New Balance put in a very strong 2018, playing to their strengths by producing their beloved classics and also dropping modernised remakes of our favourite silhouettes. Among these popular drops were the countless sought-after collaborations and GR colourways that caught our attention. Throughout the year we also had plenty of reminders that New Balance have been onto the whole ‘Dad Shoe’ trend way before it gained all that traction this year.
New Balance's 2018 Highlight Reel
Date: December 30 2018
The world-renowned Boston brand ruled 2018 with a string of constant releases and, of course, the 990 was their right hand man throughout it all. Strong general release colourways made way for a slew of killer limited editions and collaborations for the popular silhouette. The year started strongly with a special edition of the signature grey 990 at the ‘OG’ retail price of $100 USD, paying tribute to the original 1982 pair. When we got wind of this, excitement levels were very high. An iconic silhouette, in an iconic colourway, for $100? It was a hit. However, as expected, there was a catch: only 15 cities got blessed with the extremely limited 1500-pair release.
Not so limited, but certainly just as fire, were the black colourways that made their way into many an NB lover’s rotation. Yet, some of the best iterations came about when NB did what they do best by showing their true colours. They dropped two patriotic kicks, each of which paid homage to their American heritage. In 2018, the 990 successfully built upon the cult following it has enjoyed for many years.
The New Balance 574 is arguably one of the most underrated shoes in the sneakersphere. Its trademark seems to be an ability to be draped in anything and still look fly. In 2018, New Balance took a chance to go back in time to create the iconic collaborations pack. Taking a look through their most memorable colab colourways over the past few years, they brought them back in one ultimate drop. Sneakersnstuff’s ‘Erik’, Concepts’ ‘Rosé’, the ‘Night Star’ by mita sneakers and Whiz Limited, and our very own ‘Tassie Devil’ all made a comeback this year.
The 574 also made a few glamorous and fashionable appearances, showing up in Japanese designer Junya Watanabe’s runway show, and receiving an eYe Comme des Garçons Junya colab. The 574 was also taken to the jewellery store and given the Swarovski treatment, with the NB branding bedazzled by crystals.
As well as bringing back some of the most iconic colabs from the past, New Balance also had some new collaborators on the go. In true New Balance style, colabs took the form of classic silhouettes with minimal branding, with vibrant and distinct colour combinations on show.
With the likes of Kith, Bodega, Limited Edt, mita sneakers, J.Crew and, Packer all making notable contributions. In particular, two 990 v3s made a real splash on the scene this year and deserve special mention. They were the JJJJound and STRAY RATS collaborations. Keeping it simple, they dominated the collaborative space.
New Balance have always been one to lead the pack, sticking to the classics that remain timeless to this day. They create shoes that are for everyone, young or old.
The 2018 sneaker scene was full of maximalism and branding, and it was hard for brands to not get sucked into that vortex. But New Balance stood strong, going against the grain by providing minimal colour palettes and staying true to themselves.