New Balance 993 vs. 990: The Verdict

Why should you get the 993 or the 990? Let's go in depth.

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New Balance 993

Arguably the best running shoes for all levels of activity.

new balance 993

Why Do We Recommend The New Balance 993?

The New Balance 993 is regarded as the ultimate “dad shoe” among sneakers. It has a pillowy heel and a chunky silhouette, along with a hefty price.

The main draw of the 993s is their versatility and comfort. Apart from being a great running shoe, a pair of these will feel like slippers on other occasions as well. They’re quite soft, and they don’t require almost any break-in.

What Should I Look For in Running Shoes?

When you’re browsing running shoes, make sure that your potential model has the right amount of toe space; you don’t want to create bruises and blisters from constant chafing. Also, having a seamless upper will reduce rubbing and blisters as well. And make note of the shoe’s arch — it should conform to your foot’s shape. Plus, the shoe needs to be both firm enough to hold your heel in place, and flexible enough to provide comfort.

Which New Balance Shoe Will Be Right For Me?

It all depends on what you want to use the shoe for. If you’re specifically looking for a running shoe that you won’t necessarily use for anything else, the 990 is probably a better choice; it’s a more lightweight shoe, though it’s less durable over the long term.

On the other hand, the 993 is definitely a great everyday shoe with some occasional running. It’s got more suede, and it’s got more padding and stability — which can detract from your speed, but you’ll be able to wear it all day long for years.

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New Balance 990

Excellent support & premium build shoes.

new balance 990 shoes

What’s Unique About New Balance 990?

Originally advertised as a shoe for “devoted runners”, the New Balance 990 remains one of the best shoes for amateur athletes looking for a combo of motion control and flexibility. And if the 993 seems expensive, the 990 was the literal most expensive running shoe ever marketed in its time. Still, it had the best cushioning and stability at the time, along with a low top that reduced chafing.

How Are The NB 993 & the NB 990 Different?

Ultimately, the 993 is just another iteration of the ground-breaking 993 model — with minimal differences. It’s mainly about the design focus — while 990 was focused on speed and flexibility, the 993 are more robust, slightly heavier, and more concerned with the shoe’s durability.

While you may notice a slightly lower movement speed with the 993, it’s definitely going to last you longer. And a durable, heavy shoe is excellent for power walking or leisurely use; which is why the extra padding and the additional thickness of the 993 was great for many people.