New Balance MC 996 Shoe Details: ATP star Milos Raonic's shoe of choice, the 996 evolves into a more solid and supportive offering than its predecessor, the 851, while still offering a lightweight, low to the ground feel. New Balance has introduced some new technologies to make this shoe more stable than ever. Synthetic leather and mesh are re enforced by an NDURE cage for lightweight support and comfort. ProBank technology has also been inserted into the midsole to optimize foot position on lateral cuts, offering even more stability. You'll also receive New Balance's unmatched NDurance One Year durability guarantee. This is the perfect choice for the player looking for a lightweight, low to the ground feel without sacrificing support and durability. Comments: The New Balance MC 996 are the third set of New Balance sneakers that we're tested (previously we tried the MC 1005's and MC 851's), and of the three, are quite possibly the best. Like all New Balance shoes, the MC 996's have a great fit, lots of toe room, and are very lite (13.7 oz). Where New Balance has made improvements is in the cushioning, and the outside construction. The MC 996's are a little taller, and are a lot more cushioned then either of the previous New Balances we've tried. In addition, New Balance has added a nice rubber lattice to the front of the shoe, which should allow them to take more abuse. As much as I liked the MC 996's, they did have a couple negatives. First, they did not breath very well. After each match, my socks were soaked, and in longer matches, blisters could be a possibility. Second, they are built low, and orthotic inserts do not fit well into them. With my inserts, I found that my feet could easily slip out of the shoe. Comments: New Balance makes a certain type of tennis shoe for a specific type of player. While I like the fact that these shoes are solid and cushioned for higher impacts, I dislike the low ankle support is. These shoes are designed I feel, for bigger people, so they take hard stops and starts nicelyand feel sturdy. The low ankle support however, undermines this sturdy feeling gives the shoes too much ankle flexibility. If you merged a K Swiss with a Nike style shoe this is probably what you would come up with; a shoe that can take a pounding but doesn't give up the agility. I like shoes like Nike and Babolat, they are supportive all the way around and give excellent cushioning and ankle support but they run a bit on the heavier side. So these shoes just aren't my cup of tea but New Balance makes many of their shoes this way, it's their style. I just don't like feeling that if I stop hard I could roll my ankle. BOTTOM LINE: These shoes can take the pounding that you'll dish out on them but only players who enjoy ankle flexibility will enjoy them. Comments: Well this shoe held promise as it is the replacement for the 851. For me this was a total disappointment! It also gives me an opportunity to rant. Once again a company has decided to create a "new and improved" product. We all know it comes down to dollars and marketing. Perhaps the 851 did not do the numbers that they had hoped, I don't know. What I do know is that in our area I was seeing more and more people wearing 851s. In my humble opinion a little refinement and some style changes would have been fine, but no. New Balance took one of the finest tennis shoes I have ever worn and created a new shoe that I cannot even wear. Now the review facts: fit? For me a disaster the toe box is so tight on the shoe it caused my left big toe so much pain I could only nike shoes models play in them twice. The pain lasted for four days. They have kept the ride low which is great but the increase in support is so over done you can't even " loosen up" the shoe even by letting the laces out. I even tried lacing the shoe with a different pattern but to no avail. I wanted these shoes to work. The weight is still very light though a touch nike shoes red and white heaver than the 851. Cushioning was good all nike shoes sale around. Width seems narrow due to the upper support webbing. I think the wear will be quite good like most shoes today. The soul is not nearly as flexible as the 851 but still ok. Traction was good as was stability. They seemed to breathe fine and the look, good. This shoe could be very good for some but for me it is an epic fail. I am stocking up on the remaining supplies of 851s and will be looking for the next great shoe. Comments: I found the New Balance MC996 shoe to be a good all around tennis shoe. It scored very high on most categories and performed like a tennis shoe should perform. The weight is light, the fit and width was a little on the narrow side but no so much that it put pressure on your entire foot. Cushioning, stability and traction was put to the test due to the nature of my game. The only thing that could be improved upon is the ankle support. I almost rolled my ankle as I tried to stop and backpedal . I did wear an ankle brace that it prevented my ankle from rolling out. A little ankle support or having the shoe come up a bit to the ankle would improve it. Otherwise, a great shoe by New Balance and a winner, in my opinion.