New Balance tennis enthusiasts may celebrate Christmas early with the release of an upgrade to the high-performance 996 tennis shoes model. However, the New Balance 996v4 has a staggering amount of technology upgrades and goes beyond a simple visual update. Hypoknit, a breathable material with a backer that contains data-driven perforations for tailored support on tennis-specific movement, is now used to make the knit top. In order to keep you in place, the tongue has also been altered somewhat to add wings (imagine a half-sleeve).
The major improvement is the removal of RevLite cushioning in favor of a full-length midsole made of FuelCell, the most responsive and energizing material available from New Balance. The sole now has Lightweight Solid Rubber (LWSR) in low wear zones to minimize weight while NDurance rubber still offers durability. The 996v4 also has an 8 mm heel-to-toe drop as opposed to the previous model’s 12 mm, which brings you closer to the court than before. With this game-changing improvement to one of New Balance’s top-performance shoes, Playtenniss couldn’t wait to hit the court.
What Is The New Balance 996 Tennis Shoes?
The New Balance 996 Tennis Shoes are a part of the brand’s tennis shoe lineup, intended to provide players with the necessary support, stability, and agility on the court. These shoes are equipped with cutting-edge technology and features that enhance performance, making them a popular choice among athletes.
What sets the New Balance 996 Tennis Shoes apart is their perfect blend of style and functionality. They offer a sleek and modern design, available in a range of colorways, allowing wearers to express their personal style both on and off the tennis court. This fusion of fashion-forward aesthetics and performance-driven features makes the New Balance 996 Tennis Shoes a versatile choice for various occasions.
New Balance 996 Tennis Shoes Review
The 996v4 was cozy from the moment it was unwrapped. In comparison to the previous 996v3, which seemed a little short in the same size, the shoe felt a little more true to size in my size 10. My foot fit beautifully in the usual D width, and there was just the right amount of space in the forefoot and toe box. The new model’s top immediately felt softer without feeling excessively slack or floppy. It immediately flexed in all the proper areas, yet it still gave the impression of having support for lateral movement. The transition to the new FuelCell midsole was felt right away. The shoe seems to have substantially greater cushioning and rebound than earlier 996 versions.
This New Balance 996 Tennis Shoes felt a lot better underfoot than earlier incarnations, although still not providing a lot of forefoot cushion. For a shoe with such a low cut, I found enough of ankle support and comfort. It was also nice to see the tongue become wings. I discovered that the tongue on earlier versions would frequently slip out of place and need to be adjusted. Unlike other full-sleeve style shoes, the 996v4 is kept considerably more firmly in place, giving the shoe a pleasant secure feel without being excessively snug.
Performance and Durability
I was pleased with the 996v4’s on-court performance from the very first hit. On the court, it appeared to be exceedingly quick and light. The sneaker feels faster than ever thanks to the use of materials like Hypoknit and LWSR. It was an upgrade over the previous design, and I liked how close to the court it felt. Although the Fresh Foam Lav, its more expensive brother, offers a better amount of lockdown stability, I preferred the court feel of the 996v4 to the Lav’s higher riding heel. When making strong cuts and changing directions, I felt like I had sufficient of support because the shoe had significantly more lateral stability than the 896 series.
Providing superb cushioning and an energetic initial stride, the FuelCell midsole truly shone. For me, this series’ transition to Fuel Cell was a total game changer. Previous 996 versions rapidly bottomed out for me in terms of cushioning, in my opinion. Every time I hit the court, the FuelCell-equipped 996v4 provided a responsive feel and cushion.
The NDurance rubber outsole offered superior traction while remaining flexible enough to yield when I changed directions or slid into shots. Even though at the end of my play test I had some balding of the tread under the ball of my foot, it appeared to hold up well to hard courts. Overall, the 996v4 was an outstanding performance shoe that will benefit even the best players.
With the 996v4, breathability was also excellent. It felt light and airy because of the knit top, and playing for lengthy lengths of time was really simple. I never had any foot baking or excessive perspiration retention in the sneaker. Compared to the knit but less forgiving material used on the prior 996v3, the perforated Hypoknit material appeared to be better vented and allowed for easy breathing. In the height of summer, I had no doubt that I could wear the shoe on the court for a number of hours without my feet pleading with me to take them off.
With the New Balance 996 Tennis Shoes, New Balance expands on their “Always in Beta” motto. It provides a staggering degree of improvement over earlier models in the series. The FuelCell midsole, which provides significantly better cushioning, great reaction, and explosiveness, is the highlight. The sneaker feels lighter and quicker than ever thanks to the Hypoknit upper. The New Balance 996v4 should unquestionably be on the wish list of any player searching for a light, well-cushioned shoe that offers excellent court connection and tons of support.