Verdict from 100+ user reviews

10 reasons to buy

  • Reviewers of the New Balance 696 women’s sneaker rave about how pretty-looking this shoe and that they can match it with lots of casual clothes.
  • New Balance 696 reviews reveal that buyers loved the slim shape of this sneaker.
  • Strings of reviewers vouch that this kick from the New Balance lifestyle line is very comfortable and well-cushioned.
  • The New Balance 696 is very durable despite its affordable price tag, according to lots of users.
  • The women’s specific New Balance 696 sneaker is supportive enough according to some wearers who donned this during light workouts in the gym.
  • Heaps of wear-testers affirm that this kick is very comfortable to wear right out of the box.
  • The actual shoe is as lovely as the images online, quite a lot of wearers have declared.
  • A couple of reviewers say the shoe isn’t bulky on foot.
  • The sparkly accents on the breathable mesh in some variations are very subtle, noted by some.
  • Many who have tried this on said it fits great with an athletic sock.

2 reasons not to buy

  • At least one dissatisfied reviewer feel that New Balance had gone downhill with this shoe due to its lack of arch support.
  • One buyer thought this shoe didn’t offer enough room for shoe inserts.

Bottom line

Adored for its gorgeous slim profile, this model is the shoe that launched the New Balance 696 series. It  comes in a variety of refreshing colors to accommodate different style preferences. The blend of soft mesh and suede coverage on this sporty sneaker gives it a luxurious spin. 

It has eliminated the chunks of padding on all sides, maintaining its reliability with the right mix of adequate cushioning, support, and breathability in a lightweight build. It won hearts as it offers plenty of functional features at a very decent cost.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

Like the original classic runner, the revamped variations of the New Balance 696 is built with a lacing system that does not constrict the toe, avoids chafing, and eliminates the need for a break-in period. Its fully adjustable lace-up front allows users to achieve their desired fit. Most of the color variations are available for women, while limited sleek options are made for the men.

The classic New Balance 696 is a fusion of fashion and function as it comes in a variety of luxe suede and mesh uppers paired to long-lasting outsoles. This retro style sneaker is available in different designs for women and men.

  Women’s Styles of New Balance 696

The stylish upgrades on the New Balance 696 specifically designed for the women consumers are obtainable in slim profile in a various cool mix of colors for the upper, tongue, heel stabilizer, heel tab down to the sole.

The bold and lively mix of colors on the New Balance 696 plus the use of rich upper materials instantly puts a whimsical spin to your usual every day casual wear combo. The vibrant colors allow you to achieve that fab look even when tossing this up with a set of blue jeans, simple white tees, and light-shaded cardigans.

Some of the hues available for the women’s New Balance 696 such as the bluish Pigment, maroonish Burgundy, and greenish Vintage Cedar offer a vintage flair that elevates your style. Get that fab New Yorker guise by swinging this kick with a deep blue dress, merging it with indigo ripped jeans, leather jacket, and a large black handbag, or wearing it with a dark trench coat and a slim-fitting dark blue midi dress.

If you wish to get a bit bolder, reach out for a crimson colored windbreaker, tuck a blue knitted top under it, cuff your dark colored jeans right above the ankle or don a pair for capris, and go sockless with a pair of NB 696. You may interchange your top option with an incredibly stylish yellow puffer vest under a sleek, black pea coat. Have a nice selection of leather handbags ready for picking anytime you feel like taking your style a notch higher.

  New Balance 696 Styles for Men

The men’s iterations of the New Balance 696 are in the same sleek and sporty silhouette with a mixture of premium materials and responsive, lightweight sole. The revamped styles blend well with an assortment of casual clothes appropriate for daytime or evening affairs.

For that casually elegant flair, go with a chocolate brown trenchcoat, slim black pants, and New Balance 696 navy offering. How about a smart casual ensemble? Try coordinating a coffee-colored blazer with a black round collar shirt and white pin-rolled chinos and finishing your look with an olive green/ khaki New Balance 696 colorway.

If you want an off-the-grid look that’s almost fitting for the runway, take a shot in harmonizing a white knit wool turtleneck with brown plaid dress pants that reveal those ankles while finishing off such style with the New Balance 696 Brown/ Navy Blue.

You may also have the same shade of sneaker with a brown shawl cardigan, taupe-hued cargo pants, crisp light-colored polo, plum tie that matches with a dark-toned plum belt, and a navy colored buttoned-up vest to pull off a casual yet utterly dapper vibe.

The New Balance 696, a classic runner, receives premium style upgrades initially for the women with feminine details on the tongue, heel tab, and heel stabilizer. These niceties coupled with lush suede on the upper with subtle shimmer on its stretchable mesh make it a bestseller among women sneaker enthusiasts. Sporty style with masculine touches was created for the men noticeable with its plush leather and textile covering.

New Balance is one of the prominent footwear manufacturers in the 1970s that pioneered some of the athletic shoe advancements concerning support mechanisms and midsole technologies. These developments encouraged consumers to get involved into running and fitness activities with the goal to improve their health and wellbeing.

To keep up with the growing demand, New Balance continued to entice the market with appealing lines of classic athletic shoes that ignited so much interest among running enthusiasts. The trend went on until the 1980s which led to the rebirth of some of the vintage running shoes that remain to draw attention until today. Joining the category is the New Balance 696.

What’s prominent about the New Balance sneaker is the numbering style of naming each silhouette that speaks a lot about the type and function of the shoe. The last two digits of the New Balance shoe indicate the degree of cushioning.

The 696 shoe falls under the 90 category, which is created for speed. This kind of shoe is the choice of professional distance runners and even amateur runners training for mid- and high-mileage running.

New Balance 696 received a number of revamps as it became a famous, multi-season classic runner for women. The men also had their version of this sporty style shoe built with a combination of materials for the upper and REVlite technology in the sole.

  • New Balance 696 sneakers for women are crafted using hard-wearing rubber outsoles.
  • The men’s versions of the New Balance 696 are made of REVlite sole that’s very light but offers an excellent energy return and strength. It functions the same as other types of foams that are 30 percent heavier.
  • New Balance started as a manufacturer of orthopedic shoes and arch support back in 1906 by William Riley. It is one of the oldest athletic footwear companies in the US.
  • The second version of the New Balance 696 is made as a tennis shoe.
  • The “Tomboy Pack” released in 2014 came in three colorways with a fusion of feminine and masculine styles and was revamped in 2015.
  • The Deconstructed edition started to come out at the end of 2014 with improvements in the succeeding years.
  • The grey variation released in 2015 comes with a dust bag and a unique shoe box. The shoe’s heel tab and tongue label are made of gold material.
  • Collaboration with New York’s luxury goods outlet Bergdorf Goodman offers more vivid colors in the heel, outsole, and tongue.


How New Balance 696 ranks compared to all other shoes
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.