New Balance 998

New Balance 998 – Complete Review

Reviewing the New balance 998. “Made in the USA” retro running shoes were originally released back in 1993 in both men’s and women’s sizes. With the introduction of the New Balance 998, New Balance launched the retro-inspired NB 998 series. This model began as a runner and has since evolved into a lifestyle sneaker. It’s dressed up in premium quality suede, mesh, “leather”, and 3M and paired with the reliable ABZORB midsole cushioning. Die-hard sneaker fans love this vintage-looking shoe with its well-structured top, along with the outstanding cushioning, and high quality of workmanship, all of which are synonymous with tried-and-true brands.

The Look

The upper of the shoe is dominated by grey pigskin suede, which can also be found on the top portion of the tongue. When it comes to suede quality, it has a noticeable rich texture and changes colors when you rub your finger over it. On the other hand, the suede on the back of the shoe has a nappier feel, while the nap on the front of the shoe gets shorter as your feet make their way through. The variation in texture can be best seen in close-up images. An abundant sum of users has given this shoe an excellent rating due to its buttery smooth suede cover.

New Balance 998

The mesh material on the top of the toe pocket, the lower portion of the tongue, and a small area along the heel of the shoe is also outstanding. The mesh, like the suede, is super fluffy and comfortable, adding to the shoe’s overall comfort and breathability. This sneaker, like most New Balance retro runners, features reflective 3M hits that outline the New Balance “N” logo and run along the back heel. Finally, the “N” logo is made of the same faux leather material as the tongue and heel section, as well as the back heel of the shoe. Some reviewers love the unique silhouette of the 998 Made in the USA. They prefer this over the other 99x models.


New Balance shoes, in general, have a generous fit right out of the pack, and the New Balance 998 is no exception. New Balance sneakers fit true to size so take your normal size. The good thing is that Sneakers are offered in half sizes, ensuring that you will find the closest fit possible without having to size up or down.

However, it can be difficult to make sizing recommendations because there are so many different fit styles and foot sizes. Even so, here’s my best shot at giving sizing advice to someone looking to buy a pair of New Balance 998s for the first time.

Narrow Footers: With the 998s, you can comfortably go down a half-size from your regular shoe size if you have narrow feet.

Broad Footers: Those with wider feet should probably go up a half-size, depending on how loosely they want their shoes to match.

Those That Want A Snug Fit: If you prefer a snugger fit in your shoes, size down a half-inch.

Those Who Prefer A Roomier Fit: If you prefer a roomier fit in your shoes, you should remain true to size, whereas those with wider feet may want to go up a half size.

New Balance 998

The Feel

The New Balance 998 was first launched in the 1980s as one of New Balance’s flagship running shoes. It came with an ABZORB midsole, which provided a smooth ride and long-term longevity to the shoe, making it an instant success. Today, the New Balance 998 is advertised as a lifestyle shoe, but it retains the running shoe DNA. Making it a good choice for consumers looking for anything that can be worn casually as well as for sporting purposes. Even though the midsole of this shoe is not as soft and bouncy as Nike React or Adidas Boost, but it lasts much longer and becomes more comfortable with each wear. There are reviewers who have high regard for the comfortability of the sneakers. This is the most comfortable you can ever be.

The New Balance 998’s ultra-soft ABZORB cushioning device absorbs hard impacts and dissipates shock to protect your joints from injury over time. The ABZORB material outlasts conventional EVA foam and will leave your feet feeling pampered no matter how many miles you log.

How does it match up to non-USA NB models?

New Balance’s “Made in the USA” model, such as the 998, is extremely well-built in comparison to other non-USA models. This is due to the company’s dedication to employing skilled American employees in its Boston shoe factory. As soon as you open the package, you can see the level of craftsmanship that has gone into each shoe. The stitching is all straight and clean, and the shoe has the famous retro-runner shape. Moreover, this New Balance running-inspired sneaker has excellent stability, according to some reviewers who tried it in different terrains. Men who have reviewed the 998 have praised its soft, big heel counter, claiming that it kept them stable on uneven terrain.

Notable features

The 998 can alleviate much of your discomfort even on the longest, most intense runs. If you have dropped arches or overpronation issues and usually struggle to find comfortable shoes. The 998, according to many college-aged reviewers, is the ideal shoe for trekking around campus on a busy class schedule. The high cushion levels and classic suede upper, according to one student, make the 998 not only a practical investment for getting to class on time. But also a fashionable statement piece in a period when retro is all the rage. You’ll be able to put your best foot forward in both athletics and aesthetics thanks to the chic, retro style!

The 998 is created with large-framed runners in mind, but it will help athletes in every weight class. Although other running shoes are only designed for slim feet. The 998 is the perfect shoe for men with meat on their bones. The supportive and flexible upper will mold to any foot shape. Giving you the most natural fit possible so you can concentrate on what matters most: the path ahead.

Pros & Cons

  • Provides good value for the retail price of 180$
  • Has a retro look that fits well with many outfits. You can also pair the grey version with different styles
  • A celeb worn shoe, by the likes of Ben Affleck and Kanye
  • Overall impressive quality but the fabric used to create the N logo is disappointing, giving it a cheap synthetic look.

New Balance 998 - women


Overall, this is a great choice to consider if you’re looking for a nice comfortable shoe. It can go with just about everything in your wardrobe. For others, the look is an acquired taste. But for those who want to be deeply immersed in retro sneaker culture, it is a clean, timeless classic.

Check out more New Balance shoes here.

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