Size and fit

The 997 Sport sneaker is part of the New Balance 997 lineup that is produced in men’s and women’s sizes. Both shoe variations possess the same honorable comfort and quality as that of its 99x predecessors in the 80s but with a buffed-up midsole courtesy of modern materials. The women’s version promotes a more “slip-on” nature sitting atop an Encap Reveal midsole which, by the way, is also found in the men’s.

New Balance 997 Sport Style

A lot of renditions were made for the New Balance 997 Sport sneaker, but the most noticeable change of them all was the women’s edition--a stow-away from the preserved look of the men’s.

Speaking of the men’s version, or the New Balance 997 Sport Marblehead perhaps, stays true to the features of the OG 997 shoe visible with the toe structure and N saddle element being almost intact. Probably the only progressive portion of this sneaker is the somewhat hugging collar which gently wraps around the Achilles and the bottom-front of the shin.

Now let’s talk about the women’s exclusive iteration. This sneaker uses bands around the ankle across the vamp upholding a slip-on structure for a much more relaxed on and off. The tongue and the back collar were also revamped to align with the general theme of its outgoing image. In other words, the New Balance 997 Sport for women is more “sporty-looking” than that of the gents.

In a nutshell, running-inspired kicks like these New Balance 997 Sport blend well with jeans and other contemporary apparel of the concurrent time. This was made possible by the growing niche for fashion courtesy of the transitioning millennial generation and not to forget the Gen Z’s.

Notable Features

Reimagining the iconic 997 with a cleatie-like upper was the basic premise of this sneaker. The New Balance 997 Sport has components that are hugely different from its previous brothers like the Encap Reveal midsole for lightweight cushioning. The sneaker also remolds the familiar look of the 99x shoes into a silhouette recognized by hip and fashion-forward consumers

New Balance 997 Sport History

Since its debut in 1990, the New Balance 997 had become one of the most sought out iterations coming from the 990 series. What brought it more attention was its warm approach towards female runners because, at the time, it was the first 990 shoe to cater to the women’s feet.

The time-tested model was sporadically appreciated by various subgroups and runners alike, but one thing is for sure--the 997 enlists itself as one of the NB Classic models that would carry on its legacy of performance and style. Add the recent edition, the New Balance 997 Sport to that equation, and now one has a fool-proof formula for decades of glory.

The Boston brand showed more love for the sneaker by introducing it to more collaborations evident with the Bodega partnership, as well as one with Kawhi Leonard. These shoes were released within the first quarter of 2019.

Nice to know

  • Both Encap and Abzorb technologies administer that lightweight cushioning underfoot.
  • Most colorways utilize textile and nubuck for their uppers.
  • Some of the popular colorways include the New Balance 997 Sport Navy and Guava.


How New Balance 997 Sport ranks compared to all other shoes
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Top 32% New Balance sneakers
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The current trend of New Balance 997 Sport.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.