New Balance 550 Is the retro of the year

What’s in a number?

New Balance is a brand that resonates with all types from your average sneakerhead, your pops, and even running advocates. Regardless of when/how you heard of the brand it caters to different types and in 1989 they changed the game with the “550”.

The New Balance 550 dropped for the first time in 1989 as a competitor to the popular Nike dunk. This take down of the NB ‘480’ featured premium leather and perforated holes for breathability. Sadly, the $45 priced shoes fell into obscurity in the US and had a brief run of popularity overseas in Asia and the UK. The 550 dropped in neutral and team colorways during their run, and cemented their place in the New Balance retro vault.

Flash forward to 2021, Teddy Santis, the current New Balance Creative director for ‘Made in America,’ took on a new challenge. After his success in reviving interest in the ‘990V2’ and the ‘1300,’ he saw the 550 in an old Japanese shoe catalog and the silhouette piqued his interest. He successfully tracked down an old pair from the ‘90’s, and he and the team at NB worked on recreating the classic. The rest is history: after launching successful collabs with his own brand Aime Leon Dore, Rich Paul, and more, the 550 has resonated with collectors.


This is all due to great colorways, quality, and collabs in this writer’s opinion, which helps it compete with the widely popular Nike Dunk. Timing wise, you can say it’s like history repeating itself, with an underdog basketball retro competing with styles of days past. But enough about the history of the shoe – the good news is this style is coming this week to JD Sports!

The New Balance 550 is dropping this week

Thanks for reading! The New Balance 550 drops on 7/21 on Keep it locked here to find out when future heat will drop.



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