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The New Balance 993: A Comprehensive Review

CEO Tinh Phung
If you're a fan of '90s-style running shoes, then the New Balance 993 is sure to catch your eye. Released in 2008, this chunky sneaker has gained both popularity and criticism over the years. But...

If you're a fan of '90s-style running shoes, then the New Balance 993 is sure to catch your eye. Released in 2008, this chunky sneaker has gained both popularity and criticism over the years. But is it worth the price tag? Let's dive into everything you need to know about the New Balance 993.

What Sets the New Balance 993 Apart?

The main issue with the New Balance 993 is that the differences from its predecessor, the 990, are minimal. While the 993 boasts a more robust design and increased durability, it may affect your movement speed and gait. However, for those who prefer a heavier, sturdier shoe, the 993 is perfect for leisurely walks. It offers stability but may lack the flexibility necessary for other activities.

Despite the similarities with the 990, the price difference is extraordinary. Some consumers question whether the slight improvements are worth the higher cost. Nevertheless, the 993 still stands out with its unique features. If you're considering purchasing a pair, let's take a closer look at what you can expect.

Reviewing the New Balance 993


The New Balance 993 shoes weigh approximately 14 ounces (399 grams). While this may seem hefty for running shoes, it offers extra stability for those who prefer a more grounded feel. However, if you prefer a lighter shoe that seamlessly extends your movements, the 993 may not be for you.

N-Durance Rubber

The outsole and sole of the 993 are made with N-Durance rubber, a compound specifically designed to enhance durability. This rubber contributes to the shoe's longevity compared to the 990. However, it's important to note that the 993 is primarily a road shoe and may not perform as well on rough terrain. If you're looking for trail running shoes, consider exploring the ASICS Gel Venture 6.

Blown-Out Rubber

The blown-out rubber of the N-Durance sole ensures flexibility despite the shoe's chunky design. Running requires flexibility to prevent pain and maintain proper form. Although the 993 may not flex as much as your foot does, it offers dexterity in the toe box, making it comfortable for most runners.

ACTEVA Cushioning

The New Balance 993 features ACTEVA cushioning, an older midsole technology that offers a lighter and more durable alternative to standard cushioning. It resists compression, allowing the shoes to maintain their comfort and support for a longer period. The ACTEVA midsole, combined with the shoe's heavier weight, may provide a balanced experience.


The upper of the New Balance 993 is made of pigskin suede and mesh. The pigskin suede provides a high-quality feel and durability. Compared to synthetic leather blends, pigskin suede is less prone to showing wrinkles and maintains its appearance over time. The mesh component allows for breathability, although it has not been engineered to the same standard as more recent models. It's important to wear sweat-wicking socks as the shoes can trap sweat and hold odor.

The Tongue

One unique feature of the New Balance 993 is its extended tongue, reminiscent of basketball shoes. However, some runners find the tongue uncomfortable and prone to movement while running. Wearing thicker socks may help alleviate this issue, although it may increase sweat and odor. Additionally, the low eyelets of the men's and women's 993 models may affect how the tongue fits snugly on your foot.

Pros and Cons


  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Provides stability for those who prefer heavier shoes
  • Incorporates advanced technology for enhanced comfort
  • Unmatched outsole quality
  • Loved by many customers for its style and comfort


  • Traps odor
  • Takes longer to dry
  • May lack breathability
  • Tongue tends to move while running
  • Low eyelets affect tongue fit
  • Requires extra care due to the higher price of replacement

In conclusion, while there are technically better running shoes available, the New Balance 993 continues to have a loyal following. Many customers overlook its downfalls and choose the 993 for its durability, comfort, and timeless style. If you're willing to invest in a pair of 993s, taking proper care of them is essential.

Caring for Your New Balance 993

Given the high price tag of the New Balance 993, it's crucial to make them last. Here are some tips to help you maintain their quality:

Clean Them Correctly

Avoid submerging your New Balance 993s in water, as they are not machine washable. Instead, use a small brush, like a toothbrush, with warm water to dislodge any stains. If necessary, mix a mild laundry detergent with water for tougher stains. Gently wipe the shoes with a damp cloth to keep them looking fresh.

Keep Odor Away

Preventing odor is particularly important with the New Balance 993s. Opt for merino wool socks to regulate foot temperature and reduce sweating. Additionally, use a deodorizer spray in light layers to avoid saturating the material. When not wearing the shoes, consider using air freshening bags or balls to maintain freshness.

Repair Them

If you encounter any issues with your New Balance 993s, it's best to seek professional repair. Avoid DIY fixes, especially if the outsole peels or cracks. Find a cobbler for outsole repairs and a tailor for any suede damage. Remember, you've invested a significant amount in these shoes, so it's worth preserving their quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does New Balance Still Make the 993?

Yes, New Balance continues to produce the 993 shoes. Despite their flaws, many customers find them incredibly comfortable and appreciate their unmatched durability.

When Was the New Balance 993 Released?

The New Balance 993 was released in 2008. Its '80s/'90s aesthetic may make it hard to believe that it debuted in the 21st century.

Why Are New Balance Shoes Expensive?

The high price of New Balance shoes can be attributed to their quality. New Balance prioritizes the use of high-quality materials and employs skilled workers in their factories. Additionally, they incorporate advanced shoe technology into their footwear.

Has the New Balance 993 Run Its Course?

Although the New Balance 993 shoes still offer great features, they may not be the best option for runners looking for top-notch performance. However, for collectors and fans of chunky '90s-style kicks, the 993 is a must-have. They also fit the current trend of "dad shoes." If you're passionate about fashion or collecting, the New Balance 993 is an excellent addition to your collection.

Share this article with your fashion-loving friends or fellow collectors and let us know your thoughts on these questionable shoes in the comments below!

New Balance 993