Who should buy the New Balance 996

The 996 from New Balance is a great match for sneaker fans who: 

  • want an affordable shoe with great qualities
  • are looking for a lightweight sneaker
  • need a pair of classic shoes from New Balance
  • want surefooted steps on the pavement

New Balance 996 new balance 996

Who should NOT buy it

If you have wide feet, you can skip the NB 996. Instead, you can go for New Balance's wide shoes. And if you want something that doesn't dig deep into the pockets, get the NB 574 or the NB 501.

New Balance 996 new balance

The NB 996 is a timeless go-to

Many of the reviewers appreciate the classic appeal of the New Balance 996. According to them, it's perfect for just about any outfit. 

New Balance 996 forefoot

An upper that loves the foot

It's "soft" and "well-padded;" a lot of testers find it "cozy" to wear. 

New Balance 996 collar

Worth every penny spent

The $90 price tag of the New Balance 996 is worth it, given its superior quality and durability. 

New Balance 996 lockdown

Even more, many are pleased that it looks and delivers the same as how it is described online. So much so, long-time fans purchase it year after year. 

The New Balance 966 anchors you to the ground

The outsole is so tacky; there are NO reports of slips on both wet and dry surfaces. 

New Balance 996 outsole

Won't drag the foot down

This particular shoe is lightweight compared to other New Balance shoe models, according to the majority.

New Balance 996 cushion

A big no-no for wide feet

Compared to other NB models, the New Balance 996's forefoot is a tad narrow. 

New Balance 996 toe room

Lackluster stability

"It could use a little more cushioning." 

New Balance 996 midsole

This is what critics have to say about the New Balance 996. Underfoot, there's very little support; missteps are inevitable. 

Nice to know about the NB 966

  • The tongue of this shoe displays the New Balance 996 branding.
  • 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.

New Balance 996 ankle collar

Facts / Specs

Style: Classic, Sporty
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collection: New Balance Classic, New Balance ENCAP, New Balance REVlite
Closure: Laces
Designed by: Steven Smith
Material: Leather, Suede, Mesh, Rubber Sole / Fabric

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New Balance 996 unboxing and on-feet videos

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.