We spent 8.9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

11 reasons to buy

  • A kind of sneaker that is well reinforced which makes it functional inside the gym for light workouts.
  • The Folk Festival, like any shoes under the 696 label, is lightweight.
  • The cool colors available for this shoe can be matched with lots of casual wear, from workout clothes to dresses.
  • The New Balance 696 Folk Festival’s distressed suede and noticeable stitch details on the tongue and on the side towards the heel enhance the visual charm of this sneaker.
  • An appropriate choice of shoe to bring when going on a road trip, day fairs, summer parties.
  • A kind of shoe that offers comfort to the feet right out of the box.
  • Walking on this shoe for long hours poses no discomfort to the feet, according to reviewers.
  • Its narrow frame does not make the feet appear fat and chunky.
  • Easy to keep this shoe clean.
  • The rubber material at the base of the shoe is durable.
  • Reasonably priced even as it leans towards the use of premium materials.

1 reasons not to buy

  • The narrow frame prevents few users from putting on inserts.

Bottom line

Women consumers are drawn to the creativity of the New Balance 696 Folk Festival, a low-top and partly deconstructed sneaker. The colors available for this design put an attractive contrast to a pair of jeans, workout clothes, and dresses. Its slim structure, lightweight form, well-cushioned sole, and affordable rate are among the reasons why buyers who are hunting for functional and stylish casual sneakers are charmed by this running-inspired New Balance 696 variation.


  • 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


New Balance 696 Folk Festival History

New Balance has a rich portfolio of running shoes conceived in the 1970s that is slowly being transformed into lifestyle sneakers. From athletic trainers, these shoes are becoming streetwear staples with slightly different designs.

The vintage NB runners introduced in the US market, when running was a widely shared interest, have developed a very passionate fan base. It is no wonder that New Balance shoes are famous in the running and fitness communities at that time. Since then, NB loyalists would know that the numbering system used in the shoe titles mean a lot when decoded.

The New Balance 696 is one of those shoes initially made for the track. The last two digits of the New Balance 696 title puts this shoe within the 90 class, which means it is designed for speed running. It is for such reason that this sports trainer is one of the favored models by pro runners and newbies who tend to tackle long-distance running during that era.

Advocates of the New Balance 696 have developed a strong attachment to this model as it complemented their needs, specifically in the areas of comfort and support. Not only was this shoe adored for its function on the tracks, but also when sported with off-training clothing. Perhaps, its versatility is partly the basis why the New Balance 696 stays in the market until today with different revamped styles.

From a trainer, the New Balance 696 is refashioned as a streetwear sneaker and managed to stay on with the game. One of the revamps created to this model is the New Balance 696 Folk Festival, which is a deconstructed version of the familiar sporty silhouette. Taking cue from its name this shoe has a laid-back style principally designed for the women consumers.

New Balance 696 Folk Festival Style

The low-top New Balance 696 Folk Festival is a whimsical approach to the old-school runner, the New Balance 696. The body of the Folk Festival edition is wrapped in premium velvety suede and mesh, highlighted by a distressed piece of suede in the heel with cross stitch accent for that added charm. The label on the tongue is done in leather with the same stitch pattern on the heel counter. This version lends a playful design that goes well with tapered jeans, tight-fitting hem pants, miniskirts, and maxi dresses.

Fit & Sizing

The New Balance 696 Folk Festival in low-top, slim profile is made for the women’s feet. Just like the vintage cut, this model has a lacing system that allows a personalized lockdown fit when cinching the shoe. It also has enough room in the toe box. The size availability for this sneaker is 5 to 12 US.

Notable Features

New Balance has long been regarded as a brand that puts a high emphasis on quality. It uses premium materials on the cover and employs keen detailing in the production of its sneakers. This is recognizable in the low-top New Balance 696 Folk Festival, an old trainer refashioned as a lifestyle shoe. Apart from the usual suede and mesh exterior, this sneaker is accented by a weathered suede panel in the heel counter and cross stitch pattern in the same area and on the tongue. The seemingly rugged, beat-up style of this shoe puts a nice spin to any laid-back wear.

Additional Info

  • New Balance 696 Folk Festival low-top sneaker is designed as a relaxed version of the sporty trainer. Taking cue from its name, it is a cool offering by New Balance for al fresco events such as fairs, festivals, among others.
  • The outsole is built with a long-lasting rubber with tread patterns that holds firmly to the ground.
  • New Balance 696 for women is made of durable outsole rubber.
  • Other variations of this vintage model are low-top New Balance 696 Cotton Denim, low-top and mid-top New Balance 696 Leather.