When people think of the stereotypical dad shoe, New Balance’s are almost always brought up. For a long time, this hurt the brand, as no rebellious teen wanted to be seen matching with their parents. But suddenly, teenagers have flocked to obtain the latest New Balance models, and it boils down to a couple of factors.
Firstly, sneaker trends in the last few years have focused on Athleisure and chunky designs, two trends that old-school running shoes, like New Balance’s, fit perfectly. At first, consumers desire for these types of silhouettes were satisfied by the Balenciaga Triple S and the Yeezy 700, but once the hype surrounding those models died down, sneakerheads seem to have turned their focus towards the classic dad shoes, New Balance’s. The shoes go well with cargo pants or joggers and are comfortable, yet still stylish enough, to fit our current pandemic situation.
Moreover, New Balance’s use of frequent collaborations have given their models a greater spotlight bysneaker blogs and enthusiasts, and the newfound buzz has then trickled down into general release models that are stocked in greater quantities. The New Balance 992 in particular, a shoe that originally released back in 2006, has been used for many collaborations since its first retro release in 2020. Most notably with JJJJound, and Packer Shoes, whose New Balance 992’s were chosen by Lil Yachty and Fat Joe respectively as one of their top 10 shoes of 2020, a privilege otherwise given almost entirely to Nike and Jordan.
Lastly, as well as one-time collaborations, New Balance has received plenty co-signs from influential figures, as well as from partners who have raised the profile of the brand. Kawhi Leonard has singlehandedly introduced New Balance to the world of basketball sneakers, and Jaden Smith’s recent shoe, the Vision Racer, has been nothing short of a smash hit with Gen Z. But big names without any stake in New Balance have also been caught rocking their designs, such as Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Wale to name a few.
It is also worth mentioning the impact of Aime Leon Dore, a fashion and lifestyle brand from New York, that after many previous collaborations with New Balance, recently collaborated on the New Balance 550. Marketed as a “basketball-inspired oxford,” the shoe has taken over New York, as well as the rest of the world soon after. Its original release was so popular that it now resells on secondary websites for as much as $400