The All-Time Greatest New Balance 998s: Part 2

New Balance 998 On-Foot

Sneaker Freaker readers love the New Balance 998. After compiling 10 killer colourways in Part 1, here are 15 more excellent editions to revisit in the 998’s back catalogue.

‘Day Tripper’ (2013)‘Day Tripper’ (2013)

Back in 2013, New Balance regularly released themed collections for their Made In USA line, and the ‘Day Tripper’ pack is an example of such. It included two 998s – the M998RR and M998GGO – featuring spicy orange accents on a classic two-tone grey palette. Pictured: the M998GGO – arguably the more tasteful edition.

NB 998 Day Tripper 2013
via @mazesp

J.Crew ‘Death Valley’ (2018)J.Crew ‘Death Valley’ (2018)

In 2018, J.Crew and New Balance joined forces to curate a collection of 998s inspired by national parks in America. One of those was an ode to Death Valley, the expansive desert stretching across Nevada and California. Brown and tan tones ensconced the upper, reflecting the park’s baron landscape.

,New Balance 998 Death Valley
via J.Crew

‘BR’ (2011)‘BR’ (2011)

These black and red 998s foreshadowed many excellent colourways that would arrive in the following years. These deviated from the OG’s suede and mesh construction by adding textiles to the toe box. The slightly ecru laces also beat a trend by a whole decade.

New Balance 998 BR
via @_iluslongsoles

J.Crew ‘Hilltop Blues’ (2015)J.Crew ‘Hilltop Blues’ (2015)

In 2015, J.Crew were tapped by New Balance once again, this time to craft another iteration of the 998. Injected with ABZORB tech, the ‘Hilltop Blues’ was inspired by the swathe of local baseball courts across New York.

J.Crew New Balance 998 Hilltop Blues
via J.Crew

‘GY’ (2009)‘GY’ (2009)

Standard NB nomenclature would usually denote ‘GY’ as grey, but this 2009 pair’s SKU refers to the grey and yellow accents on its upper. It’s also the perfect sort of nerdery that defines hardcore collectors, for whom the 998 is key.

New Balance 998 GY
via @robertljuba

Premier (2015)Premier (2015)

Premier, a Michigan-based specialty skate store, kicked off their relationship with New Balance in 2015. The duo decided to work together on the NB998, and the result was inspired by the birth of the automobile – a nod to Premier’s hometown and the state’s rich history in the auto industry.

Premier New Balance 998
via @oneness

‘GRB’ (2009)‘GRB’ (2009)

Again, nicknames have only really been ascribed to NB colabs or more recent releases. On paper, the only thing separating the aforementioned ‘GY’ and ‘GRB’ is a couple of letters. This pair looks pretty unassuming, but that berry accent on the midsole and N logo is excellent.

New Balanace 998 GRB
via @acyyw201

Concepts ‘C-Note’ (2013)Concepts ‘C-Note’ (2013)

Fun fact: the current American hundred-dollar bill featuring the blue stripe was introduced in 2013. To celebrate the momentous occasion, Concepts linked with NB to craft the 998 ‘C-Note’. Like its inspiration, this pair commands major currency on the market.

Concepts New Balance 998 C-Note
via @elpaeso

Concepts ‘Tannery Mint’ (2013)Concepts ‘Tannery Mint’ (2013)

The year 2013 was good for Concepts, New Balance, and the 998, with the duo following the ‘C-Note’ with the ‘Tannery Mint’. Sticking to the monetary inspiration, the collaboration looked to the United States Mint, decking out the upper in subtle green suede and orange pops.

Concepts New Balance 998 Tannery Mint
via Concepts

NexusVII (2010)NexusVII (2010)

NexusVII have been putting their own twist on Japanese streetwear for over 20 years. Their take on the 998 in 2010 is a pure homage to the wheat workboots transplanted from New Hampshire to Nakameguro (via Shibuya).

NexusVII New Balance 998
via tfkicks (eBay)

‘Connoisseur Guitar’ (2015)‘Connoisseur Guitar’ (2015)

Throughout 2015, New Balance released the ‘Connoisseur Guitar’ pack, with multiple stalwart silhouettes decked out in colourways inspired by American guitars. In this pack, the 998’s upper resembled the OG grey, albeit with a lighter shade. Coloured laces, gold accents and a special swing tag make for a luxe look.

New Balance 998 Connoisseur Guitar
via Packer

‘Pool Blue’ (2014)‘Pool Blue’ (2014)

Typical grey NBs can be a little staid for some. This 2014 GR definitely stood out on shelves with its near-monochrome pastel blue mixed with white and grey. It was also an early example of NB colourways getting nicknames.

New Balance 998 Pool Blue
via Feature

‘Explore by Sea’ (2016)‘Explore by Sea’ (2016)

Continuing their celebration of American life, New Balance released the ‘Explore by Sea’ pack in 2016, and it included these crispy green 998s. The insole branding of the 998CSAM is a favourite feature for many!

,New Balance 998 Explore By Sea
via Overkill

998CREA ‘Explore by Air’ (2016)998CREA ‘Explore by Air’ (2016)

New Balance’s ‘Explore by Air’ pack from 2016 was chocka-block and included a 997 and two 998 colourways (although the fan favourite was the 998CREA). This Made in USA heater arrived in a tonal grey build with subtle orange and navy pops.

New Balance 998 Explore By Air
via Feature

Todd Snyder ‘Dark & Stormy’ (2018)Todd Snyder ‘Dark & Stormy’ (2018)

Todd Snyder, the founder behind the eponymous label, champions Made In USA NB as much as his former employer J.Crew, where he was head of menswear. His ongoing partnership delivered the ‘Dark & Stormy’ 998, inspired by his favourite drink. Story aside, the speckled midsoles are right up SF’s alley!

Todd Snyder New Balance 998
via Todd Snyder

Get even more All-Time Greatest roundups here.

Now ReadingThe All-Time Greatest New Balance 998s: Part 2

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