Sneaker silhouettes rarely see a four year life cycle let alone one that spans almost four decades. For the iconic New Balance 990 sneaker, it’s about an origin story which transcends the realm of fads that come and go with little lasting impact on modern culture. This is the legacy of one of the last American-made sneakers, a sneaker which has forged an illustrious bond with legion of foot soldiers around the world who live to thrive beyond the norms of footwear design.
A History Built On American Craftsmanship
The year was 1982 and New Balance was on the cusp of establishing itself as a formidable player in the sneaker game. A halo model was needed and the 990 debuted that very year to answer the call. Crafted on the concept of pioneering design, expert craftsmanship and a timeless aesthetic, the New Balance 990 wore designer Terry Heckler’s iconic ‘N’ logo, a bold move at the time which helped propel the 990 to the forefront of the sneaker game where cheaper and mass produced neon-coloured sneakers often dominated.
Behind the scenes it took New Balance four years of R&D work to develop the 990. The brand’s core identity would be defined by this shoe so no shortcuts were considered. Its construction employed the finest materials available with a team of dedicated fabricators meticulously constructing every pair in New Balance’s Boston factory.
This level of investment in quality also meant that the disruptive 990 would become the first sneaker to cost $100 at its debut – an extraordinary figure at the time which went against a market that was attuned to mass production. Thankfully the investment in ‘Made in the U.S.A’ paid off and rather than alienating dedicated sneakerheads, the 990 took on the coveted position as the pinnacle of American sneaker craftsmanship.
The New Balance 990 name was forged and the rest, they would say, is history. Over the decades some of the most influential figures in the creative world would embrace the classic 990 silhouette from Steve Jobs to Seinfield.
"Behind the scenes it took New Balance four years of R&D work to develop the 990."
Conquering A New Era Of Style With Old Tricks
An old dog doesn’t need new tricks, especially when the old tricks were superior to begin with. That’s the sentiment New Balance have set with the launch of the 990v5, the legendary sneaker which gives today’s sneakerheads and style purveyors a chance to experience the pinnacle of contemporary shoe design and construction that was born from the most eclectic era in modern fashion.
The New Balance 990 is back in fine form and it’s still proudly made in U.S.A exactly how it was 37 years ago. The legacy continues to ensure your wardrobe always stays fresh no matter what you wear.