New Balance 990v5 vs 990v4 - Differences Explained

New Balance 990v5 vs 990v4 - Differences Explained


What's changed with the release of the New Balance 990v5 Running Shoes?


AUTHOR BRADY S / PUBLISHED: MAY-21-2018

The New Balance 990v5 is an icon of the running shoe world and the new version just arrived. So what's changed with the most recent iteration in the New Balance 990 running shoe line?

Changes in Appearance and Construction

The New Balance 990 running line has been in production for over 3 decades. This style has gained a huge following for it's unmatched combination of quality, comfort, and classic sneaker good looks. New Balance is aware of the high expectations that their customers have for any running shoe that they release with a 990 style number and so they were careful to only make small and necessary changes for their latest iteration.

The 990v5 is still manufactured in the United States with the highest quality materials and components. New Balance has been committed to crafting made in USA sneakers for over 75 years and you can expect that they will continue manufacturing their top of the line styles in Boston for many years to come. The uppers of the 990v5 are pig suede with breathable mesh in targeted areas and 360 reflective accents for added safety in low-light running conditions.

The updated New Balance 990v5 maintains the timeless clean silhouette carried over from previous generations. The outward appearance remains remarkably similar to the previous iterations. The most notable difference is the plastic power strap component which can be found on the sides near the ankle area. The mesh areas have been simplified into fewer but larger mesh breathable zones for a sleeker appearance that does not change functionality. The final noticeable change is the encap midsole support area which can be found around the rear area of the shoe. NB cleaned up this ares by adding a PU Ring and hiding the hard plastic within the shoe. The result of the minor aesthetic changes is a sleeker looking shoe that maintains the timeless essence of the original 990 design.

Shop New Balance 990v5 Running Shoes

New Balance 990v5 Men's Running - Grey / Castlerock - M990GL5 - profile

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Changes in Fit and Feel

The only thing more important than making sure that your shoes look great is to be sure that they feel fantastic. A sneaker like the New Balance 990 has long been the prime example of a sneaker that looks good and feels even better. New Balance made sure not to mess this up with the release of the all-new 990v5 running shoes.

The early customer feedback from the 990v5 has been excellent. Customers have come to expect excellent cushion, moderate stability, and a design that feels light on the foot whether running a marathon or strolling city streets.

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. New Balance added some additional cushion to the heel area which is a pleasant and noticeable change. The last noticeable change with fit is related to the power straps near the ankles. The power straps add some lateral ankle support. Overall the fit is very similar with some minor improvements.

Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.

— Dean Karnazes

Product Details Comparison

Below are side by side specs of the men's 990v4 compared to the 990v5.

New Balance 990v4

  • Men's Made in USA
  • Type: Cushioning
  • Weight: 385 grams (13.6 oz)
  • 12 mm drop: due to variances created during the development and manufacturing processes, all references to 12 mm drop are approximate
  • Blown rubber outsole
  • Dual density collar foam
  • Encap PU ring with EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) core
  • ENCAP® midsole technology provides support and maximum durability
  • Pigskin/mesh upper
 

New Balance 990v5

  • Men's Made in USA
  • Type: Cushioning
  • Weight: 388 grams (13.7 oz)
  • 12 mm drop: due to variances created during the development and manufacturing processes, all references to 12 mm drop are approximate
  • Blown rubber outsole
  • ENCAP® midsole technology provides support and maximum durability
  • Pigskin/mesh upper
  • Dual Density Collar Foam
  • ENCAP PU Ring with EVA Core

The New Balance 990 is an icon of the footwear industry with over 3 decades of heritage. This made in USA classic has been updated to include superior comfort and stability, a sleeker design, and first-class materials with a premium build.