ARTICLE BY Minh Vuong
New Balance 2002R Mule
Image Credit: @woganwodeyang
New Balance 2002R Mule
Image Credit: @woganwodeyang

New Balance 2002R Mules Are Coming

The mulement ain’t dead – it’s just getting started, according to these New Balance 2002Rs that have had their heels lopped off. It was only a matter of time before 2020-21’s prevailing footwear trend reached NB’s newfound favourite. And even if this modification seems to be antithetical to a sneaker once designated as the very pinnacle of performance runners, its recontextualised status as a street favourite means it makes perfect sense to be remade as a mule.

What mules have achieved during their approach to the zeitgeist is proof that a shoe’s positive features come mostly from the sole, with the upper simply providing a general silhouette of the design. When worn underneath some well draped pant legs, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference. That is what this 2002R mule achieves. It’s got the same NERGY soles, so they feel just like a runner, and the suede and mesh uppers remain, so they look like the regular shoe from top down. They might just fall off the back at speed.

And this isn’t the first time NB have converted high end runners into sedate mules. They did it with the 990v3 years ago, and there’s an 801 from back in the day too. Expect to see this quirky 2002R remake in coming months. For now, here’s an early preview via @woganwodeyang.

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