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Comments: I just bought (and will return) a pair in 10-2E width, the same size and width as my 3 previous buys.
And NB does not have a 4E width in the same shoe (and the same price). The new pair, made in Indonesia, was significantly
narrower and tiny bit shorter. Prior, they were made in China. Now I have to figure out if I really need a wider shoe, or if this was
just an aberration.
From: Munro, 9/14
Comments: Maybe the best attribute of these shoes -- no break in period required and the 2E width (I have a wide
foot). My previous shoes were the adidas Barricade 8s and they took me almost a month to break in and got horrible blisters.
These shoes are lightweight and the cushioning is great. I've only worn them once on the court but love these shoes . My only
concern is durability -- how long will these last? Will the front toe area breakdown? I put a fair amount of pressure on my shoes. I
play at the 4.0 level, serve and volley often. I hope these last at least three months. But so far these shoes are exactly as
advertised. I may buy New Balance for life if they are reasonably durable. Thanks.
From: Oliver, 9/14
Comments: My NB 696 is a replacement for the forefoot torture devices called Prince T24. NB 696 has wonderful
out of the box comfort. They fit a hair long for me but the wide width made my feet happy. The 696 has a less flexy and less
grippy sole than my old NB 655. Although I did not feel as fleet of foot compared to the NB 655, the NB 696 wrapped around my
foot well and nicely supported a stable ride. I cannot speculate on shoe durability yet, but I would recommend this sneaker. A
durability warrantee at it's current price would make it a hard to resist buy.
From: Bowz, 1/14
Comments: Just got the 696 shoes so I can start playing tennis for my first time. These shoes are amazing! Very
comfortable and very stylish. Wore them for about 30 mins playing basketball just to wear them in before my first lesson and they
felt great! Right out of the box no aches or blisters. These shoes have plenty of room and fit to size. I just got done with my first
lesson which lasted 1.5 hrs and still have them on. Never have I owned an athletic shoe I wash't dying to rip off as soon as I was
done. I went to New Balance because of the Cross Training 877 shoes I own. Those are the lightest and most comfortable shoe
From: Kyle, 7/13
Comments: I just recieved these shoes, and noticed as soon as I took them out of the box that they looked very
narrow for a 2E shoe. I put one on and they were very tight and the toes felt crammed in there. I will be sending these back and
trying another shoe.
From: Anon, 4/13
Comments: Being the cheapskate that I am, I wore several different models of New Balance cross-trainer shoes for
tennis prior to taking the plunge and purchasing a pair of New Balance 696. I've also tried some lower-end Nike and Adidas tennis
shoes a while back, but I've found the right fit and feel with the New Balance. Just walking around the house, the 696 surprisingly
a little rigid. They came to life in my first match and perhaps they just needed a little time to break in. I would say that the 696 is
economy version of the 996 with a similar look and last. The mesh keeps this shoe light and breathable, but there's enough
leather in the upper to prevent my feet from shifting around as many mesh-predominant shoes are known for. If you prefer a
more cushioned feel, these shoes are probably not for you. The Abzorb midsole provides a firm response with good rebound, but
they never felt under-cushioned. Like the 996, there is some outsole material protruding on the outskirts of the forefoot which
it a wider footprint and more support. And yes, these are cool looking shoes as I purchased the grey/bright green combo. While
many of the older NB models are popular amongst the senior population with a conservative look, the newer NB models come in
some flashy color schemes. However, if you still desire a conservative color scheme, it's still offered.
From: NJ, 3/13