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New Balance 990 vs. 991 vs. 992 vs. 993: Differences and Reviews 2024

New Balance 990 vs. 991 vs. 992 vs. 993: Differences and Reviews 2024

    New Balance makes excellent quality running shoes and are known for their variety of sizes and widths that can accommodate every type of foot.The brand typically assigns numbers to their shoes rather than traditional names.For the past several years, New Balance has been upgrading its shoe models to improve support, your walking and running stride, and cushioning.The debate among New Balance fans has always been about which shoe is better.To help you more easily determine which style is best for you, I’ve compiled this guide to the brand’s many options, detailing the differences between each. Included are styles you’re probably already more than familiar with, like the 990,991,992 and 993.What is the difference between New Balance 991 and 992?What is the difference between New Balance 990 and 993?What's the difference between New Balance 990 and 992?What is the difference between 992 and 993?New Balance 990 vs. 991 vs. 992 vs. 993:which is best for you?They look similar and have the same arch support as they belong to the same 990 series yet have subtle important differences.Keep reading and you will know which pair of trainers is right for you.


New Balance 990 Review

  • 1st Release Date: 1982

  • Made in US

  • Price: $184.99


The 990 soaked up four years of research and development. By the time it was finally released in 1982, the shoe was packed with every cutting-edge component New Balance designers could throw at it.Since its introduction in 1982, the New Balance 990 series has offered a combination of protection, comfort, and stability within a sophisticated package. To balance out the new-found flex, the 990 implemented the polyurethane heel-cradle known as the ‘Motion Control Device’. In fact, the MCD was so successful that it maintains a presence in New Balance’s current crop of performance runners.

One of, if not the most, popular running shoes from New Balance is the 990. With version 5, the legendary shoe gets an update. The 990v5 is the flagship New Balance shoe adored by celebrities and streetwear pundits alike. The New Balance 990v5 continues the legacy of using premium materials to guarantee superior comfort and stability. The iconic and timeless appearance stays but the 990 v5 features some key updates to structural elements and technologies.The suede and mesh upper provides a balance of good looks and breathability, and its lightweight foam and polyurethane midsole reduces impact on the joints and provides a slight bounce to your step.

New Balance 990v5 Pros and Cons

  • Dual density collar foam offers support and comfort for ankles.

  • Suede and mesh upper.

  • Made in the U.S.A.

  • ENCAP midsole cushioning combines lightweight foam with a durable polyurethane rim to deliver all-day support.

  • All-day comfort with Ortholite insert and firm -yet- supportive midsole.

  • Yielding footbed.

  • Weighty.

  • Bunching issues.

  • Flimsy upper (big toe area).

New Balance 991 Review

  • 1st Release Date: 2001

  • Made in UK

  • Price: $219.99 - $269.99

The 991 first released in 2001 and was popularized as the shoes Steve Jobs of Apple fame wore.Considered the most stylish in the 99X series, the New Balance 991 carries classic aesthetics making it a beautiful pair to be added to any sneaker collection.

The 991 was the first pair from the Boston footwear label's 99X series that presented ABZORB beneath the forefoot and not only under the heels.The ABZORB foam peeked out not only from beneath the heel but also from below the forefoot, alluding to the superior cushioning that lay within. The svelte design seamlessly incorporated motion control, which flowed from the midsole and gave the design an edge of modern minimalism. The outsole also introduced the new Ndurance rubber compound, which promised maximum durability in high-wear areas.The 991 is widely accessible today, with lots of collabs and general release colourways available on the market. 

New Balance 991 Pros and Cons

  • Blown rubber outsole provides superior rebound.

  • Premium construction.

  • A classic support and lightweight shoe.

  • Very comfortable.

  • Excellent traction.

  • Pigskin, synthetic and mesh upper.

  • Classic ABZORB cushioning.

  • Each MADE UK sneaker is crafted in factory in Flimby, Cumbria, UK, and uniquely celebrates culture and style.

  • Expensive

  • Bit stiff tongue

New Balance 992 Review

  • 1st Release Date: 2006

  • Made in US

  • Price: $179 - $219

The New Balance 992 is a running silhouette.Debuted in 2006 for the brand's 100th Anniversary, the sneaker marked the second installment of the company's “99X” series – an evolution of the iconic New Balance 990 – which began in 2001.

Designed by Jonathan Bacon, the model introduced ABZORB Stability Insock technology to the Boston-based brand's line of products. The new release brought the all-new ABZORB SBS to the table, which enabled it to stand tall among a throng of hyped anniversary drops. Where previous iterations of the proprietary cushioning contained foamed rubber, the new version was a non-cellular elastomer – squishy rubber that would always bounce back, even after years of use. The new tech was placed under the heel and forefoot to provide optimal cushioning and a smooth transition throughout the stride.

The sneaker features a slightly-sportier shape than its New Balance 991 predecessor, but boasts a shape bulky enough to be widely-synonymous with a “dad shoe.” The model is made for the jogger and is fitted with versatile, breathable mesh material topped with durable suede overlay layers. The midsole is both thick and wide, offering reliable stability and lightweight cushioning. For added comfort, the show also has padded cushioning on the tongue and heel. 

New Balance 992 Pros and Cons

  • Fashionable dad sneaker.

  • Excellent ventilator.

  • All-rounder.

  • Extra quality.

  • Timeless aesthetics.

  • Comfortable.

  • So-so finish.

  • Hard to cop.

New Balance 993 Review

  • 1st Release Date: 2008

  • Made in US

  • Price: $199.99


The 993 first released in 2008 and supposedly combines the best elements of the 991 and 992 while improving the cushioning in the midsole.Just like the 992, the New Balance 993 is produced in their domestic facilities.The New Balance 993 approaches closer to crafted perfection with the incorporation of new technologies including an ACTEVA midsole for unbelievable comfort and DTS in the heel to provide a softer heel strike. The shoe also has improved heel-to-toe transition and forefoot flexibility and is lighter in weight.

The big addition was ABZORB DTS, or ‘Dynamic Transitioning System’, a new form of cushioning that utilised ABZORB foam together with the SBS elastomer to target different areas with support and stability. The upper underwent a few minor tweaks, including the addition of an elegant ‘993’ stamp on the heel.

New Balance 993 Pros and Cons

  • Premium suede/mesh upper.

  • Stylish sneaker.

  • Comfortable for everyday wear.

  • Superior traction and cushioning.

  • Durable.

  • Lightweight.

  • ABZORB midsole absorbs impact through a combination of cushioning and compression resistance.

  • ACTEVA cushioning delivers versatile, flexible support.

  • Full-length rubber outsole with Ndurance rubber heel for added durability to help get more wear out of the shoe.

  • Narrow toe box.

  • Harder heel.

  • Not bouncy.

Where to Buy New Balance Shoes Cheapest?

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New Balance 990 vs. 991 vs. 992 vs. 993: Comparison Side by Side


  • Upper

New Balance 990v5 - New Balance 990 is made from 50% mesh and 50% pigskin. Pigskin material makes the New Balance 990 much more breathable, loose, light and easy to take care of. However, it may not be as water resistant as other New Balance shoes. It is also obvious that no matter how soft and spongy the pigskin is, suede looks much better than pigskin.

New Balance 991 -  The New Balance 991 Also features a pigskin, synthetic and mesh upper.

New Balance 992 - The New Balance 992 upper is made of pigskin suede leather and mesh. The 992’s breathable mesh allows for quick break-in and aids with foot ventilation. While this pair appears to be overly cushioned, it is still a great summer sneaker! However, it may not be as water resistant as other New Balance shoes. It is also obvious that no matter how soft the pigskin is, suede looks much better than pigskin.

New Balance 993 - The New Balance 993 features high-quality suede and mesh. A mesh base with leather and suede paneling on the toe, sides, and heel, as well as a stitched-on “N” emblem, make up the upper.

  • Midsole

New Balance 990v5 - New Balance 990 shoes midsole features Encap technology.which is made up of more than one material and New Balance has labeled as their own. Encap has soft EVA foam in its core with a tough polyurethane shell for increased support and durability. Polyurethane is compression resistant as compared to the EVA foam, which makes New Balance 990 shoes more supportive. This polyurethane shell helps in fighting arch fatigue during long hours of standing.

New Balance 991 - It Features ABZORB midsole technology for cushioning and support.

New Balance 992 - New Balance 992 shoes midsole is made of ABZORB cushioning with ABZORN SBS technology.SBS is a deformable thermoplastic material. It is a low-density foam placed in the heel and ball of foot region of New Balance 992 to withstand extended impact testing. ABZROB foam is proprietary material of New Balance that offers shock absorption like EVA foam but lasts longer.

New Balance 993 - The New Balance 993 has a multi-density midsole with ABZORB and ACTEVA cushioning which provides additional cushioning. So, this extra cushioning arranges a smooth transition and ideal cushioning. In this way, your feet do not feel much pain while running or jumping.

  • OutSole

New Balance 990v5 - It’s made from blown rubber and there are flex grooves in the forefoot for added flexibility.The blown rubber is one of the most used rubber material. It is light and flexible so this is why there is enough space for forefoot. However; according to some people, the 990 is not as durable as the 992 or 993. Also, they believe that the 990 does not provide enough traction as the 993 does.

New Balance 991 - It's also made from blown rubber which provides superior rebound.

New Balance 992 - The 992 features a rubber outsole that helps with gripping and enhances durability.

New Balance 993 - The 993 outsoles are also full-length rubber and features an Ndurance rubber heel.  This provides excellent traction and shock absorption, as well as being durable, which means runners should find that these shoes last a while if properly taken care of.

2.Fit and Sizing

New Balance 990v5 - The New Balance 990 fit true to size.The New Balance 990v5 comes with more width options, as this shoe is available from extra-narrow to XX wide. The shoes also range in size starting at size 7 to 16 for men and are available from size 5 to 13 for women.

New Balance 991 - The New Balance 991 are comfy at true to size. 991s are lace-up shoes so you can adjust the tightness according to your liking even if you have wider or narrower feet. The toe box is also a perfect fit so there's no discomfort.

New Balance 992 - When it comes to New Balance 992 sizing, if you order true to size, you will still have room in the toe area. So, if you want to wear 992 shoes but need a snug fit, choose half a size smaller than your genuine size. 992s are presently only available in regular width on the New Balance website. If you have extra-wide feet, going true to size may result in a tight fit.

New Balance 993 - You’ll get a great snug fit in New Balance 993 if you would go true to size. However, for the wide-footed sneakerheads, most reviews recommend getting it half a size up as the forefoot feels a tad too snug to their liking.

Comparison Table

New Balance 990v5

New Balance 991New Balance 992New Balance 993
Drop-mm (M/W)12mm12mm12mm14mm
Width OptionsX-Narrow/Narrow/Standard/Wide/X-Wide/XX-WideStandardNarrow/Standard/Wide/X-WideX-Narrow/Narrow/Standard/Wide/X-Wide
FitTrue to sizeTrue to sizeTrue to size,but if you have extra-wide feet,you should choose half a size smaller than your genuine sizeTrue to size
ComfortComfortableComfortableComfortableVery comfortable due to more sophisticated ABZORB foam and heel cushioning


All the four shoes are neutral shoes that are ideal for daily training but weigh a little too much to be effective for racing.If your foot has a decent arch, you can go with New Balance 992 shoes as they have a nice resilient cushioning for long-distance walking. If you want a shoe that’s slightly lighter and not as soft, the 990v5 would be the better choice.If you are looking for plush cushioning and stability/support and durability, then I would recommend the New Balance 993.New Balance 993 has 3 different options for width: Narrow, Normal, and Wide. So, their needs are accommodated for those who have unnaturally wide feet. At the end of the day, it will depend on personal choice.

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2022-09-05 22:209483