Size and fit

The retro New Balance 995 offers a traditional lacing system that locks and secures the feet down. Built for everyday use, this sneaker generally runs true to size in medium-width measurement. This is available in men’s sizes ranging from 7 to 10 US.

New Balance 995 Style

The New Balance 995 comes in an array of colors, but generally constructed with premium pigskin Nubuck that’s very supple to the touch. The midsole is made with a two-tone cushioned foam reminiscent of the 1986 classic runner. Its timeless silhouette makes this sneaker capable of blending with heaps of wardrobe selections for use anytime of the day.

Notable Features

The retro New Balance 995 retained the shape of the former runner with a silhouette sandwiched by the chunky New Balance 990 and leaner successor the New Balance 996. This rendition speaks of premium craftsmanship in a 360-angle, from the display of its plush Nubuck on the upper to its well-crafted Vibram rubber on the outsole.

New Balance 995 History

New Balance factory in the US puts an updated edition of its classic men’s 995 back on the shelves after the model’s long hiatus from the sneaker scene. The improved version of the vintage-style runner dropped on its 30th anniversary in 2016, features premium pig suede and breathable mesh in classic colorways.  

The 995 low-cut men’s runner was introduced in 1986, the same year when the first laptop, an IBM PC Convertible was unveiled to the public. It was also the year when pop artists such as Whitney Houston, Madonna, The Pretenders, Prince, and Pet Shop Boys were dominating the airwaves.

This version is an offshoot of the M990 commodity that was initially dropped in 1982, the same year the first emoticon “smiley” was used to express emotion in an email. The M990 was also introduced at the height of the fitness craze, with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” topping the charts at that time.

Indeed, the 990 was New Balance’s happy feat as it took the brand four years, the transition period between the running and fitness trend, to conceptualize, research, and develop this model, which would later turn into a full-fledged running shoe series.  

The drop of the 990 was succeeded by the release of the New Balance 995 in 1986, which took on the remarkable plush gray suede of the predecessor with subtle fine-tuning and a display of the SuperFlex sole. The ENCAP cushioning is also integrated in this model, a distinct technical unit that features an embedded EVA wedge surrounded by a mold of a polyurethane shell in the heel region. The construction offers stability, shock absorption, and responsiveness that runners can benefit from.

Another recognizable characteristic of this vintage runner is the “N” logo on the side panels, which is made of 3M Scotchlite reflective material that allows runners to walk and jog even at nighttime. The success of this second installment led to a series of 990 drops in the coming years, such as the 1988 New Balance 996, 1990 New Balance 997, 1993 New Balance 998, 1996 New Balance 999 among others.

By 2012, New Balance unleashed the third edition of the M990. This update had an additional mesh sandwiched by its leather paneling plus a series of holes on the upper for more comfort and breathability. Four years later, a more contemporary looking version of the M990 was dropped. The layers of mesh were aesthetically placed in between the pigskin panels, which extends around from the N logo.

30 years since the 995 was first introduced, New Balance reworked on the construction of the upper to make it more appealing as a sneaker. After the gray-on-gray was racked up in the Holiday of 2016, New Balance dropped the Castaway Blue with contrasting white accents in February 2017. This sleek version displays a pigskin Nubuck, dual-tone sole, and also utilized the ENCAP sole cushioning for stability and durability.

The workmanship of this series, a combo of function and class, continue to have an appeal among sneakerheads until today. In the Summer of 2017, New Balance dropped a reworked edition of the classic silhouette featuring a rustic clay brown suede and breathable mesh on the upper with a baseball mitt style leather detailing and pinstripes on the tongue. This profile with Vibram outsole is part of the baseball-inspired collection of the brand. While a Maroon colorway, covered with premium suede was released later the same year.

Additional Info

  • The New Balance 995 is manufactured in the US.
  • The mesh underlay offers breathability.
  • The 3M reflective detailing on the logo puts a spark on the upper.
  • The heel counter is supported by a heel stabilizer that has a subtle NB branding.
  • Several artists have been supporting the 990 series of New Balance. They are Hilary Duff, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, and Vicki Foubister.
  • It was said that Steve Jobs was instrumental in conceiving the raw ideas on the 990 series. His initial concept was later applied by New Balance designers, which gave birth to the release of the 990 in 1982.

Facts / Specs

Style: Dad, Sporty, Classic
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collection: New Balance Classic, New Balance ENCAP
Closure: Laces
Material: Nubuck, Leather, Mesh, Rubber Sole / Fabric
Season: Summer, Spring

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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.