New Balance Men’s M990v4 Trail Running Shoe

Last updated date: September 10, 2019

DWYM Score

New Balance Men’s M990v4 Trail Running Shoe

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We looked at the top Men's Trail Running Shoes and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Men's Trail Running Shoe you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 55 expert reviews, the New Balance New Balance Men's M990v4 Trail Running Shoe placed 5th when we looked at the top 8 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note October 9, 2019:
Checkout The Best Men’s Trail Running Shoe for a detailed review of all the top men's trail running shoes.

Expert Summarized Score
6 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
2,016 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The shoe provides plenty of cushioning and stability, but manages to remain flexible at the same time.
- Boot Bomb
Midsole provides generous cushioning that won't compress and lose its energy-return properties. Design is fairly wide and shoe feels stable.
- BestReviews
Are a high-quality pair of shoes for the runner who is looking for superior support, stability, and cushioning.
- Runner Click
New Balance uses a leather and fabric combination to create a sturdier, more durable shoe, so you can the support you need.
- Verywell Fit
April 5, 2019 | Full review
These sports shoes are made of leather with a rubber sole for improved grip.
- AmaPerfect
Medial underfoot support and durability are handled by the ENCAP midsole technology making the ride feel more cushioned and stable.
- RunRepeat
What experts didn't like
Upper isn't supportive as some wanted it to be
- BestReviews
Not very flexible and responsive
- Runner Click
New Balance shoes tend to be priced a bit higher than other brands
- Verywell Fit
April 5, 2019 | Full review
It was too stiff for some athletes who wanted to get more flexibility for their feet.
- RunRepeat

From The Manufacturer

The latest in our Made in USA series, the 990v4 provides the perfect blend of cushioning and stability. With a hybrid upper for breathability and ENCAP technology for comfort, this classic running shoe continues our legacy of great performance and iconic style.

Overall Product Rankings

ASICS Mens Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe
1. ASICS Mens Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 9
Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe
2. Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 9
adidas outdoor Men’s Ax2 Hiking Shoe
3. adidas outdoor Men’s Ax2 Hiking Shoe
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 5
New Balance Men’s Kaymin V1 Fresh Foam Running Shoe
4. New Balance Men’s Kaymin V1 Fresh Foam Running Shoe
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 1
New Balance Men’s M990v4 Trail Running Shoe
5. New Balance Men’s M990v4 Trail Running Shoe
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 6
adidas Men’s Rockadia Trail m Running Shoe
6. adidas Men’s Rockadia Trail m Running Shoe
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 4
Salomon Men’s Xa Pro 3D
7. Salomon Men’s Xa Pro 3D
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 10

An Overview On Men's Trail Running Shoes

For outdoor and adventure enthusiasts, running on the paved sidewalks of a city might feel a little boring at times, and the thought of getting that exercise on a treadmill may be even worse. It’s common to want to find a way to get out in nature and combine your exercise with some fresh air and pleasant sights. Trail running mixes all these things into one invigorating activity.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Trail running can be described as meditative by many of those out there running uphill and downhill through woods or mountainsides. This simple activity can be practiced with nothing more than a pair of comfortable workout clothes and, of course, a good pair of trail running shoes. The right footwear will help immensely in being able to safely enjoy trail running. For those of you who are new to the sport, there are a handful of things you’ll want to look at before purchasing a pair of appropriate trail running shoes for yourself.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Trails obviously vary greatly based on the steepness of the trail itself and the weather conditions.  One thing that remains constant with the surface of the ground in most trail running areas is that the amount of friction or grip that you’ll be able to feel is much less than what you’re used to on a sidewalk or treadmill. Trail running shoes are designed with this in mind, offering soles with various knobs along the bottom to make them suitable for all terrains. Similar to hiking boots or slip-resistant shoes, a trail running shoe like the Adidas Outdoor Men’s Hiking Shoe features a soft rubber grip that runs perpendicular to the direction that your shoe would want to slide. Running along a slippery path with traditional running shoes is simply asking for a fall and potential injury to the runner, so it’s important to take this design feature seriously when looking for a good pair of trail running shoes.

Trails often wind through forests or rocky areas. The midsole of a good trail running shoe will be soft enough to allow you to run over this varied terrain without feeling every little detail of the ground below your feet. This really helps keep the runner in a constant state of motion, as they won’t be needing to find a perfectly flat landing zone for each step in their stride. The harder rubber outsole will be the first line of defense against these uneven steps, and the midsole will make the whole thing comfortable. A shock-absorbing midsole, as seen on the ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 6, will go even farther by cushioning the impact force on joints like your knees and ankles.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

While running through nature, you might occasionally get caught under a rain cloud or have a creek to tread through. Or perhaps it’s just so hot out that your feet are sweating a lot and creating their own moisture. In any case, a proper trail running shoe will have you covered with breathable types of mesh on the upper body of the shoe.  A breathable trail running shoe, like the New Balance Men’s MT410v5 Trail Running Shoe, can really help cut down on how hot your feet get out on the trail. The mesh uppers let your feet and socks dry on the fly and prevent nasty blisters from forming.

The feel of the shoe on your foot is obviously a big factor in purchasing any pair of shoes. The style of shoelaces on a trail running shoe will have a big hand in this feeling of comfort. They need to be able to hold the shoe snuggly to your foot while having eyelets spaced out in a pattern that doesn’t impede on your foot’s motions during the run. A pair of trail running shoes should also be very lightweight to help runners feel less fatigued as they take thousands of steps during the course of a run. In a situation like this, every gram can matter when it comes to how much weight you’re strapping to the bottom of your feet. The Salomon Men’s Speedcross Trail Running Shoe is a great example of a trail running shoe that has highly rated shoelaces and weighs in as very lightweight.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

“You’re looking for that traction on the bottom fo the foot but also durability on the outside of the foot,” Stephanie Mansour, a certified personal trainer and the founder of fitness brand Step It Up Steph, advises. She notes that you want a supportive and protective material that’ll keep your foot safe from sticks, roots or rocks.

“Unlike a running or a walking shoe, you’re looking for a shoe that is a little bit stiffer,” Mansour says. “This is because it needs to withstand the treacherous environment that you won’t find in a gym or on a sidewalk. These shoes need to be built to last.”

DWYM Fun Fact

Trail running has become increasingly popular as an exercise in the past decade. There was a 1,000% increase in organized trail running races in the 10 years between 2008 and 2018. Perhaps the increase in popularity is related to our bigger societal focus on environmentalism. It’s also possible that the sport is becoming known as a more spiritual and meditative form of running than sprinting on the treadmill.  After all, what’s more peaceful than getting exercise while also connecting ot nature? Either way, there is no denying that trail running is a beloved way for people to get out and exercise.

The Men's Trail Running Shoe Buying Guide

  • If you plan to use these shoes for everyday activities or to split time between running on trails and running on streets, you might want to get a pair that has slightly less aggressive knobs on the outsole. The bigger pieces can help a lot with traction, but the less aggressive sole allows you to feel the pedals in your car better and can be less cumbersome to walk around in on a daily basis.
  • Finding a shoe with the right arch support will also help you to feel comfortable as you run. The midsoles and insoles on your trail running shoe should hug your arch properly to give you the best fit. They will then act as your shock absorbers, so that your feet and knees can handle the endurance without being beaten up too much.
  • The materials and construction quality of a trail running shoe are important. Keep in mind that these shoes will be pounding the ground in some rough conditions. Look for highly rated brands that have a history of producing good quality shoes or hiking boots; when it comes to a decision like this, which can impact the health of your knees and feet, it’s important to make quality a priority.