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New Balance 990v5 vs. 990v6 vs. 1080v13: Differences and Reviews 2024

New Balance 990v5 vs. 990v6 vs. 1080v13: Differences and Reviews 2024

    If you’re looking for a new pair of running shoes, you’ve probably heard of the New Balance 990 and Fresh Foam X 1080.The New Balance 990 series has been the brand’s pinnacle product since its introduction in 1982.onceived as an uncompromising running shoe with absolutely no compromises, the line has gradually transformed into a street favourite thanks to its Made in USA quality and premium materials.The 1080 delivers top-of-the-line performance to every kind of runner, whether you’re training for world-class competition, or catching a rush hour train.For the past several years, New Balance has been upgrading its shoe models to improve support, walking and running stride, and cushioning.Newcomers to New Balance 990s and 1080 may have some trouble telling the variations apart.In this article, I will be comparing three popular models from New Balance 990 and 1080:the 990v5,990v6 and1080v12.

    Is 990v6 better than 990v5?What's the difference between New Balance 990v5 and 990v6?New Balance 990v5 vs. 990v6:which 990 version is the best?What are the benefits of New Balance 990v5?What material is the 990v6 made of?What are New Balance 1080 used for?What material is New Balance 1080v12 made of?What's the difference between New Balance 990 and 1080?Keep reading and you will know which pair of trainers is right for you.


New Balance 990v5 Review

Price: $175

Debuted in 2019, the New Balance 990v5 is the fifth iteration of the iconic New Balance 990 series. The 990v5 is the flagship New Balance shoe adored by celebrities and streetwear pundits alike.The shoe 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.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.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.The New Balance 990V5 comes fused with excellent cushioning and stability. The shoes are highly stable and offer a close fit. They feature a secure fit and padding that ensures that the back of your ankle stays clear from frequent rubbing.If you’re into collecting iconic sneakers regardless of price, the 990v5s make for a solid bet due to their nostalgic-meets-contemporary aesthetic.



Who Should Buy The New Balance 990v5?

The New Balance 990v5 is an excellent option for runners who are looking for a comfortable and stable running shoe. 

The shoe are also a good option for individuals with flat feet. The shoe’s midsole features New Balance’s signature ENCAP technology, which provides both cushioning and stability. This can help support the arch and provide additional comfort for those with flat feet. 

New Balance 990v5 Pros And Cons

  • 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).

Where To Buy New Balance 990v5?

New Balance Team Sports

Foot Locker (4% super cash back) 

Finish Line (5% super cash back)

Champs Sports (4% super cash back)



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New Balance 990v6 Review

Price: $59.99-$219.99 (from kids to adult)

At first glance, the v6 looks similar to its predecessor with the chunky, multi-layered look we’ve come to expect.Like its immediate predecessor, the v6 adopts a sporty aesthetic, indulging in a slimmer shape and more angular lines than past New Balance shoes.However,The New Balance also made a series of performance-inspired updates.

For starters, there’s the contrast piping around the “N” logo, a detail that hasn’t been around since the V3.While the V3 through V5 all sit on a relatively similar sole unit, the V6 rides on one chunkier than any 990 before it. The upper dispenses with the standard midfoot saddle, allowing the pigskin and synthetic overlays to flow from heel to toe across the mesh underlay, for a speedy, streamlined look. Furthermore, a first-look at the shoe reveals an inaugural greyscale colorway, which has become customary of many new models from the brand.

The main difference between the New Balance 990v6 and previous versions is the chunky midsole that sits underfoot. Opting for a more contoured look, the sole unit boasts a curvier appearance, and appears to ditch the silhouette’s typical ENCAP branding for the brand’s FuelCell foam, which brings the pair more in-line with the imprint’s performance running range. With the V6, New Balance has seemingly addressed the market’s aesthetic adjustment accordingly.But the shoe’s new chunky look isn’t for everyone, and the pair has left 990 fans feeling divided on the bulkier aesthetic. 


Who Should Buy The New Balance 990v6?

This is a modern shoe for modern times, and it looks great in every situation, whether it’s a long run or going out with friends.The New Balance 990 v6 is a solid pick for:

  • Runners and walkers who want a pair of kicks that they can take for casual strolls without giving up the forward propulsion that they love in their trainers.

  • Dad shoe lovers who want that modern twist to the classic retro vibe of members of the New Balance 990 series.

New Balance 990v6 Pros And Cons

  • It features a modern look and design.

  • They come in a number of different widths.

  • All-day comfort

  • No break-in needed

  • FuelCell foam delivers a propulsive feel to help drive you forward.

  • It provides greater stability for runners.

  • It offers more cushioning and shock absorption.

  • Also great for walks and easy jogs.

  • Spacious toe box.

  • Worth every penny.

  • May be too narrow for some runners.

  • May not provide enough arch support for some runners.

  • Doesn’t have the same retro charm the older models have.

Where To Buy New Balance 990v6?

New Balance (up to 5% super cash back)

Foot Locker (4% super cash back) 

Finish Line (5% super cash back)

Champs Sports (4% super cash back)

Flight Club

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13 Review

Price: $164.99-$179.99

The Fresh Foam New Balance 1080, on the other hand, is a premium, neutral running shoe designed for those who prioritize maximum cushioning and plush comfort. It features an ultra-soft Fresh Foam X midsole, delivering a luxurious underfoot feel and excellent shock absorption. The engineered mesh upper is lightweight and breathable, with added support from the Hypoknit construction. The 1080 delivers top-of-the-line performance to every kind of runner, whether you’re training for world-class competition, or catching a rush hour train. 

The 1080v12 saw New Balance make some big changes to the shoe, and this has continued with the 1080v13.It’s soft, it’s comfortable, and it’s lighter than some of the other plush everyday running shoes on the market. Yes, it still retains the premium nature of the 1080 series, but the new midsole features more rockered geometries, increased stack height, stiffer forefoot, and softer foam durometers to create a much more efficient shoe in a really protective package.First up, the midsole sees an additional 4mm stack height in the heel and 6mm at the forefoot, bringing the total stack to 38mm/36mm and reducing the heel-to-toe drop from 8mm to 6mm. There’s additional padding around the heel collar and on the gusseted tongue – adding to the v13's all-round plusher feel – with the tongue wrapping nicely around the midfoot. The knitted mesh upper, which felt a little too stretchy on the v12, has been replaced with a more structured upper that holds the midfoot more securely in place.The midsole also contains the brand’s latest Fresh Foam X foam, which shaves 28g off the total weight. More foam has been applied to wider areas of the midsole, too.This shoe will be a great option for runners with neutral mechanics who prefer a high stack, compliant midsole. 


Who Should Buy The New Balance 1080v13?

This shoe is perfect for runners seeking a plush, cushioned ride, particularly those who may be prone to fatigue or impact-related injuries.

If you’re looking for maximum comfort, this could be your shoe. That big, broad base creates a wide, cushioned platform to run off with a lower drop, a rocker to smooth transitions and some extra stiffness in the forefoot to help you snap through each step. 

New Balance 1080v13 Pros And Cons

  • Soft and very comfortable top to sole.

  • Ideal recovery, slow and easy days ride.

  • Lighter than other every day, max-cushioned running shoes.

  • A smooth heel-to-toe transition, encouraging natural running style.

  • A fit for any foot.

  • Lively underfoot experience.

  • Plush, padded uppers.

  • More pronounced rocker that helps you with a smoother footprint cycle.

  • Great for everyday running and suitable for long race days, as well as recovery runs.

  • Lacks a bit of energy.

  • Not as versatile as other daily trainers.

  • Soft foam and stretch knit upper are not a great combination for performance (but are for sheer comfort).

  • Stretch knit upper may require selecting narrower than usual fit sizing.

  • Cushioning may be too soft for some runners who prefer a firmer landing

Where To Buy New Balance 1080v13?

New Balance 990v5 vs. 990v6 vs. 1080v13: Comparison Side by Side

1. The Upper

New Balance 990v5 - Unlike many other running shoes, the New Balance 990V5 features full leather for looks and a full mesh upper for breathability.The shoe’s toe box has three mesh panels, plus an additional one on either side higher up. Consequently, the shoe offers your feet not only excellent breathability but also an air of sleekness.Also, between the mesh, this shoe features pigskin suede leather. As such, it does not look as cheap as many other shoes.

New Balance 990v6 - One of the most noticeable changes from the previous model is the upper. The standard midfoot saddle has been dispensed with, allowing the pigskin and synthetic overlays to flow from heel to toe across the mesh underlay. This gives the shoe a streamlined, modern look that is sure to appeal to runners who value style as well as performance.There are reflective elements that can be found on the “N” lettermark and below the collar. To complement the reflective elements, metallic finishing is applied to the 990 logos at the rear of the sneaker and on the tongue’s branding while the V6 is done in a curvy font in red. Alongside the suede, most of the rest of the upper is a polyester blend. Elsewhere on the upper, plastic panels on the tongue and heel cap are just that – plastic – but they have a bit step up compared to previous models.

New Balance 1080v13 - The latest version of the 1080 boasts significant alterations, primarily in its upper. The new upper is produced from 50% or more recycled plastic, to meet New Balance's Green Leaf standard.The newly engineered Hypoknit mesh brings an optimal blend of structure and flexibility, which previous versions did not have.The deep heel collar, slender cushioned tongue and streamlined lacing system all contribute to its sleek lightweight design and sense of stability.Breathable, lightweight engineered mesh upper to feel more supportive and structured.

2. The Midsole

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 990v6 - The New Balance 990v6 midsole gets a complete revamp. New Balance used three different types of EVA foam represented by the three different colors. New Balance has given the sneaker a chunkier, textured midsole with a much taller stack height. In terms of design, the forefoot is given much smoother lines while the grey Encap heel sports more aggressive, sharper lines.FuelCell foam delivers a propulsive feel to help drive you forward.

New Balance 1080v13 - The 1080v13 integrates more Fresh Foam X midsole foam than v12, resulting in a higher stack while shedding weight.Content includes a minimum of 3% bio-based / 5% recycled materials.The additional Fresh Foam X in v13 delivers a responsive, comfortable and lightweight running experience suitable for all running styles.It’s extremely plush, and you get a good amount of sink-in comfort when first putting the shoe on, yet it’s still got enough bounce to feel fun when running — it’s not so spongey that you lose responsiveness on the run. 

3. The Outsole

New Balance 990v5 - Looking 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. 

New Balance 990v6 - Thick rubber panels make up the majority of the outsole.The outsole is much more classic New Balance. Thick rubber with minimal cut outs shows that this was still designed with durability in mind.

New Balance 1080v13 - The v13’s outsole has undergone a complete redesign.It incorporates a solid rubber outsole that effectively enhances forefoot stiffness during toe-off, contributing to a more powerful and efficient running stride. Redesigned vertical flex grooves to encourage a natural and smooth heel-to-toe transition.

4. Performace

New Balance 990v5 - The New Balance 990v5 is designed to provide excellent running performance. The shoe’s midsole is made of ENCAP technology, which provides cushioning and stability, ensuring a comfortable running experience. The outsole is made of rubber, which provides excellent traction on various surfaces, ensuring stability while running. The shoe’s upper is made of a blend of suede and mesh, which provides both durability and breathability, ensuring comfort while running.

New Balance 990v6 - While the design and features of the 990v6 are impressive, the most important factor for any running shoe is its performance on the track. Thankfully, the 990v6 delivers on its promise of being one of the best running shoes on the market. The addition of FuelCell foam provides a noticeable boost in energy return, making it easier to maintain a steady pace and pick up the speed when needed.The ENCAP midsole cushioning also provides excellent support, helping to reduce the risk of injury and keeping the feet feeling comfortable even on longer runs. 

New Balance 1080v13 -

The New Balance 1080v13 features a soft Fresh Foam X midsole that delivers enhanced cushioning without adding extra weight, ensuring a comfortable and responsive ride. Its rocker profile further contributes to a smoother and more natural transition from heel to toe, promoting an efficient and enjoyable running experience.

While it’s definitely best suited for longer, easy miles, there’s enough snap to wear the 1080v13 while picking up the pace. Faster runners might still find the shoe too hefty for anything but easy miles, but beginners are bound to enjoy this midsole foam. 

5. 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 toe box area is just a touch roomier but the heel remains snug fitting. 

New Balance 990v6 - The New Balance 990 v6 has a surprisingly good last.These new 990s are shaped much more like a normal foot.Even better, they come in a number of different widths. The heavy padding also makes the shoes pretty accommodating if you’re in between sizes. 

New Balance 1080v13 - They ran true to size, with plenty of room in the toe box. The lockdown around the heel is good.The beauty of the 1080, though, is that it's also available in narrow and wide fits if you need them.

Comparison Table

New Balance 990v5New Balance 990v6New Balance 1080v13
Width OptionsX-Narrow/Narrow/Standard/Wide/X-Wide/XX-WideStandard/Wide/X-WideNarrow/Standard/Wide/X-Wide
Weight13.2 oz(M)13.2 oz(M);10.5 oz(w)9.2 oz(M);7.3 oz(W)
Leather;Mesh upperMesh upper;Pigskin suede and synthetic overlaysBreathable engineered mesh upper
MidsoleEVA;ENCAP midsole FuelCell foam;ENCAP midsoleSoft Fresh Foam X midsole
OutsoleBlown rubberThick rubberSolid rubber outsole

Conclusion: Which Is Best For You?

The 990 is part of New Balance “Made in USA” collection, but the 1080 is not.The 1080 is a modern, lightweight running shoe that provides that “squishy” feeling under the foot. The 990 is more of a casual athletic shoe, that you can pair easily with jeans or use it at the gym. But it isn’t as lightweight, breathable, or soft under the foot as the 1080.

By the time the 990v5 came around, NB embraced the ironic cool and ‘Dad Shoe’ status of their flagship product. This perhaps led to the brand skewing the model more for comfort than outright performance.

As for the 990v6, NB have placed it purely in their Lifestyle category. The v6 represents a continuation of the 990’s vanguard position in the sneaker world, with a fusion of performance, materials, quality and comfort that few — if any — sneakers can come close to.

Frequently Asked Questions

Did New Balance discontinue 990v5?

Thankfully they have not. New Balance keep making the v5.

Is New Balance 990v6 a stability shoe?

Stability runners and overpronators, get the guidance you need in the New Balance 990v6.

Is 990v6 a running shoe?

The designers of the first 990 were tasked with creating the single best running shoe on the market. The MADE in USA 990v6 embraces this original mandate, with a series of performance-inspired updates.

Do 990v6 run small?

This model runs large, you may consider ordering down from your normal size. 

Who designed New Balance 990v6?

Teddy Santis.Continuing to expand Teddy Santis' Made in USA collection, New Balance has added a new colorway to its 990v6 silhouette.

Is New Balance 1080 a neutral shoe?

The New Balance 1080 is a neutral running shoe with a focus on cushioning and support. It is designed for longer distances and runners who need more cushioning and support for their feet. The shoe is made with durable materials and is designed to provide a comfortable and responsive ride.

Is the New Balance 1080v12 a rocker shoe?

Yes.The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v12 doesn't do everything perfectly but has a lot of positive attributes, including the rocker designs. It's also fairly lightweight and very comfortable.

Are New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 good for walking?

This shoe oozes comfort and softness, making it a great easy run, walking and standing shoe as long as you have stable mechanics. 

Is New Balance 1080 good for orthotics?

Because of the stiff midsole and strong heel counter, the shoe also works well with a supportive insole or orthotic if additional support is required.

Is the New Balance 1080v12 good for standing all day?

The pinnacle of performance technology, the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12 works well whether you are running a marathon, walking your first mile or standing all day at work. The signature Fresh Foam X midsole foam in the 1080 v12 is New Balance's most cushioned Fresh Foam experience for ultimate comfort.

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2023-11-14 19:451311