When New Balance brought back its 550 — an under-the-radar basketball sneaker that debuted in 1989 — via a collaboration with Aimé Leon Dore in 2020, the once-obscure hoop silhouette quickly became one of the year’s most unexpected hits, a cult classic that was warmly received by retro sneaker enthusiasts and Instagram archive pages alike. Now New Balance is looking to expand the 550’s footprint with several in-line releases over the course of 2021, one of which is this black and red nubuck pair.

Up until this point, every 550 retro to release has featured a full leather build, but as mentioned above this pair puts forth a durable nubuck construction with just a touch of leather towards its collar. Uppers are mostly dressed in black, with touches of red arriving via the midfoot N logo, the 550 graphic on the forefoot overlay, this overlay’s piping and the heel’s clip/NB logo. A large old-school New Balance Hoops logo arrives on the tongue tag, dashes of gray are spread around the collar and white midsoles atop black and red outsoles complete the look.

This black and red New Balance 550 is available now via New Balance Japan, and is priced at a tax-included ¥14,300 JPY (approximately $137 USD). Info on a US release has yet to be announced.

For more New Balance news, get a sneak peek at what appears to be Salehe Bembury’s second 2002R collaboration.
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