When you think New Balance, you think classic retro runners - simple, clean, reliable, timeless. And while NB could have easily settled for that image, clearly they're trying to push harder. Over the past couple of years, the American brand has been introducing new lifestyle models, as if wanting us to look beyond its archive of timeless silhouettes, and to prove that New Balance can do more than just reissue the 574 in hundreds of new colorways.
For the most part, they've been successful. The New Balance 247 and X-90, introduced in 2017 and 2018 respectively, have been runaway hits. But it looks like NB isn't done yet. This month, they're introducing the R_C1, a fresh model by the New Balance Tokyo Design Studio. Check it out:
It's blue jeans all over again: An American icon comes to Japan, reaches cult status, and then is made even better, to a higher standard, by the Japanese. The New Balance design language is apparent, but the R_C1 is modern, and the Tokyo Design Studio put their own decidedly Japanese spin on it. The upper is made with a specially engineered mesh called Trace Fiber, covered with suede overlays. It's backed by a plastic heel counter and rests on top of a new cushioning system called ENCAP Reveal. The first two colorways are gorgeous, super simple, classic New Balance tones, but on a handsome new shoe.
With respect to the 247 and the X-90, which are both excellent new models by New Balance, the R_C1 has to be its best new lifestyle sneaker this year.
The New Balance R_C1 drops on October 27, at Commonwealth for the full retail price of P8,995.