New Balance’s made in the USA ‘Grey Pack’ celebrates the original dad shoe
Photography: REX Features
Starting with two iterations of the Made in USA 990, and from next month two of the New Balance Made in UK 991, Superbalist is stocking four different silhouettes of the original dad shoe.
It's important to New Balance to create shoes in the US and UK, and while higher production costs means a higher price point, you're paying for sneakers that use better materials, a more skilled workforce, and a much better overall product is achieved with the consumer benefiting from shoes of a higher quality.
The first New Balance 990 was introduced in 1982 and has been regularly updated since. The original design concept came to fruition after Steve Jobs, arguably the most famous New Balance enthusiast, wrote to New Balance chairman Jim Davis asking for a shoe that was “more sporty and hip” than the plain leather shoes he was wearing at the time. The note came with a rough sketch, which formed the base that designers built the series from.
Other cultural icons like Jerry Seinfeld and, er, Ben Affleck, have rocked the quintessential dad shoe, with dads all over the world following suit. Because like the computer maverick, comedian and tough guy actor/director, our dads are smart dudes, and where they’d scoff at our obsession for kicks, they eschew crazy fabrications and colourways for a single pair that's comfortable, hardwearing and doesn't invite any unwanted attention.
Thing is it's for this very reason that the unassuming bulky and utilitarian sneakers are getting so much attention right now. Not only can the nondescript New Balance be credited with kickstarting the ugly sneaker trend, it's able to build looks that are sure to get you snapped by a streetstyle shutterbug when done right.
The New Balance M990XG2 in charcoal delivers an on-trend street aesthetic and the mesh upper ensures that your feet stay cool. The upper also features suede and leather overlays so that your style never wavers. Pair them with slightly torn charcoal jeans and a bomber jacket for a slick look.
Then the New Balance M990XG4 also in charcoal are a great summer option thanks to their mesh upper, which features suede and leather overlays to keep your style on-trend. They deliver incomparable comfort and stability and would pair well with jeans and an untucked short-sleeve shirt.