Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.
Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.
Good to know
As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.
Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet
Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.
Good to know
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.
Good to know
If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.
The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.
There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.
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New Balance 996 History
The New Balance 996 was first released in 1988 and one of its main selling points? It was made in America, unlike shoes from other brands that outsourced their shoes from Asian factories.
It belongs to the New Balance 990 Series, which was first conceptualized in 1978 and took four long years of research and development before the first shoe was released. The first of this series, the New Balance 990, dropped in 1982 as a running shoe that perfectly balances flexibility and support. Back in the day, running shoes were made in a way such that these two factors cannot be both applied on a shoe; it was always either of the two but the introduction of the 990 changed that perception. New Balance made it possible by utilizing a “slip-lasting” technique on the upper and a polyurethane heel-cradle or the “Motion Control Device (MCD)”.
It took another four years before the next model in the 990 Series was released, the New Balance 995. It made history as the first running shoe to cost $100. It was a risky move for the brand, but consumers welcomed it positively mainly because the shoe featured one of the brand’s technologies, the ENCAP sole unit.
Next in the list is the New Balance 996. Unlike the minor upgrades on the 995 from the original 990, the 996 release was considered a “complete overhaul” and it was presented as the “ultimate hybrid”. It still features the ENCAP sole unit, but is enhanced with a dual density C-cap midsole for greater stability and cushioning, as well as overall support. The outsole of this model is two-toned, which is composed of blown and carbon rubber.
Several other models were released under the 990 series throughout the years, such as the 997 in 1990, the 998 in 1993, the 999 in 1996, the 990V2 in 1998, the 991 in 2001, the 992 in 2006, the 993 in 2008, the 990V3 in 2012, and the 997.5 and the 990V4 in 2016.
New Balance 996 Style
The New Balance 996 is a classic shoe that still remains relevant in the sneaker market 29 years after it initially dropped. With its silhouette based on a running shoe, it exhibits a sporty appeal that will surely make any outfit stylish without sacrificing comfort. It is often worn with a casual outfit or even as a business-casual shoe.
Fit & Sizing
This classic New Balance 996 is a shoe that both men and women could wear. It is offered on the market in sizes 6 to 13 in D Standard width for men, and in sizes 5.5 to 11 in B Standard width for women. It features a lace up closure that allows a customized, adjustable fit and leather overlays for the needed additional foot support.
The New Balance 996 has been known for its classic cut and style. It features a combination of high-quality suede and mesh materials on the upper, usually with reflective “N” logo, heel tab, and lateral accents. Unlike most New Balance models, the 996 also features perforation details (three small holes) on the lateral sides for added breathability.
- The tongue of this shoe displays the New Balance 996 branding.
- Maximum support and stability are achieved in this shoe through its ENCAP midsole technology. It is a technology that combines a sturdy and supportive rim of polyurethane and a supple cushioning core of EVA.
- ABZORB cushioning, another technology from New Balance, is utilized in this shoe as well. It provides outstanding shock absorption in the midfoot.
- In 2006, New Balance collaborated with two Japanese retailers, Whiz Limited and Mita Sneakers in dressing up the classic 996. The Whiz Limited x Mita Sneakers x New Balance 996 features shades of brown leather, off-white accents, and vibrant orange suede upper on the toe cap. The perforation details were updated to three small stars.
- New Balance also collaborated with J. Crew for the 996 model. In July 2015, the “Neptune Blue” colorway was released, which features different shades of blue in suede and mesh upper.