Who should buy the New Balance 696 v4

The New Balance 696 v4 caters to entry-level players needing a remarkably affordable all-court trainer. It is a solid option if you:

  • Need a shoe that is packed with the essential supportive and protective features.
  • Need a shoe that has an exceedingly lightweight upper.
  • Need a shoe that is breathable and makes it ideal for the warm season.
  • Need a shoe that allows you to master your footwork skills for a lengthy period.

New Balance 696 v4 logo

Updates to the 696 v4

New Balance unpeeled the midfoot and forefoot leather cover from the previous model. It got replaced with a lighter synthetic and fused to a mesh pattern. 


  • The modified design allows you to get more aggressive with your movements while keeping your foot supported and protected around the high-wear zones of the forefoot. 
  • The wider perforations on the upper help boost the airflow throughout the shoe.
  • Such small alteration on the outer membrane gives your foot enough breathing space, especially during lengthy drills and long-drawn-out matches.

New Balance 696 v4 Updates

Herringbone pattern and the NDurance rubber compound

The bottom part of the shoe is made with a non-marking, herringbone pattern, which enables you to make quick pivots and move confidently in different directions. 

New Balance 696 v4 Outsoile

It’s assembled using a heel-to-toe NDurance rubber compound that’s purposed to afford optimum traction, whether on a gritty hard court or slick soft court. 

Lightweight cushioning

To further keep the weight of this entry-level tennis shoe at a reduced level, New Balance used the standard ethylene-vinyl acetate foam for the midsole. 

New Balance 696 v4 Lightweight cushioning

The blend of its cushy and lightweight features permits you to be dynamic with your movements. It’s devised to cater to the right amount of shock absorption you’ll need on hard and clay courts. 

Breathable and comfortable upper

The combined synthetic and mesh cover provides a light and airy casing for the foot for improved maneuverability. The vent holes are partly larger than the ones on the past model. Its adjustable lace-up closure locks the foot according to the user’s desired fit. 

New Balance 696 v4 Breathable and comfortable upper

The tongue and collar are built with padding that offers plush comfort. To achieve a comfortable in-shoe feel, New Balance used fabric lining. The sockliner is removable, which can be replaced by custom orthotics.

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 310g / Women 260g
Shoe Type: All Court
Collection: New Balance REVlite
Features: Lightweight, Breathable
Construction: Cushioned
Material: Synthetic/Mesh upper
BRAND Brand: New Balance

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Brenton Barker
Brenton Barker

Brenton is an Australian with 20 years of experience coaching WTA and ATP professional tennis players, whom have won a total of 10 international professional Tournaments. Brenton holds a Degree in Sports Coaching and was the former Head Tennis Coach at the Japanese Government Sports Science Institute. Brenton was also a former Manager & Head Coach of Australia’s Governing Sporting Body, Tennis Australia, and has been a Dunlop International Advisory Board Member since 2010. Additionally, Brenton was the Head of Player development for World No 7 and two-time Grand Slam Champion Johan Kriek.