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‘I Got a Lot More Coming’: Action Bronson Confirms More New Balance Heat

Action Bronson x New Balance 990v6

Ladies and gentlemen, hailing from Queens, NYC, he’s more seasoned than rib-eye and phatter than three links of bratwurst. He’s got a voice like Stubb’s Sweet Heat, layers like butter rum baklava, and has dropped two 990v6s that smacked the canvas harder than a suplex. He’s still the freshest way from A to B. No paid DLC. Live from the moon, it’s the people’s champion of the universe, the metaphysical ledge, the one, the only, Bam Bam Bronsoliño.

Good morning, Dr Baklava. What’s in the rotation?
I’ve been wearing my New Balance 990v6 ‘Lapis Lazuli’ non-stop. The 990v3 is also always in the rotation – the all-white Teddy Santis with sea salt. I’ve got all kinds of shit over here. I wear flippers. I always have some sort of aquatic footwear on like the Yucca fins. I also like to be barefoot a lot. Close to the earth. Build the foot muscles. Make sure that my stability is good.

I know you’re a big fan of basketball sneakers. Any new models catch your eye?
The Nike KD16 is the most promising basketball shoe I’ve seen recently. But still, I don’t know what the fuck they’re doing with the colourways. I really miss the good old days.

Can you give us an example?
I was always a big Charles Barkley guy. He was one of my favourite players back in the day. I’ve had his signature shoes for as long as I can remember.

What was it about Charles Barkley and his shoes?
The attitude. The shoes. They were chunky as a motherfucker. I remember exact points in my life when I had different Barkleys on. I remember being at a rec room dance party in 92 wearing the Nike Air Force Max CB with the big white teeth on the side. I also remember one Halloween in the 90s dressed as a Hasidic Jew. I had my grandfather’s suit on, wearing the Air Max CB 94. The purple ones with the bullet holes. I have lots of ill memories in my life wearing Barkleys.

What about Penny Hardaway?
I love Pennys. But I actually just remembered something very specific that always really bothered me about the Nike Air Max Penny 1. The front would crease in a very weird way. It fucking pissed me off.

You’ve talked about hearing, feeling and tasting colours. Can you talk us through your 990v6 collaboration?
The ‘Baklava’ was like my life’s work in a shoe. The name comes from fond memories of being in the kitchen with grams (my nonna). I’m also a water child, so that’s where the sole came from. It’s elemental. I’m fused with all the elements.

What dish would you pair with each colourway?
I’ve never cooked for a shoe. I don’t know what I would make. I think it’s about respecting them and taking them on good travels. Using them in good health. Going to sick-ass places. Dancing real good. Performing feats of strength and acts of heroism.

You performed acts of heroism in the AEW ring…
I broke it in doing crazy moves. The performance of the shoe held up. I wanted to show that it wasn’t just for show. I had nothing to do with the performance design but I stand behind it.

Can we get some more colourways? The crew here love them.
I remember when I visited Sneaker Freaker HQ. I was gifted the New Balance 998 'Tassie Devils’. I still have those. I’ve been wanted to work with New Balance for a long, long time. So I’m going to make the most of it. I got a lot more coming.

Can we confirm more colourways on the way?
We can confirm that there’s another collaboration on the way.

How far back does your relationship with New Balance go?
My mother actually introduced me to New Balance shoes. She had them for orthopaedic reasons. I always liked them because they had the flashiness of the 3M. When you take pictures your feet are on fire. It was just a classic grey look. I’m a simple man.

To be honest with you, no one was wearing them back in the day. There were a couple of stores in New York like Jimmy Jazz and VIM. They always had the New Balance 574s. No one really wanted them. They were viewed as trash. But then you started seeing more premium New Balance shoes in higher end, sporting stores.

You’ve known Teddy Santis for a long time…
Teddy made this whole thing happen. There’s been several transitional periods throughout my career where I ‘reset’. I was really trying to aim for something in the footwear industry. I was almost desperate to do something. I was creating something separately from New Balance but Teddy was like, ‘Nah, fuck all that. I got you.’

I’ve been talking with New Balance for years, but Teddy really drove it home. We’re just a couple of ethnic kids from Queens. Life is Zelda, bro. I met a wizard and he gave me the fucking key. Now I’m going to go play the fucking flute.

You’ve got the keys and flute, can you give us your crystal ball predictions for the back half of 2023?
I’m not great at forecasting trends to be honest with you. I’m usually late, and not trendy. Have you seen my hair? It’s like I just came back from Turkey…

So you’re heading to the desert island with your Charles Barkleys. What’s one LP and food dish you’re taking with you?
It might have to be Bach. The ‘Best of Bach’ on double CD. And I’ll take a motherfucking cheeseburger roll from 7-Eleven. It’s disgusting, bro. But there’s nothing I won’t be able to hunt. If I’m on that island and there’s something else there – I’m going to eat. Bountifully.

Are Crocs still the best shoes to cook in?
Absolutely not. There’s much better developments. I think it’s actually sitting on my countertop somewhere. I’ll display it soon.

What does the future hold for Doctor Baklava?
Doing lots of music. Art. I’m working out every day. Watching a bunch of fighting. Listening to people talk about fighting. Designing shit every single day in some sort of capacity. Clothes. Athletic-wear. It’s just like a fucking adult colouring book. There’s a thing that I develop, then I colour it.

Is there a lot of creative overlap when it comes to making music, designing a sneaker, or creating a dish?
The creative overlap is that everything is around me and happening at once. There’s no set timing for anything. It's a chaotic scene. I could be breakdancing and at any second I could just start painting. And then I’ll start bench pressing.

What is it about the sport of fighting that you dig?
I’ve been watching UFC since the inaugural event. Queens Blockbuster had all the videos. We also had the illegal cable box at my homie’s house. We were able to watch all the wrestling pay-per-views. To see human beings doing video game moves on each other, it’s just sick. It’s a real life video game for high stakes.

Can we see more ‘fatalities’ from Doctor Baklava in the ring?
Fatalities? Shit. Maybe abnormalities. Or friendships. I’m always ready. I’m just waiting for the rotary phone to ring. They have the special line. As soon as it rings, I pick it up, hang it up, and I’m there.

Any last words?
Put your heart into everything you do.

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