The New Balance 550s Why You Want Them Now

New Balance 550 Multicolor

The history of the New Balance was a slow and steady race to the finish line, but when New Balance got there, it was a glorious finish! However, they aren’t done yet! The New Balance company is redesigning so many of their shoes that you really don’t want to miss any of these incredible collaborations. Now, New balance has a remastered edition of the old school “P550” shoe design that you need in your shoe collection today!

The Recap of New Balance P550s

The Founder of the 1906 New Balance Arch Support Company, an English immigrant, William J. Riley may have had success in his career, but there’s no success like the remixes of the P550 shoe that debuted in 1989. While the first low-top basketball sneaker had its day in the United States and across the pond in the United Kingdom, and even parts of Asia, it fell into the pits of the fallen shoe just as quickly as it was revealed. For starters, the premise was first, an orthopedic and arch support, and secondly a running shoe company. That means that there was no real awareness of the basketball sneaker designs the company had come up with. It started with the New Balance 650 high-tops, a more successful predecessor to this shoe. Either way, this late 80s model never would’ve been successful when in the public’s eye, New Balance made running shoes.

Famous Running Shoes to Dad Shoes

For that matter, the New Balance company was wildly successful with their running shoes, even being voted the #1 running shoe by the Runner’s World Magazine in 1976! However, the world has been doting on the Trackster, the first shoe to break the $50 retail price barrier was the New Balance 620. If you want to know who’s been loving New Balance, the former president Bill Clinton who was seen often running in his 1500s, Steve Jobs who wore his 991s from the 99x series just as the brand was becoming known as dad shoes, and Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber love their new 550s. So, it’s time to see what’s new with the uber-famous footwear!

The 1989 New Balance “P550 Basketball Oxford” Flop

First, it’s only appropriate to give you an idea of what the original first basketball shoe was like and why it was forgotten about soon after the release of the 1989 sneaker. The “P550” was a lovely idea, to begin with, but proved to be impractical. As the low-top silhouette came on to the market in the United States the New Balance shoes were already established as a running shoe, so it was completely ignored. However, our sneaker fans in the United Kingdom sadly agreed. Over there and in the United States, the shoe wasn’t even given a chance and was dropped from the footwear news. Either way, the design was a potentially great one.

The Original “P550 Basketball Oxford” Shoe Design

This “Basketball Oxford” had a dual colorway, and the sleek and smooth leather collar gave the sneaker a preppy and current style. The perforated profile panels offered the most breathability of any New Balance shoe. Here’s where the well-known sneaker architect Steven Smith plumped up the “N” logo with a late-80s pop art style as a renovation to the flat profiles of the past. The icing on the cake was the hand-embroidered “550” embellishment on the lateral quarter panel of the low-top sneaker. The performance-enhanced improvements made to the shoe were the quick responsiveness with the updated traction pattern on the soles. The newly molded heel of the shoe offered more stability and secure lockdown. In an attempt to produce a contrasting shoe to the “650” high-top basketball model, the “P550” low-top silhouette seemed to be a solid design. When Steven Smith’s creation had been released in the United States, the United Kingdom, and as far as parts of Asia and back home, the sneaker sadly fell into the depths of the forgotten sneakers. With the competition that had well-known athletic sponsorship like Converse, Avia, and Reebok; New Balance basketball sneakers were aspiring all on their own. About 20 years later, this shoe’s potential will be discovered and will be rebuilt and reimagined by the New York City’s Queens-born label Aime Leon Dore by Teddy Santis himself!

The New Balance 550s Collabs

Once the original sneaker was deemed salvageable and laden with great potential, the “Basketball Oxford P550” was made over first by a celebrity favorite, Teddy Santis of the ALD lifestyle brand. Next up was the one who has the privilege of Adele’s love, Rich Paul, a great sports announcer. Then, of course, who else but Joe Freshgoods himself to take a whack at the 550 too. Joe has been in the business of collaborating with his friends and is an incredible creative who wants the world to be more inclusive. Let’s start with Mr. Teddy Santis who revived this pair initially with the help of Joe Grondin.

The Original Collaboration: Teddy Santis and Joe Grondin

The major changes to the style of the revamped sneaker lie within the smallest incremental measurements that Terry Santis was crazy about. But the tedious way of changing the measurements may have made all the difference between the 1989 “P550” to the 2010 “550”. Joe Grondin and Teddy Santis found one 1989 “Basketball Oxford” on social media and rebuilt the sneaker from just that one reference. It took the two about 8-10 revisions to get just the shape right, according to Joe Grondin in an interview with Sneaker Freaker. At the end of the collaboration with Teddy Santis, they had completed their perfect reimagination updating the original two-colorway scheme from 1989 to a 4 colorway style. Still, the striking resemblance to the 1989 “P550” is a great nod to the original by Steve Smith. Coming out, the perforated leather panels and the puffy “N” logo with the “550” embroidery detail on the lateral quarter panel you know these two pairs of shoes are related. However, the direction from Teddy on the new shape of the shoe is everything. The 4 colorways are done a bit differently with an outlining effect of the most contrasting two colors and the yellowed soles give an ultra-vintage look to these sneakers. New Balance even appointed Teddy Santis the new creative director of the “Made in the USA” sneaker line.

Although these winning sneakers won’t serve you well on the courts, they’re loved by Kendall Jenner, Justin Bieber, Rhianna and many more loved celebrities as everyday apparel. This will be the first of many New Balance 550s collaborations with other influencers, including another from the Aime Leon Dore daddy himself.

New Balance Hits Up Rich Paul for a Winning Collaboration

With the still soaring popularity of the Aime Leon Dore New Balance 550s, the sports announcer and Adele’s main man, Rich Paul gets ready to blast onto the sneaker scene. Rich Paul didn’t compromise or back down to the collaboration challenge and rose to it, he absolutely did. The cream color of the perforated leather of the uppers and the dual colorway of buttermilk cream and navy is dreamy and preppy-ish that can be adorned by all genders. The special sole and the heel feature baby blue, navy, and buttermilk. The tongue is branded with “Rich Paul” and “New Balance”, the yellow design with navy to fully incorporate the yellow flash into the shoe. In the 2021 sneaker release, it was evident the sneaker wasn’t equipped with the features needed for basketball. Instead, this is a lifestyle sneaker for everyday wear, just like the ALD sneaker from Terry Santis 2020 collaboration.

New Balance’s Black Soles and Joe Freshgoods

By now every sneakerhead can easily point out all the collaborations with Joe Freshgoods name on it. The designer is more than a designer and is always looking for a way to better the world one meaningful collaboration at a time. When New Balance teams up with Joe Freshgoods, the “Black Soles”, the employee-led community within the New Balance company creates more than ingenious shoe design. The new, New Balance 550s star in the “Conversations Amongst Us” sneaker collection. In the “Conversations Amongst Us” shoe collection, Joe Freshgoods is turning up the volume on the current events in the black community that are about the heard and unheard, private and shared stories, relatable experiences, and the integrated thoughts that bring reflection, connection, and self-expression along with it. The Black Soles has a solid platform from which they amplify the black voices within the company and of the footwear industry and focus on the full representation amongst the black communities in the United States. The Black Soles worked hand-in-hand with Joe Freshgoods through every part of the “Conversations Amongst Us” project, from the shoe and apparel design to the communications.

New Balance’s “Conversations Amongst Us”

Together, the team has discovered a platform to have conversations amongst other black Americans that are exclusive to the communication cues, verbal and otherwise. The head nod, dapping, and other nonverbal communication are fundamental and special to the black community and are things that make up the conversation starters of the “Conversations Amongst Us” that uplift and motivate. “Conversations Amongst Us” has been compared to almost group therapy within the communities. More than that, though, it’s a safe space for educating the masses on compassion, acceptance, and belonging.

The Sneaker Collaboration Behind the Movement

The sneaker pair we’ve all been anxiously awaiting doesn’t disappoint with the clean and simple cream canvas uppers and hairy suede overlays. The inspiring pair is the beautiful result of the old and the new symbolizing the conversations and the vintage shoe design. The shoe design is a dream of vintage inspiration with the plush leather buttermilk cream “N” which is outlined in black stitching and surrounded by a simple perforated canvas. The “550” on the upper quarter panel is faint being the same thread color of the shoe. The added support and structure around the heel area is a solid heel clip above the midsole. The yellowed soles complete the look of the new sneaker with old, deep roots. Inside the shoe, the “Conversations Amongst Us” is seen easily as you put your new pair on and serves as a gentle reminder of the social justice and acceptance the shoe, the Black Soles, and Joe himself stand for and fights for with every new sneaker release.

New Balance 550 Conversations Amongst Us
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The New Balance 550s You Have to Get Now

Finally, the top new issues of the New Balance 550s aside from the great collaborations we’ve already gushed over. The picks are not the break-the-bank sneakers, but instead, great releases that came after the first Aime Leon Dore collaboration. These retro-style trainers will have a lingering comfort that allows for everyday wear. So, let’s see how the more affordable 550s can get your sneaker collection jumping. And it helps to know that your favorite pop stars are donning this fabulous footwear.

The White/Grey New Balance 550s

This ever-popular trainer is a crisp, clean low-top basketball sneaker that’s been inspired by the original 1989 P550 “Basketball Oxford”. The white premium leather uppers and the monochromatic overlays of perforated leather offer a retro style and 3-dimensional shoe. The puffed-up “N” logo is a definite nod to the 1989 version of the sneaker, but with a cut-out, flatter look. The puffy “550” and the flat “NB” logo on the back of the shoe are the details you can expect on the New Balance always. All the way to the white EVA midsoles, the new trainers are all pristine to the pale grey outer soles that don’t have a lot of contrast, serving the overall clean look well. The matching white and grey application on the tongue and the soles complete the style.

New Balance 550 White Grey
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Sneaker Stats

The sneaker release date was 2021 and the MSRP was $100 upon its release. Since that, the prices have been trekking upward by the word of influencers and the influenced, so you must get your pair before it gets more and more difficult to land your sneakers.

The Marblehead or Shadow New Balance 550s

The shoe of many names, well, 2 to be exact. The 3 colorway of this trainer sneaker is a fan favorite. Black, gray, and white are the colors that adorn this color block shoe. The black and mid-tone grey uppers are premium leather that is followed up with a completely leather quarter panel with the “550” in white. The “N” is black outlined in grey, then white puffed up to match the 1989 graffiti era of the day. With the white piping around the quarter panel and the back of the shoe, the “NB” logo fully incorporates the 3 colorways for a solid distribution of the contrasting hues. The tongue is black with the basketball-designed tag with the brand’s name and 550 in grey and white. The EVA midsole is all white and the outer sole black and mid-tone grey. A white air pillow is reminiscent of the Nike Shocks in a thinner profile. Of course, the shoe’s sole incorporates the 3 colorways for each zone of the foot and the pivot point is white for the highest contrast for the marker at the ball of your big toe.

New Balance 550 Shadow
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Sneaker Stats

The sneaker was originally released in 2021 with an MRSP of $110. The Shadow has gotten some very mixed reviews since its release, but it is still a collector’s favorite and a celeb and a fitness trainer favorite.

Burgundy, Cyan, and White New Balance 550s

The burgundy, cyan, and white have been seen on the feet of the uber-famous Rhianna, Rhi-Rhi for those totally enamored with the pop singer. We know that Rhi-Rhi has good taste, and judgment especially opting for the New Balance sneakers during her pregnancy. These New Balance sneakers have comfort built into every part of them. The premium smooth leather white uppers and perorated overlays make this shoe one of the trainer-style favorites. The retro puff of the “N” in a burgundy outlined with cyan on the white leather quarter panels is consistent with the other New Balance 550s. The arch support in every NB550 is what started the New Balance company, to begin with. The burgundy canvas collars and the mesh tongue with gray backgrounds, the New Balance branding on the tongue is complete with the 3 colorways. The midsole is a clean crisp white and the outer sole is black and a mid-tone grey. The deep grooves in the soles are well defined and balanced with more shallow grooves with a pivot point commonly seen on basketball sneakers.

New Balance 550 Burgundy Cyan
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Sneaker Stats

The 3 colorway New Balance sneaker was released in January 2021 and the MRSP was $120. With high demand, the prices are higher and only select retailers have them available. Don’t worry, though, we’ve got you covered with our plug at StockX.

White and Green New Balance 550s

The white smooth premium leather with dark green leather detailing upper and the grey suede toe wrap start this trainer-style sneaker on a great race to an all-time favorite. New Balance’s four logos can be found on the heel, and quarter panel along with the 550 markings, the tongue, and the midsole of this basketball shoe. The quarter panel owning the puffy forest green “N” surrounded by the white perforated leather. The branding on the tongue is a white, pale grey, and forest green is completed by a green tip of the tongue. A simpler logo is the one on the heel panel “NB” is in dark green, white and pale grey, and the midsole is identified by the “new balance” and the “NB” both. Around the heel panel, the white leather is interrupted by the heel grip in dark green. The white midsole which bears the two logos is in an EVA material and the outsoles are dark green. Finally, the soles have outstanding traction.

New Balance 550 White Green
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Sneaker Stats

These sneakers hit the market in late spring of 2021 and the MSRP was $120. With high demand for the design, the sneakers are going to be based on the supply-demand of select retailers.

White and Black New Balance 550s

This pair of sneakers is lovingly referred to as the “Oreo” because of the colorway. In this model, the smooth premium white leather upper and perforated quarter panels where the “N” is all puffed up in all its black glory. The collar is black and white leather in unique detailing. The heel panel has a black rubber heel grip on the white leather down by the outsole which is black. The midsole is the same white EVA until the pale grey detailing in the insole serves as a shock absorber. The soles are black with a white or pale grey pivot point and great deep and shallow traction grooves.

New Balance 550 Black White
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Sneaker Stats

A new favorite among celebrities and collectors alike, the “Oreo” was introduced to the public in November 2021 at an MSRP of $110.

The New Balance Inspirations

In the sneaker world, there seems to be a newfound appreciation for these “dad shoes” thanks to the Aime Leon Dore designer. For if it weren’t for Teddy Santis discovering these high-potential New Balance 550s, we’ve have had missed out on the countless collaborations which followed thereafter. All 5 of these strictly New Balance designs and the collaborations outlined here have added shoelaces to personalize the sneakers to match any outfit. The collaborations are also a part of a whole collection with vintage-inspired New Balance threads so you will have to check out the whole line of apparel and footwear. The New Balance edit collaboration has inspired a whole fleet of other sneakers’ redesign efforts like the Salehe Bembury designs and the New Balance 2002r, 327, 992 makeovers. Stay tuned to get the newest from New Balance and more.

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