Verdict from 4 experts and 100+ user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Secured: Many of those who tried the New Balance 990 v4 appreciate the lace keeper, which is meant to secure the laces and keep the tongue in place.
  • Visible: A lot of runners who enjoy night runs appreciate the 3M Reflectivity safety feature of the New Balance 990 v4.
  • Supportive: Medial underfoot support is handled by the ENCAP midsole technology making the ride feel more cushioned and stable.
  • Durable: Many testers generally laud the reliable durability of this series, and that praise continues with this new version.
  • Comfy: A few reviewers also like the fact that the collar foam is dual-density making the shoe just a little bit more comfortable than its previous versions.
  • Craftsmanship: Though sporting a very expensive price, the 990 v4 enthrall many runners because of its high quality.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Bulky: Most of the complaints about the New Balance 990 v4 are directed at its chunky look and heavyweight.
  • Rigid: It was too stiff for some who wanted to get more flexibility for their feet.
  • Grip: A few users mention that the outsole lacks traction and tends to feel slippery especially on concrete floors.

Bottom line

In general, the New Balance 990 v4 is a comfy, stable, and high-quality lifestyle shoe choice for sneaker aficionados. And although the New Balance 990 v4 feels a bit awkwardly bulky to some users because of its design, it is still given praise for its excellent fit. 

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Highlights of the New Balance 990 v4

USA-made. One of NB's top models, this shoe is manufactured in the USA at New Balance’s New England factories. It is an NB kick that boasts top-notch quality craftsmanship.

Comfort. New Balance has also always believed in the ideal blend of cushioning and stability thus it is certain that all these are made available in the new 990 v4s. The shoe’s style and color range may also not be the most appealing in the market, but it is still always appreciated by the type of users that put functionality first before the look and design of the shoe.  With its uncomplicated design, this makes the New Balance 990 v4 easy to use and can easily be anyone’s staple everyday shoes.

Versatile. The New Balance 990 v4 is made for daily practical use because of its strength being stability.  Their vast array of width size options is one of the shoe’s strong point, and it also proves that it is made to be used for maximum versatility. 

New Balance 990 v4 vs 990 v3

Breathability. NB made the mesh material for the 990 v4 30% more open and breathable than the one used for the 990 v3.

Appearance. The brand wanted this model to resemble the 1st version of the series.  In doing so, they designed the overall look of the 990 v4 to mimic the original 990 running shoes.  The “N” logo design has even been stripped down from the current reflective and colorful design to a more streamlined design scheme to evoke the simplicity that was the beginnings of the brand itself.

Support. The 990 v4 now has a noticeable enhancement with its medial support thanks to how the midsole mold has been newly designed.  This new layout for the midsole mold is made with the ENCAP midsole technology, and this translates to the shoe giving more constant stability and comfort.  The improved ENCAP midsole unit has also been engineered to provide excellent support especially to runners and casual wearers who are moderate overpronators and would need additional assistance in the stability department.

Laces. Another update is that the shoelaces can now be looped through a lace keeper on the redesigned tongue.  This mechanic makes sure that the tongue is secured in place and that this also prevents the tongue from shifting to the side, therefore, making the wearer feel uncomfortable.

Reflective. A very nifty addition to the overall silhouette of the New Balance 990 V4 is the 3M Reflectivity.  This feature was incorporated in the shoe, making sure that it is visible even on late night outs or low lighting conditions. This also helps put the wearer at ease about their security when it comes to being seen by motorists at night.


How New Balance 990 v4 ranks compared to all other shoes
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The current trend of New Balance 990 v4.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.