Custom New Balance 993s | A Continuous Lean.

Custom New Balance 993s

Mar 7th, 2012 | Categories: Footwear, Made in the USA, Maine | by Michael Williams

Back in April, the people at New Balance gave me an opportunity to test out the company’s new custom 574 program. I’ve done custom shoes from other makers previously, but never anything that was made in America, and never anything processed so quickly (about a week total). I loved how those 574s turned out, in fact I liked the customized program so much I couldn’t wait for the service to include the 993s, my sneaker of choice. Well, that time has now come, 993 lovers can rejoice and order their very own special pair — made right in Maine.

I spent a solid amount of time on the NB website playing around with a ton of color variations, until finally, I settled on the pair below (which came courtesy of New Balance), complete with ACL embroidered on the back quarter-panel. Like the special 574s that I made, I will probably have a lot of trouble actually wearing these shoes. I might instead just keep them new in the box for safe keeping, even though I know I can just remake another pair at any time. As a 993 fan (and a New Balance guy), the process and the resulting creation brings more joy that a pair of shoes probably should. [New Balance Custom 993]

Comments: 38

38 Comments to “Custom New Balance 993s”

  1. Tom Johnson
    on Mar 7th, 2012
    @ 1:21 PM

    All the writing on them makes them look cheap…Wal-Mart cheap.

  2. BEG
    on Mar 7th, 2012
    @ 1:38 PM

    Those 993s look great. I don’t know about everybody else, but I can’t exercise in Indy boots, so I’m not sure why it’d be hard to wear them (unless you’re under 30 and don’t need to make any effort to maintain your physique). All of my workout and trail-running sneakers are Made-in-USA New Balance models. But, for an additional c-note, you can upgrade to a true custom (not just your choice of colors and embroidery) running shoe from Hersey Custom Shoe Company.

  3. halberstram
    on Mar 7th, 2012
    @ 2:13 PM

    looks like something the us olympic team would have gotten in the 80s.

  4. Tom Hemphill
    on Mar 7th, 2012
    @ 2:22 PM

    Love the 993′s – also my shoe of choice & I very much like the Made in the USA lettering. Not cheap looking in my book. And it makes proud, too.

  5. Eliot W. Collins
    on Mar 7th, 2012
    @ 3:28 PM

    Custom 993′s? Who cares how a running shoe looks? Does anyone who actually runs get excited about this? They must have money to burn.

    Please bring back the grey 991′s at a reasonable price. Thanks.

  6. caleb
    on Mar 7th, 2012
    @ 4:05 PM

    These are great. I’m particularly partial to the 998′s. signed, sealed, delivered if these get introduced to the custom program.

  7. walker
    on Mar 8th, 2012
    @ 12:05 AM

    If by “made in the USA”, you meant “uppers and soles manufactured in Asia and then glued together in the USA”, then I take your point.

  8. Tim
    on Mar 8th, 2012
    @ 8:32 AM

    933s are gross! cool idea though and nice touch with the red white and blue.

  9. Ninja
    on Mar 8th, 2012
    @ 9:16 AM


    you really are an Idiot. For something to be made in USA it has to pass government standards that 70% of the sneaker is made of US content materials. Also if you do any small research you’ll see that the leather and other materials in the upper are cut and stitched together here. patterns are made here. You insult the people who work hard at the factories and how many people are employed by this program.

  10. Aaron L.
    on Mar 8th, 2012
    @ 11:35 AM

    A truly hideous looking shoe. I agree with Tom Johnson, this is classic Wal-Mart/ cheap-shoe styling; only missing velcro straps. Being so stout and tall, they remind me of a Sketcher shape-ups and shoes old men wear with stone washed wranglers.

  11. Michael Williams
    on Mar 8th, 2012
    @ 11:38 AM

    Hey Aaron, what are you doing later? Want to go mall walking with me?

  12. Pat
    on Mar 8th, 2012
    @ 1:34 PM

    Yeah, I’m with the haters. I don’t get this whole New Balance trend that’s happening in #menswear. They look like narc shoes, what some midwesterner would wear to a tea party rally. Kind of sad, shows how some people will dickride almost anything that bloggers ‘like’, and follow a trend blindly. Can’t wait to see EVERYONE rocking camo this spring!

  13. CWW
    on Mar 8th, 2012
    @ 4:14 PM

    There was this substitute teacher when I was in high school named Mr. Near. His physique was akin to an oblong potato balancing on a pair of toothpicks, his button up shirt barely able to extend itself over his girth and tuck into the waistband of the Plain Pockets-esque denim which hung lifelessly from below his proportionally overbalanced torso, as if he had no legs at all with which to give them shape or form. His head and lack-of-a-neck combined were a smaller replica of his upper body, as were his arms a replica of his seemingly non-existent legs.

    I think he wore these exact shoes.

  14. Stephen
    on Mar 8th, 2012
    @ 4:18 PM

    you should wear’em

  15. Steve-o
    on Mar 9th, 2012
    @ 12:21 AM

    Usually you’re pretty on the money, but those are some busted-ass kicks!

  16. cory
    on Mar 9th, 2012
    @ 1:28 AM

    @ CWW, thank you, that made my day


  17. REP96ST
    on Mar 9th, 2012
    @ 9:16 AM

    Very nice, clean job there… Those you can rock every day of the week.

    My creations, however are of the “once in a blue moon” variety.

  18. henrik
    on Mar 9th, 2012
    @ 12:21 PM

    Yeah, chalk me up with the hater crowd too… not my cup of tea at all.

    @ Pat / CWW – hah! speakin’ the truth.

    @ MW – even though I am not a fan of these, I still must say congrats on the collabo. very awesome opportunities you got there.

  19. Larry Felitto
    on Mar 9th, 2012
    @ 12:56 PM

    I’m dickriding my stock black ones today through the sunny streets of Minneapolis (Midwest). Can’t wait to customize my own pair (…if only they offered camo). For the record, I do in fact have an oblong potato shape however I’m not a substitute teacher…

  20. Brian Paquette
    on Mar 9th, 2012
    @ 1:22 PM

    I think theyre real sharp! Way to go. Also: haters, really?

  21. Rhon
    on Mar 9th, 2012
    @ 7:41 PM

    Not sure I love the style, but can’t beat Made in Maine. Rock ‘em to till the rubber falls off.

  22. Hook
    on Mar 10th, 2012
    @ 10:10 AM

    Mr. Near >>> CWW

  23. gbmachine
    on Mar 10th, 2012
    @ 11:20 AM

    @Elliot. You do know that the 993 are just an updated version of the 991 right?

    I always seem to find a pair of 993 somewhere when a store is closing on clearance and I picked up a pair a the Columbus Marathon Sports and Fitness Expo. I have 3 pair of back ups (2 grey, 1 black) ready to roll that I have purchased for $150 total.

    I love it when the NB Gods are shining down and present me with brand new pair for a 50 spot.

    Maybe these will be the rage in 20 yrs when I blow thru my current stash.

  24. Eliot W. Collins
    on Mar 10th, 2012
    @ 12:15 PM

    GB Machine – I have both 992′s and 993′s. Neither are the same as 991′s. In my opinion, no “update” was needed. I get the impression that New Balance is trying to appeal to non-runners.

  25. Ryan
    on Mar 10th, 2012
    @ 4:46 PM

    Yeah, these are horrific.

    If you must wear NBs, it has to be the classic 991s.

  26. Makaga
    on Mar 12th, 2012
    @ 12:19 PM

    Wow, so many mean comments. Whatever happened to “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? Thank you for sharing these custom shoes, MW. Glad to see you made some ACL versions.

  27. Eliot W. Collins
    on Mar 12th, 2012
    @ 12:34 PM

    I am sorry if my negative comments hurt New Balance’s feelings or lowered their self-esteem. I have tried 993′s and I do not like them. Making a custom version of this shoe will mainly appeal to those who are more serious about fashion than about running.

  28. jiheison
    on Mar 12th, 2012
    @ 1:12 PM

    They are custom. Only one person has to like them.

  29. Larry Felitto
    on Mar 12th, 2012
    @ 1:58 PM

    Not to belabor the point any further than it already is… but isn’t this a fashion blog? Not a running blog?

  30. Eliot W. Collins
    on Mar 12th, 2012
    @ 2:11 PM

    Larry is absolutely correct. I am a runner, who somehow got here by mistake.

  31. randall
    on Mar 13th, 2012
    @ 9:08 AM

    Usually I’m right there with the haters (see, Aether Trailer), but those look like good functional sneakers. I’d work out/run in them. I’d maybe even hold a pipe wrench or some old first edition books and a typewriter while doing so.

  32. Marty
    on Mar 14th, 2012
    @ 12:28 AM

    Am still wearing my original 991s (so broken in, I’m trending barefoot). Am waiting for NB to bring them back with the original design, rather than the dorky squared-off (subtle, but hey) toe box . . . at a reasonable price!

  33. Jeff
    on Mar 14th, 2012
    @ 2:15 PM

    All running shoes are disposable. If you’re replacing your shoes every 500 miles (less often than the shoe companies say you should, more often than I actually do), and running a very modest 25 miles/week, then they’ll only last 5 months. Customization seems like a great deal of effort for something that needs to be replaced so frequently.

    I feel similarly about purchasing Made in the USA products. If they can do it at the same price, that’s great, but I purchase domestic products out of a belief that they will be built to higher standards, not out patriotism. Any difference in build quality between New Balance and Nike, for example, is pretty much irrelevant, since the cushioning foam will be totally gone long before build quality matters. What you should really be shopping for in a running shoe is something that fits your foot, has a good ride for your stride type, and won’t get you injured.

  34. Eliot W. Collins
    on Mar 14th, 2012
    @ 2:57 PM

    Jeff – As I was reminded, this is a fashion blog, not a running blog.

    That being said, how is a running shoe with worn-out cushioning any different from one of the new minimalist shoes with no cushioning in the first place?

    I wear my 991′s until they fall apart. I have been at it for many years, and my knees are just fine. If anything, shoes are over-engineered and this has contributed to our physical breakdown.

    I even thought that ACL meant anterior cruciate ligament.

  35. Andy B
    on Mar 16th, 2012
    @ 2:24 AM

    I don’t care what the shoes look like. Sole owner and CEO of New Balance, Mark Davis, gave Mitt Romney’s SuperPac, Restore Our Future, a big check for $500,000.00. If your a big fan of social conservatives and superpacs then by all means have at it. I’m done with New Balance.

  36. Eliot W. Collins
    on Mar 16th, 2012
    @ 8:51 AM

    Andy B – See for more info.

    Jim Davis (not Mark Davis) is the chairman of the board (not sole owner) of New Balance.

  37. Andy B
    on Mar 22nd, 2012
    @ 2:42 AM

    Thanks for the correction Eliot. Yes, it was a private donation and yes, New Balance has no connection to the ideologies of Jim Davis. That said, it still does not change the fact that Jim Davis amassed a fortune via New Balance and is using that money to influence political ideologies I find backward. So, instead I will buy athletic shoes from a company that uses underage, sweatshop labor in some Authoritarian South-east Asian Nation.


  38. aioli
    on Apr 5th, 2012
    @ 1:28 PM

    These are beautifully ugly, kind of like birkenstocks.
    They make you look like you don’t give a fck