New Balance sneakers, the relaunch of the vintage 550 model

In a street world disputed by the eternal struggle between Nike team vs Adidas team, where the trend is to "scream" to get noticed at all costs, the veteran New Balance sneakers have managed to conquer their vintage silhouette space in small steps, a pure and essential design making neutral colors the distinctive feature.

If at the beginning the typical customer was "over" today these sneakers have also conquered the feet of Generation Z thanks to fantastic re-editions and collaborations with the hottest designers of the moment. A new New Balance team led by Teddy Santis, also known for being the founder of Aimé Leon Dore, which relaunches the iconic NB 550 basketball silhouette created in 1989 and then remained in oblivion for many years.

This new model, whose full name is New Balance P550 Basketball Oxford is part of the “basketball program” project, comes with an extremely retro look highlighted by specially yellowed details such as the midsole and laces. The white leather base is common to all the variants that play with the colors red, green, gray and navy blue. Like these four models released last October, the new 2021 colorways also have a vintage soul and street details, characterized by two-tone colors - the first is tinged with yellow and dark green while the second with red and navy blue - or more decisive shades as in the "Sea Salt" model with the three variants "Varsity Gold", "Burgundy" and "Black" presented on social networks with the slogan "From '89 with love".

The New Balance is an ultra-centennial shoe that has made numbers - and re-editions - over time. She managed to capture even the most difficult characters, such as Steve Jobs, emblem of minimalism, who had decided to complete his daily uniform made of jeans and a black turtleneck with a pair of New Balance sneakers. But what better opportunity to retrace the most significant stages of the brand than to take a leap into the past?

The genesis begins with the long journey of an English immigrant who moved to Boston in 1906, William Riley and the dream of founding his own shoe company. But his brilliant idea was not to create an aesthetically appealing shoe as much as a functional model, producing arches inspired by the feet of hens. Yes, you read that right, because Mr. Riley, after observing their perfect balance given by the construction of the claws, designed insoles with three support points to ensure greater comfort and a sense of stability for the foot. Hence the name - and concept - of "new balance".

But if Riley is considered the biological father, Terry Heckler is her godfather who transforms this sneaker from a "comfortable and useful" shoe into an icon of casual. The famous "N" of the logo is his creation introduced in the seventies, a font as simple as it is identifying that it does not distort the look of the shoes. But not just letters, also numbers. In fact, Heckler has devised a special alphanumeric system to identify the different models of the brand and entrust a precise identity to those who would wear them.

How should they be read? You will not find names of athletes, cities or creative slang but one or two letters such as "MR" (Men's Running) or "CW" (Comfort Walking) associated with the numbers that must be broken down into two parts. The first indicates the type, from 3 to 10, which identify the level of technology used to give life to the model. The last two numbers indicate the series: for example 40 is part of the "optimal control" series, 50 is "fitness running" for road or indoor training and 70 is "light stability" a perfect combination of stability and speed, up to to double zero, competition, designed for professional athletes. We can say that New Balance has the right numbers to make it, with a truly infinite archive that represents the real reason for the modern success of the brand.

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