• Top

    Low Top

    Extremely popular sneakers because of their price range, versatility when it comes to style, and freedom of movement. Almost everyone is guaranteed to have low-top sneakers in their shoe rotation.

    Mid Top

    Mid-top sneakers extend toward the ankle for a little more support and hold. These lie somewhere in the middle between low-top and high-top sneakers in terms of usage and popularity.

    High Top

    Sneakers with collars that go above the ankles for optimal hold and support are some of the most sought-after models in lifestyle shoes. Most of these shoes take their roots from basketball and have easily or fashionably crossed to mainstream wear.

    Good to know

    Regardless of cut, it's always good to start with sneakers that can be worn for the daily grind, also called as "beaters" by some, as these are usually cheaper, easy to clean, and still gives that lifestyle "edge" before going for those wallet-thinning models.

  • Inspired from


    Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.


    Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.

    Good to know

    Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.

  • Collection

    Good to know

    Shoes sharing the same inspiration, history, materials, or technologies are routinely assembled under one compilation for the convenience of those who may wish to categorize or label their own collection as such. The classic collections like the Adidas Originals, Air Max 1, Air Force 1, new balance classic sneakers, and the Classic Leather head the pack of frequently asked about collections.

  • Price
  • Special editions
Show more facts


We spent 5.7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

20 reasons to buy

  • Female reviewers raved about the New Balance 696 as a pretty looking shoe that can match any casual attire.
  • This sneaker is lightweight and even lighter than the New Balance extremely popular 574, according to a reviewer.
  • Buyers loved the slim shape of this sneaker.
  • Very comfortable for walking around even for several hours.
  • Buyers say they received a lot of compliments wearing this shoe.
  • Nicely designed and built sneaker for comfort and fashion.
  • The New Balance 696 is very durable.
  • The combination of colors on its suede and mesh cover is subtle that it can be paired with any dress or pants.
  • Supportive enough for light workouts in the gym.
  • Very comfortable to wear right out of the box.
  • Some buyers who are very satisfied with the fit and comfort of this shoe, mention their intention to buy more than a pair.
  • The New Balance 696 comes in cool shades and gets lots of compliments, according to very pleased buyers.
  • The actual shoe is as lovely as the online image.
  • A couple of reviewers said the shoe isn’t bulky and it doesn’t look like boats on the feet.
  • Great quality for the price.
  • The sparkly accents on the breathable mesh is very subtle.
  • Fits great with an athletic sock.
  • A reviewer with narrow feet is delighted with this shoe as it hugs her foot comfortably.
  • The New Balance 696 looks spotless and streamlined on the foot.
  • Just the right amount of cushioning.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A dissatisfied reviewer felt that New Balance went downhill with this shoe due to its lack of arch support.
  • Too narrow that there’s not enough room for shoe inserts.

Bottom line

New Balance 696 is adored for its gorgeous slim profile that comes in a variety of refreshing colors to accommodate different style preferences. The blend of soft mesh and suede coverage of this sporty sneaker gives it a luxurious spin. It eliminated the chunks of padding on all its sides and kept a striking silhouette with good amount of cushioning, support, and breathability in a lightweight form. It does a lot of purpose with a very decent cost.


Expert Reviews

Experts are sneaker fanatics, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

  • First look / Unboxing | Shop Zappos

Apply to become an expert

New Balance 696 History

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

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 1980s and gave birth to 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 popular, 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 Style

The classic runner New Balance 696 is a fusion of fashion and function as it comes in a variety of luxe suede and mesh upper paired with durable outsole. This retro style sneaker is available in different styles for women and men. The stylish upgrades designed for the women are obtainable in slim profile in various cool colors for the upper, tongue, heel stabilizer, heel tab down to the sole.

The men’s version of the New Balance 696 is in the same sleek and sporty silhouette with a mixture of premium materials and responsive lightweight sole. The revamped styles for both genders blend well with an assortment of casual clothes – shorts, leggings, skinnies, dresses, and long coats -- for daytime or evening affairs.

Fit & Sizing

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 break-in period. This timeless sneaker comes in medium width and generally has a narrow fit. Most of the color variations are available for women, while limited sleek options are made for the men. The length sizes ranges from 5 to 12 US and 6.5 to 13 US for women’s and men’s respectively.

Notable Features

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 by 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 were created for the men noticeable with its plush leather and textile covering.

Additional Info

  • New Balance 696 for women is made of hard-wearing rubber outsole.
  • The men’s version of the New Balance 696 is made of REVlite sole that’s very light but offers a good energy return and strength. It functions the same as other foams which 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 version 2 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 Gray variation released in 2015 comes with a dust bag and 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.