In 2020, New Balance experienced a remarkable resurgence in popularity, particularly through various collaborations on the New Balance 990 and the immense success of the iconic New Balance 2002R, partnering with names like thisisneverthat to showcase the futuristic retro model. Two years later, the footwear brand joined forces with the Korean streetwear label again to revitalize the 1906 model, similar to what they did with the New Balance 550: breathing new life into an archival sneaker. Initially launched in 2009, the 1906 was a high-end lifestyle silhouette. Priced at a hefty $250, it featured Made in USA craftsmanship. Upon reintroducing the 1906R a decade later, the Boston-based brand chose a more accessible price point and incorporated several design updates, such as utilizing the NB 860v2's sole on the 1906's upper. Adorned with an "R" akin to the new 2002R, the shoe maintains its original appearance and style. Boasting breathable mesh inserts, synthetic panels, and premium nubuck accents, the silhouette pays tribute to the iconic 2000s runners. To further commemorate the 1906R release, New Balance collaborated with esteemed designer and fashion director Akio Hasegawa, who developed a series of visuals centered around the themes of "Past" and "Future." The late 90s and early 2000s represented a period when many were chasing future expectations and longing for cutting-edge technologies. It was an era marked by technological advancements contrasted with the physical environment, such as buildings and the materials used in their construction. In this regard, the 1906R is an exceptional shoe that complements all styles.


In partnership with thisisneverthat, the colorway evokes past influences, showcasing shades of gray and navy blue on the upper panels. The yellowed soles provide a vintage touch, while the cream laces introduce a modern element. This is further accentuated by the silver hue, a tribute to one of the original 1906 colorways. A few months later, Yue Wu, creator of the Refined Future pack, or more commonly known as the Protection Pack, added a unique touch. The pack's distinct feature is its suede inserts with a distressed effect, offering a fresh dimension to the retro running low-top. With its four colorways, the 1906R Protection Pack is poised to become a 2023 essential.