Summary

We spent 8.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The 3rd version of the New Balance 990 provides superb comfort that made a large number of runners indulge in high-mileage runs.
  • With the help of the ABZORB crash pad on the midsole, every heel strike becomes really smooth, as noted by a few testers.
  • For runners who are conscious of how their shoe looks, the 990 v3 has a classic look of a traditional running shoe, which is appealing to a good number of users.
  • A durable carbon rubber called the Ndurance outsole provides resistance to the wearing of the heel up to the outer sole's lateral sides.
  • Based on several comments, it offers a snug fit because the collar foam and pigskin upper wrap the foot seamlessly.
  • A wide range of foot sizes can be accommodated by the New Balance 990 v3.

3 reasons not to buy

  • An expensive choice of road running shoe.
  • The New Balance 990 v3 is heavyweight, which makes it a poor option for speed training, long-distance runs, and racing.
  • Some runners experienced the shoe's lack of arch support.

Bottom line

Being a stability shoe, the New Balance 990 v3 gives support to mild to moderate pronators. Perfect for day-to-day daily running, this running shoe is designed for even surfaces with only minimal irregularities such as those found on the roads. Based on the negative and positive reviews, the New Balance 990 v3 is an average shoe for road running.

Facts

Update: New Balance 990 v5
Terrain: Road
Arch support: Stability
Weight: Men: 13.4oz | Women: 10.5oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 12mm | Women: 12mm
Pronation: Overpronation
Arch type: Medium arch
Use: Jogging
Strike Pattern: Heel strike
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Heel height: Men: 32mm | Women: 32mm
Forefoot height: Men: 20mm | Women: 20mm
Release date: Apr 2012
Brand: New Balance
Type: Heavy | Big guy
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $155
Colorways: Black, Blue, Grey, White
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
A popular pick

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, 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.

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75 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews

  • 71 / 100 | Runner Choice | | Level 3 expert

    Although the New Balance 990 is far from the cheapest of running shoes, it is the quality that you are paying for here.

  • 82 / 100 | Plantar Fasciitis Support | Level 1 expert

    At the end of it all, if we take the basics into account, this New Balance 990v3 shoe is satisfactory. 

  • 80 / 100 | Just Plantar Fasciitis Shoes | Level 1 expert

    I love the feel and comfort of these shoes, but I am rather disappointed that getting water on them causes such a horrid stench, the removal of which is a major hassle.

Become an expert

  • Reducing weight is the theme behind the introduction of the 990 v3. It starts with the slight reduction of the rubber in the outsole. New Balance also uses bigger flex grooves in the forefoot to give more flexibility. These updates give the shoe a feeling of nimbleness that was previously lacking in the earlier model.
  • The overlays are not as thick as before, but still deliver superb security and structure. By reducing the thickness of the overlays, New Balance reinforced the heel lockdown feature without adding weight. The result is a shoe that is at least half an ounce lighter, but with the same familiar comforts, security and improved ride.

The average fit of the 990 continues in the 3rd iteration of this series. There is decent room in the heel and the forefoot with a comfortably snug midfoot. As always, this should allow most runners to be very comfortable while slogging through training every day. The available widths of the shoe are 2A, B, and D for the women’s and D-2E for the men’s. Sizing is standard in the men’s and women’s versions.

The nearly flat outsole is designed for even surfaces on the road. New Balance’s reliable Ndurance rubber covers areas the heel and lateral areas of the shoe, which are always prone to wear and tear. There is also blown rubber in the midfoot to the forefoot for added cushioning, responsiveness, and traction.

The two-way cushioning of the shoe is presented by the ABZORB and ACTEVA LITE foams. With the former lying just beneath the foot, it gives the runner a very cushioned ride with excellent shock-absorbing features. The ACTEVA LITE, which is 24% lighter than average foam is right above the outsole for improved responsiveness. This midsole material is also present in the New Balance 990 v4.

Further cushioning is provided by the Encap foam in the heel. New Balance offers stability in the 993 v3 in the form of a single density TPU post beneath the arch.

The upper is a superb mix of Nubuck leather, pigskin, and mesh. This combination offers the shoe an unbeatable blend of excellent breathability, upper durability, and the classic looks that have impressed hordes of runners through the years. Additionally, New Balance utilizes reflective details in the upper for safety when used in low-light conditions.

Comparison