We spent 6.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

6 reasons to buy

  • Out of a handful of reviews gathered, most confirm that this shoe has a very cushiony yet sturdy sole and thickly padded, removable insole.
  • Fans reveal that the New Balance 998 Desert Heat looks clean and nice.
  • Compared to its pictures online, this shoe appears even better in person, one buyer observes.
  • Some are pleased with the quality of the suede used for this model. They mentioned that the suede felt soft and buttery.
  • The sneaker also gain recognition for having a bulky tongue.
  • Almost all are pleased with the comfortable fit and feel the 998 Desert Heat provides.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The New Balance 998 Desert Heat is available in limited colorways.
  • Some people complain about heel slippage when wearing this kick.

Bottom line

The 998, a New Balance model that is among the brand’s top-of-the-line products, has been favored for its “Made in the USA” tag. Despite having an expensive price, fans are willing to tolerate its cost to enjoy its high-quality, solidly-build construction.

Recently, a new colorway was introduced. Dressed in desert-inspired hues, the shoe is dubbed as the 998 Desert Heat. Similar to the original 998, this iteration is also recognized for its premium comfort and clean aesthetics. 


Base model: New Balance 998
Style: Dad, Retro
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collection: New Balance 998
Closure: Laces
Material: Leather, Suede, Mesh, Rubber Sole
Price: $180
Colorways: Multi
Special editions: 1 special editions
Small True to size Large
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Made with top-grade suede underlaid with breathable mesh, expect this shoe to provide sufficient support while offering adequate ventilation as well as plush comfort. It is available in men’s sizing.

Vibrantly-colored, expect the 998 Desert Heat to stand out effortlessly. Its classic, fashion-forward silhouette looks great with a various athletic and casual clothing, cuffed joggers and tapered jeans included.

Famous for its ABZORB cushioning, expect this shoe to provide a natural, stable ride as well as all-day comfort underfoot. Its mesh upper overlaid with suede is also accented with hints of leather and molded plastic. Thus, expect this part of the shoe to hug your foot in all the right places while offering support where you need it most.  

To meet the high demands of consumers for reasonably-priced footwear, most sneaker brands, global giants included, chose to outsource their production overseas. American brand New Balance, however, in spite of the high cost, pushed its limits to keep a significant percentage of their production in the US.

The “Made in the USA” sealed the deal as it ensured well-made products crafted with premium materials. The 99X Series notably showcases the brand’s top-of-the-line footwear. Making its debut in the year 1982, the first model introduced was the New Balance 990. It was the first sneaker to be sold at $100. Despite its steep pricing, it still managed to sell out as consumers were willing to break the bank to enjoy its groundbreaking design.

Over the years, other 99X models were launched. It was in the year 1993 when the first 998 model set its foot on the market. Unlike its predecessors, this version had a smaller “N” logo. It was also built with a thick, well-cushioned ABZORB midsole that offered lasting comfort.

Since its inception, the 998 has been revamped in a wide array of colors and subjected to numerous collaborations. In June 2017, the brand decided to outfit this shoe in suede with shades of navy, gray and red and hits of sandy tan leather. Popularly known as the New Balance 998 Desert Heat, its colors were reminiscent of the desert night and day.

  • The 998 Desert Heat’s outsole is made of durable rubber that offers reliable traction and grip.
  • The fit of the shoe can be adjusted with the help of the traditional lace-up fastening system. This closure includes flat tonal laces
  • For better visibility at night, a reflective detailing is added on the heel.
  • The addition of a padded collar and tongue, as well as cushioned insoles, enhance the sneakers in-shoe feel.
  • For branding, expect to see the NB logo on the heel, the iconic “N” insignia on the lateral and medial side and “New Balance 998” wordmark engraved on the undersole’s rear.