Dad Shoes managed to shake off the dust of the past by taking a ten-foot leap into the future. Born from 'humble' beginnings, as one might describe some showbiz stars, the New Balance was created for running, not for drawing attention to itself.
From Hustlers Sneakers to Hypebeast Sneaker: How has New Balance managed to (re)invent itself over the years?
From collaborations with major brands such as Aimé Leon Dore, Aries, Patta and Comme des Garçons to the most popular releases of recent times, New Balance has managed to capture the attention of even the most discerning consumers for some four years now.
Certainly, timing has been in its favour: in a market monopolised by global brands such as Nike and adidas, New Balance has been able to offer – discreetly – its own alternative to all those who were looking for something classic, yet so different from what had been achieved so far.
NB rode the Sneakers Community’s frustration with retailers and the difficulty in buying new releases on platforms like SNKRS, releasing affordable, yet special trainers.
Dad Shoes managed to shake off the dust of the past by taking a ten-foot leap into the future. Born from ‘humble’ beginnings, as one might describe some showbiz stars, the New Balance was created for running, not for drawing attention to itself.
Despite its ordinary silhouette, entire generations have become inextricably linked to the grey mesh and suede model, mainly for its comfort and functionality: this, on the one hand, was reassuring in terms of appreciation and sales, on the other, it excluded a part of the market linked to Hype and Cooness.
The need was to ‘modernise’ the brand, targeting a younger audience. An operation that was anything but easy.
The transition from running to street took place in 1982, a decisive year for the birth of Sneaker Culture. That year, NB introduced the 990 – NB model: New Balance trainers did not have traditional names, but numbers. The higher the number, the better the shoe.
1982, Year in which Nike introduces the Air Force 1 and the Sneakers fever starts to get stronger and stronger: basketball stars wear certain shoes, which are then bought and worn every day.
On the streets of Washington DC, the cool kids in the neighbourhood and even those who make a living dealing drugs start sporting their 990s, which are among the most expensive on the market.
Lots of guys assert their economic stauts by wearing NBs, which are systematically displayed in the windows of the city’s most fashionable boutiques.
It is not only the price that makes them popular, the 990s fit perfectly into the lives of street workers, who mostly wore all joggers or loose trousers.
NBs became established in Washington, Baltimore, New York, San Francisco… as cool shoes that not everyone could afford: a sort of ante-litteramhype, if we can call it that, while the classic model, remained anchored to sport and a decidedly middle-upper age group.
Until 2018, when the world of Sneaker Culture suddenly (re)discovers Dad Shoes, also thanks to an episode of Complexs in which Lil Yatchy shows his collection of Sneakers and a shelf full of NBs – staring at the camera for several minutes – declares his love for the brand’s Chunky Dad models.
From that moment on, models such as 547, 550, ML408 became definitively popular even among the under-30s, going from being Hustlers Sneakersto Shoes for the Hyperbeast.
After discovering the path NB took to get here, all that’s left is for you to buy your pair Online at blackboxstore.com and in Store.