NEW BALANCE 2002R
NEW BALANCE 2002R: THE TOP CHOICE FOR ENTHUSIASTS
NEW BALANCE 2002R: THE LATEST CRAZE
Established in 1906 by William J. Riley, a Boston shoemaker, New Balance began by helping people with foot problems by creating orthopedic inserts that provided better arch support. The brand gained international recognition for its comfort and quality in the 1960s when it ventured into the running shoe market. New Balance sets itself apart from competitors with custom-made insoles, high-quality materials, and meticulous attention to detail during its original Made In USA manufacturing process. In the 80s, the company entered the basketball scene with the New Balance 550, while remaining highly recognized for its running shoe models like the Super Comp, which inspired designer Charlotte Lee to create the New Balance 327. The brand's capital "N" is known for providing support and stability in silhouettes originally designed for athletic activities. Over the years, it has honed its expertise in the technologies used for models such as the New Balance 992, which gained popularity thanks to Apple's Steve Jobs. The American manufacturer continues to reinvent its image by collaborating with fresh designers like Joe Freshgoods and JJJJound on its New Balance 990 series.
NEW BALANCE 2002R FOR MEN AND WOMEN: A DELAYED TRIUMPH
In 2010, American designer Andrew Nyssen unveiled the New Balance 2002, a high-end, premium running shoe designed to be Made In USA. Priced at $250, it was among the most expensive sneakers in New Balance history. The silhouette found niche success but failed to captivate a broader audience. Nevertheless, KITH label creator Ronnie Fieg hailed it as the perfect shoe, likening the gel cushioning system throughout the sole to a luxury car's suspension. The shoe's inspiration was drawn from Bentley sedans and Hublot watches. It wasn't until 2020 that Tetsuya Shono revived the silhouette. As Product Line Manager for New Balance Japan, Shono, a former footwear designer, observed the New Balance 2002's international commercial failure despite its popularity in Japan. He then conceptualized a prototype that retained the original upper but replaced the full-length gel midsole with the New Balance 860v2's N-ERGY sole, which only featured gel in the heel. Thus, the New Balance 2002R we know today was born. The Japanese designer added the "R" to indicate the 2020 model was a "retro" version of the 2010 original, akin to Jordan Brand's reissues. Shifting production to Asia from the original Made In USA, Shono lowered the launch price from $250 to $130, delighting New Balance fans.
NEW BALANCE 2002R: EXTRAORDINARY COLLABORATIONS
For the model's international debut, New Balance teamed up with Salehe Bembury. A former Yeezy designer and New York artist, Bembury was Vice President of the men's sneakers and footwear department at the luxury fashion house Versace. The collaboration resulted in the New Balance 2002R Peace Be The Journey, a pair inspired by the Antelope Canyon in the southwestern United States. The successful partnership continued in 2021 with the New Balance 2002R Water Be The Guide, featuring the colors of water and desert found in Arizona's Havasu Falls.