Every sneaker brand needs a colour that resembles its design philosophy and history – Jordan Brand has Red (the colour of MJ’s Chicago Bulls), Nike has Orange (the colour of their famous sportswear boxes), and New Balance has Grey. “Grey is balance. Grey is neutral. Grey is calming,” said Paul Kaseumsouk, the senior project manager for the Grey Day pack. Ultimately, Grey matters.
Since the 1980s New Balance has been exploring neutral colour palettes to create some of the most famous sneakers of all time. None have been more influential to fashion than the 990 and it’s grey colour palette that was, and continues to be, “worn on supermodels in London and dads in Ohio.” It goes beyond that though, when the 990 was first released in 1982, its $100 USD price point and premium grey suede upper made it an instant status symbol, cementing it as the colour of sneaker royalty. Fast-forwarding six years to 1988, the 574 brought the hue to the masses. With its affordable price and status as New Balance’s first true ‘lifestyle’ sneaker, it became a wardrobe staple without any more than a little word of mouth.
2022 New Balance ‘Grey Day’ Lineup
While every day might be Grey Day for some, once a year on March 15th, New Balance brings out a pack of sneakers as a tribute to its favourite colour, Grey.
New Balance 57/40
The star of the show this year is undoubtedly the 57/40. It’s become a favourite of ours in the Man of Many offices for its comfort and style that provides a new take on one of the most famous NBs ever – the 574 – and this time it even meets the brand new Green Leaf standard.
Updating one of the most famous models in your lineup is no easy task, however, New Balance managed to achieve such by taking a top-down approach with a hybrid road/trail design that doesn’t lean too heavily on visible technical features. The 57/40 has that slanted shape that we’ve come to love from the brand alongside, exaggerated features such as a flared midsole, mudguard, and eyebrow feature just like the original – $180 AUD.
New Balance 327
We remember where we were when the New Balance 327 wave came crashing in alongside the launch of the Casablanca x New Balance footwear range. It was a show that captivated sneaker culture and proved to the world that New Balance wasn’t just another heritage brand stuck in the past, they’re an innovator unlike many others in the footwear space. Today, the 327 is far easier to get your hands on, and that’s a good thing as the model is comfortable, stylish with just about anything and available in a wide variety of colourways to suit any style preference. In its iteration for Earth Day, the 327 finds hits of magnet and phantom which is really just a fancy way to say monochrome. Nonetheless, we love this model for its angular reworking of the tried-and-true wedge silhouette, and of course, it meets the brand new Green Leaf standards – $160 AUD.
New Balance XC-72
Lovers of the 327 couldn’t wait to get their hands on the XC-72 that plays with a similar philosophy – take two of your best and make something innovative, comfortable, and good looking. A pair of XC-72s are a must for any rotation thanks to their futuristic design that looks to push the same boundaries its predecessors did back in the 1970s. There are not one, two, but three distinctive traction outsole patterns and angular features (we love) employed to give the familiar low-cut sleekness of the era’s running shoes an aggressive, experimental edge – $180 AUD.
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