The Best of New Balance 2022

The Best of New Balance 2022

New Balance have had a fantastic year. Riding high on momentum gathered from prior years, the brand kicked it up a notch in both their performance and lifestyle offerings, with the latter taking some serious strides. Collaborations were also key drivers across the brand’s categories. With so much to catch up on, here are the highlights of NB’s terrific 2022.

New Balance Made in USA Season 1
New Balance Made in USA Season 2

The Teddy Santis Effect

Back in April 2021, New Balance appointed Teddy Santis as the creative director of the brand’s Made in USA line, with releases under his guidance beginning in 2022. A trickle soon became a torrent, as multiple colourways of the 990v1, v2 and v3 began releasing on what seemed like a weekly basis. By September, 16 editions had dropped as part of ‘Season 1’. Sneaker Freaker readers voted the 990v3 ‘Marblehead’ as their ,favourite release from the collection. ‘Season 2’ is rolling out right now for the northern hemisphere’s fall/winter, which sees earthier tones used on more 990s.

New Balance 990v6
Action Bronson New Balance 990v6 Baklava

Version Six

Speaking of the 990, NB finally launched the 990v6 in November after a prolonged period of previews and leaks from official and unofficial sources. Sitting pretty as the new incumbent flagship of the brand’s premier Made in USA running-slash-lifestyle line, its versatility has been embraced by a broad spectrum of wearers. Action Bronson is one of them, who has been teasing what appears to be an upcoming collaboration. The v6 is only available in grey so far, but expect more colours to roll out en masse in 2023.

New Balance Flimby Celebration Pack
BEAMS Paperboy Paris New Balance 1500 and 920

Flimby’s 40th

Despite the strong offering from the stateside branch of NB, it would be remiss to not mention that their Made in UK operations celebrated 40 years of operation in 2022. Some of the finest retro models are still coming straight outta the Flimby factory, notably the 991, which maintained its presence in 2021 with a string of collaborations. The 1500, 720 and 920 also featured prominently this year.

Stray Rats New Balance 580
Up There New Balance 2002R
New Balance 1906R

OMG Y2K

NB further expanded their 2000s and 2010s retro offering in 2022 quite considerably. The 2002R powered on with countless material reworks and collaborations in seemingly unyielding focus from the brand. Its ,1906R cousin also entered the fray with numerous editions already tallied. Besides these two staples, the 580 (aka MT580) made a triumphant return via a Stray Rats collaboration, which celebrated the early-2000s internet forum context from which the model was revered. There’s a healthy dose of reverence via that release, plus a Palace colab and OG navy reissue, but hopefully, NB will release more next year.

New Balance 650 and 550
Aimé Leon Dore New Balance 650
Jack Harlow New Balance

Balla Balla

Besides running shoes, NB are also plenty proficient at old-school basketball shoes. After having proven the staying power of the 550, the brand revived its 650 high-top sibling and followed the same formula of simple colourways and Aimé Leon Dore collaborations. The 550’s ‘first class’ treatment also reached Jack Harlow, who received an F&F edition upon signing on as one of the brand’s latest celebrity ambassadors.

Joe Freshgoods New Balance 993
JJJJound New Balance 990v3
Bodega New Balance 9060
Salehe Bembury New Balance 574 Yurt
,Patta New Balance 990v3

Howdy, Partner

Collaborations remained key for New Balance in 2022. Efforts from long-term partners Joe Freshgoods, JJJJound, Salehe Bembury, Sneakersnstuff, Bodega, and Ronnie Fieg/Kith dropped while emerging relationships with the likes of Patta and AURALEE were further fostered. Stone Island solidified both NB’s running and football lines with key footwear and apparel colabs.

Sneaker Freaker New Balance 574 Book
Sneaker Freaker New Balance 574 Book

Book It

Last but definitely not least, Sneaker Freaker worked with New Balance on an updated edition of the 574 book. Over 80 pages of new content were jammed between the previous stories, all detailing the global appeal and timelessness of one of NB’s best-selling models. The book was released in extremely limited quantities, and some regions also sold an even rarer broadsheet newspaper version!

Recap the best of the 2022 sneaker scene here.

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