As with any of its Made in USA pairs, the sneakers come fitted with premium materials such as pigskin suede and a high-quality textile making up the plaid section of each pair. For the 997, New Balance Japan serves up a timeless mix of black, burgundy and petrol blue suede alongside a tartan plaid on the toe box, tongue, and heel sections, each sporting a different colorway and mix of patterns or checks.
All of this boldness is only accentuated by the blush pink suede strip that runs over the vamp, the bright yellow “N” emblem on either side of the shoe’s mid-panel area, and the red suede stripe on the heel. Contrasting this is the 997’s signature pebble-effect rubber components that form part of the eyestay placket and the heel clip, both of which are finished in gray. Rounding out the design is its contrasting white ENCAP-equipped midsole and the New Balance branding that’s embroidered into the tongue and heel, with the former noting its Made in USA credentials.
For something a bit more subtle, New Balance Japan’s 1300 comes in a lighter palette that sees tartan plaid hit the toe box, tongue, and two sections on the mid-panel at the front and rear quarter respectively. Served in creamier tones with hints of blue and brown, the tartan is more traditional and sits alongside cream suede on the toe box, gray suede on vamp and mid-section, burnt orange suede on the heel, and tan leather on the upper heel area where you’ll find debossed New Balance branding.
A classic New Balance Made in USA tongue tag, fat white laces, and a white midsole with ENCAP cushioning inside rounds out the pair. New Balance Japan’s “Plaid Pack” can be seen in the gallery above and purchased from the regional New Balance site now, with the 997 and 1300 both costing approximately $312 USD.
For more New Balance goodness, check out its earthy Made in UK 991.