319 users: 4 / 5
5 experts: 87 / 100
Weight: Men 340g / Women 265g
Update: New Balance 896 v2
Shoe Type: Hard Court
Features: Lightweight

Verdict from 5.9 hours of research from the internet

5 reasons to buy

  • The bulk of the reviewers claim that the New Balance 896 v3 is light and fast.
  • Many satisfied users praise its soft upper as it holds their foot in place. 
  • Comments from a reasonable sum of players say this trainer has solid traction on the hard court.  
  • Many are impressed by its durability. 
  • This trainer provides sufficient room for custom orthotics, several users describe.

2 reasons not to buy

  • According to few reviews, the support around the collar is quite feeble. 
  • Some who play long hours wish this footgear had more cushioning.

Bottom line

New Balance updates its 896 series with the drop of the lightweight and speedy version 3. The mesh upper and perforated tongue provide a light and breathable environment for the foot. It’s bolstered in areas that need support to keep the foot stable without the extra weight. This hard court option is treated with a track spike-inspired tread for traction.

Tip: see the best tennis shoes.

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Who is it best for? Avid club players who want to level up their game might consider the New Balance 896 v3 their best pick due to the following factors:

  • Ultra-light assembly for speedy steps
  • Mesh upper and inner walls that promote breathability
  • Minimal cushioning for improved court connection

Lighter weight. New Balance further trimmed down the weight of its 896 profile with the drop of the mesh-covered third version. The earlier iterations weighed heavier with the integration of rubber on the upper. The 896v3 surfaced with a sleeker form, infused with less load-bearing synthetics that are wrapped on the wear-prone areas of the forefoot. Because of its minimalistic design, this modified version weighs a fraction lighter than its already lightweight predecessor.

Improved ventilation. Apart from its mesh covering that promotes enhanced breathability, the interior is lined with moisture-wicking fabric to keep the environment inside cool and dry. 

Rubber strength. New Balance assembled the outsole with its highly-tested NDurance rubber that’s made of abrasion-resistant properties. Such a component is utilized to delay any signs of grinding down of the tread as repeated friction on the court surface can smooth out the outsole. 

Grip capability. Its tread design uses the typical herringbone pattern. Such a full-length, wave-like design is meant to grant traction on the hard court. With its non-marking rubber layout, this shoe is created not to leave any scuff traces on the court.

Lightweight cushioning unit. The spring back property of this trainer is composed of REVlite. This underfoot cradle system is extremely lightweight, long-lasting, and responsive. Considered as one of the best foam units by New Balance, REVlite weighs 30% less than the brand’s standard cushioning units. It’s designed not to thin out quickly with the use of sturdy materials.

Heel-to-toe drop. The difference between the heel and forefoot heights is approximately 10mm. Although technically the measurement isn’t considered low in general standards, such heel offset offers a low-to-the-ground feel for better stride control. 

Light and supportive. The non-bulky appearance of this athletic footwear is due to the use of the Fantom Fit technology. Such a skeletally engineered cover is designed to trim down the weight of the shoe by fusing light fabric and synthetics. Its no-sew feature is intended to prevent any irritation or discomfort to the foot. The thin synthetic configuration is meant to grant support to its structure and protection around the forefoot. 

Breathable. The form-fitting mesh membrane allows air to permeate into the shoe. Inside, the shoe features the NB Ice technology, a fast-drying liner with a two-way air circulation capability.

  • New Balance 896 series is known among NB tennis fans and traditional club players as a go-to option for the modern and edgy style.
  • Another lightweight, hardcourt-ready tennis shoe with a similar form as the 896v3 and lower heel drop is the New Balance 796 v2

Size and fit

True to size based on 52 user votes
Small (17%)
True to size (81%)
Large (2%)
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Same sizing as New Balance 896 v2.

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How 896 v3 compares

This shoe: 85
All shoes average: 84
62 93
This shoe: £110
All shoes average: £140
£70 £210
This shoe: 340g
All shoes average: 377g
310g 445g