Why Are New Balance 990 So Expensive? The Intricate Factors That Make New Balance 990 Expensive


In a world where sneaker culture reigns supreme, the New Balance 990 series stands out for its timeless appeal, but there’s one thing that’s hard to ignore – that not-so-subtle premium price tag!

While these iconic shoes have garnered a dedicated fan base, that age-old question pops up: “Why are New Balance 990s so expensive?”

Well, hang onto your hat, because we’re going to unveil the intricate factors that add up to that premium pricing.

Before we start, explore the journey of New Balance 990s, comparing models from the V1 to the V6, to find your perfect blend of style and comfort in this iconic sneaker series.

Now let’s dive right into it…


Why Are New Balance 990 So Expensive?

Heritage and Craftsmanship

You see, New Balance doesn’t just make sneakers; they craft them with an old-school dedication to quality that’s as timeless as their kicks.

This brand’s heritage? It’s like the sneaker version of a well-preserved vintage car – pure class!

Now, when it comes to the 990 series, it’s not just any old shoe. These babies are part of the MADE collection, and that’s where the magic starts.

What’s the deal, you ask? Well, it’s about that commitment to keeping things close to home. They make them right here in the USA, and it’s one of the reasons these kicks aren’t exactly budget-friendly.


Skilled artisans go to town on these bad boys, using premium materials that are so good they practically whisper “luxury.” Durability? You betcha.

Comfort? Like walking on clouds. These sneakers aren’t just for a season; they’re in it for the long haul!


Premium Materials


You know, the secret sauce to these high-dollar sneaks is all in the ingredients. New Balance doesn’t mess around when it comes to picking the right stuff. We’re talking top-notch, A-list materials that are like the red carpet of the sneaker world.

The 990? Well, it’s a champ when it comes to materials. High-quality suede? Check. Mesh that’s not messing around? Check. And premium pigskin? You bet your boots!

It’s all about nailing that sweet spot between aesthetics and performance. These materials don’t just make these sneakers look good; they make them tough as nails.

Plus, when you slip your feet into these babies, it’s like getting a first-class ticket to comfort town. Whether you’re strolling down the street or hitting the track, these kicks have got your back!


Innovative Technology

Now, when it comes to New Balance’s 990 series, they aren’t just kicking it old school.

New Balance consistently integrates innovative technologies into their 990 series. For instance, the ABZORB cushioning technology, ENCAP midsole support, and Ndurance rubber outsoles offer an unbeatable combination of comfort and performance.

All these innovations don’t come cheap. New Balance pours a ton of moolah into research and development to stay ahead of the game, and guess who’s footing the bill? That’s right, us shoe lovers. But trust us, it’s worth every penny!

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any cooler, the 990v6 rolls in with a new FuelCell midsole foam. You know, the same stuff they put in those super popular running shoes like the FuelCell Propel and the FuelCell SuperComp.


So, when you’re rocking a pair of 990s, you’re not just wearing sneakers; you’re sporting a high-tech marvel that’s got your back every step of the way!


Here’s my in-depth account of sizing the New Balance 990v6 for valuable insights on finding your perfect fit in these iconic sneakers.


Don’t miss out on expert tips for lacing your running shoes correctly.

Domestic Manufacturing

In contrast to numerous competitors who opt for outsourcing to cut down on production expenses, New Balance stands firm in its dedication to manufacturing the 990 series in the United States and England.

The increased labor costs linked with American manufacturing substantially impact the pricing of these sneakers. Nevertheless, this domestic production serves to guarantee equitable wages and the maintenance of high-quality standards.


Ethical and Sustainable Practices


New Balance is all about keeping it green and clean. They’re like the eco-warriors of the sneaker world. They put a big ol’ checkmark on ethical and sustainable manufacturing. Think eco-friendly materials, cutting down on waste, and being all responsible during production.

Now, here’s the kicker – all this goodness for the planet comes at a price. Yup, those fancy green practices aren’t exactly cheap. And who foots the bill? Well, it’s us, of course! But hey, we’re doing our bit for the environment and ethical standards while rocking some sweet 990s, so it’s a win-win, right?


Marketing and Brand Prestige

The New Balance 990 series has gained an iconic status in the world of sneakers. The brand invests heavily in marketing, maintaining an image of exclusivity and high quality.

Now, what’s super cool is that just owning a pair of New Balance 990s is like having a piece of sneaker history. That allure? It’s like an invisible crown, making these shoes feel even fancier.

And you know what that means – they can keep that premium price tag flying high!

Limited Editions and Collaborations

New Balance isn’t afraid to spice things up. They’re constantly dropping these limited-edition 990s and teaming up with big-shot designers and brands. It’s like a sneaker party you don’t want to miss!

These exclusive releases are not your everyday kicks. Nope, they’re decked out with unique colorways and premium materials that make them stand out in a crowd.

But here’s the kicker – they don’t come cheap. That rarity and collectible vibe are like sneaker gold, and it shows in the price tag.

But what’s wild is that the limited availability. People go nuts for these special releases, and that’s exactly what New Balance is counting on.

So yeah, they can charge a pretty penny for these bad boys, and folks are lining up to get a piece of the action. It’s a sneaker love story with a twist! 

Some of the notable collaborations include:

J.Crew x New Balance 990

J.Crew, a well-known American fashion retailer, has partnered with New Balance on several occasions to release exclusive colorways of the New Balance 990. These collaborations often feature premium materials and unique color combinations.

Kawhi Leonard x New Balance 990

NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard has collaborated with New Balance on a signature version of the 990, adding his personal touch to the classic design.

Stüssy x New Balance 990

Streetwear brand Stüssy joined forces with New Balance to create limited-edition 990 sneakers. These collaborations often feature distinctive designs and color schemes that appeal to fashion-forward consumers.

Dover Street Market x New Balance 990

Dover Street Market, a high-end fashion retailer with locations in major cities worldwide, has partnered with New Balance to produce exclusive iterations of the 990. These collaborations showcase unique design elements and premium materials.

Concepts x New Balance 990

Concepts, a renowned sneaker boutique, has collaborated with New Balance on multiple occasions to produce eye-catching and creatively designed 990 sneakers. These collaborations often tell a unique story or draw inspiration from different themes.

Ronnie Fieg x New Balance 990

Designer Ronnie Fieg, known for his work with Kith, has collaborated with New Balance on various 990 models. These collaborations are highly anticipated and feature premium materials, elegant color palettes, and intricate details.

Aime Leon Dore x New Balance 990

Aime Leon Dore, a New York-based fashion brand, has partnered with New Balance on exclusive versions of the 990 that blend classic design with contemporary style.

These collaborations bring fresh perspectives and unique aesthetics to the New Balance 990 silhouette, making them even more coveted by sneaker enthusiasts and collectors.


New Balance 990 v6 vs. Previous 990s


The moment we’ve all been waiting for is here – the grand reveal of the 990 series V6! And let me tell you, this upgrade is a real game-changer. Now, hold on tight, because here’s my two cents on the matter.

First things first, this is my own take, and everybody’s got their flavor when it comes to what they like in their 990s.

But when it comes to comfort, oh boy, the 990V6 takes the throne. Don’t get me wrong, the V3, V4, and V5 were no slouches in the comfort department.

They all provided a great combination of softness and firmness that was great for all-day wear and/or running up until the v6 steppe din!

Why? Well, it introduced the FuelCell foam to the 990 game, providing high rebound cushioning technology. And when you pair that with the Encap in the heel? Game over.

I’ve compared the New Balance 990 V5 and the V6 for months, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m all about that extra softness in the V6

Now, let’s talk looks. Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. So, what’s the best-looking 990? That’s like asking what’s the best flavor of ice cream – it’s all personal preference, my friends. And for me, it all comes down to what I like.


Best 990 for Lifestyle Wear

When it comes to lifestyle sneakers, I’ve got a soft spot for those 90s runners, and that’s why my nod for the best-looking 990 version goes straight to the 990v2.

Now, it’s a bit tricky to put into words, but there’s just something about that V2 silhouette that gets me all jazzed up. The shape, the lines – it’s like a piece of art for your feet.

But the magic doesn’t stop there. The 990v2 has seen its fair share of general releases (GRs) and epic collaborations, and let me tell you, it does the silhouette justice.

Sure, all the versions of the 990 look snazzy, and the 990v1 has its own charm. But for me, the V2 brings in that extra touch of complexity and those curvy lines that just scream style.

Now, comparing it to the newer 990 versions, it’s the retro vibe of the 990 V2 that does it for me. The V3 and beyond? They’re great in their own way, but when it comes to style, the V2 takes the cake.


You can check the 990 here and here.

New Balance 990 – FAQs

Are New Balance 990s worth it?

Yes, the New Balance 990s are really worth it. They are considered worth the investment for those who value premium craftsmanship, high-quality materials, and innovative technology in their sneakers. If you seek comfort, durability, and a classic design, and are willing to pay a premium for these features, then New Balance 990s are worth it. However, if you’re looking for budget-friendly options or prioritize trendy designs, you may find other sneakers more suitable.

Why is New Balance 990 so popular?

The New Balance 990 is popular due to its timeless design, unmatched comfort, exceptional quality, and domestic manufacturing, which resonates with consumers seeking a combination of style and substance. Its reputation for durability, the availability of limited editions, and collaborations with high-profile brands have also contributed to its enduring popularity in the world of sneakers.

Which version of 990 is the best?

For me, I think the New Balance 990 V6 is the best 990 in terms of comfort and the New Balance 990 V2 is the best 990 in terms of looks and design.

Where is the New Balance 990 made?

The New Balance 990 is made in the USA and England. 


In conclusion, the New Balance 990 series’ premium price tag is a product of various factors, including craftsmanship, high-quality materials, innovative technology, domestic manufacturing, limited editions, ethical practices, and brand prestige.

While some may question the expense, these factors collectively contribute to the enduring popularity and desirability of the New Balance 990 sneakers, making them a true investment in style, comfort, and quality.

About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

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