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Sneaker FAQ


June 16, 2023 3:48 PM

The New Balance 550 is a legendary model that is finally getting its well-deserved fame. We tell you everything you need to know about the classic silhouette in this FAQ.

When did the first New Balance 550 come out?

The New Balance 550 was originally released in 1989 as a basketball shoe under the model name 'P550'. At that time, the sports shoe, which like almost all basketball shoes has a two-toned colourway, did not achieve the fame it had hoped for and the hype failed to materialise.

More than 30 years later, however, New Balance made sure that history would not repeat itself. Especially due to the vintage and retro trend, the silhouette is now a box office hit.

How does the New Balance 550 fit?

Like most New Balance models, the NB 550 is true to size. If you have a wide foot, it makes sense to buy the shoe in half a size larger. The chunky sole makes this model very comfortable and suitable for everyday walking.

nb 550 red

What materials is the NB 550 made of?

The upper is made from high-quality, smooth and perforated leather and the breathable mesh lining is on a rubber sole. The two-tone, high-profile outsole and minimalist NB logo give this almost forgotten legend a vintage look to match.

new balance 550

How much does the NB 550 cost?

The standard models with 2-tone colorway and without collaboration retail at €130. Special models and collaborations are usually around €150.

new balance 550 colorways

What does Aimé Leon Dore have to do with the NB 550?

According to Teddy Santis, the brand's founder and director, the Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance 550 was the first ever redesign of the 30-year-old silhouette, contributing to the new hype surrounding it.

The Collab models released in a pack of four in 2020, including a 'Red', 'Green', 'Grey' and 'Navy Blue' version. A further two colorways were released in 2021, this time including a 'Natural Green' and 'White Navy Red' version. 2022 saw 'Purple', 'Olive' and 'Brown' versions released as the model continued to gain popularity, as well as two neutral-coloured colorways, one of which in a suede version.

The latest collaboration happened in May 2023, with two colorways released in Suede in a 'Brown' and 'Taupe' version.

ALD x NB 550

How do you style the NB 550?

With its sporty and clean appearance, the NB 550 can of course be combined very nicely with tracksuits and joggers, as well as with collge hoodies or jackets. But the sneaker can also be very elegant and is especially popular in womenswear with bootleg trousers and oversized blazers.

New Balance 550 Blue
New Balance
New Balance 550 Outfit
Aime Leon Dore x New Balance
Aime Leon Dore

But is the New Balance 550 really a classic?

There is still one question left. Because the 550 was so unpopular when it was released, there are hardly any pictures of it on the internet. That's why the hot discussion started on whether the New Balance 550 is really from 1989.

The doubts are understandable… the OG basketball shoe, such a big brand, which celebrated its comeback in 2020 and hit like a bomb, is not to be found on the internet?

True! However, the community has looked into the matter and ultimately has the following explanation:

New Balance 650

The NB P550 from back then was either released under a different name, for example as a low version of the New balance 650, or it was hardly seen on the European market.

Eventually, sketches and illustrations were found in a Japanese catalogue that Teddy Santis of ALD had seen, and based on that, he rebuilt the silhouette.

It's a little mystery that makes the shoe all the more valuable.

What NB 550s are releasing soon?

For upcoming New Balance 550 releases, you can always check in our sneaker release calendar.

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