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Impression of the New Balance 950 shoes?

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I need to ask for a no-nonsense assessment of the New Balance 950 Turf umpire shoes, please. Yes, the ones they use in the Major Leagues.

My UnderArmour turf-trainers have called one game too many, and never did have the greatest arch support. They were durable and presentable, but not too cushioned either. I have always worn Nikes, but when I needed a shoe for CDP two years ago, I chose the UnderArmours because they could be easily cleaned and polished. Most Nikes have mesh, or fabric, or nubuck, or Flyknit on their uppers, which just get destroyed by the red brick dust CDP uses. However, this year, I am considering the Nike Lunar MVP Pregame 2, which has synthetic leather, and looks like can be endlessly washed, as well as having the Nike fit I am accustomed to.

After checking out the landscape, though, I could go "all out" and get the official MLB umpires' shoe, the New Balance 950. It is very difficult to find in stock in my size (11 D), but I can still track it down, and I need to know (or at least have enough encouragement) before I pull the trigger.

Is it a really good shoe? How's the arch support? How's the cushioning? How's the fit? How's the clean-ability? How's the durability?

Please give me whatever opinions and sentiments and feedback you have about them, straight up. I've worked in retail far too long to have an item pitched to me, but I would value your feedback and impressions and experience with it.

Thanks, gang!

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I bought some this spring.  I've never needed wide shoes in my life but I had to return my 13D's for 13EE's and even they aren't very wide.  Other than that they seem like a good shoe.  I don't have a lot of issues with arch problems so I'm probably not a good critic there, plus I've only worn them for about 6 games.  

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They're very comfortable and clean up very well.  After each game, I wipe them down with a damp cloth and take a little extra care to go around the white sole and presto!  They look like they just came out of the box.  I've not had to polish them at all yet.  Sizing is true.

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Honigs is selling an all black version of the NB T1000v2. I prefer these to the 950s. In limited use they are lighter and seem to breath better. Even without the traditional turf nubs on the sole, the traction is excellent. The only problem is that they are a combination of fake swede and mesh and some other materials that don't wipe clean too nicely. 

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I picked up a pair two Christmases ago and have been very pleased.  I use the NB's for summer ball and save the all black Spot-Bilts for HS season.

They are VERY light and I like the mid-cut for ankle support.  They clean up very easily.  Similar to ElkOil, I wipe them down with a baby wipe after each game and polish a couple of times a season.  I have not noticed any issues with arch support and they have held up very well after two seasons.

Here are a few more reviews for your consideration:

http://www.amazon.com/New-Balance-MU950-Umpire-Baseball/dp/B00DDPFSF6

Edited by conbo61
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From one happy Schutt user to another, I love these shoes, but I have super narrow feet, and the regular width fit me perfect, and I've heard they are waaaaaay too narrow for many guys. They clean like new after each wear with very little effort, are super light and feel like slippers on the field. I've also heard guys say they don't breath well?...but I haven't experienced that. 

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I am also getting ready to pull the trigger on the NB 950's. I have Reebok's now and they are very comfortable. I had the NB 1000 series in the all black. At first I liked them but after using the ReeZig I found them to be completely uncomfortable. My issue is the width, heard a couple guys talk about that. I wear the shoes out from the inside due to a narrow foot. The heal is the first to go as most shoes slip up and down on my foot. The NB look good and judging off of a pair of 995's that I had previously they should have good traction on most surfaces.

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I have the new balance MB1000 and I love those, slightly different than nb 950's. I have a wide foot and was able to get mb1000 in wide last year. I put of inserts in them, they are very comfortable

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Rumor has it (umpires forum on facebook) .... NB is coming out w/ a new version in August........

​Thought I saw a MLB ump wearing a different version.  Think his name was Scott Barry.

 

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​Thought I saw a MLB ump wearing a different version.  Think his name was Scott Barry.

 

​No, I don't think those are them.  Barry's look to be more of a 'running shoe' style.  Others have been seen wearing different versions of NB on the field.  That being said though .... who knows? :)

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Thank you to everyone who contributed their insights and opinion on the 950's. As of the top of June, I am now the proud owner of a brand new pair of them! I could not seem to find the low-cut version, but did manage to locate a vendor selling standard sizes of the mid-cut, and at a heckuva deal!

As you guys noted, they are hella-light. They are the complete opposite of their plate shoe cousin. I know Nike usually implements the light-factor with elaborate futuristic materials like FlyKnit and synthetic leather from plastic kangaroos (no joke, look up KangaLite), but those don't hold up well to the exorbitant amount of dust, dirt, clay, mud, goose-poo (don't ask) and cleaning we base umpires must operate on. Plate shoes get all the attention and care, field shoes are usually an afterthought. But these NB 950's not only can toe the line (oh, bad pun!) in the light district, but clean up easily and very very well.

New Balance obviously uses a different last than Nike, but it's less unforgiving than Adidas/Reebok and less aggressive arch-supporting than Nike. Unlike UnderArmours, which have zero arch support and the last is a different shape than my foot, the 950's map to my foot shape very well, albeit a bit on the narrow side. The toe box is adequately roomy, unlike, again, the UnderArmours which seem to want to suffocate the two outer piggies.

I've seen a cross section of this shoe, and it looks like the AbZorb cushioning will do the job, but we'll see how it holds up over time. One of the primary reasons I favor Nike so much is not only because I'm used to their last, but they offer various types of cushioning (Air, Lunarlon, Phylon, Fusion, Shox, etc) and they each have their advantages / disadvantages. The UnderArmours MicroG cushioning is pretty much shot after 2 years of seasonal use.

So, I'll be using these new NB 950's for the bulk of my games in the future, especially CDP, where you really need to look the part. I've got these inexpensive Nike TR2s for "dire conditions" games (mud, goose-poo, 9 year olds, etc...), and the Nike Dual Fusions for FieldTurf games. Game on!

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you use the word "last" a lot in there .... :HS 

Jeff, a shoe's last is the form by which the shoe is constructed around. When a car chassis is built, a form or template is put down first, then the components are arranged upon that template, and then welded together, and voila, you have a chassis. Ford's chassis template is different than GM's, but also appears in Lincoln, Mercury and has been shared to Mazda marques. GM shares chassis templates across several different marques (Chevy, Buick, etc).

Similarly, when a boat or ship hull is made, a cradle of forms are laid down first, and then the keel, ribbing, and hull plates are assembled within it. The cradle is not a part of the boat / ship, but determines what its shape will be.

In the shoe industry, that determining form, or template, is referred to as a last. Each footwear maker has their own set of lasts, covering a range of purposes and specialties. Some are carefully guarded secrets. Nike is fairly consistent, and I know what to expect to feel and fit to regardless of if I wear a soccer shoe, basketball shoe, running shoe or casual shoe. It turns out that when Nike acquired DC Skateboards (for a time), they also acquired their lasts, and it was an unexpected sensation when a pair of Nike skateboard shoes didn't fit quite right – different last altogether.

New Balance has one of the most diverse range of lasts because they are one of the few makers to produce such a broad range of size / width combinations.

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Jeff, a shoe's last is the form by which the shoe is constructed around. When a car chassis is built, a form or template is put down first, then the components are arranged upon that template, and then welded together, and voila, you have a chassis. Ford's chassis template is different than GM's, but also appears in Lincoln, Mercury and has been shared to Mazda marques. GM shares chassis templates across several different marques (Chevy, Buick, etc).

Similarly, when a boat or ship hull is made, a cradle of forms are laid down first, and then the keel, ribbing, and hull plates are assembled within it. The cradle is not a part of the boat / ship, but determines what its shape will be.

In the shoe industry, that determining form, or template, is referred to as a last. Each footwear maker has their own set of lasts, covering a range of purposes and specialties. Some are carefully guarded secrets. Nike is fairly consistent, and I know what to expect to feel and fit to regardless of if I wear a soccer shoe, basketball shoe, running shoe or casual shoe. It turns out that when Nike acquired DC Skateboards (for a time), they also acquired their lasts, and it was an unexpected sensation when a pair of Nike skateboard shoes didn't fit quite right – different last altogether.

New Balance has one of the most diverse range of lasts because they are one of the few makers to produce such a broad range of size / width combinations.

​And now I know ........................THE REST of the story! :notworthy:

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I got a pair of these 10 2E love them. Was wearing a 9.5 nike diamond trainers. They were way too tight on my feet! These new balances are Lovley. 

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Thanks to those of you identifying the narrowness of these shoes.   I have a very narrow foot and got the 2E wides after reading yall's posts.   Thank goodness I did, b/c even moving up to 2E width, they're just barely wide enough.  

These suckers run super narrow.

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