New Balance Bring Back the BB480 Heritage BallerRelease: 19 April 2021
The other month, New Balance Japan announced the imminent arrival of a new collaborative model via the minimalistic blessing of frequent partner Junya Watanabe: the BB480. Following that low-key (and high RRP) colab, NB are set to send the BB480 on a wider trajectory with some sweet general release colourways that are out now.
FYI, low-cut basketball sneakers are not a new phenomenon. The recent attention on NB’s heritage baller shoes has come largely via the BB550, and now the BB480 from circa 1983 proves there’s plenty more where that came from. There isn’t too much to the model, and that’s a good thing. Expect simple leather uppers, ample toe box perforations, and padded ankle collars. The outsoles are similarly utilitarian in their rubber cupsole with stitched foxing reinforcement.
As far as branding goes, New Balance have retained an earlier iteration of their ‘Flying NB’ logo on tongue and insole print, which keeps the reproduction details historically accurate. As is the 480 at the base of the woven tongue label. Even the white/navy/red colourway harks back to a bygone era of simple colour-blocking, while monochromatic black and white options are there for no-fuss sneakerheads.
The New Balance BB480 is available now from NB Japan, but expect international distribution to follow.