We spent 7.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

9 reasons to buy

  • The pig suede upper of the New Balance 997R paired with lightweight REVlite foam feature in the sole makes this sneaker very light on the feet.
  • Many are happy about the neoprene lining that embraces the foot like a sock.
  • The air holes on the suede cover offer breathability especially for those who tend to have sweaty feet.
  • The pull tab on the heel allows for easy slip on, relayed by several users.
  • The standard lace-up closure of the NB 997R grants users the freedom to obtain their desired fit.
  • The removal of combined mudguard and toe bumper layer offers a minimalist look that’s liked by lots of users.
  • Many liked that its premium, single-toned suede gives an impression of moderate luxury.
  • The presence of ENCAP technology in the midsole offers the needed cushioning, protection, and support according to several wearers.
  • Avid NB users are boasting the noticeable spotless, ship-shape overall construction of this 997 sneaker.

1 reasons not to buy

  • Although this sneaker is solid, well-made, and lightweight, some reviewers find its price tag heavy on their budget.

Bottom line

Those who want something fresh out of the well-loved New Balance classic sneakers catalog are drawn to the deconstructed, low-top New Balance 997R. This updated style is loaded with comfort features yet crafted to appear as though it has been stripped down to its bare essentials.

It has a premium suede exterior matched to a durable and comfortable neoprene lining that keeps feet snugged and cozy. One may need to shell out a hefty to obtain this well-made 997R urban lifestyle sneaker.


Base model: New Balance 997
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collection: New Balance 997
Designer: Steven Smith
Price: $180
Colorways: Blue, Grey
Special editions: 2 special editions
Small True to size Large
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A top 8% best sneaker
A popular pick

The deconstructed New Balance 997R low-top sneaker has a neoprene lining that hugs the foot like a sock. The standard lacing system allows users the liberty to customize the fit of this shoe. Although the neoprene material instantly embraces the foot, the lace-up closure offers that lockdown fit. This sneaker is available in men’s sizes ranging from 5 to 13 US and in standard D width.

The New Balance 997R, a restructured version of the reissued 997 model, is stripped down to its bare basics while retaining vital features such as premium upper construction and notable cushioning technologies. Its cover has perforations on the forefoot and near the ankle collar to allow air to circulate in and out of the shoe.

The padded lining seen in the traditional models are replaced by a neoprene sock material which keeps feet snug and dry. Its minimalist cover complements an extensive array of casual wear. One may opt to go sockless with the New Balance 997R yet still look fabulous.

Style and functionality are the leading attributes of the low-top New Balance 997R. This model is a fresh take on the traditional sneaker that has been adored for its clean and sleek structure. The old school version gets a minimalist form leaving all the layers and paddings behind. The forefoot area of this sneaker is made into a single piece of suede that eliminated the layering on the toe tip and mudguard.

As in previous iterations, this sneaker has a patented lightweight REVlite technology and a fusion of cushioning properties in the midsole that offer comfort to the feet.

New Balance has long been known for its high quality Made in the USA and Made in UK sneakers that showcase optimum level of comfort using technologies developed by its innovative team of designers. For many decades New Balance has been offering conventionally designed sneakers that blend well with the changing fashion trends.

Gone are the days when NB sneakers are coined as chunky Daddy shoes or footwear stereotyped as only Daddies would wear. New Balance continues to revamp its classic styles with modern cuts and shapes while emphasizing the essential elements, mainly comfort and durability.

As more fashion designers got involved with sneaker construction especially at the turn of the century, New Balance took note and decided to make changes on its design perspective. NB’s creative sneaker innovators began thinking out of the box and went a bit more adventurous in restructuring its most-favored classic models.

One of the bold moves made by the brand is the creation of deconstructed sneakers. These shoes are stripped down versions of the vintage cuts, leaving only the essential core on the modern remakes. The 997 is one of the most famous classic NB models that had gone through such facelift. The fundamental properties hidden underneath its traditional intricate covering are laid bare. Thus, the back-to-basics New Balance 997R is born in 2017.

The low-top New Balance 997R is one of the innovative summer offerings of this brand constructed way lighter than the previous 997 iterations. This model hit the shelves in gray colorway and was available at retailers at $180. The brand continues with its deconstructed theme by introducing another variety in black cover, followed by an earth-toned colorway not too long after.

The New Balance 997 was initially manufactured in the USA since it was unveiled in 1991. Sneaker lovers admire the structure of this silhouette for its supportive features that allow users to move in different directions without worrying about immediate wear and tear. The high demand for the 997 led the brand to produce handmade versions coming from its Flimby factory in the UK.

  • The low-top New Balance 997R has an innovative REVlite foam technology in the midsole that provides cushioning and support.
  • The REVlite cushioning is 30 percent lighter than other dense midsole foams available in the market.
  • The ENCAP property in the midsole is another cushioning unit precisely located in the heel area. This tech is designed to absorb shock and protect the heel from discomfort.
  • This sneaker features New Balance N” branding on the lateral and medial sides.
  • The outsole is set to stand for an extended period as it is fabricated with durable rubber.