New Balance FuelCell 996 v4
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68% say it's true to size.
Overview of this review
Profile of the New Balance FuelCell 996 v4
Best suited for whom? This design is suitable for players coming from different tennis levels who are rooting for an all-court, well-cushioned trainer with a low profile structure.
What makes it exceptional?
- Of the New Balance 996 series, this fourth-generation trainer ups the ante with its use of a quick-to-respond FuelCell cushioning midsole.
- It’s covered with New Balance’s advanced knitting technique called Hypoknit that’s both breathable and lightweight.
Updates to the New Balance FuelCell 996 v4
Improved cushioning. The most notable enhancement is the replacement of the REVlite cushioning. The 4th version features a full-length midsole made of FuelCell, New Balance’s most responsive cushioning unit that’s designed to provide optimum energy return.
Low sole profile. It comes with an approximately 4-mm lesser heel drop than the 12mm height on the outgoing model, giving the user closer contact to the ground.
Durability. On the flip side, it features a full-length Ndurance rubber that’s made to deliver a right blend of give and grip on different court surfaces. It’s equipped to handle the abrasiveness of the court with its durability properties.
Weight. Such a rubber compound is integrated with a Lightweight Solid Rubber (LWSR) in low-wear areas that tones down the weight of the shoe.
Cushioning. New Balance 996 v4 employs the FuelCell shock-absorbing property found initially in its running shoes. Such foam engineering comes with an energy return capability that helps the wearer during propulsion.
Heel drop. This trainer has an approximately 8-mm heel drop. Its close-to-the-court construction allows the player to stay connected to the ground and thrust forward more naturally.
Lightweight knit. With the use of the Hypoknit, an advanced knitting process for the upper, the New Balance FuelCell 996 v4 becomes one of the lightest tennis shoes in the market. The knitted upper is meant to stretch within a limit without losing the ability to provide stability.
Breathability features. Hypoknit also grants breathability to prevent the foot from getting toasty, especially during extended hours of play. Inside, the foot receives an airy treatment from the moisture-wicking Ortholite insole. Such removable unit can be replaced with custom orthotics
Added protection. The upper is reinforced by NDure, a polyurethane-made forefoot cage that forms as added protection for the shoe. NDure is nestled around the toe and medial forefoot that delivers added support and enhanced comfort. It’s made to withstand repeated blows during toe dragging, thus putting more life to the shoe.
Nice to know
- America’s fast-rising tennis player Cori “Coco” Gauff was seen sporting the New Balance Fuel Cell 996 v4 in the majors.
- Coco turned her New Balance FuelCell 996 v4 as a message board to pay tribute to Kobe “Black Mamba” Bryant and daughter Gigi who passed away in a plane crash. Coco stepped into the 2020 Australian Open match wearing the shoe with personal inscriptions: “RIP Kobe,” “RIP Gigi,” and “Mamba Mentality.”