Verdict from +100 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Lots of New Balance 696 v3 users think it’s one of the hard-court picks that aces in comfort. 
  • Many adore the excellent support it offers.
  • According to a substantial number of reviewers, this footwear maintains a good grip.
  • A bunch of wearers claim that the sole doesn’t wear out quickly. 
  • It’s a delight to many that this footgear comes light. 
  • Lots of repeat buyers like its superb composition.
  • To a more significant sum of purchasers, this trainer is a good value for money.

1 reasons not to buy

  • Few testers notice that it’s quite stiff in the toe.

Bottom line

Avid followers of the New Balance 696 still get the classic feel they’ve been looking for with the re-invented, modern-meets-contemporary third-generation NB 696. This is evident with the use of perforated leather and flexible mesh in a much lighter and ventilated package. The subtle tweaks on the New Balance 696v3 provide improved shock absorption and comfort. It continues to gain traction on the hard court for an extremely budget-friendly cost.

Tip: see the best tennis shoes.

Good to know

For the third time, New Balance re-modified the MC 696v3 with enhanced cushioning and comfort elements to offer optimum performance on the hard court. It may not fall under the high-performance squad of tennis trainers by NB, but its reworked build promotes stability and enhanced maneuverability. The upper utilizes structurally-engineered leather with mesh. Lightweight cushioning takes up the midsole for impact protection.

The most noticeable difference between the New Balance 696 versions 2 and 3 is the upper design. Both iterations are made of synthetic leather and mesh. But the third generation has anatomically supportive material wrapped around the forefoot and midfoot with perforations on the vamp. The remaining sections on the upper are covered in mesh for enhanced breathability and flexibility. 

Another modification applied to the third iteration is in the midsole. If the second generation is devised with the ABZORB isoprene rubber and foam to take up the rigors of impact, the New Balance 696v3 is equipped with REVlite. As its name implies, it’s a lightweight cushioning unit that’s designed to take on underfoot pressure for maximum comfort.

Endurance. The NDurance rubber compound is strategically laid out in the sections that wear quickly to generate optimum outsole strength and durability. 

Traction. Its non-marking bottom is constructed with a revamped herringbone tread that’s meant to deliver excellent contact on concrete. Such a wavy pattern keeps the foot supportive even during fast pivots and speedy lateral stances. 

Reinforcement. Durable rubber stretches from the base of the shoe to the tip of the toe. This is meant to put more life into the shoe since foot-dragging is inevitable when pushing for shots.

Cushioning. For lightweight cushioning, the New Balance 696 ver 3 is outfitted with the innovative REVlite midsole. It offers similar shock-absorbing capabilities and responsiveness as the standard New Balance foams. However, the REVlite weighs 30 percent lighter. 

Heel drop. It distinctively features a raised heel with a roughly 12mm variance between the heel and toe. The extra thickness under the heel offers bounce during serves and lateral motion.

Outer membrane. Synthetic leather dominates the forefoot and midfoot cage while mesh hugs the rear side of the outer shell. The vamp has vent holes that allow air to permeate the shoe. 

Padding. The collar and tongue are designed to adequately provide comfort and support through the use of soft padding.

Inner fabric. This footgear is arranged with a fabric lining that puts another level of comfort. 

The New Balance 696 version 3 comes with a removable insole that can be replaced with custom orthotics.


How New Balance 696 v3 ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 4% hard court tennis shoes
All hard court tennis shoes
Bottom 7% New Balance tennis shoes
All New Balance tennis shoes
Bottom 5% lightweight tennis shoes
All lightweight tennis shoes


The current trend of New Balance 696 v3.
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