New Balance 690 v4

7.2
7.2 score
Runnerclick score (7.2)/10

Our overall Runnerclick score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter
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User's rating: based on 4 user ratings
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25%
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New Balance 690 v4 Review Facts

The New Balance 690 v4 is a streamlined, back to basics kind of shoe. This is not the shoe for the individual looking for all the bells and whistles; however, this is a great shoe if you want a neutral running shoe that can take you through your speed workouts and your long runs.  New Balance is known for the quality construction and the 690 is no different. The fourth version of this shoe adds elements to up the traction, durability and cushioning. Runners loved the flexibility and stretch that these shoes offered, but commented that if you are looking for a show with added stability, this won’t be your top choice.

Although they are light shoes, runners were pleasantly surprised that these shoes could go the distance and still feel cushioned and comfortable. Plus these shoes are a stylish choice for the runner who cares about looking good as they cross the finish line or as they run errands around time. Add to all of this an extremely reasonable price tag and you’ll have a hard time finding something to dislike about the New Balance 690 v4.

 

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Affordable price tag
  • Comes in a variety of sizes, including width sizes D, B, 2E, and 4E
  • Feather-light and bouncy feel
  • Very long-lasting
Cons
  • Runs one size too small
  • Some felt the shoe was too firm
  • Doesn't offer extra stability
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 4 hours analyzing a total of 1200 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • I am rough on shoes and lazy with them so the heels usually break down quick on all my shoes. This is not the case with these shoes The heel is so durable and flexible and works great for someone like me. The shells on these are standard NB and are so durable and light. They have great sole support and are really cozy for my all day usage. I will be getting another color.
  • I own all the models of this shoe and I am so happy with all of them. They fit great at a size bigger for me. They are extra thick in the sole and they are great for my hard heel strike running. I love the comfort of this shoe, they never disappoint.
  • These shoes are soft and worked well with my little hikes. I wear them all day everyday and they are holding up great. The colors are great and they have a good fashion to them, yet are durable.
  • These shoes, all NB really, offer way more support than any NIKE or Reebok I have ever tried. They are so comfortable and supportive. These are actually even more supportive than my other NB and I am super happy with them. I also like the color options they have. Nice job NB.
  • Buy a size bigger and they usually fit perfect, for me anyway. They tend to form to your feet and loosen up a bit after a couple days of breaking in. They are dead on comfortable and really well designed. They are not too long even though the sizing up. Great form fitting shoe.
  • I need to replace the flimsy insoles But, these are comfortable and fit great at a half size larger. They are also light which is nice.
  • These are soft supported shoes and very light. They fit like they are supposed to, to size and very comfortable. I weigh a lot and the cushion has not collapsed with my sue, which is a huge plus for me. I will be buying these again.
  • After a year of moderate use, these shoes are finally starting to crease in the toes. For the price, they have lasted quite a long time. I use them to work in and they have never caused any pain or fatigue. I am about to buy another pair, make sure you go a half to whole size up.
  • I am used to Converse so these were quite a change and took some getting used too. They are comfortable and offer a lot of support, which I am new too. Plus, I love the purple, my fave color.
  • These never cause me any issues after a long work day. They have great support and feel good on my flat arches. They do need a little break in time.
  • I love the shoe. They just run a bit tight and I need more space for my foot surgery. They will stretch, but I need a shoe that fits great out of the box. No break in time.
  • These are snugger than my other NB but the msh gives a bit. They were really affordable and durable for the price. I like wearing these without socks, they are so comfortable.
  • Quality way exceeds the cost. I love walking in them as they provide some serious comfort. I would say they are a bit narrow than expected so I bought a size larger.
  • These are my work and gym shoes. I use them for around 12 to 13 hours a day between both. They are very light and the mesh allows for air. They work so good with my wide feet, unlike a lot of other running brands. I tend to use NB because of this. They never cause me any discomfort at all. Amazing shoe for my budget.
  • These are light and comfortable and fit different in the heel than I am used too, Nice and snug.
  • These have a good airy mesh material so be warned for dirt and water, they are not made for it. They are nice fitting and super light. All over great shoe and design for a great price.
  • I ordered a wide instead of a size larger and they fit perfect. I would like a bit more ankle support. These are my walking shoes so it isn't too big a deal. I like the cushioning in the midsole, it is nice and the mesh lets air in and cools my feet well. They have good reaction and the color is great. I didn't need to break these in at all.
  • These shoes fit perfect. I like a loose shoe. They are light, comfortable and easy to keep clean. I have a neuropathy and these keep my feet from hurting or getting tired, even after all day use and work.
  • I am happy with the feel and the quality of this shoe. Htey are super supportive and breath well. They fit to size and the price is great.
Negative
  • The sole is too high compared to the other parts of the shoe. I feel unbalanced. They are really uncomfortable and my toes slide onto the front of the shoe when I walk. I would never run in these.
  • The material on these is hard and not very comfortable. They are a cheap material and are noisy. They created pain in all my joints and my feet were destroyed. Horrible shoe.
  • These came in way smaller than anticipated, since I have bought the size in NB before. This is quite annoying. Consistency people!
  • These made my feet slide to the front and they rubbed, which was really uncomfortable. After a few hours in these at work my feet were dead. The arches have cushion but my feet will not stay in place. Bad design I think.
  • These shoes just collapsed on my feet from the cheap mesh material. The stitching came out on one shoe and they are way wider than I wanted.
  • I only gave these stars because they were pretty and the colors are nice. They have no support though. They are super hard on the inside and make my fasciitis flare up something horrible.
  • The heels rubbed out and came apart after a month of use. This happened on both shoes so it is definitely a problem with the shoe and not a defect.
  • These have a think seam on the tongue and it made blisters on the top of my foot, uncomfortable. I collect NB and have never had this issue.
  • They were way too small. I use NB religiously and these are just off. They have no cushion or support. I rather run in heels I think.
  • I am not happy with these at all. I only wanted these for walking and they just aren't giving me any support. The arches have NONE whatsoever. I do not like these at all.
  • I felt like my toes were gonna bust through like the Kool Aid man. They were wide but short and made them uncomfortable to run in. These are the first NB I haven’t liked.
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 1200 reviews we found in total, 28% were negative, and 72% were positive.
7.2
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Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The fourth version of the 690's added improved treads to the outsoles to raise the level of traction and durability. Other than this feature, however, the outsole of this model is a no-frills, durable, streamlined rubber. A no-frills ride does not mean that this is not a good shoe. In fact, the outsole of this shoe was reported to keep this shoe running much longer than other brands of similar design.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The fourth version of the 690s uses IMEVA (injection-molded) foam in the midsole. Overall, most midsole materials fall into two categories: IMEVA (injection-molded EVA foam) or CMEVA (compression molded EVA foam). All in all, injection molded midsoles have a higher rate of cushioning and responsiveness while the CMEVA tends to be more firm. Plus, IMEVA midsoles tends to be lighter than their compression counterparts, so this is a shoe for a runner looking for a lighter, more cushioned midsole.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper of this shoe is made using a combination of synthetic materials and a breathable mesh. This shoe utilizes a seamless construction to reduce friction and irritation during runs. In addition to seamless construction, the upper also includes an extra large overlay that extends the length of the upper. The construction is designed to secure the heel and reduce slippage or irritation. The combination of limiting the irritation a runner will feel during a run combined with added breathability makes this a smart shoe for a runner who cares about staying comfortable on their runs.
Weight
Weight

Weight

At 9.1 ounces, this is not a shoe that is going to weigh you down. Currently, the average weight of a running shoe is 9.6 ounces. While this shoe does not come in too much below that mark, it does have a feather like feel to it. Runners reported that this was a great shoe for their daily run and they appreciated the glove-like feel of the shoe, including its lightness.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

An air mesh and synthetic upper create a well-ventilated system. This shoe offers top quality breathability to the runner in order to keep the foot cool and dry. For those of us who are running in warmer climates or during the summer months, we know the difficulty of training in the heat. This shoes reduces hot spots and helps keep your feet nice and dry.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

These shoes received high marks for their comfort. They are lightweight shoes and have a more natural feel, but they still provide added cushioning. In addition to the cushioned feel of the IMEVA foam of the midsole, added comfort comes from the roomy toe box and added stretch in the heel. The upper is breathable and designed to keep the foot dry and cool even in hot long runs. While you won't get a plush ride from these shoes, they do offer a supportive, firm, cushioning that gives the runner the best of both worlds.
Style
Style

Style

If you want a shoe that is going to look good whether you are running errands around town or running across the finish line, this shoe is a nice choice for you. Stylish runners agreed that the fourth version of the 690's has a streamlined upper that looks great on the foot. Additionally, these shoes come in a choice of either the more classic style in navy, black or gray, but you can also get them with a unique lighting design, an eye-catching neon green or a vibrant royal blue. If fashion is your passion, these are a classically good looking shoe for you.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The rubber of the outsole keeps these shoes going mile after mile. For a lightweight shoe, reviewers raved about their durability. The synthetic and mesh combination of the upper keeps them looking new even after extended wear. The IMEVA foam of the midsole keeps the shoe light with just the right amount of cushioning, and it absorbs shock and doesn't easily break down. These shoes last long and they are much lower on the price scale than some other running shoes in their category. They have a reputation for their long-lasting durability.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The fourth version of the 690s greatly reduced the amount of stitching, especially on the forefoot overlay. The new construction is designed to reduce irritation and friction. Less friction means that the runner can run longer without needing to stop due to discomfort. Another new addition to the v4 is the extended overlay on the upper that helps to keep the heel in place.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

One of the best reported features of this shoe is the high level of responsiveness. It is a lightweight racer for the neutral runner. The rubber outsole material is durable, but that doesn't mean it is overly thick. The flexible material of the upper and midsole help this shoe feel very close and responsive to the road.
Support
Support

Support

While this shoe does offer a light degree of cushioning from the IMEVA foam in the midsole, runners should not expect to receive a high level of support from this shoe. It is a great shoe for the neutral runner who doesn't need extra arch support. The upper provides a snug feel that hugs the foot without feeling constrictive. The eight mm drop is great for the neutral runner.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

This is a shoe that is made for the road and the track. Runners reported that because of its lightweight design and fast feel, this is a great shoe to take to the track for sprints. Likewise, it is also a great shoe to take on your long runs as part of your marathon training. The versatility of this roadrunner makes it a great buy because there is no need to purchase one shoe for your speed workouts and another to log your long runs. This is a shoe that is great for both distance and intensity.
Price
Price

Price

New Balance is a trusted brand, and while some of their models are certainly on the high-end of the price spectrum, but this shoe is very affordable. If affordability is your top priority, this is a good choice for you. When considering price, it is just as important to consider a shoe's durability as it is to consider the shoe's price tag. A shoe could be on the lower end of the pricing spectrum, but if it breaks down easily and needs to be replaced more frequently than it isn't really a bargain. With the 690 v4, you get the best of both worlds: a shoe that is affordable and durable!
Traction
Traction

Traction

The rubber outsole of the New Balance 690 v4 can take you safely on the track or the road. This is not a shoe that is suggested for offroad hiking or intense terrains. The improved treads on the 4th version of this shoe help add traction to this shoe, but not so much that you should be attempting to take this shoe on overly slippery, uneven terrain. There are lots of great trail running shoes on the market today, but this shoe is not one of them.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The lightweight design, breathable air mesh of the upper, the thinner outsole, and IMEVA midsole foam help to make this a very flexible shoe. Runners appreciated that they felt that their foot could move easily on their runs, but still felt secure. This shoe offers a nice combination of flexibility and security for the runner who is concerned with both.
Stability
Stability

Stability

This is not a stability shoe. An overpronator (a runner who tends to roll their ankles inward on each stride) needs a shoe that offers more support and stability, but the New Balance 690 v4 is designed for a neutral runner. It offers a firmly cushioned feel and limited arch support. There are many wonderful options for a runner who is in need of extra stability, but this shoe does not fall into that category. Runner reported that this was a great choice for running, but not a suitable shoe to use in activities that required a lot of side to side movement.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The 8 mm drop of the New Balance 690 v6 classifies it as a neutral running shoe. The weight of the shoe (9.1 ounces) affords it a light and responsive feel for the runner who enjoys feeling the road beneath them but still needs a slight level of arch support. This is not the shoe for a runner who is looking for extreme arch support or for a runner looking a zero drop. This shoe is the baby bear of the running world. Not too cushioned, but not too minimalistic, but just right!
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- IMEVA foam in the midsole
- Affordable price tag
- Stylish look
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

New Balance is a quality, trusted brand. Not only are they designed and produced in America, New Balance also doesn't spend money on celebrity endorsements because they believe in putting their money into the research and development it takes to make the best running shoe possible. The 690 v4 is no exception to the quality and trust of the New Balance brand. This is a no frills shoe that is ideal for logging long miles. It is a perfect shoe for a neutral runner who is looking for a lightweight shoe that is flexible and responsive. It is a low cost running partner that has great durability and holds up to the miles you can put on it.