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08 Jan 2019

Features NB997 New BalanceNew Balance

Cult Classic: The History of New Balance's Made In USA 997


In the 1970s, as the fledgling athletic goods industry found its feet, sneakers were considered utilitarian equipment for specific sporting purposes. But as the 1980s rolled around, fuelled by the jogging phenomenon and a booming American economy, the idea of athletic footwear as high-tech luxury items with pricing to match began to coalesce. Brands invested heavily in their research and design departments, using razor-sharp marketing hyperbole to enhance their claims of innovation and technical superiority. In response, savvy consumers demanded more from their footwear and were happy to pay the price.

This feature was originally published in Sneaker Freaker's New Balance 997 book. For more about the 997's history check our interview with designer ; revisit United Arrows' 997.5 with ; get a look at re-imagined 997s; or delve into the 997 back catalogue with .

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