New Balance’s Latest 990 Caps a Banner Season for General Release Sneakers


However your own ranking of New Balance sneakers shakes out, there’s a decent chance the 990v4 is pretty high on the list. Since its debut in 2016, the 990v4, initially billed as a minor facelift to the beloved 990v3, has been remixed by buzzy names like JJJJound and Stüssy, helping bolster New Balance’s status as a purveyor of genuinely coveted kicks—not just ones dads wear to man the grill—in the process. But despite the roster of insider-y collaborators at its beck and call, New Balance continues to emphasize its general release silhouettes, and few have stoked more chatter recently than the 990v4 the brand introduced to celebrate this year’s Grey Day.

If this is the first you’re hearing of Grey Day, New Balance’s annual sneaker bonanza, allow us to clue you in. Every May, New Balance honors its now-signature hue by updating a grip of its most recognizable silhouettes, both old and new. (Think of it as a dad-friendly alternative to Nike’s Air Max Day, if the Swoosh didn’t limit the festivities to its line of bubbly retro runners.)

New Balance 990v4 “Grey Day” sneakers

The 990v4 New Balance dropped last month is notable off the strength of its aesthetics alone: to update the style, NB flipped the OG’s cloudy uppers in warm, oat-like tones of nubby suede, with navy blue details and a creamy, vintage-looking midsole. The premium revisions are so nice, in fact, that they conjure images of the sneakers you’d otherwise expect to see via the brand’s ongoing collaboration with brands like Aimé Leon Dore, though these are part of the label’s extensive made-in-USA offering, a division currently helmed by ALD head honcho Teddy Santis.

Which means the best part about them isn’t their lush suede detailing or historic pedigree: it’s that you don’t have to sign up for a raffle or shell out top dollar on the aftermarket to get your feet into a pair. (Case-in-point: they debuted a couple weeks ago and are still widely available in a near full-size run.) Simply add them to your cart, bust out your baggiest jorts—or make your own!—and, most importantly, actually wear them. Unlike those “unicorn” stocks the finance bros on TikTok keep exhorting you to snap up, these aren’t sneakers that will plummet or skyrocket in value years down the line, so there’s no sense in keeping ‘em on ice. The golden age of the general release sneaker is here, and it’s g

New Balance’s Latest 990 Caps a Banner Season for General Release Sneakers

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