance 690 features the IMEVA foam for a firmer platform and better ground contact EVA, according to a few reviews.
  • The 8mm drop appeals to many neutral runners.
  • The outsole unit has a rubber material that protects the shoe from wear and tear.
  • Many testers noted the impressive durability of the shoe.
  • Reasonably-priced running shoe.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Some thought that the platform was too firm that it limited their capability to move their feet more freely.
  • Others experienced discomfort in their toes after long hours of use.

Bottom line

The New Balance 690 v4 is a reliable neutral running shoe for daily training. It is a popular choice for many runners because of its contemporary design, breathable upper unit, and durable components. The shoe received mixed reviews from users but overall, the 690 v4 is still considered as an average road shoe.


Terrain: Road
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 9.1oz | Women: 7.2oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 8mm | Women: 8mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Use: Jogging
Strike Pattern: Midfoot strike
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Heel height: Men: 23mm | Women: 23mm
Forefoot height: Men: 15mm | Women: 15mm
Brand: New Balance
Type: Low drop
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $75
Colorways: Blue
Small True to size Large
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Expert Reviews

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  • The very minimal changes are found mostly in the upper of the New Balance 690 v4. A closer look will show that the latest version has substantially less stitching, particularly on the forefoot overlay. This will greatly lessen the risk of rubbing or irritation.
  • Another change in the upper is the use of a larger overlay that extends to the heel. This helps secure the heel from potential slippage and adds to the secure fit of the shoe.
  • The treads in the outsole are also slightly different to enhance traction and durability.

New Balance kept the fit of the original version in the 690 v4. It has sufficient space in the heel, a very snug midfoot, and enough room in the forefoot and toe box. Available widths are D, B, 2E, and 4E. Runners with different foot dimensions can have their best fit with these options. Sizing is another matter, though. Unlike the past edition, this one runs a little smaller than usual. Going a size up is a sound idea. Available sizes are 6 to 15 for the men’s and 4 to 13 for the women’s.

The outsole is a simple full-contact rubber with slightly larger treads for enhanced traction and durability.

A standard and injection molded EVA occupies the midsole for cushioning and bounce back features.

A seamless design using regular air mesh and synthetic overlays provides great foot-hugging fit, excellent breathability, and adequate support.