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Comments: Really impressed with these shoes. They're comfortable, durable, and have plenty of support. Some
reviewers below mentioned rollover issues, but I just don't see it. I have a weak ankle and it feels more stable in these than in my
previous (stiffer) Nikes. Sure, other shoes out there may be more flashy and fun-looking, but in my experience, that just translates
to more expense. The 696s are a great value with a simple yet classy design.
From: Matt, 11/14
Comments: I have worn New Balance 600 series shoes for many years -- one benefit is that the fit has been very
consistent. Unfortunately this 696 shoe is significantly different than its predecessors -- the shoe runs shorter overall and also
the toe box is noticably narrower than previous models. I am returning this shoe. But now, the tougher question -- do other New
Balance models run consistent (true to size, toe box size) with my current 656 shoe?
From: Mike, 11/14
Comments: I just ordered a second pair of these shoes because they are so good. I've been disappointed with the
trend in tennis shoes toward hard, mostly plastic uppers that have no give. Frankly, the NB 996 fits in this group. But the 696 still
has some leather in the upper and along with great cushioning provides a very playable, light shoe right out of the box.
From: Philip, 9/14
Comments: Support is not good. I have never rolled over on my foot until I tried these shoes -- it has happened
twice now. Will not buy again.
From: Steve, 9/14
Comments: These are my first pair of actual court shoes I bought and I really liked them. They felt great -- I'm
actually buying another pair for everyday use. On court, they felt light, solid, and responsive. They also lasted me one tennis
season, so I feel like they had good durability too. After these died I bought a pair of 996s, and honestly I still think I prefer the
696s, especially considering the price difference.
From: Neil, 7/14
Comments: I have used and loved the 600 series for years. However, the MC 696 feels completely different than its
predecessors. It is a lot narrower in the toe-box area. The side walls of the toe-box are a lot higher and stiffer. The insole feels
too voluminous and bulky (kind of crowds out your foot). I had to return mine ASAP. The former 600s, in my case, are vastly
From: Guy, 6/14
Comments: I have worn these shoes for several months. I have a slightly wide foot and bought half a size up. They
wear well, seem to have sufficient cushioning and ventilation. Not a bad shoe for the price.
From: Mark, 7/13
Comments: I find that these shoes do not have enough cushioning. The insole is very thin and they almost
immediately started hurting the bottom of my feet. I have worn New Balance shoes in the past, but I am disappointed with this
From: Anon, 5/13
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