Weight: 351 Grams/12.4 oz
Technology: ABZORB®, A superior blend of foam cushioning and compression set, featuring rubber. NDurance, Rubber compound for maximum durability used in high wear areas.
The New Balance 696 Tennis Shoes provides a simple and lightweight option for players looking for high performance and speed. Features include a leather upper with houndstooth detailing and a non-marking, herringbone outsole with Ndurance rubber for durability and support. The ABZORB Technology featured in the midsole absorbs shock during play providing players with the ultimate performance and comfort.
After reaching my normal shoe life limit on my previous pair of New Balance 996 Tennis shoes, I was looking for something with a similar style and fashion as the 996 without sacrificing comfort or durability. This time around I also wanted a pair that were a little less expensive and the New Balance 696 fit the bill perfectly. As the description says , the New Balance 696 are simple and lightweight. I chose the White/Black color combination which gave me a traditional, business like look while on the court. The houndstooth pattern on the shoe’s vamp made just enough of a fashion statement without being too flashy. The shoes felt very light, definitely lighter than my previous pair of 996. The lightweight feeling did not compromise the shoe’s stable feeling. I never felt as if the shoe was not giving the ultimate level of support that I have come to expect from New Balance. As stated before in many of my other reviews, foot ventilation is very important to my overall comfort level while playing tennis. These shoes hit the mark perfectly in this regard. The toe cap had much more mesh that my previous pair of 996 and really kept my foot cool during play. For me, besides the excellent support provided by these shoes, the amount of ventilation just made these shoes that much better. I played both a winter and summer season and never felt like my foot was too hot or cold during play. The soles wore down at the rate I am use too, so no complaints there. What I did find interesting was where the wear took place. Usually, because I am an over pronator, most of the wear takes place on the outer edge of the outsole. With the 696, I noticed that I also experienced more wear on the midsole. Maybe this was directly related to the ABZORB technology that is featured in the midsole. My foot never felt uncomfortable in that area, so it really must do it’s job. Overall, this shoe was great. The price is reasonable, it offers top notch support and comfort and ventilation. My rating would be 2.0 out of 2.0 shoestrings. Sure, the style could be a little more fashionable, but with these features at this price level, who can complain? Not me!
New Balance 696 Pros & Cons:
Lightweight – The shoes did not feel heavy, almost as if you were playing in minimalist shoes.
Price – The price can’t be beat for such a quality pair of tennis shoes
Support – The lateral support was on par, which is generally the case for New Balance
Ventilation – The added mesh in the toe cap kept my feet happy during the summer months
Appearance – Plain Jane look. Despite this, they still manage to look great.
I would recommend these shoes wholeheartedly, with no reservations. The comfort and support were wonderful and the price is definitely right.
New Balance guarantees the outsole of the 996 tennis shoe for 1 year against premature wear with a new or similar pair.
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