new balance protection pack

MONTHLY SNEAKER REVIEW: JUNE 2021

MONTHLY SNEAKER REVIEW: JUNE 2021

by Sam Le Roy
4 min
new balance protection pack
New Balance ©

Following on from last month where I said that the Dunk’s foothold in “hype” culture is dying, I believe we’ve witnessed it happen. Yes, we’re going to see the model on foot for the foreseeable future, but this month’s offering of product has been as good as ever – with flavorful SB options from Color Skates (get it.. kebab shoes), as well as many general release colorways – with the commonplace hysteria seemingly gone.

Last month’s big hitter was Nike, but this time the throne is occupied by New Balance without a doubt; big collaborations with Salehe Bembury and Paperboy Paris are some of the best releases we’ve seen all year, as well as massive 990V3 pairs from KITH and Bodega. Does Joe Grondin ever miss? Seemingly not. 

On the general release front, New Balance are also nailing every pair. That “Protection Pack” is probably the single best general release from any brand in a long, long time. I’m after the grey pair when they release later today – they’re just that good. Designer Yue Wu pulled no punches putting these pairs together, taking inspiration from Boston’s elderly that are frequently spotted in utterly trashed New Balance products and aiming to emphasise the 2002R’s longevity and timelessness. He tells me that the original name of the pack was “Refined Future” – god knows where the “Protection Pack” moniker has materialised from.

Another notable pair I can’t go without mentioning is the “Desert Moss” colorway of Union LA’s latest addition to their ongoing – and flourishing – collaborative portfolio. Something about the colors, or the tongue fold, just makes the shoe so good.

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With every killer collaboration goes a countless number of pairs that go unnoticed; this month there’s a few pairs I’m looking to pick up, all of which have been criminally underrated and swept under the rug. Once again, the likes of adidas and PUMA are gaining a lot of traction – I can’t wait to see more of these pairs on foot through the summer as bars open and we can all get out and about, and I’m especially excited for the upcoming Spezial SS21 collection releasing July 22. 

Adidas’ June offering was headlined with Tyshawn Jones’ signature shoe release, the Tyshawn Low – which for $75 is an absolute steal – a Forum Low that had been decorated by artist Lucien Smith in an amazing video for a charitable cause, and an amazing take on the Microbounce from OAMC. I also can’t go without mentioning the Neighborhood x END. x adidas collection, which aside from having some great products in the capsule, came alongside an incredible video directed by the amazing Bianco Bianco Tokyo team – those guys seriously have lightning in a bottle right now.

 

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Two final pairs I can’t go without talking about are the latest linkup between PUMA and Butter Goods, as well as New Balance’s Tokyo Design Studio’s new sneaker-sandal hybrid. The former comes ready-to-dye (I’ve already messaged the GOAT of sneaker dyes, Lorenzo Frederici for help on this) while the latter is a pair I’d wear year round, maybe even sockless at the pub for the final of the Euros. Speaking of which, is it coming home?

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