Verdict from 100+ user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • As per a significant sum of players, the New Balance 696v4 offers decent support and stability. 
  • Many wearers state that the shoe is comfortable and doesn’t need a long break-in time.
  • It’s one of the noticeably breathable tennis trainers by New Balance
  • Several users find this athletic shoe extremely light. 
  • Gratified wearers consider this all-court shoe an excellent value for money.

2 reasons not to buy

  • According to several buyers, the 696 v4 feels tighter than expected. 
  • More than a few reviewers disclose that this footwear doesn’t have enough space in the toe box.

Bottom line

Flexing your tennis skills on cross courts using shoes that come light on the budget? New Balance got you covered with the 696 v4. It allows you to tackle and perfect those backhand, forehand, and groundstroke shots with the much-needed support.

It won’t drag your foot down as it comes even lighter than the third-generation model. Plus, its amply cushioned midsole and durable mesh with synthetic cover will give you the protection and stability with comfortable mobility.

Tip: see the best tennis shoes.

Good to know

Who is it for? It caters to entry-level players needing a remarkably affordable all-court trainer that’s packed with the essential supportive and protective features. 

What are its key features? 

  • This synthetic and mesh-covered trainer comes exceedingly lightweight. 
  • Breathable, which makes it ideal for the warm season. 
  • Its long-enduring outsole allows you to master your footwork skills for a lengthy period.

New Balance unpeeled the midfoot and forefoot leather cover from the previous model. It got replaced with a lighter synthetic and fused to a mesh pattern. 


  • The modified design allows you to get more aggressive with your movements while keeping your foot supported and protected around the high-wear zones of the forefoot. 
  • The wider perforations on the upper help boost the airflow throughout the shoe.
  • Such small alteration on the outer membrane gives your foot enough breathing space, especially during lengthy drills and long-drawn-out matches.

Structure. The bottom part of the shoe is made with a non-marking, herringbone pattern, which enables you to make quick pivots and move confidently in different directions. 

Technology. It’s assembled using a heel-to-toe NDurance rubber compound that’s purposed to afford optimum traction, whether on a gritty hard court or slick soft court. 

Cushioning material. To further keep the weight of this entry-level tennis shoe at a reduced level, New Balance used the standard ethylene-vinyl acetate foam for the midsole. 

Midsole advantage. The blend of its cushy and lightweight features permits you to be dynamic with your movements. It’s devised to cater to the right amount of shock absorption you’ll need on hard and clay courts. 

Breathability. The combined synthetic and mesh cover provides a light and airy casing for the foot for improved maneuverability. The vent holes are partly larger than the ones on the past model. Its adjustable lace-up closure locks the foot according to the user’s desired fit. 

Comfort. The tongue and collar are built with padding that offers plush comfort. To achieve a comfortable in-shoe feel, New Balance used fabric lining. The sockliner is removable, which can be replaced by custom orthotics.

  • New Balance 696 series has long been regarded for its lightweight and slim profile. 
  • The flagship 696 model was a running-inspired sneaker, which was made into several street-style designs.
  • New Balance 696v2 was the first from the pack that was made into a tennis shoe. 
  • Unlike the original model with an outsole that’s made up of a standard, hard-wearing rubber, the New Balance 696ver2 was built with the Ndurance rubber outsole. 


How New Balance 696 v4 ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 11% all court tennis shoes
All all court tennis shoes
Bottom 18% New Balance tennis shoes
All New Balance tennis shoes
Bottom 20% lightweight tennis shoes
All lightweight tennis shoes


The current trend of New Balance 696 v4.
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