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It Only Took Some Leather to Make New Balance’s 2002Rs Look Even Better Highsnobiety

They say that a bit of leather makes everything better. Well, not really "they," more so myself (I just made the saying up). Still, the statement proves true with New Balance’s latest 2002R shoes.

We’re used to seeing the semi-chunky shoe with mesh and suede uppers (and maybe the occasional furry feels and GORE-TEX upgrades). But New Balance’s newest pack of 2002R sneakers arrives as a trio of leathery dad shoes. And I must admit, they look pretty good.

Aptly named the "Leather Pack," the New Balance 2002R sneakers present fresh, supple leather panels alongside its usual suede and mesh moments.

Standard New Balance logos appear throughout the shoe, while grey accents and an intentionally yellowed sole round off the buttery sneakers. Nice and simple with a splash of leather. Done.

There’s been other leather New Balance 2002Rs in the past. In 2023, the sneaker label dropped off some vintage leather 2002Rs rendered in green, burgundy, and grey. The shoes came with gum soles and still linger in grade school sizes at select retailers.

However, the newest New Balance 2002Rs boasts a cleaner look, thanks to more muted schemes. Also, whereas the 2023 collection had entirely leather uppers, the 2024 trio preserves the 2002R’s classic textures with hints of leather. Again, a little leather goes a long way, and the new "Leather Pack" understood the assignment.

The New Balance 2002R "Leather Pack" sneakers are expected to drop sometime during 2024 on New Balance’s website. The smooth New Balances will launch in three colorways, including black, white, and red.

New Balance is coming off a strong 2023, which ended with the brand making $6.5 billion in sales (a 23% increase from 2022). New Balance’s 2024 looks to be quite solid as well — leathery, too. Must I remind you of its glossy 550s?

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