The New Balance 997
Sometimes two developments have to run side by side before they can find an intersection. That during the transition from the 1970s to the 80s affection arose out of a purely functional relationship. That sneakers slowly became more than just a comfort and functional sports companion was one thing. That New Balance simultaneously began to combine understated design with high-quality materials and high tech was the other.
The avalanche was created when the two met and prepared the way for runners who also decorated everyday life. The luxurious materials wore. Which therefore also had their price. Suddenly mankind was ready for New Balance's 99x series. It debuted in 1982 with the 990 and also attracted potential wearers with a special label: Made in America. Where other brands had long since moved their production to far-away countries, New Balance still produced its 990 in the USA - and in view of the positive feedback it received, the concept was retained in 1991.
The Pilot sneaker had long since given the series the extension. First the 990 had become the 995, then the 996. However, New Balance's 99x series reached its peak in 1991, when Steven Smith, who had already created the 996, sat down a year earlier and designed a completely new sneaker. Clean he was. At the same time, it radiated an almost hypnotic dynamic, also thanks to the raised heel. In addition, there was a grey leather upper and a then completely new cushioning technology made of polyurethane. At the same time New Balance produced the 997 as the first sneaker of the series also in a version explicitly made for women and as an addition even in different widths.
A symbiosis of technology, comfort and a relaxed look, the New Balance 997 instantly secured public attention. Even the then US President Bill Clinton liked to be photographed running in the US-manufactured sneaker. And yet the 997 got a break. It took almost 20 years before New Balance successfully relaunched the shoe in 2014. As OG in elegant grey, of course. This was followed by collabos with streetwear legends like Kith, Concepts or Sneaker Freaker, plus Stance and J.Crew. And all because at the beginning of the 1980s two lines of development had come together.
Characteristics of the New Balance 997
High-quality material with a penchant for luxury meets innovation. A mix of mesh, suede and smooth leather meets effective cushioning. In addition, a tri-density outsole and a heel cushion made of rubber and carbon. This is how the New Balance 997 entered the sneaker stage. Add to this the lockdown strap on the upper, which was actually only meant to provide additional stability, and in the end it also contributed visually to the unique character of the shoe. In 2019, New Balance revamped its icon, reducing the weight of the 997H thanks to GCEVA technology and adding a more modern sole. The 997S and the 997D were the first to take the sporty direction, while the 997W was explicitly tailored to women and their foot anatomy.
Key facts about the New Balance 997
- (Original) Name: New Balance 997
- First release: 1991
- First colorway: Light Grey
- Designer: Steven Smith
- Price range: 60 to 90 ?
How can you combine the New Balance 997?
It does not have to be the running outfit. Never had to. The New Balance 997 already took its first steps in combination with relaxed streetwear wardrobe. With a preference for jeans and chinos. Hoodie and sweater always fit. Even under the long relaxed skirt the sneaker may look out or the shirt or t-shirt may finish relaxed.
The New Balance 997 at Keller x
Icons know many faces. After all, the appeal lies in change. That's why you don't just order the New Balance 997 online at Keller x. You can get different versions of the cult sneaker, the 997H as well as the 997S, the 997D and of course the W, the ladies' version. All of course in different colorways and often at very attractive prices.