When the New Balance 2002s landed on the market originally in 2010, the supreme technologically advanced shoe caught everyone off guard. As it were, the New Balance 2002 was the predecessor to the NB2001, which was arguably the ugly duckling of the family, but owned some great show technology. From the New Balance 2001, the New Balance 2002 pretty much had it in the bag, well, as New Balance assumed. However, the most brazen price point ever could’ve been confusing and maddening to the masses at a heavy $250. No matter what the general public thought about the price of the New Balance 2002 in 2010, the solid construction and the misunderstood technology of the shoe lead to a fail like no other. The patented Nergy of the entire soles and the EVA midsoles and the suede, nubuck, and mesh had to be covered financially. New Balance wasn’t opposed to marking up a shoe for the biggest sale possible. However, this time this underrated New Balance pair of sneakers fell into the cracks and faded away from sight- until New Balance dug them out of the archives for some moving collaborations, new colorways, and extensions to the “Conversations Amongst Us” with the creative director of the Made in The USA New Balance shoe line, Teddy Santis of Aime Leon Dore, New York.
The Original New Balance 2002 Design
Although the original design was dismissed from the masses almost as quickly as it was revealed to them, the shoe had some interesting qualities. First, the mesh upper and the toe box were questionable in appearance. Was it maybe too rugged for the dad shoe for the times? Was it the nubuck? The texture of this leather may be off-putting to some. Nubucks have fine bristles lending a smooth and velvety texture. While the shoe material is interesting, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s premium and expensive which leads to the punch in the gut price point. The complex and truly luxe design goes further to use the Nergy soles from the 1906 running sneaker. In fact, Ronnie Fieg even made this comical yet true observation of the 2002 and 1906 full-length soles, ‘[this] midsole is stacked with a suspension system better than most of your cars.’. The full-length Nergy outsoles of the sneaker offer additional stability and comfort when and where you need it. The comfortable fit and additional support of the Nergy outsoles had New Balance dumbfounded at the worldwide rejection from the unprepared population. Now, you see why this treasure was rediscovered and redesigned in collaboration after collaboration, and from New Balance themselves. Now you also see why you’re ready to add a few new 2002Rs to your own collection.
New Balance 2002 Reimagined to the New Balance 2002R
So of course, you’re probably wondering about that ‘R’ and what the big diff is between the 2002 and the 2002R, right? The original design that was revealed in the 2010 sneaker release was named the New Balance 2002. The 2020 and later remakes of the shoes are separated by the ‘R’ at the end of the shoe model name; New Balance 2002R.
Now that we’re all clear on that end, it’s time to see what New Balance has come up with for the newly revived sneaker. With so many 2002R instances of collaboration, it’s difficult to weed out the new designs, but we have a few examples to share.
New Balance 2002R: Incense with Heliotrope Colorways
First off, we are fully aware that the colorway’s name doesn’t lend much to the actual colors of the sneaker’s colorway. But let us enlighten you. This bright and cheery colorway is vintage-looking earth brown, lavender, sky blue, and dark grey. The shoe is a suede construction of many hues. The quarter panels, the sides of the collar, and the uppers are more than adequately perforated mesh for breathability needed for comfort. The natural suede fills the toe box, the upper is suede covered with mesh with accents of dyed suede skin in an earth brown hue. The famous “N” on the upper’s quarter panel is a textured cyan “N” surrounded by the shoe color, and then the earth brown is used to embroider the logo as an outline of sorts. With a lavender-esque mudguard and dark grey collar with brown and sky blue accents purely made of dyed suede, the colors seem to spill over the sneaker. The small accents of sky blue on the collar adorn the shoe’s model 2002R in dark grey surrounded by silver, and the R is an independent silver letter from the dark grey numbers. Finally, the heel has a separation from the collar and the heel by the natural suede. Below that the heel begins with a blue upside-down triangle outlined by dark grey where the “NB” logo resides in a silver tone. That is where the heel and the mudguard meet atop the white Nergy outsole which is marked in a sky blue applique. The sneaker employs an Abzorb patented technology for shock absorption in the midsole and the Abzorb SBS heel cushioning provides additional support and comfort.
New Balance 2002R: Night Tide with Au Lait Colorways
This one is a bit more readily seen in the names of the colorways in this sneaker. The night tide refers to the dark navy, and au lait is a milky pale gray with rosy undertones. The other colors involved are a white and a natural cyan hue. The dark blue, silver, and cyan come together nicely at the suede and mesh upper. Around to the quarter panel sits the “N” as a textured silver logo surrounded by a pale blue-grey hue, and nice stitching in navy blue completes the logo’s look. A light grey mudguard goes from below the quarter panel up to the bottom of the heel of the sneaker. Finally, the heel has a few decorative finishes, like the upside-down triangle as the last sneaker. The difference here is the colorway. From the outside-in, the dark navy blue, which is followed by the pale grey, then the silver inner triangle that holds the “NB” heel logo sits just under the mesh and suede dark navy blue collar. On the sneaker at the bottom of the collar sits a light grey fabric adorning the sneaker model 2002R in silver and outlined in dark navy, and the ‘R’ is a solid dark navy blue hue.
The Collaboration Hit That Hit Twice
Now, before we get any further on the who’s who of the many collabs done on this particular sneaker, the one that’s more than just a collaboration on shoes gets the glory. Of course, if you even hear the name, you’ll instantly know him as the new creative director of the New Balance Made in The USA sneaker line. Yes, Joe Freshgoods gets all in on not just one but two collections by the same name, “Conversations Amongst Us.” The New Balance 550s and the 2002Rs are a part of the feel-it-in-your-soul collection that goes beyond the sneaker. In Conversations Amongst Us, Joe Freshgoods wants to build a community based on the old conversations that the black community has hosted for years. He also wants all people to get in on the conversation to uplift and educate the masses on black American history and etiquette. With the movement, Joe hopes to unite all Americans with a better understanding of the unknown and to get acquainted with the black communities all over the states. We have related articles here to check out the Joe Freshgoods New Balance 550s Conversations Amongst Us, but just in case you missed it.
The Quick Rundown of the New Balance 550s CAU
So, with the help of the Black Soles, a black community within the New Balance company, Joe Freshgoods created an uplifting community with the Conversations Amongst Us sneaker and athletic apparel for New Balance. The sneakers though are a canvas cream on a buttermilk cream upper with a navy outline of the “N” on the quarter panel. The fuzzy suede is strategically used for the collar for sheer interest. The New Balance and the NB on the outsole is a buttermilk cream atop the same hue of the EVA sole. The laces match the cream dream colorways for a fresh and vintage feel simultaneously. This sneaker is in high demand because of the movement behind it and the unique colorways. Just as the New Balance 550 sneaker is reveling in the newfound fame, the New Balance 2002R sneaker is getting the same attention already.
The Inspiring New Balance 2002R from Joe Freshgoods
That vintage yellow-orange dresses the upper up in creamy suede and white and yellow leather overlays. The underlays are a ripstop material that encases the upper. The colorways of the Conversations Amongst Us in this 2020 remix sneaker are a vintage-inspired yellow, almost a gold tone, black, and silver. The eye-catching blue accents on the tongue donning the NB logo and the Nergy stamp on the outsole are a refreshing addition to the cream and yellow gold of the soles. The Abzorb SBS heel cushioning works with the technology of the Nergy outsole for additional stability and comfort for your feet. Not only will the sneaker look amazing and fresh with the Conversations Amongst Us apparel collection, but you can wear this comfortable sneaker all day, every day. The heel adorns a yellow suede Conversations Amongst us across it. The left sneaker: “Conversations” and the right sneaker ends with the motto “Amongst Us.” Additional branding is located in the sock liner featuring green and red cartoon-like people with blue blurbs spelling out the motto. This very involved shoe design is nothing short of a sneaker win!
A Juicy New Balance 2002R Collaboration with Salehe Bembury
We all know him as the colorful and very in-demand designer for Juicy Couture, but he is ramping up the style and revamping the 2002R silhouette with New Balance. We’re still soaking up the love from Salehe Bembury with the New Balance collaboration of the 574 YURT, but this 2002R silhouette collaboration will have you awestruck at the reimagination of the peace of the desert of all places. The western hemisphere is where Arizona resides that brought forth all the inspiration Salehe Bembury needs for this beautiful collaboration that is followed by yet another of the same 2002R silhouette.
Salehe Bembury and New Balance 2002R: Peace Be the Journey
On a trip to Arizona, Salehe Bembury was captured by the amazing beauty and grace nature contains, and be grateful, all you cult fans of his! The colorways of this new sneaker are representations of the beautiful naturescapes of Arizona’s waterfalls and deserts. The co-branded box has a landscape of what he was ultimately inspired by. This first collaboration is undoubtedly beautiful and it doesn’t take a closer look or a second glance to imagine what Salahe saw. The burnt orange, yellow, and blue colorways are the balance of the sunny desert and picturesque waterfalls in the scene. The yellow mesh underlays parred with the burnt orange and maroon suede overlays make up the upper. The “N” logo is a blue shearling to capture the water’s sparkle at Antelope Canyon in the western United States. Salehe Bembury’s branded cork insoles are included in the sneaker Abzorb midsole and a Nergy outsole offers additional stability and comfort as you explore the world and take on endless adventures. The burnt orange and burgundy soles are speckled on white.
Salahe Bembury and New Balance 2002R Silhouette: Water Be the Guide
Almost the opposite of the “Peace Be the Journey” sneaker, the hairy suede blue overlays and the burnt orange hues covered with cream mesh underlays make a very earthy vibe for the upper. The quarter panels have the “N” logo in dark green in suede with stitching in light green to serve as an outline. The sneaker collar is mesh with burnt orange under it, but in the center is a continuation of the blue hairy suede. The splashes of green under the collar, the logo, and the midsole and outsole are a refreshing break in the hairy blue. The white midsole has the speckles of blue and burnt orange, and the shock absorber Abzorb SBS midsole is noted in green which with the Nergy outsole provides additional stability and cushioning. The Stability WEB technology in the insoles is added for arch support like no other.
All-New Ganni Collaboration for the World
If you aren’t up to the current Copenhagen style across the pond in Scandinavia, the world is the style. Well, that is, protecting and recycling goods for the world’s preservation. Ganni is a luxury brand that’s known for the biggest bang for your buck while employing recycled goods for sustainability. Established in 2009, this husband and wife label has packed a punch ever since its conception. Ditte Rettstrup and her husband have made a good name for themselves in the fashion world with their recycled materials. The first-ever sneaker collaboration with New Balance has hit a high note and we’re not sure it’s ever coming down. Ganni’s Ditte Reffstrup is now armed with her ride-or-die community of #GANNIGirls on social media groups and pages.
New Balance 2002R GanniX: NB’s Heritage Grey and Green
Somehow the dual colorways of the light grey and the green and the GANNI text in teal aren’t the start of this sneaker. It’s the recycled materials that get all the hits for the 55% recycled content synthetic overlays, 100% recycled content mesh, 100% recycled content lace and 5% regrind rubber outsole. The entire sneaker is responsibly sourced and responsibly constructed, and that is the responsibility the world needs to regroup from all the irresponsibility it’s seen. This first collaboration with GANNI out of a total of 2 that are bound to change the way you see recycled materials for good. The synthetic overlays in grey and white and recycled mesh have a GANNI print all over in teal or green. The Abzorb SBS midsole absorbs impact through its cushioning and compression resistance, while the Nergy outsole provides additional support with its superior shock absorption. Stability WEB outsole technology gives additional arch support. The laces are made from 100% recycled materials. The green and white sole packs a color punch to complete the fresh look and feel of the sneaker.
New Balance 2002R GanniX Collaboration #2
The look of this second collaboration from GANNI and New Balance of the 2002R could be a mirrored image of the first. However, the grey of the second sneaker has a bit of a purple tint in it. The 100% recycled materials for the mesh and laces and half of that of the synthetic overlays make for a responsible sneaker. The upper is a grey synthetic overlay with mesh with GANNI text all over in grey. The “N” is raised on dark grey synthetic recycled materials to a more pronounced silver-ish grey logo. What makes this sneaker collaboration is the green soles. And here too, the Abzorb SBS heel cushioning and compression resistance works with the Nergy outsole to cushion your feet with the best shock absorption around. The Stability WEB outsole technology is an added arch support within the Abzorb midsole and Nergy outsole technologies.
The Protection Pack: A Distressed and Bold Dad Shoe
Ever since the 90s, the New Balance sneaker designs have been lovingly referred to as the dad shoe. With big dad names like Steve Jobs and former president Bill Clinton in the sneaker models 1500 and 993, it’s no wonder that it struck New Balance to be the American dad shoe. On top of that, the 624s came out and made everyone a believer.
However, now, with the endless collaboration projects and meaningful sneaker and apparel collections like the aforementioned, the New Balance company is stepping out of the dad shoe and into the sickest and the slickest sneakers in the sneaker world. Yeah, that’s right! Air Jordan, who? Now that we’ve cleared the air, let’s introduce you to the Protection Pack which is anything but a dad shoe.
The Protection Pack in Night Watch Green
Talk about a pretty sick sneaker! The dark green, off-white, and light grey colorways on this sneaker are so well planned. The upper is a dark green suede with a mesh overlay that has a silver lining between the toe box and the upper. On the quarter panel the light grey “N” outlined in off-white sits atop a decorative underlay of dark green suede. The white leather collar sits between black mesh counterparts and the all-suede dark green heel bears an NB logo. The Nergy outsoles and the Abzorb SBS midsoles are ready for non-stop adventuring. With additional support and cushioning like none other than you will find in New Balance sneakers, you are protected and given comfort for the lifestyle you want to live.
New Balance 2002Rs Protection Pack Phantom
If you dress to meet the day with endless protection for your feet in an all-black suede and mesh, then this is your dream sneaker. The all-black jagged suede with unfinished edges and charcoal mesh uppers with a bit of pre-distressing is a break-out of the dad shoe once and for all! The quarter panel features a black “N” that has a bit of a silver lining. The Nergy outsole and the Abzorb midsoles are a mainstay in the New Balance 2002Rs. So, no matter which sneaker you choose, you will get the additional support and cushioning and, of course, the same insole WEB stability technology, too.
New Balance 2002Rs Protection Pack Rain Cloud
First of all, you need to know that this isn’t near the end of the sneaker release list for the New Balance 2002Rs. There are so many collabs like the United Arrows’ purple, blue and white colorways just released. This is just nearing the end of our list of hot sellers. The Protection Pack Rain Cloud is just as stated. The heritage Boston-based company’s color is grey, so this sneaker is a grey-on-grey hit. The grey mesh upper with tonal jagged and unfinished overlays of suede make the sneaker distressed and, well, unfinished. The reflective “N” logo completes the look. Of course, they have the Abzorb SBS midsoles. The Nergy outsoles and the insoles of WEB stability are all included with the New Balance 2002Rs.
Before We Go…
If you’re looking for a non-dad shoe type of sneaker, you have now found them all here in the revamped selections from the archives at New Balance. If you missed a beat and you need to learn more about the Joe Freshgoods collaboration with the Conversations Amongst Us or you want to check out what Teddy Santis has done now as the creative director at New Balance over the Made in the USA collection, you’re in the right place. The newest, brightest, and best are going to be here to help you keep up in this ever-expanding sneaker world. To keep up with the latest releases like the new, New Balance mule and where you can shop them you can depend on us as your own Sneaker Guru.