It may be the most “mysterious” pair of shoes in the 99X series

The reason why those popular shoes will be labeled as “classic”, generally its birth has a special significance to the brand or the development of shoes, or its design gives people an unforgettable recognition. Because looking at the classic shoes brought back or remade by sports brands, most of them have long stories to tell, and the main design is still vivid and vivid.

For example, New Balance, an expert in the field of professional running shoes, has accumulated more than half a century of experience in making shoes, insists on hand-making, and has been kissed by successive US presidents. It is the key content that people can automatically imagine, especially the low-key and calm painting. It has become the most famous Dress Code of New Balance.

There is no doubt that among the many series of New Balance, no one is more suitable to put on this layer of temperament than the flagship series 99X… After all, the 990, which has been crafted for 4 years and came out in 1982, can be said to be a collection. The advanced components that New Balance developers could think of were all in one: Motion Control Device followed by stabilizer block, EVA cushioning midsole, SuperFlex outsole produced by the famous Italian rubber manufacturer Vibram, and steam shaping process you may never have heard of. Such a luxurious configuration is naturally worthy of the price of up to 100 US dollars at that time.

Of course, 990 will be so confident in pricing. In addition to sitting on cutting-edge technology, the gradual formation of the era of mass consumerism and runners’ increasing emphasis on wearing experience during sports also directly contributed to this behavior with advanced market insights. After the 990 debut was the pinnacle, New Balance introduced this brand-new 996 shoe with obvious changes in 1988.


Because compared to its predecessors, its shoe body lines are unusually sharp and slender, just like a pair of sports casual shoes. But after learning from the 990, it still learned a new skill. The dual-density C-CAP midsole and ENCAP wedge-shaped components of the “hybrid” combination, in the form of a strong combination of stability, support and shock absorption of this running shoe The three elements are qualitatively supplemented. At the same time, as the finished body of 995, 996 not only has the largest “N” logo in the 99X series, but also relies on the inherent beauty and 3M reflector to ensure the safety of night running. The design is remembered by people together.

When the time came to the 90s, the sports market at that time was full of flames, and everyone was flexing their muscles in this arms race. As a leader in the jogging shoe industry, how could New Balance easily let other families divide up its own city? The brand-new 997 is undoubtedly the most powerful positive response.


From the outside, 997 continues the line aesthetics of 996, but the recalculated slope ratio creates a better visual effect. The dual cushioning midsole assembled by the two New Balance core technologies, C-CAP and ENCAP, has also changed its “sandwich” appearance and replaced it with segmented support for the front and rear palms according to different forces.

The “decorative insert” embedded in the collar of the shoe is actually a polymer material called Hytrel developed by the American chemical manufacturer DuPont. It combines the flexibility of rubber and the strength of plastic. The shoelace is like a bridge. The system is connected with the heel support piece, effectively preventing shaking between exercises. In addition, the addition of XAR-1000, a new type of rubber, also increased the grip of the outsole to a new level. As the legendary designer Steven Smith who created the 996 and 997 two pairs of shoes in one hand, said: Sometimes, a design that takes performance as the starting point will leave a particularly deep impression on people.

But why would such a pair of classic deeds be labeled “mysterious” in the title? It is also because it was hurriedly retired after only 4 years of its release… Although there were some Japanese and Asian color schemes in the late 1990s, the original 997 was always missing in the product catalog every time it was reissued. It’s no wonder that some people wonder if New Balance’s human error caused the inadvertent loss of important models and molds required for the production of 997. In addition, the cost of re-opening the mold was high, so 997 had no choice but to leave everyone’s attention. Therefore, before the first re-enactment in 2014, the very small number of original 997 surviving is indeed a mystery.