The Ultimate New Balance 990 Series Sizing Guide

It’s often said that a shoe, much like a story, evolves over time. Each iteration has its own tale to tell, its own nuances to be discovered. New Balance’s illustrious 990 series is a vivid testament to this evolution. A shoe that began its journey focusing on high-performance has grown to accommodate the preferences of both the athlete and the everyday individual. This article seeks to delve into the intricacies of sizing for the New Balance 990v1 through to the 990v4.

Why Choose the New Balance 990?

The New Balance 990 stands out for its remarkable comfort. These sneakers feature an injection-moulded EVA midsole, providing layers of cushioning and support throughout. Integrated ABZORB technology adds extra cushioning, elevating the overall comfort. Additionally, the suede-and-mesh upper not only contributes to the classic look but also ensures excellent breathability, keeping your feet cool and comfortable.

New Balance takes great pride in the craftsmanship and quality of their sneakers. The 990s are often associated with being “Made in the USA,” showcasing its dedication to crafting high-quality footwear domestically. This focus on craftsmanship and quality adds to the perceived value of the sneakers, which could justify their price point for many buyers.

Beyond comfort and craftsmanship, the 990s boast style and versatility. Their timeless design and array of colour options make them suitable for various fashion preferences and occasions.

A Brief History

The New Balance 990v1, released in 1982, marked the beginning of it all. This trainer rapidly gained recognition for its design and its high price tag. In fact, it was one of the first running shoes to cross the $100 threshold.

It wasn’t until 1998 that NB introduced the updated 990, revealing the second iteration of this silhouette. While the 990 line had evolved from the 995 to the 999 during the intervening years, this time, the Boston-based brand broke conventions by completely redesigning the original. The 990v2 carried forward the brand’s technical innovations, introducing an ABZORB midsole for shock absorption. Its overall aesthetic also paid homage to contemporary New Balance releases.

In 2012, the 990v3 was launched to celebrate the original silhouette’s 30th anniversary. This step marked a significant transformation towards the 990 as we know it today. While the pigskin paneling on the upper remained mostly consistent since its inception, the introduction of a predominantly mesh upper revolutionized the silhouette’s aesthetic. This shift turned it into a more breathable, lifestyle-oriented sneaker rather than one focused solely on performance.

By 2016, New Balance was well aware of the legendary status of its 990 silhouette. Returning to the sneaker just four years after the launch of the 990v3, the label tapped into the “dad shoe” trend of the time while also updating various design elements from its predecessors.

In this release, the signature “N” logo was enlarged, and the upper’s construction received subtle adjustments. The design maintained its focus on comfort and stability through the ENCAP sole unit and EVA core. One year after this release, New Balance partnered with Stüssy to create one of the brand’s most celebrated collaborations.

The release of the 990v4 in 2016 coincided with the surge of the dadcore trend, as people sought respite from sock-like shoe styles. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive.

The New Balance 990s have garnered a dedicated fan base, including streetwear enthusiasts. Their popularity can be attributed to their comfort, style, and the perception of owning a piece of iconic footwear.

New Balance 990

Before we plunge into the depths of sizing, it’s important to understand why the 990 series has garnered such a loyal following. When New Balance introduced the 990 series, it wasn’t just a shoe; it was a statement. A blend of stellar performance, aesthetic allure, and unmatched comfort made the 990 series a runaway success. Each version, from the v1 to the v4, has carried forward this legacy while also charting its own unique path.

New Balance 990v1

The New Balance 990v1 typically runs slightly larger than true to size (TTS). This means that if you usually wear a certain size in sneakers, you might consider going half a size down for a better fit.

If you have narrow feet, you can easily go half a size down. Because the New Balance 990v1 features a broader toebox, you’ll likely experience a roomier feel compared to what you’re accustomed to with true to size shoes.

New Balance 990v2

The 990v2, typically runs true to size. This means that you can usually select your regular shoe size. The sneaker’s upper is designed to provide a snug fit. This ensures a secure feel and good support for your feet.

This snugness is accentuated by the breathable mesh upper and synthetic overlays. Generally, sticking to your regular size should serve you well with the v2. However, for the half-size community, sizing up is recommended. If a bit of wiggle room is what you prefer, then consider sizing half up for that extra comfort.

New Balance 990v3

New Balance 990v3 is generally considered to have a true to size fit. This means that you can typically choose your regular shoe size for the 990v3.

Some users recommend going half a size down for a snugger fit, while others find that TTS fits perfectly. For those with wider feet, sizing up by half is advisable, while individuals with narrow feet might find going half a size down beneficial.

New Balance 990v4

The New Balance 990v4 generally fits larger in length and width compared to most other running or lifestyle shoes. This spacious fit provides comfort and ample room for your feet. Since the shoe runs large, it’s safe to order a half a size down in the 990v4.

If you have narrow feet, you can confidently opt for a half-size smaller than your regular shoe size when choosing the 990v4. However, if you have wider feet, it’s advisable to stick with your true size or consider going up by half a size if you prefer a looser or snugger shoe fit.

New Balance Sizing Chart Guide


The fit of New Balance 990 series is generally true to size for most people. This means that if you typically wear a certain size, you can choose the same size when purchasing these models. However, it’s important to note that individual preferences and foot shapes can vary, so we’d recommend trying these on in-store before copping!

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