After the 327 propelled New Balance to the top of feet and feeds last year, the Boston behemoth is passing the baton over to the 237. More than a mere continuation of the 1970s retro runner pastiche, the 237 writes its own history by reinterpreting that bygone period’s penchant for experimentation in a modern format. To achieve this, NB have gone back in time for inspiration before calling on an old friend to roll out some new colourways.
Like the 327’s overt homage to design elements from the obscure 320, Trail 355, and Supercomp models, the 237 draws on some deep reference material in the COMP 100 ultralight racer from the late 1970s. Stare at it from the ground up for long enough and it becomes clear that the low profile herringbone tread, EVA midsole, and generous nylon inserts have provided the 237’s phenotype. In adapting the design for modern usage, these components have been stretched and sculpted into contemporary proportions.
As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it! Designer Charlotte Lee has cherry-picked the best bits from last year’s 327 and kept them on the 237. Double width N logos and chamfered foam wedge soles maintain the maximalist mentality of the foremost retrofuturistic NB offerings, but this isn’t simply a copy and paste.
The endless innovation that defined 1990s sneakers may be the dominating moodboard here, but it was actually the experiments from two decades prior that laid the foundations. NB proved themselves as leaders in textile technology in the 1970s by embracing lightweight suede and nylon uppers in lieu of top-heavy leather. And the 237 works best in this infallible combination, readily proving that old-school analogue cues still work effectively to keep the grams down.
Colour Me Casablanca
To help usher in the 237, New Balance called back French-Moroccan tastemakers Casablanca after their very successful 327 launch last year. The two parties reprised their colour-heavy collaboration by rendering a perfectly pretty pastel take of Casablanca’s monogram pattern onto the 237’s bumper panels, proving it the perfect conduit for creative applications.
Glamour works well for exclusive editions of the 237, but its strong suit remains authentically inspired makeups from yesteryear. Beige and maroon combos could step foot on an athletics carnival start line, while all-silver shoe ships are straight 1970s sci-fi. The upcoming technicolour executions that make full use of the 237’s layered upper prove the model isn’t stuck in the past either – this is the future of footwear!
See the New Balance 237’s history unfold by picking up a pair from Platypus Shoes today.