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A Brief history of the New Balance 997

The iconic silhouette returns now in a new reiteration

A Brief history of the New Balance 997 The iconic silhouette returns now in a new reiteration

Technology, comfort and style: these are the main characteristics that a sneaker must feature to become a sold-out success. There is no longer a division between performance shoes, like the ones designed for running, and the lifestyle ones: or better, the difference exists, but only theoretically. The sneakers we were once used to see in the gyms or on the track are now spotted on the streets, in every streetstyle reportage, on the catwalks of the biggest brands. 

In this regard, New Balance has always been a forerunner. All the sneakers of the 99x line of the Boston brand, in fact, were created especially as running shoes, designed to provide the best performance. In a very short time, though, New Balance sneakers become a regular presence on the streets, they adapt to the everyday life, beloved in Japan, paired with more laid back and not necessarily sporty outfits, or worn with classic blue jeans and a black turtleneck like the late Steve Jobs

In 1991 emerges a model bound to become iconic, the 997. The innovation of this shoe consists in its unique synthesis of technology and style. In those years, the 997 could boast an unprecedented technology: the silhouette featured the new moulded technique, where the ENCAP and C-CAP cushioning technologies combined in one single midsole, the first in the ball of the foot, the second in the backfoot, for the maximum flexibility and stability. New Balance has always stood up for its low-key silhouettes and colorways, result of a hidden and never shouted elegance, expressed in the combination of three different greys, which became the shoe's signature scheme. 

At a time where many brands would move their factories in the Middle East or in Asia, New Balance went the opposite way, deciding to mantain the production in the United States (and in the UK), which made the 997 unique in the history of the brand, as well as the symbol of the classic American style. It's not a coincidence that the then President of the United States, Bill Clinton, would often wear a pair of 997 for his running sessions. This model, moreover, was the first New Balance silhouette to have also a specific women's version, for the occasion renamed W997

From 1991 until today, the 997 has become an icon in the New Balance world and in the whole sneaker industry, and for this 2019 it comes back in a new reiteration. The 997H is renovated thanks to the GCEVA technology, which provides a modernised sole and a lighter fit. The shoe features a pleather upper with details drawing inspiration from the 90s model, like the embossed edge of the tab, the inserts in suede, mesh and leather. The renovated New Balance is introduced with the Classic 90's Pack, with different colorways inspired by that legendary decade. The pack consists of a unisex model, three men's silhouette and two women's. 

The heritage of the 997 keeps leaving a mark. The Classic 90's Pack will be available from February 2 at New Balance stores and in selected retailers for 90€.