Facts

  • Top

    Low Top

    Extremely popular sneakers because of their price range, versatility when it comes to style, and freedom of movement. Almost everyone is guaranteed to have low-top sneakers in their shoe rotation.

    Mid Top

    Mid-top sneakers extend toward the ankle for a little more support and hold. These lie somewhere in the middle between low-top and high-top sneakers in terms of usage and popularity.

    High Top

    Sneakers with collars that go above the ankles for optimal hold and support are some of the most sought-after models in lifestyle shoes. Most of these shoes take their roots from basketball and have easily or fashionably crossed to mainstream wear.

    Good to know

    Regardless of cut, it's always good to start with sneakers that can be worn for the daily grind, also called as "beaters" by some, as these are usually cheaper, easy to clean, and still gives that lifestyle "edge" before going for those wallet-thinning models.

  • Inspired from

    Sports

    Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.

    Casual

    Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.

    Good to know

    Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.

  • Collection

    Good to know

    Shoes sharing the same inspiration, history, materials, or technologies are routinely assembled under one compilation for the convenience of those who may wish to categorize or label their own collection as such. The classic collections like the Adidas Originals, Air Max 1, Air Force 1, new balance classic sneakers, and the Classic Leather head the pack of frequently asked about collections.

  • Price
    $210
  • Special editions
Show more facts

Summary

We spent 6.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

12 reasons to buy

  • Numerous reviewers like REVlite cushioning for its superior impact protection and comfort.
  • A large number of reviewers claimed the shoes are well-made with outstanding durability.
  • Some customers love the re-issue of this early 1990s sneaker as its style reflects the nineties look that has been trending lately.
  • Several observers noted that the updated materials in the New Balance 997’s re-issue are better and plusher than the original ones.
  • An ENCAP midsole gives protection and stability as most users attest to the great feet protection in daily activities.
  • A lot of buyers appreciate the good mixing and matching of the suede and mesh upper material.
  • A few users claimed the tough polyurethane rim doesn’t chip off easily and keeps the entire shoe together.
  • A number of users claimed the rubber outsole can withstand pressure as it provides traction and a good grip to the ground.
  • A large number of users like the new color palettes used for the newly released sneakers as they are trendy and highly fashionable casual wear.
  • Throwback design gives some of its older wearers a nostalgic vibe in wearing a popular 1990s running shoe.
  • Several customers love this fully All-American made shoe for its quality and durability.
  • A few reviewers find the price of$ 209.99 per pair reasonable as the shoes are made in the USA.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Some reviewers find this shoe a little narrow.
  • A few comments on the suede material easily chipping off after heavy usage.
  • A small number of customers find them difficult to clean or wash.
  • Plastic support details on the upper according to some users tend to peel off after a few months of use.

Bottom line

One of the newer retro runners released by the Boston-based shoe manufacturer, the New Balance 997 is a durable shoe with a reliable midsole that protects the feet and provides stability during short walks or runs. As one of the brand’s sneakers that are made in the US and not anywhere else, the quality is guaranteed. While the US-made design that most runners loved during its early release in the 1990s has been kept the same, the shoes are geared with a few updates on materials for the best cushioning, breathability, and traction to make this sneaker still a formidable runner and a reliable retro sneaker. Be prepared, though, to shell out more than $200 for these sneakers, which are pricier compared to other shoes made outside of the United States.

Rankings

Expert Reviews

Experts are sneaker fanatics, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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  • First look / Unboxing | Samuel Sagua

  • First look / Unboxing | KurtzerTech

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New Balance 997 History

Homegrown US brand New Balance has always been the patriotic All-American brand from Boston, Massachusetts. 

The brand has remained an athletic shoe top seller because it is based on the idea that better fit and technology results to good performance. The message the brand has been sending its multitude of fans is fairly simple: the shoes speak for themselves and not the stars that endorse them.

Investing in research, design and new technology, New Balance through the years have shunned huge endorsement deals in favor of shifting more focus on the shoes than on the stars. 

The seemingly conservative principles of the brand trace back to its roots in 1906, when the company was founded by William J. Riley as the New Balance Arch Company in Belmont, Massachusetts.  The company focused on manufacturing arch support and orthopedic shoes for several decades focusing on this small niche market which rarely went out of state.

New Balance’s strength lies in the quality of their shoe, durability and comfort and their ability to respond to market needs and demands. Soon, manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts and Maine were improved introducing computer-assisted design systems that lessen product development and production times by half. 

While competitors seem to be rolling out new designs only after a year, New Balance is able to do it in only four months. They continued to focus on domestic production that from the 2000s up to the present, more than 70 percent of their production remained in the United States. Their production for the European market also remained in their manufacturing plant Flimby, England in the United Kingdom.

Among the shoe models that have been made in the manufacturing plants of New Balance up to this day is the New Balance 997.  Originally released 1991 that resulted to huge sales, the shoe was re-issued in 2015 with newer colorways and design collaborations with top retailers. The brand has also maintained its pig suede upper and meshe material combination that gives a retro vibe to the 1990s hit design.

The classic New Balance 997 has released Made in USA versions promising All-American craftsmanship as it also features an upper made with Horween leather sourced from Chicago, and crafted by American workers in American factories. The popular sneaker pays homage and tribute by only using the finest high-end leathers, timeless details, and extraordinary comfort elements.

New Balance 997 Style

Known for its clean design and silhouette, the New Balance 997 has focused more on functionality rather than style. The pig suede and mesh upper are kept secured by a rubber sole that balances white and black tones. The cuts on the suede material were carefully pieced together creating a great mix and match of colors on the material.

New Balance has released amazing colorways for the 997 model with the White, White-Blue-Red, Black Magnet, Cool Grey and other colors projecting the Made in the USA branding. This amazing play on various color palettes has also helped New Balance attract younger fans of their retro sneakers.

Fit & Sizing

The New Balance 997 runs true to size and is kept snug by a regular fitting shoelace. The retro sneakers are available in sizes for men and women in standard medium widths D or B. Men’s sizes range from US size 6 to 13 while women’s sizes range from US size 5 to 13.

Notable Features

As a retro sneaker, the clean looks and finish of this runner from the nineties is its main feature as many sneaker fans have waited a long time for this re-issue. The colorways, however, feature more vibrant and bolder designs that are timely and trendy for the younger generation. Also among its notable feature is the retained ENCAP midsole that delivers stability and shock absorption while a REVlite superior cushioning while the mesh overlays keep the feet light, comfortable, and well ventilated.

Additional Info

  • New Balance had several collaborations with retailers and sneaker designers for their popular NB 997 model that includes the Concepts x New Balance 997, J. Crew x New Balance 997, Stance x New Balance 997, and nonnative x New Balance 997.
  • New Balance 997 designs were also released in homage to baseball with special baseball packs in various colors.
  • Among the celebrities spotted wearing New Balance 997 sneakers include DJ Clark Kent, Amanda Seyfried, and DJ Envy.