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 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.
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.
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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.
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.
Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.
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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.
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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.
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New Balance 997 Desert Heat History
One brand that has remained steadfast in delivering products billed as “Made in the USA” is New Balance. For many decades, this Boston-based brand has been producing sneakers from its five factories based in Maine and Massachusetts, employed with American workers. The company carries on such tradition especially since its chairman and chief executive Jim Davis is very much committed to domestic manufacturing.
When running became a craze in the 1970s to 1980s, several competing shoe brands expanded overseas tapping laborers outside the USA, chiefly from Asia to meet the increasing demand of consumers. New Balance did not go with the trend and banked on local production, putting more value on quality over quantity. As a result, a significant percentage of American customers continued to patronize New Balance products.
One of the famous designs issued by New Balance in 1991 and labeled as “Made in the USA” is the 997. Constructed initially as a running shoe, the New Balance 997 is made with more visible heel counter and higher midsole height versus the earlier models, the New Balance 995 and 996.
The popularity of this 997 version prompted New Balance to manufacture this model concurrently in its UK factory and facilities in the USA. It is for this reason that in the coming years New Balance 997 Made in England are made available in the market. One of the variations of the 997 crafted both in USA and UK is the summer-inspired Desert Heat Pack. This iteration is composed of premium materials sourced from such regions.
Just like the USA versions, the UK-made low-top New Balance Desert Heat sneakers are fashioned with a high level of craftsmanship, which makes much appeal to sneakerheads and sneaker collectors. As such, this model comes with a steep high price tag, which retailed at $210 on its initial drop.
New Balance 997 Desert Heat Style
Several models that belong to the New Balance 990 series are given a splash of summer-inspired colorways, particularly the Desert Heat pack, and this includes the low-top New Balance 997. These men’s casual sneakers exude a classic appeal and available in bright but not flashy upper color combinations as well as summer midnight tones of black and lilac.
The lighter version has a mesh forefoot while the darker one has perforated suede in the same region. The low-top New Balance 997 Desert Heat puts a glow to one’s laid back casual wear whatever time of the day.
Fit & Sizing
The New Balance’s 997 Desert Heat low-top sneakers are true to size and accessible in men’s sizes from 8 to 12 US. This variation of the 997 classic silhouette is designed with the same lace-up closure as the previous models, which offers a personalized, secure fit.
One of the standout characteristics of the low-top New Balance 997 Desert Heat is the fact that this model went through a meticulous process of craftsmanship as it is produced in NB’s USA and UK factories. The brand did not scrimp in sourcing out materials for this 997 edition as its upper is made of premium, velvety suede, breathable mesh, and synthetic textiles. The desirability of this model does not rest on its appearance as it is fabricated with cushioning features, mainly the proprietary ENCAP technology in the midsole, that increases the comfort advantages of this sneaker.
- The ENCAP feature is a New Balance cushioning technology built into the midsole.
- The ENCAP is made of a piece of foam compound bounded by a sturdy polyurethane (PU) material. This particular foam is placed in the heel area of specific models like the low-top New Balance 997 Desert Heat designed to absorb impact.
- New Balance partnered up with lifestyle apparel retailers and fashion designers in producing original color patterns for the low top New Balance 997, namely: J. Crew x New Balance 997, Concepts x New Balance 997, Nonnative x New Balance 997, and Stance x New Balance 997, among others.