The tagline of the New Balance 990v5, “Worn by supermodels in London and dads in Ohio,” is both self-effacing and braggadocious. What is the secret to the shoe’s worldwide success? Since its introduction in 1982, it has had the same look: simple grey with a chunky sole that appeals to both fashionistas and AARP members. Despite this, New Balance manages to do the unimaginable with its classic sneaker. The 990 is one of New Balance’s most popular running shoes, if not the most popular.
The iconic shoe receives an upgrade with version 5. Since its introduction in 1982, the New Balance 990 series has provided a sophisticated package of safety, comfort, and stability. The New Balance 990 v5 maintains the brand’s tradition of using high-quality materials to ensure superior comfort and stability. The classic and timeless design remains, but the 990 v5 includes several important structural and technological changes. The New Balance 990 v5 is undeniably a luxury shoe and a throwback to the original edition from the 1980s. However, the design is far from obsolete, and the comfort has only improved over time. This running shoe, which can also be worn as everyday footwear, is a high-quality, comfortable, and stylish choice.
The New Balance 990v5 fits true to scale but has a wider toe box than previous models. This gives you a lot of flexibility. Wear thicker socks if you do not like the extra space. Thicker socks can help relieve sweat and are a clever way to wear shoes that are already too bulky. However, most customers do not seem to mind the big toe box. The fit is available in sizes 7–14 for men, as well as half-sizes up to 12.5. Half-narrow options are available in sizes 7 and 7.5. New Balance also offers sizes ranging from X-Narrow to XX-Wide, as well as up to size 16. The 990 v5 is available in narrow to X-wide sizes for women in sizes 5–13. Half-sizes up to 11.5″ are also available.
The New Balance 990v5 is a little longer and wider in length and width than most other running and lifestyle shoes on the market. As a result, most people tend to order a half-size smaller than their usual shoe size. Since the shoe runs a little big, it’s best to order a half-size down or true to size in this shoe.
For Narrow-Footed People: If you have narrow feet, you can easily go down a half-size from your regular Nike or Adidas shoe size and be comfortable with the 990 v5. Since this New Balance model has a wider toe-box, you will find that it feels roomier than a true-to-size shoe.
For People Who Have Big Feet: Those with wider feet may tend to remain true to size, depending on how loose or snug they prefer their shoes to match. As previously reported, the New Balance 990 v5 has a roomier toe area, making it a perfect shoe for “wide footers.”
Those Who Want a Closer Fit: If you want a snug fit in your shoes, size down half a size. This will eliminate any heel slippage that can occur if you order true to size. This is also the perfect choice for people who choose to wear their sneakers untied or loosely tied.
Those Who Prefer A Roomier Fit: If you want a roomier fit in your shoes, go for your normal size, and those with wider feet larger be able to find a wide-width model, which is also available in the classic grey colourway.
Back in 1982, New Balance’s 990 line of neon-shoes was a shock to the neon-shoe industry. The muted grey had never been used before. However, the shoes’ style has evolved slightly since then. The design is slim but substantial. These are not close-fitting or discreet shoes by any way, but New Balance uses the surface spacer to create athletic shoes that look amazing and come in a variety of colours. Each hue is a darker, duller tone with a lot of black choices, with white being the brightest. So, these are not running shoes that would make a fashion statement because they will be unobtrusive, but they are far from boring. A few lighter colours are available for the more daring riders, but they are in the minority.
Many shoes with full mesh uppers have the appearance of being low-cost. Fortunately, the pigskin suede leather between the mesh in these shoes prevents this. The suede also adds a sophisticated touch. It is genuine suede, unlike many other shoes, where you never know what you are going to get. Suede is much more difficult to fake than hard, full-grain leather, and many manufacturers use a synthetic mix instead of pure leather. With the 990v5, there’s no chance of that happening.
Overall, you get an upper that looks great, feels great, and performs well. Like most running shoes, the 990v5 has a rocker bottom. Since it is not as noticeable as other shoes, the New Balance 990v5 takes the prize. The idea behind a rocker bottom is that it is thicker in the heel and thinner in the toes to give you a bounce in your step. It also allows you to step off with your toes close to the ground and a thick heel to absorb force.
With the similarities and discrepancies out of the way, let’s focus on the New Balance 990v5. Originally, the 990 products were designed as neutral running shoes. This is valid for the 990 v5 and all in between. They are as follows:
- Stable in places where it is required.
- For added comfort, the seat is cushioned.
- Shock absorption is built in to take the pressure off your feet.
The pair of kicks do this without being too bulky or overbearing or pushing you to change your gait. They are not, without a doubt, not designed for pronators. They are, however, very stable, and their near fit can be beneficial to those who suffer from pronation problems.
Many running shoes have a full mesh or leather upper for breathability and style. Both are present in the 990v5! Three mesh panels are located on the toe box, with one on each side higher up. These do, in fact, provide excellent breathability. However, since they are in panels, they add a sleekness to the shoe, making it more costly.
The heels of the 990v5 are thick and durable, protecting you from anything the ground throws at you. While the soles have excellent traction, they are best used on roads and tracks. So, be cautious about what you subject yourself to. Although the outsoles are capable of withstanding a lot, hiking in these shoes can result in you falling or wearing out the soles.
The aim of midsole technology is to provide comfort and stability. Your feet will be supported but not compressed or encased in hard material. These shoes have a lot of cushioning. The collar is highly thickly padded to provide a soft covering for your foot’s most vulnerable area. Many shoes have a problem with rubbing the back of your ankle. With the 990v5, however, there will not be any of that thanks to the padding and stable fit. The generous padding spreads to the tongue, providing cushioning for the top of your foot while protecting it from tight laces. And, of course, the outstanding ABZORB technology protects the bottom of your foot. New Balance has always been known for its comfort but the 998 of the 90 series really elevate it to another level.
So far, the New Balance 990 v5 appears to be the best of the 990 line—perhaps the pinnacle. You can grab a pair here. New Balance will undoubtedly make some changes for a potential v6, but for now, the v5 is the best option. If you want an older model, the 990v4 is almost identical to the 990v3 except for the power strips. Anyone who values convenience, consistency, and support will appreciate either pair.