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Editorial

New Balance's 'Grey Day' is on its way

May 10, 2023 4:22 PM
New Balance's 'Grey Day' is on its way

Think grey - think New Balance. There is no other sports brand that has a single colour locked down like NB do. Synonymous for decades, New Balance have turned what you would think should be a rather glum palette into something that has come to represent quality from a brand you can depend on. Celebrating this phenomenon, they’re back again in 2023 to give us another Grey Day, and this year, there’s something for everyone… if you like grey that is.

The Boston, Massachusetts company was founded in 1906, but it wasn’t until the 60s they began producing sneakers, beginning with the Trackster. They’ve since pushed the boundaries of innovation with different styles, colourways and technology, and it’s the grey NBs that have stood the test of time.

Since the 80s, the athletic giant has been able to stand out in a flooded sneaker market by producing top quality product that does what it says on the tin. In a world of fierce competition, they were able to lay low and give loyal NB customers what they needed most, a shoe they could count on. The grey New Balance sneaker is ‘normcore’ at its best, and the proud ‘dad shoe’ creator embraces it to the fullest.

The history of Grey Day

As the sixth Grey Day approaches, it’s only right to look back at its humble beginnings. The now annual event first took place on March 15, 2018, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the New Balance 990; consistently hailed as one of the greatest New Balance models in the brand’s history.

From then, we’ve seen iconic sneaker after iconic sneaker release on Grey Day, including the 990v4 “Grey Day” and more recently the 574 “Grey Day” among others.

The Collection

Sure they’re all grey, but this year’s collection is a varied bunch. Covering the classic look of the 990 series with the 990v6 is a great start. It gives the look and feel of a modern 990, but has FuelCell cushioning beneath for that extra comfort we know and love from NB. Then, out of left field (pardon the pun) is the Furon v7 football boot, with its unique lacing system and Hypoknit upper. New Balance decided a long time ago that they could stand out amongst the crowd with all-grey uppers, and they were right. And if you think about this on a football pitch – it’s going to do exactly the same thing.

The 9060 is next with a solid futuristic look. The upper and midsole are chunkier than your average New Balance, and as for the sole, well, it’s like nothing we’ve seen before. The 550 which has done a roaring trade in recent years joins the Grey Day club, with only a few subtle navy hits across the upper, alongside a chunky blue N logo. The 580 returns with navy, white and grey, giving us stability in a rollbar and OG vibes with the upper.

Variety is the spice of life

For those runners wanting the latest and greatest tech, with a breathable upper, the Fresh Foam X More Trail v3 is here just for you. The Vibram outsole and abrasion-resistant details mean you can get them straight on push them to the limit.

Finishing this year’s Grey Day off will be the MADE in USA capsule consisting of the 990v4, 990v6, 996 and 998. They’ll sport grey, of course, but also touches of blue across the sneakers as well. Finally, Tiago Lemos is back with another 808 and 306 for all the skaters too. Like I said, this year, there’s something for everyone.

High-Five

With a deep history of timeless models, it’s hard to narrow down to the absolute classic greys of our time. Saying that, let’s give it a go.

New Balance 990v3 Made Series

Released in 2012, it looks as though it could’ve been released today. A sharp silhouette with nubuck, leather and 3M, it not only looks the business, but is sitting atop an ENCAP midsole for that quality NB comfort.

New Balance 993 Grey

€162

New Balance 993 "Grey'

Available at 17 webshops
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Sure they cost a pretty penny, but just look at them; Made in USA across the tongue, punchy white laces, USA across the heel cup and loads of comfort underfoot. Throw in the next-level grip on the outsole and you’re onto a winner.

New Balance 574 'Grey'

Described by New Balance themselves as “unassuming”, “unpretentious” and “uncomplicated”, that says it all.

New Balance 1010 ‘Grey Day’

Certainly an underrated model in my eyes. A skate shoe from the Boston brand that ventures outside the normal silhouettes usually associated with classic New Balance. This pair comes with the FantomFit heel providing more support, and then FuelCell cushioning below for comfort. They’re low key, but there’s something about them.

New Balance 1906D Protection Pack 'Harbor Grey'

Aptly named 1906 in honour of the birthdate of the company that created it, the 1906D gives us an N-ergy shock absorbing midsole, extra stability and both Acteva Lite and Abzorb in the sole for next-level cushioning. The ripped-looking upper adds a modern haphazard look, while the N logo is the most futuristic we’ve seen, consisting of straps that help lock your foot in to place when laced up. These are the real deal; futuristic but very much normcore at heart.

Special Mentions

There has to of course be a couple of special mentions for the 992 and OG 990. The 992 famously the sneaker of choice, almost every single day, for Apple founder Steve Jobs. Comfy, understated, did the job… that’s all he wanted. As for the 990, it had some fierce competition when it released in 1982 in the form the Nike Air Force 1. It certainly held its own, even if it did release at the budget-busting price tag of $100 all the way back then.

But when?

The Grey Day collections 2023 will be available from May 12, so head to sneakerjagers.com to take your pick.

And just a gentle reminder; previous Grey Day releases have sold out within minutes, so keep those eyes peeled.