On Your Feet: J. Crew and New Balance celebrate the dog days of summer


Whenever J. Crew and New Balance get together, you know something great is going to come out of it. The new Hilltop Blues 998s are no exception, and J. Crew has brought a premium look and feel to a timeless pair of New Balances.

These 998s are an homage to the communal ballparks found around New York City, with a combination of several materials, plus a few extra details that really drive the concept home. Dark brown and blue suede panels overlay off-white nylon, a nod to the rough and tumble pickup games of baseball, while keeping it light and fun.

Not that the base of the shoe isn’t premium already. The New Balance 998 is equipped with the ABZORB midsole, a combination of foam and rubber cells that provide excellent shock absorption and comfort. The midsole is able to take a hit and dissipate the pressure over longer periods of time than traditional EVA midsoles that are found in most sneakers.

On the inside lining of the shoe, you’ll find a sturdy and lightweight fleece lining, and a specially textured laces that fit with the pattern on the side of the shoe. It’s the little touches, like offset red lace holders, or a two-tone midsole, that give the J. Crew New Balances an extra dash of class.

Sometimes a great pair of sneakers isn’t about turning heads, it’s about being comfortable, and looking well put together. Whether you plan on rocking these to a 4th of July party, or as an everyday pair at work, you’ll look like you know how to really pick a pair of shoes.

You can pick up the Hilltop Blues 998s online or in store, but act fast, because these collaborations never last long.