New Balance 990 v4 Review

I was recommended the 990s when complained with my friend about having to run on pavement. She told me that New Balance 990 v4 would provide the best cushioning and support for road running compared to any other shoes on the market. At first, I doubted it, but after several months using, I realize my friend’s words are reliable. The following article is my general review about this product.

Highlight features anf technologies

  • ABZORB cushioning system offers a lot of cushioning in order to distribute weight.
  • Encap technology in the centre is surrounded by polyurethane providing a nice structure in the heel.
  • The Nubuck leather is equipped in the upper for structural control.
  • The Ndurance rubber found in the outsole unit provides durable outsole to withstand challenging terrains.
  • The dual-density collar stabilizes the heel and ankle while running.
  • A new streamlined “N” logo in the 4th version.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Have more cushioning and support than previous versions.
  • The weight is reduced thanks to the softer materials used.
  • Made in USA, not China, so users don’t need to worry about their quality.

Cons

  • It is difficult to clean stains on the shoes.
  • The circulation is not good on summer days.

New Balance 990 v4 description

Upper

The upper of this version is improved to give better support and fit. It has a pigskin material with mesh inserts that not only makes the upper stronger but ensures needed breathability for the shoes also. The laces are a bit narrower and thicker on these than the 993. The 990 running shoes have an extra hole on top which allows you to lace the shoes up higher than normal. I suggest you doing this if your ankles are weak because it will provide extra support.

Midsole

There are many cushioning technologies designed in the New Balance 990 to enhance support of the shoes. That includes ABZORB foam, ACTEVA midsole, Encap techgnology and single-density polyurethane post. All of them focus on providing a great cushioning system to the shoes, helping absorbing shock, promoting responsive and smooth ride and at the same time, giving a stable platform.

Outsole

The Ndurance rubber is used as the primary outsole technology of New Balance 990. This also alternates with a full-length blown rubber. Two materials provide wonderful durability for the outsole unit as well as the shoes. This outsole has an almost flat under surface and a standard treading style which seem to give better traction and grip on even wet surfaces to protect runners from falling or slipping.

New Balance 990 v4 review

New Balance 990 v4

Comfort

New Balance 990 v4 shoes are super comfortable right out of the box. No need for break-in period. They aren't flashy, but comfortable for both my long and short runs, especially when they fit properly. The materials used in the shoes are not only durable but also very soft and comfotable. They haven’t caused any blisters or irritation to my feet.

Fit

They may or may not fit the shape of your feet, but for my wide and reasonably long feet they are perfect. Not too tight or too loose. I was suggested to order these a half-size larger because they seem to run a bit small.

Cushioning

They are great running shoes if you are looking for good cushioning and the best shock absorption. In these shoes, the cushioning effect of the soles is excellent. This fabulous cushioning helps reduce pressure on your upper legs and knees while running. In fact, I found my legs and knees feeling less stressed after wearing these for road running. The base cushioning seems to be improved compared to 993s. The nice Abzorb cushioning system is also very helpful for heel strikers or runners who have plantar fasciitis in distributing the weight.

Support

The 990s allow your feet to feel free, but at the same time, feel supported. They are great shoes for feet problems such as plantar fasciitis, flat feet, heel problem or mild to moderate pronation. I had plantar fasciitis in one foot because of the intensive working out. So far, they have fixed my PF well. New Balance 990 v4 is really helpful in preventing my heels from turning in and provides excellent support. These come with inserts, but no real arch support so you can substitute the inserts with "superfeet" ones to provide better arch support. Flat feet runners can also get benefits from these.

Breathability

My one criticism is that they are lack of a little breathability. The circulation is not as good as some other shoes. However, I think this issue will not affect too much to most people. I find my feet get hot when wearing these the entire day. That may be good when it gets colder, but for the summer I would have liked more mesh around the front of the shoes.

Stability

New Balance 990 v4 not only provides great support but also stability. They are stability shoes so providing great amount of stability is not surprised. This is one of the important factors that makes runners choose these shoes. The 990 uses ENCAP® technology and ABZORB® SBS cushioning to provide the best cushioned fit and stable platform for people wearing them.

Durability

Their quality claimed to be noticeably enhanced from how they were in previous versions. I wear these every single day and they are moderately durable in my opinion. In the areas often suffer from high tear and wear, the Ndurance rubber compound is used to ensure durability. Additionally, a mixture of mesh and leather is also used to make the New Balance 990 v4 provide strength and durability without increasing the weight. I think the complaints about their durability probably comes from people who take these out in the woods and snow, rain, mud and beat them to death, then complain when they fall apart. That means runners have to know what different type of sneakers are for different purposes.

Another good factor is that these are made in America so they are certainly sturdy and well made. In my opinion, I only wish that the sole at the heel would last longer, the black rubber sole should be a bit thicker.

Terrains

If you want quality shoes that are perfect for walking or running in all types of conditions, especially on hard surfaces then these are your shoes. Although they are running shoes, I have worn them for my job that involves much walking on concrete; they are still good without any worn-out sign. Moreover, pavement - often considered the worst surface to run on - is also solved by the serious support from great cushioning. Besides, I saw that many runners use them to run on roads, gravels and track terrains as well.

Look

The New Balance 990 has available different colors, consisting of black, darker grey and light gray, navy blue and beige. They also look classy (I ordered the gray ones) and can be worn with almost anything. Noticeably, you can’t find the newest edition of New Balance 990 in really bright and loud colors because they don’t need to stand out by colors, only when put your feet in them, you will feel how great they are.

Weight

Despite well-cushioned and supportive design, compared to the 993's, New Balance 990 v4 feels a bit lighter. They are even lighter than they were a few years ago. The weight of the v4 is measured at 385 grams (13.6 oz.). Although they seem to be very solid when you put them on, the weight will not hold you back, even after long distance run. But this weight is not light enough for speed works.

Use

Aside from being good shoes for foot problems, New Balance 990 v4 is the best walking shoes I've ever owned. Moreover, I also use NB 990s for going to the gym, doing martial arts and wearing to work. All purposes are done well in these shoes. Besides, they were claimed to be the flat out best running shoes for heavy runners with high arches.

The shoes are expensive, but they are worth it. I will continue buying these until they stop selling them.​


Previous version of New Balance 990 v4

New Balance 990 v3

Despite not having more cushioning compared to the latest version, the New Balance 990 v3 is also good stability running shoes for mild to over-pronators and runners who have other foot problems. These shoes offers superb comfort that allow runners to enjoy high-mileage runs without fatigue or sore feet. Runners who want to have smooth heel strike also benefit from these due to the help of ABZORB crash pad on the midsole. Many people, especially middle age, will be attracted by the classic look of the shoes. Like New Balance 990 v4, the v3 also has Ndurance outsole which provides enhanced durability to the shoes. Thanks to the pigskin upper and collar foam that wrap the foot seamlessly, these shoes offer snug fit. They are available in wide range of sizes to accommodate different types of foot.

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Similar running shoes

Brooks Trance 13

The first similar shoe of New Balance 990 is Brooks Trance 13. These shoes also provide runners with additional support and stability during their runs. In terms of durability, they seem to be better than New Balance 990. They have enough needed features to deal with various terrains, even the trails. The Full Length DNA foam gives great underfoot cushioning system for a softer and protected ride.

Spira Scorpius

Next, Spira Scorpius which features the high grade EVA midsole provides maximum cushioning to runners and also delivers good support and stability for over-pronators like New Balance 990, thanks to high-density medial post and the TPU midfoot shank. They come with wide widths for wide foot runners.

Adidas Supernova Sequence Boost

Another similar running shoes of New Balance 990 is Adidas Supernova Sequence Boost 9. These shoes have softer forefoot and heel cushioning for a resilient ride. This works with the firmer EVA under-arches cushioning to provide a support system when running. They have high and roomy toe box that can accommodate wide-footed runners. Especially, the full-length EVA stable frame not only gives added cushioning but also reduces overpronation. These are really a good replacement for New Balance 990 in many aspects.

In short

I highly recommend these shoes for runners who have wide and flat feet and mild to moderate over-pronators. These are indeed a great combination of cushioning, support and stability, which often present in the best running shoes.

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