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New Balance 993 vs. 990v5 vs. 990v4 vs. 990v3: Differences and Reviews 2024

New Balance 993 vs. 990v5 vs. 990v4 vs. 990v3: Differences and Reviews 2024

    New Balance has some of the best collections of running shoes.If you are looking for a daily pair of shoes, the 993 and the 990 are exactly for you.The New Balance 990 series has been the brand’s pinnacle product since its introduction in 1982.This style has gained a huge following for it's unmatched combination of quality, comfort, and classic sneaker good looks.After the release of the first 990, New Balance continued to tweak the silhouette, with five versions arriving so far.Each one shows the evolution of the brand’s flagship line, as technology, trends and history all come together.These shoes are extremely similar and there may be some confusion about which is best.

    In this guide, I will compare the differences between the New Balance 993 vs. 990v5 vs. 990v4 vs. 990v3.What is the difference between 990v5 and 993?What's the difference between the 990v4 and 990v5?What's the difference between the 990v3 and 990v4?New Balance 993 vs. 990v5 vs. 990v3 vs. 990v4:what is the most comfortable New Balance model?Which is best for you?Are 990v3 comfortable?Can you run in New Balance 990v4?Let’s look at the similarities and differences of the New Balance 993 vs. 990v5 vs. 990v4 vs. 990v3.Keep reading and you will know which pair of trainers is right for you.


New Balance 993 Review

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 990, the New Balance 993 is produced in their domestic facilities.A favorite from the legendary 990 series, the 993 features responsive cushioning and premium materials ready for a run or all-day wear.

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 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.Despite its bulky appearance, the 993 is surprisingly lightweight, though not as light as, say, the average pair of running shoes. 

The New Balance 993 shoes are almost like slippers with their all-around softness and require little to no break-in straight out of the box. The padded suede-and-mesh upper feels like pillows on your feet as you move around and the overstuffed tongue adds extra cushioning without being obstructive. The 993’s thick rubber sole is sturdy and guarantees comfortable all-day wear, proving the shoe’s chunkiness isn’t just for show.They're a sturdy, simple shoe fit for any situation—walks at the park, running errands, hangouts with friends—and they're soft enough to want to prioritize wearing. These are built to take a beating.

New Balance 993 Pros and Cons

  • Made in the U.S.A.

  • Premium suede/mesh upper.

  • Stylish sneaker.

  • Comfortable for everyday wear.

  • Superior traction and cushioning.

  • Durable and 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.

New Balance 990v5 Review


Debuted in 2019, the New Balance 990v5 is the fifth iteration of the iconic New Balance 990 series. Its most structurally robust take on the silhouette to-date. 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 990v5 features some key updates to structural elements and technologies.

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.With a tonal TPU power strap wrapping the upper, alongside the premium pigskin we’d come to expect from the sneaker, the 990v5 was the first iteration to take on the brand’s slightly alternative color palette of “Slate Grey.”Branding across the sneaker was given a renovation too, with emblems on the tongue and foxing of the footwear accentuated with 360 reflectivity. Crisp white laces and a matching outsole completed a clean take that sat atop the epochal ENCAP midsole.It comes in women's whole and half sizes 5 to 13 and men's whole and half sizes 7 to 16 in gray, black, and navy, and in six widths.The 990v5 is a staple of both morning runs and fashion runways.

New Balance 990v5 Pros and Cons

  • Made in the U.S.A.

  • Pigskin leather and mesh form an upper with bold style.

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

  • 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.

  • Blown rubber outsole provides superior rebound.

  • Yielding footbed.

  • Weighty.

  • Bunching issues.

  • Flimsy upper (big toe area).

New Balance 990v4 Review


The 990v4 released in 2016 during the rise of the “dad shoe”.New Balance 990 v4 is a comfy, stable, and high-quality lifestyle shoe choice for the fans of dad shoe styles.There are subtle updates for this 4th generation: it’s more breathable, sports a lace keeper to keep the tongue in place, and a new streamlined “N” logo.  It also features a dual density collar foam and has ENCAP midsole technology that is designed to increase support and durability.  The shoe has a 12 mm midsole drop which means these are not designed for those minimalist runners and has one of the higher drops on the market.This model is made in the United States of America. 

The shoe features some solid midfoot support handled by the ENCAP technology. It helps to stabilize the foot, especially for those with flat feet and moderate overpronation.Being a bit awkwardly bulky, some people actually consider it an advantage. If you don’t mind the higher price tag, this sturdy sneaker will pay you back with its top-level quality.

This is a well designed and built shoe and the small updates are nice touches.  It is a great looking workout shoe but they also are great lifestyle shoes that pair nicely with some jeans.

New Balance 990v4 Pros and Cons

  • Durable upper construction.

  • Durable rubber outsole.

  • Dual-density collar foam.

  • Nicely padded collar.

  • ENCAP midsole for durability.

  • Mild to moderate overpronation.

  • Spacious toe box.

  • Reflective elements.

  • Tongue stays in place.

  • Not the most flexible design.

  • Can be slippery.

  • Bulky for some people.

  • Expensive.

New Balance 990v3 Review


Arriving in 2012 to celebrate the original silhouette’s 30th anniversary, the 990v3 was arguably the first step towards the 990 as we now know it. The 990v3 has a similar near-angular design like its predecessors, but improves the soles, cushioning and support. It has a stable look and an excellent heel design. 990v3 has a carbon fibre midfoot shank to further aid stability, and it introduces a diamond tread pattern on the forefoot, while the heel is made from a durable rubber compound called Ndurance. The midsole is made from ABZORB to cushion against shock and Encap EVA for support, durability, and cushioning. The collar is dual-density with a softer foam against the foot for cushioning and a firmer foam on the outside for support. The shoe is reflective for visibility in low-light conditions. It is flexible enough to run up and down in, but stable enough for daily running. The 990v3 is a good fit for a variety of foot profiles, such as over-pronation or plantar fasciitis. In short, the 990v3 is a nice addition to the iconic New Balance 990 series. It might not be the best kick for more serious road running, but it remains a satisfactory option for casuals looking to make a run for it in short bursts.

New Balance 990v3 Pros and Cons

  • Classic look available in a variety of color combinations.

  • Super plush.

  • Wide-foot friendly.

  • Glove-like.

  • A comfortable and supportive shoe for a good price.

  • Good breathability.

  • Good for runners with plantar fasciitis.

  • Good push-off and leverage abilities.

  • Lacks arch support.

  • A bit of a heavyweight.

  • Not designed for rough or irregular terrain.

  • The outsole disintegrates after 70-80 miles.

Where to Buy New Balance Shoes Cheapest?

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New Balance 993 vs. 990v5 vs. 990v4 vs. 990v3: Comparison Side by Side


New Balance 993New Balance 990v5New Balance 990v4New Balance 990v3
Heel Drop14mm12mm12mm12mm
Width OptionsX-Narrow/Narrow/Standard/Wide/X-WideX-Narrow/Narrow/Standard/Wide/X-Wide/XX-WideX-Narrow/Narrow/Standard/Wide/X-Wide/XX-WideX-Narrow/Narrow/Standard/Wide/X-Wide
FeelPlush CushioningBalanced CushioningBalanced CushioningBalanced Cushioning

2.Construction and Material

  • Outsole

New Balance 993 - The outsole of the 993 has a full-length rubber out sole 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.

New Balance 990v5 - When we look at the outsole of the 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 993. Also, they believe that the 990 does not provide enough traction as the 993 does.

New Balance 990v4 - The New Balance 990v4 is also made with a blown rubber for the softer feel of cushioning while maintain-ing responsiveness and traction.The blown rubber outsole of the New Balance 990v4 pushes this stability shoe to the next level.Head out on a mild trail run or embark on an adventure over steep hills and watch how the high traction rubber will keep you sure-footed no matter what terrain you decide to conquer.

New Balance 990v3 - New Balance 990v3's outsole makes it a good daily running shoe. It uses a blown rubber forefoot for the softer feel of cushioning while maintaining responsiveness and traction. The NDurance rubber in the lateral areas and heel is for maximum durability. It uses slightly less rubber than the previous versions in order to reduce weight and has bigger grooves in the forefoot for flexibility. 

  • Midsole

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.

New Balance 990v5 - The New Balance 990v5 uses ENCAP midsole technology, which is made up of two different materials.The core of the cushioning uses soft EVA cushioning, which is then surrounded by polyurethane to provide support and durability. For extra comfort and support, this shoe has an Ortholite insert.

New Balance 990v4 - The lightweight and long lasting ACTEVA LITE foam for cushioning are used in making the New Balance 990v4 ENCAP midsole technology. The power of the ENCAP midsole technology is felt when runners spring into action in the New Balance 990v4. The soft ACTEVA LITE cushioning works to-gether with a rim of Polyurethane to correct overpronation and kick off the damage that typically occcurs with fallen arches. Durability emanates through the shoe's polyurethane rim and just like the outsole, it provides comfort and support when in use.

New Balance 990v3 - The cushioning, support and shock absorption make the New Balance 990v3 a good shoe choice for someone with plantar fasciitis because they help eliminate pain during walking and running.The ABZORB foam lies directly beneath the foot in the form of a removable insole, providing cushioning and absorbing shock. It also provides stability for runners with a forefoot strike running pattern, as well as some arch support to prevent over-pronating. ACTEVA LITE, which is just above the outsole for improved responsiveness, is 24% lighter than average foam. The Encap foam in the heel provides even more cushioning and improves acceleration. Beneath the arch is a TPU post that stabilizes the foot. 

  • Upper

New Balance 993 - New Balance 993  shoes feature uppers that are made from 50% mesh and 50% synthetic pigskin.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.

New Balance 990v5 - New Balance 990 is also made from 50% mesh and 50% pigskin with breathable mesh in targeted areas and 360 reflective accents for added safety in low-light running conditions.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 990v4 - Made with a combination of mesh and pigskin, the shoes offer an upper with a traditional tongue. At the same time, the upper is also their strongest point. Since many people feel that they can be bulky and heavy from this perspective, the shoes are also seen as a great casual option as well. You can easily pair the shoes with many casual outfits and take full advantage of the versatility of the lacing system, you can ensure the best overall results when it comes to upper durability as well.

New Balance 990v3 - The upper is made of Nubuck leather, pigskin, and mesh, giving it a classic New Balance look, reducing the weight of the shoe, and allowing for breathability during a run. 

3.Fit and Sizing

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.

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.The 990v5 tends to fit a touch wider than the 990v4. The toe box area is just a touch roomier but the heel remains snug fitting. 

New Balance 990v4 - Since the shoes come with an impressive selection of sized which range from 7 to 16, they can be an excellent option for all ages. Made for the high overall running shoe which can also be used to run to the store for groceries, it represents a design which has a limited appeal as only a trainer. They are shoe which can be used for maximum versatility. The fit is excellent although it might feel awkward due to the bulky design.Having a rather generous toebox in the standard width already, the shoe is also available in Wide and Extra Wide variations.

New Balance 990v3 - These New Balance 993 are comfortable at true to size. They return a generous, wide-foot friendly fit at that size.The toe box is roomy and comfortable, so there are no problems with rubbing or itching during motion, even during descents.

Conclusion: Which is Best for You?

The New Balance 993 and 990 are very similar in both style and features. They’re both neutral shoes that are ideal for daily training but weigh a little too much to be effective for racing.Which is best for you?At the end of the day, it will depend on personal choice.

If you’re looking for a little more cushioning, then it would be worth it to get the 993.However, if you want a shoe that’s slightly lighter and not as soft, the 990 would be the better choice.

The New Balance 990v4 are a type of shoes made to appeal to a wider range of runners of all ages. They are also a type of footwear which can replace casual shoes with walks or trips to the store. 

The New Balance 990v3 is a good road running shoe for daily runs. It gives support to mild to moderate over-pronators and is comfortable enough for someone who suffers from plantar fasciitis.

By the time the 990v5 came around, NB embraced the ironic cool and ‘Dad Shoe’ status of their flagship product. Its midsole follows the configuration of v3 and v4, but its surface is smoothened considerably. The outsole pattern is also simplified to sit flatter and lower.The 990 version 5 tends to fit a touch wider than the 990 version 4. The toe box area is just a touch roomier but the heel remains snug fitting. 

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