Problems with New Balance Tennis Shoes

jchamilt

Rookie
I have posted a video on YouTube showing the failure of an eyelet for shoelaces one one pair of New Balance tennis shoes and the separation of the uppers from the rubber sole of another pair of New Balance tennis shoes.

I have been playing tennis for 67 years, starting a age 5, and never had an eyelet fail. It use to be that eyelets were made of metal and that just seems to me to be stronger. The separation issue of the uppers from the rubber soles has happened once before about 10 years ago. At that time I sent the shoes back and New Balance sent me a new pair, but that was a lot of time and trouble for me and I thought that would lead to the problem being solved. It has not so maybe this will help solve the problem. I should say that I have been wearing New Balance tennis shoes for over 35 years. I have tried other shoes, but none seem to fit as well. Any comments?
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
I have posted a video on YouTube showing the failure of an eyelet for shoelaces one one pair of New Balance tennis shoes and the separation of the uppers from the rubber sole of another pair of New Balance tennis shoes.

I have been playing tennis for 67 years, starting a age 5, and never had an eyelet fail. It use to be that eyelets were made of metal and that just seems to me to be stronger. The separation issue of the uppers from the rubber soles has happened once before about 10 years ago. At that time I sent the shoes back and New Balance sent me a new pair, but that was a lot of time and trouble for me and I thought that would lead to the problem being solved. It has not so maybe this will help solve the problem. I should say that I have been wearing New Balance tennis shoes for over 35 years. I have tried other shoes, but none seem to fit as well. Any comments?
Go-rill-a Tape!
 

GameSetBeer

Rookie
I wouldn't recommend New Balance. Mine are starting to fall apart and lose tread after 3 months. Granted I play a lot, but they should be holding up better.

I also bought the wider version and it's not that much wider. Quality has gone down.

How long have you been wearing them for?
 

vsdtrek

Semi-Pro
IMHO - New Balance has been junk for at least a few years now. The fit has changed and so has the construction. Last good pair of theirs I had were the really-nice 1002s. Man, I miss that shoe. Stable, durable and cushioned.
 

mikeler

Moderator
New Balance is hit and miss. Sometimes they come out with shoes that last and other times they are terrible.
 

steve s

Professional
Their sizing is a problem for me. Used 13 2e for years, now 14 ee fits in width, length too long.

You seem to wear them till the ground hits your skin. You must have solid knees.
 
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TheBaumer

New User
I have posted a video on YouTube showing the failure of an eyelet for shoelaces one one pair of New Balance tennis shoes and the separation of the uppers from the rubber sole of another pair of New Balance tennis shoes.

I have been playing tennis for 67 years, starting a age 5, and never had an eyelet fail. It use to be that eyelets were made of metal and that just seems to me to be stronger. The separation issue of the uppers from the rubber soles has happened once before about 10 years ago. At that time I sent the shoes back and New Balance sent me a new pair, but that was a lot of time and trouble for me and I thought that would lead to the problem being solved. It has not so maybe this will help solve the problem. I should say that I have been wearing New Balance tennis shoes for over 35 years. I have tried other shoes, but none seem to fit as well. Any comments?

I understand you are frustrated. I also know that manufacturing techniques have changed and more polymers/plastics (Insert young Dustin Hoffman daydreaming of his future while floating in a swimming pool) are being used to replace metal in manufacturing for a variety of reasons (weight/cost/resistance to elements)
I did watch your video from start to finish and could not see what model they are.
One of the things many companies have been more vocal about is "reasonable expectations for the life of a product". There are very few companies out there right now who have a true Lifetime warranty/return policy (LL Bean comes to mind...as does Costco for the most part).
How old are the shoes in the video?
They seem to have seen a lot of use during their time with you.

I know you mentioned previously returning a pair about 10 years ago due to the soles/uppers becoming separated. New Balance sent you a new pair to replace those. Good for them if it was a defective shoe. You also stated that it was "a lot of time and trouble for you" ... and you thought it would lead to the problem being solved? I'm not exactly sure what you meant by this, so please forgive me if I am off-base here...but surely you can't mean that your one returned pair of shoes would lead to a major overhaul in how a large company produces/manufactures a particular model of shoe? Perhaps you just meant that you figured you got one lemon out of a bunch of pairs that you've had over the years? Either way...I know you were asking for comments on your situation and possibly suggestions on other shoes or suggestions on how you should proceed or not proceed with New Balance?
I checked their website before replying to this thread and found that they now only offer a warranty on the issues relating to the sole of the shoe (not the uppers)
Here's the info:

Does New Balance Offer A Warranty On Tennis Shoes?

Yes! We offer a warranty on the New Balance 1296v2, 996v3, and 1006 within 6 months of the purchase date.



This limited guarantee program is for shoes purchased between January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. To qualify for the warranty, the shoes must:

  • Have an outsole that is completely worn through, exposing the midsole of the shoe.

  • Have been used for playing tennis

  • Have been purchased at NewBalance.com or an approved New Balance retailer in the United States

  • The uppers of the 1296v2, 996v3, and 1006 are not covered under the guarantee.
Please keep in mind that the useful life of a tennis shoe will vary depending upon the frequency of its use, the surfaces upon which it is used and the wearer’s style of play.

New Balance’s 6-Month Outsole Durability Limited Warranty Guarantee Details
Thank you for buying the New Balance 1296v2, 996v3, or 1006 tennis shoe. The useful life of a tennis
shoe will vary depending upon the frequency of its use, the surfaces upon which it is used and the
wearer’s style of play. New Balance’s 6-month NDurance rubber outsole limited warranty guarantee
applies to the New Balance 1296v2, 996v3, and 1006, and applies only to the hard court–specific
NDurance rubber outsole, as follows:
This limited guarantee program is for shoes purchased between January 1, 2017 through
December 31, 2017.
This limited guarantee covers New Balance 1296v2, 996v3, and 1006 models sold at retail stores
within the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, or purchased through
www.newbalance.com or other online retailers by customers with delivery addresses within 50
United States and the District of Columbia.
To qualify for this 6-month NDurance rubber outsole limited warranty guarantee, the outsole
must be completely worn through exposing the midsole of the shoe within 6 months of
purchase. The uppers of the New Balance 1296v2, 996v3, and 1006 models are not covered
under this 6-month NDurance rubber outsole limited warranty guarantee.
Some states do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, so the above time
limitation may not apply to you.
This wear must be the result of playing tennis. Damage caused by misuse, abuse, improper or
unauthorized repairs, “acts of God” or other events beyond New Balance’s control will not
qualify for this guarantee.
If your pair of New Balance 1296v2, 996v3 or 1006 meets the requirements for replacement as
described in the points above, please visit https://support.newbalance.com, search for
Ndurance, and follow the instructions to submit your claim.
Warranty claims should be made through newbalance.com.
If the shoe qualifies for the NDurance rubber outsole limited warranty guarantee, you will
receive an email notification with instructions for the return. New Balance will handle all
shipping and handling costs for the return of the shoe. Please include a copy of such email
notification in the box with your shoes.
Any product submitted without a copy of the email notification sent by New Balance will be
returned without inspection.
The initial contact with New Balance Customer Care or the shipping date of the returned shoes
must occur within 6 months of the date of purchase as recorded on your original receipt.
After inspection and confirmation that the returned shoes qualify under the NDurance rubber
outsole limited warranty guarantee, New Balance will provide you with a coupon to be used for
same/like replacement shoes on newbalance.com. Please note that this coupon cannot be
redeemed in stores. If a returned pair of shoes does not qualify for replacement as described
above, New Balance will return the original pair of shoes directly to you.
This is the entire warranty. No other warranty, express or implied, shall apply except as
expressly stated above.


Since I highly doubt the shoes in the video fall within the timeframe laid out above by New Balance, and New Balance no longer covers issues with the uppers, you are probably going to have to bite the bullet and buy a replacement pair of shoes. I also don't think the video is going to catch anyone's attention over at New Balance, since they have obviously tightened up their Returns policy and those shoes look like they have had a "useful life of tennis." (I totally understand that your definition and THEIR definition of "useful life" will likely differ) However, the additional info you may provide as this thread progresses that may possibly shed new light on your situation and invite additional comments/suggestions.
At the end of the day, you may find yourself looking at some new shoes and with some of the great offerings available, you might just figure that things like this aren't the worst thing that can happen in the big scheme of things...in fact, you might even find a new go-to shoe for the next decade!! Best of luck, JCHAMILT!
 

BobinSoFL

New User
I'm adding to this discussion. I've worn New Balance for years, both tennis and running shoes, as I have 4E feet. I've never really liked the styles, but they were pretty much all that was out there. The quality has definitely deteriorated. I wore the 1004s, 1005s and 1006s and saw the shoes last for 6 months go down to about 3-4 months (I play 4 days a week). The last 1006s my big toe popped through the upper mesh long before any significant wear to the rest of the shoe only after about 3 months. I just tried the 786v2 and my right pinkie toe popped through after only 6 weeks. I've managed to play that way for another 6 weeks or so, but I just ordered the 1296v2 and the ones that were delivered were mislabeled and probably a half-size smaller than indicated and more like 2Es not 4Es. I confirmed this by ordering 11.5 4Es to see what they would be like and they were truly that size and way to long for me. To make matters worse, when I called their customer service the first thing the kid says to me is "when is the last time you had your feet professionally measured?" I've worn the same size shoe forever, my others shoes fit fine. It's not my damn feet, it's their poor construction and quality control! It's not as if they are cheap shoes either, so after at least 15-20 years of being a New Balance customer, I'm now going to try to find other 4E shoes and there appear to be a few more options out there now (Adidas Barricade) than there were when I started wearing New Balance. They've definitely gone down hill, which is disappointing.
 

MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
I guess I will be the contrarian here . . . have been wearing NB 996s (all three versions) for a number of years now. No issues at all and I play 5-6 times a week on hard courts. Yes, they do wear out but not disproportionately soon and they provide great support (particularly for a relatively lightweight shoe). Have also used the clay court versions on soft courts and am equally pleased. Full disclosure---I have three pairs and never wear the same pair two days in a row and only wear them on the tennis court.
 
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