We spent 5.7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

9 reasons to buy

  • The New Balance 997H has amassed perfect ratings and high recommendations from the majority of reviewers.
  • Plenty of testers have lauded its astounding comfort, with a few ranking the 997H as the comfiest pair they've worn.
  • It is budget-friendly, which delighted some shoppers since the 997H seemed to them made of high-quality materials.
  • Many wearers dig its stylishly streamlined silhouette for it looked at home in a pair of jeans, joggers, or chinos and suited any occasion.
  • Several customers have remarked on the 997H’s standout color palette and blocking, which encouraged them to collect multiple pairs.
  • The colors presented on the website matched how they looked in person, a couple of online shoppers have noted.
  • A few users like how well the sneaker formed or molded to their feet. 
  • It is very lightweight, according to a handful of wearers.
  • Though it does not have the same material as the premium Made in USA version, the 997H is well-made in its own right, a reviewer has pointed out.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A customer has pointed out that the midsole’s design made it look a bit flimsy.
  • The cotton lining around the heel and collar wisped off after a couple of wear, one user have reported.        

Bottom line

With the 997H, New Balance introduces a budget-friendly alternative to those who wish to dabble with the expensive all-time classic NB 997

Streamlined for the contemporary times, the New Balance 997H maintains its OG’s upper while packing loads of innovations. High-grade synthetic leather, suede, and mesh comprise the upper, taking on bright ’90s color accents. 


Base model: New Balance 997
Style: Retro
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collection: New Balance 997
Closure: Laces
Designer: Steven Smith
Material: EVA, Mesh, Rubber Sole, Suede
Price: $90
Colorways: Beige, Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Multi, Pink, Purple, White
Special editions: 2 special editions
Small True to size Large
Tight Loose
Tight Roomy
Neutral Stable
Stiff Flexible
Warm Breathable
Firm Plush
Durability 6/10
Comfort 8/10
Traction 8/10
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A top rated sneaker
Top 1% most popular sneakers

Expert Reviews

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The 997H is available to both sexes. This NB classic sneaker uses a regular lace-up closure to give the foot a custom snug fitting. Besides that, its low-top profile allows the ankles full mobility capable of adapting to rapid transitions. 

The freshly dropped 997H embodies the brand’s ideal. It values function above anything else, but because of that, it presents an X factor with regards to style. Both men and women can easily match the 997h with any casual and sporty clothing and pick the definite colorway for the personality they want to convey.  

That said, this lifestyle shoe looks bold and bright with its assortment of super-retro ’90s colorways. Namely, Eclipse with Team Red, Magnet with Energy Red, White with Laser Blue, Castlerock with Peony, and Away Grey with Pigment.     

Aside from its distinctively wedgy classic 997 silhouette, its undeniably ’90s color palette also stands out as well. It’s also labeled as the brand’s most innovative sneaker to date, as it features an enhanced GCEVA construction and a modified ENCAP midsole.  

Boston-based brand New Balance is renowned for prioritizing function over style, without compromise; however, that does not mean the brand lacks any of it. In fact, the clean, straightforward design had become their classic signature, which many avid fans and sneakerheads dubbed as subtle and stylish, even after many decades passed.

While its main heritage is rooted in running, New Balance has branched out into lifestyle. The brand takes inspiration from their sports silhouettes and exhibits their trademark quality and function. Such qualities are evident in their 99x range, further proven by its streamlined iteration, the 997H.     

  • A pull tab is stitched at the heel for quicker on-and-offs.
  • GCEVA is a foam injected to the midsole, which provides excellent cushioning and responsiveness.


Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.