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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for problem feet.
Though I am not a runner, I wanted to try a pair of these for casual walking and recreation because I have arthritis in my feet. I have worn NB shoes for years, usually the lower level models, and have been very pleased with the fit and ruggedness. These take it to the next level. I have wide feet and NB has a great range of widths compared to some other manufacturers...
Published on August 20, 2012 by Chris F. Hallmark

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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Smell Bad
As others have noted, both here and elsewhere on the Web, these shoes develop a strong odor reminiscent of cat urine after just a few weeks wear. This has not happened with older versions of the same shoe.
Also, the sole began to delaminate after less than a month's wear.
I suspect a new adhesive is to blame for both problems. Whatever the cause, I am unlikely...
Published 14 months ago by AlVBor1


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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for problem feet., August 20, 2012
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Though I am not a runner, I wanted to try a pair of these for casual walking and recreation because I have arthritis in my feet. I have worn NB shoes for years, usually the lower level models, and have been very pleased with the fit and ruggedness. These take it to the next level. I have wide feet and NB has a great range of widths compared to some other manufacturers. They are very light and well-cushioned. I really look forward to putting them on whenever I can. They are more expensive than what I normally get, but worth it. And - they are made in the USA!
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142 of 162 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Shoe -- BEWARE the CAT URINE SMELL (updated x 2), September 2, 2013
This review is from: New Balance Men's 990V3 Running Shoe (Apparel)
I'm saddened that the first review I've chosen to write in ten years of Amazon purchases had to be a warning about a product I loved and have purchased yearly for decades.

All the positives posted in other reviews about the amazing fit and comfort are true: but this shoe -- and some other New Balance models -- have a dark side: a powerful, repugnant smell that seems guaranteed to emerge after the shoe gets wet.

For the past two years I've been battling with a mystery: my family and coworkers have complained unabashedly about the smell of cat urine coming from my New Balance 990's (and the 993's before this model). I could smell it, too, and it was so powerful that I had to leave the shoes in another part of the house. I had assumed, since I do have indoor cats, that they had somehow decided to use my shoes as a litter box. Strange behavior for female spayed cats, but OK -- what else could it be.

I tried all manner of enzymatic cat urine cleaners and deodorants -- NOTHING worked. So I bought NEW shoes and vowed to keep them away from any place the cats could get to -- including never leaving them outside where outdoor cats might find them.

Amazingly -- the smell came back! I finally figured that I must have gotten cat urine from neighborhood cats on them while watering the garden. I purchased ANOTHER new pair, and this time waterproofed them and avoided taking them out into my garden area.

BUT -- the smell returned AGAIN! After trying the usual round of cat de-stinking chemicals, I was at a New Balance store and happen to ask about washing them. The experienced assistant manager GUESSED: "Oh, do they smell like cat urine?" I was STUNNED! He explained that it's a known problem with a polyurethane component in the sole breaking down and/or rotting due to exposure to water. The smell is due to the release of ammonia.

I could hardly wait to do a Google search -- and I could hardly believe my eyes: hundreds of postings about the VERY SAME SMELL -- from people who, like me, had been convinced it was related to feline tinkling -- many that didn't even have cats. The stories were strikingly similar: only by chance had these other consumers stumbled upon the information that the smell was a manufacturing defect, one that New Balance had been aware of for a couple of years. In many cases, New Balance had done the right thing and replaced the shoes, but also had informed consumers that the problem had been "corrected". This does NOT appear to be true: I purchased these shoes in May, and by July they had already started to smell horrible from the soles getting wet.

Tomorrow I'll be speaking with New Balance. While I'm confident they'll replace the shoes, I doubt I'll get any definitive answers as to what model shoe to purchase to avoid the problem in the future. I will absolutely buy from New Balance again, but only once I've been able to determine the issue has been corrected.

CAT URINE SMELL ISSUE UPDATE #1 (10-29-13):

When I spoke with New Balance on 9-3-13, they acknowledged the problem, and issued me a credit for their on-line store, but frankly stated that the issue "was not fixed yet".

HOWEVER, I just got off the phone with New Balance's consumer line, and I've been informed that the issue IS NOW FIXED for the 990. The 993 had a similar problem that was supposedly also fixed, but then the cat urine smell issue cropped up again for that shoe.

I was told that "every new 990 is made with new materials" and they haven't heard of a recurrence of the cat urine smell issue with the new 990's -- yet. There are no manufacturing dates that are easily accessible, so there is no way to be sure if you are getting a "new" 990 or not. Perhaps Amazon does so much business that they would likely have new stock. Similarly, I would expect the New Balance web store to be a reliable (if perhaps more expensive) place to get a new 990.

New Balance has no plans to make any public statement about the correction, for fear of alarming people who have never run into the issue.

I have no doubt that if the problem crops up again, New Balance will surely replace my shoes again. So I will buy another pair without fear. But if I smell cat urine again, I will certainly be "pissed" -- and may write a formal letter to Consumer Reports.

CAT URINE SMELL ISSUE UPDATE #2 (July 9, 2014):

I am very sad to report that after 8 months, the new pair of 990v3 that New Balance customer service swore was manufactured to resolve this issue has just started to smell like cat urine! I'm beginning to feel like the abused spouse that keeps going back when assured that the abuse will never happen again. Once again, New Balance customer service agreed to replace the shoe. Actually, they issued a credit to replace the shoe with ANY NB shoe! I elected to try the 2040v2 -- which is a $349 shoe! There has only been one report of the "cat urine smell" on the 2040v1 on Amazon, so I'm hopeful that maybe the v2 might have been reengineered.

New Balance sure knows how to engineer comfortable shoes, AND they do have a fabulous customer service department, although the rep I spoke with on Monday at first downplayed the issue, saying "It's just the natural breakdown of materials," and "it can happen to any shoe -- even from other manufacturers." (that latter part may be true, apparently other companies have had the same problem -- but fixed it). She also suggested the issue could be "prevented" by making sure to completely dry out the shoe if it got wet.

However -- her instructions assumed that the INSIDE of the shoe had gotten exposed to water. That isn't the case. The problem is well-known to occur with water exposure on the OUTSIDE BOTTOM (sole) of the shoe. That's hard to avoid unless you live in the desert.

The INSANITY is that New Balance clearly understands there IS an issue -- and even if it only affects a small percentage of their shoes, it is astonishing that a company with revenues of nearly 3 billion dollars can't correct a materials issue that they've been aware of since 2006. How many people (like me) have gone years assuming that user care, and not product engineering, were the cause of the problem?

I'll report back on the 2040v2.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Smell Bad, October 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As others have noted, both here and elsewhere on the Web, these shoes develop a strong odor reminiscent of cat urine after just a few weeks wear. This has not happened with older versions of the same shoe.
Also, the sole began to delaminate after less than a month's wear.
I suspect a new adhesive is to blame for both problems. Whatever the cause, I am unlikely to purchase another pair, and will do a lot of research before buying any other New Balance products, despite many years of otherwise happy purchases.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Writing this review for one of my grown son's whose New Balance shoes smell like cat urine!, May 24, 2014
This review is from: New Balance Men's 990V3 Running Shoe (Apparel)
One of my son's has worn New Balance sneakers for a while now. The last pair he purchased got wet, and now they smell like cat urine. Not having a cat around to do blame it on, he was very, very confused for awhile. Even after washing them, they REEK like cat urine, and an internet search will show anyone who cares to check into it, that LOTS of people are experiencing the same thing.

The fit is good, and they are comfortable, but the stench is overwhelming, and even when they are thoroughly dry, they stink!

For a company who has had an excellent reputation for comfortable sneakers and running shoes for years, this is simply incredible.

We read lots and lots of complaints about it, online, and the company needs to fix the problem, as the odor is horrifically strong, and renders the sneakers useless - IF one wants to be in public, that is!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Sneakers/Running Shoes Ever!, November 29, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have been buying New Balance 990 series running shows since the 1990s, I love their look and feel and the fact that they are made in the USA. I have liked some years' models better than others, but I have always been satisfied with this shoe. These shoes usually last me a couple of years then I have to replace them. This year, I decided to do something different -- well, not that different. I wanted to buy 990s in some color other than gray. Anyhow, I bought them in all black. These shoes look so good I often end up wearing them in situations where I used to wear hard sole shoes. As far as comfort goes, these are just as comfortable as any other 990 shoes that I have purchased. Bottom line: These are great looking shoes and will feel great on your feet. I have never seen this color in retail stores, just the gray or the purple/magenta ones. Amazon has the best price on this particular model/color. I paid $116.00 after discounts and received them just 2 days later. I am very pleased with this purchase. In fact, since these shoes look so good just for every day wear, I will be picking up another set just to run in. Oh, one observation. These shoes seem to run 1 size or 1/2 of size to small on me. I bought size 13D 993 a couple of years ago. Those were somewhat loose. This year bought the same size 990 v in all black and they fit perfect. So, you might want to get a 1/2 size larger.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!!!, May 8, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: New Balance Men's 990V3 Running Shoe (Apparel)
Very comfortable end soft. I had 993 and there is big difference. 990 is really better.
I made a right choice.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars New Balance no longer stands behind their product, March 19, 2014
This review is from: New Balance Men's 990V3 Running Shoe (Apparel)
As many others have noted, the shoes smell like cat urine. To the point where they cannot be kept in the house or worn inside.

New Balance "customer service" absolutely refused to accept responsibility for a defective product despite ample evidence that this is a manufacturing/materials problem. Their stock answer via email and phone is "30 days return". The phone rep had the audacity to ask if I wanted to purchase another pair direct from New Balance!

I strongly recommend against any NB product based on my research on the odor problem and NB's apparent lack of responsibility for their own manufacturing defects.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars bad quality !!!!!!, August 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
i bought this pair of shoes for my husband as birthday gift. I have expected to receive a pair of good quality shoes. After 3 months normal use, the sole is tearing, both shoes. We are very disappointed about the shoes quality, especially at such a high price. Have Amazon checked out the shoes before delivery or this is the bad quality we deserved? I really need an answer from you !!!!!!!!!!
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30 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a difference, March 29, 2012
By 
CobaltTugger (Baton Rouge, LA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: New Balance Men's 990V3 Running Shoe (Apparel)
I've used NB since my first set of 1220s. I'm not even sure how many years back that's been. I've had all of the shoes in the 12xx series up until the latest 1260. I just started running more and figured I would go to the local NB store in town. Boy am I glad I did. The salesperson worked with me for about thirty minutes trying on different styles to find the right pair.

I am a heavy runner, 6'4" 250#, but the 990s give me the comfort and support I need. Much more comfortable than the 12xx that I thought I needed b/c of my weight. i guess now I'll see how long they can last!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consistency, December 18, 2013
By 
John Read (Oceanside, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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Only New Balance consistently matches my size expectations. I can order online & know a pair will fit. Not so with other brands! Quality also doesn't disappoint. I love these shoes.
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New Balance Men's 990V3 Running Shoe
$149.95 - $174.95
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