A Review of New Balance 996v4 Women's Tennis Shoes
- Superior responsiveness from the FuelCell and Ndurance rubber sole technology.
- Features several kinds of materials blended for a mix of comfort, breathability, and energetic performance.
- The FuelCell cushioning in the shoe provides comfort and absorbs shock from explosive movement.
- Is versatile enough for most types of play and movement on the court.
- Slightly less stable and supportive, as the shoe is roomier and bulkier than other kinds available.
- The shoe’s available color schemes are either very bright or mostly grey and may not suit the aesthetic tastes of many players.
- The upper of the shoes may stretch out, losing more support for the support.
- The shoe lacks any kind of sock/upper shoe around the ankle.
A Summary of New Balance 996v4 Women's Tennis Shoes
The New Balance FuelCell 996v4 women’s tennis shoe released in May 2019 aims to provide female players with great stability and energy on the court.
They are available in women’s shoe sizes 5 to 12, including half-sizes up to 10.5.
The width of the shoe is standard but can also be changed too wide to accommodate any foot width. They are the third version of the FuelCell 996 series and feature several new design features for better stability and support.
The shoes come in a standard white, and grey color palette with a dark grey New Balance logo featured on the sides, as well as a FuelCell logo embossed onto the heel.
They are available in other colors as well, including bright neon patterns.
The shoe upper is made from 50% synthetic materials, 50% mesh and incorporates several material technologies from New Balance that give it even more support.
Features of New Balance 996v4 Women's Tennis Shoes
- Approximate 8 mm drop
- FuelCell foam to deliver a positive, energetic drive forward
- Full-length Ndurance outsole for superior traction and durability.
- Hypoknit upper shoe for better durability
- Ndure upper technology
- Combination of equal parts Synthetic and Mesh material upper
- Rubber sole
A Detailed Review of New Balance 996v4 Women's 3 Tennis Shoes
The FuelCell 996v4 shoes are designed for all the women tennis players looking for a shoe that will give them an extra burst of energy and force.
The shoe’s design is quite simple and minimalistic, integrating several material technologies researched by New Balance to make it as sturdy and stable as possible while still being somewhat lightweight.
The shoe comes in many different color schemes, the standard being white with a grey ombre and a dark grey New Balance logo. Other color schemes include:
- Bright pink and black
- Black and neon yellow slush
- Grey and light neon blue
- Virtual sky and lemon haze
- Mint and grape
- Light blue and orange
- Neo flame and grey
- Thistle and mulberry
- Bali and vision blue
This shoe also uses a traditional lacing system and tongue rather than a mono-sock or inner sock and closed lace design.
The shoe is just 264 grams (9.3 oz) in weight and comes in both standard and wide width sizes to accommodate wider feet.
For the quality and design of the shoe, reviewers have agreed that the pricing is appropriate and not too expensive.
The shoes are designed with durability and force at the forefront to help the player run, turn, and jump faster on the court.
The technology used in the shoe is designed to be comfortable for the player, absorb shock, protect from any damage and respond better to movement.
Tougher materials like the Ndurance rubber sole work together with softer materials like the breathable HypoKnit upper to achieve this.
FuelCell technology is featured in the midsole, which cushions the player’s feet, providing stability and responsiveness whenever a movement on the court is made.
New Balance has replaced some technologies with new or updated versions to ensure the shoe performs much better than the 996v3’s, which are the previous release in the FuelCell series.
For a comprehensive video review to get a good impression of how the shoes perform on the court, as well as the opinion of play-testers and experts of tennis,
Watch this video by the Tennis Warehouse is recommended:
How is the New Balance 996v4 Women's Tennis Shoes Different from Competitors?
Reviewers have praised New Balance’s 996v4 women’s tennis shoes, not just for the features it provides but also for the huge improvements made in comparison with the previous 996’s.
New Balance considered what their customers were looking for with the FuelCell series and made strategic design decisions that would make the silhouette undeniably more responsive, cushioned, and explosive than any shoe that came before it.
Competitors of New Balance, such as Adidas, Nike, and Under Armour, have also made efforts to improve their tennis shoes.
Everything from color range to materials used should be thought about. New Balance’s 996v4 tennis shoes are designed specifically to be lighter, faster, and more durable than the versions before it.
The design takes more traditional elements, such as the adjustable shoe tongue, lacing set up, and less flexible heel, and improved them to work in the player’s favor.
New Balance has made efforts to focus on improving their FuelCell midsole and full-length NDurance outsole technology, so that players would be satisfied.
Their prices are average for the industry, but it seems they have put extra effort into knowing their customers and what they are looking for.
According to many customer reviews, these shoes are comfortable and versatile enough also to be used in the gym.
What Other Reviewers Have to Say About the New Balance 996v4 Women's Tennis Shoes
Tennis Warehouse’s review of the FuelCell 996v4 shoe was mostly positive. They took into consideration three play-testers opinions and scored the shoe on several criteria.
These include comfort, ventilation, arch support, foot support/stability, overall sole durability, toe durability, traction, and weight.
They also had the play-testers compare the shoe to others they have tried. The play-testers loved that the shoe was lower to the ground than the previous version of the FuelCell 996’s.
Overall, the Fuelcell 996v4 shoes scored 3.9 out of 5 from them. Out of all the criteria mentioned, the shoe scored the lowest in foot support/stability with a 3.3.
What They Liked:
- The shoe was very comfortable, a huge improvement from the previous version. They were so nice to wear that the play-testers took them off the court to walk in.
- The shoe was incredible, lightweight, and much lighter than previous versions.
- There was no need to break the shoes in; they were ready to be played in straight out of the box.
What They Disliked:
- The shoe lacked support and stability and was roomy enough for the play-testers feet to slip around in slightly.
- Once the uppers were relaxed/stretched out from a few games on the court, the ankle stability also lacked, causing soreness.
Tennis Express also reviewed the shoes, specifically the reviewer Renee Bergere, who played tennis for 25 years. She lists her shoe size as a women’s 8.5 and looks to wear her shoes both at the gym and on the court for high-intensity training classes.
Those who have a similar size and are looking to use their tennis shoes in the gym as well can really benefit from her review!
She also gives a detailed description of how they felt, both wearing them while stationary and while moving in different directions.
What They Liked:
- The shoes were comfortable to wear from the beginning after unboxing, and it was very convenient to get on and lace-up.
- The tapered middle of the shoe gave a great snug feeling and helped with responsiveness.
- She did not have to adjust the laces at any time, even when doing intense lateral movements.
What They Disliked:
- The shoes (which she got in the color ‘guava’) were incredibly bright and drew attention from everyone around
- The toe box was very roomy, which was nice, but could also cause some instability in those who do not have a wide foot.
Tennis Shoes Lab reviewed the New Balance FuelCell 996v4 and rated the shoe on design, upper, lacing system, outsole, midsole, insole, weight and size, color options, price, and also did a quick rating of the shoe’s clay court version, which is for both men and women.
Overall, the shoes received a very positive rating from them while adding some areas for improvement.
What They Liked:
- The shoe’s superb design
- The amazing levels of comfort
- The durability of the outsole
- The shoe’s lightweight
- How much traction the shoe could garner
What They Disliked:
- The current color options are lacking and should be made in wider options.
- The shoe is not very stable, which could be improved with changes to the insole and midsole
Run Repeat’s review of the FuelCell 996v4 gave the shoe a 4.5 out of 5 based on 605 reviews. They also took opinions from five experts on what they thought.
After a quick explanation of the features and technology that have gone into the shoe, the Run Repeat reviewers describe what kind of player best suits the shoe. Many reviewers also testified that the shoes were true to their sizing chart.
They also mention that Cori’ Coco’ Gauff, an American tennis player, inscribed her FuelCell 996v4 shoes with tributes to the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant, and his daughter after their tragic passing. She wore them to the 2020 Australian Open match, paying her condolences to the two.
What They Liked:
- The cushioning is much improved from the third version, as New Balance decided to replace the old REVlite cushioning with FuelCell full-length cushioning through the midsole.
- The breathability of the shoe is a huge benefit, and theOrtholite insole does a great job of preventing too much moisture inside
- The NDure New Balance technology wrapped around the toe and forefoot adds supportand reinforces the shoe to make it more durable.
What They Disliked:
- Run Repeat’s review did not include any dislikes or criticisms for the FuelCell 996v4 tennis shoes.
The FuelCell 996v4 women’s tennis shoes from New Balance might not have the most high-tech design. Still, New Balance has hit the mark in providing a shoe that will propel players forward using the right combination of materials and patented technologies.
The FuelCell technology itself has been improved to be more responsive, and the drop has been lowered to keep the player more connected to the court.
The fourth version of 996 shoes in the New Balance FuelCell series has been designed with customer demand in mind.
Although certain aspects can be improved, such as their color choices and stability, the benefits far outweigh any criticisms that reviewers had.
While some may love the brighter colors that are available, the lighter and mid-tone color schemes are slightly lacking.
The price of the shoes is also well worth the quality and energetic feel they give.
Make sure to check out the full video review to get a good look at how they perform on and off the court, and if possible, try the shoes on before purchasing.
For female tennis players looking for a sturdy and powerful tennis shoe that won’t weigh down on the court, the New Balance FuelCell 996v4 shoe might be the perfect fit.