Seeking to capitalize on a full year of hype around the 550, ALD and New Balance made a bold decision over the summer: to launch the hottest sneaker of 2022 six months in advance. They doubled down on the success of the basketball-inspired 550 line and brought back the 650R, a high-top hoop trainer in a similar range of simple one-color patterns and yellowed soles. Rather than sticking to the sneaker industry’s tried and true expectation of slowly orchestrating the leaks for months to officially confirm the shoe weeks before the fall, the brands got bold, not only revealing the shoe close. six months before it becomes available. but put it on sale then too. Pre-orders for the Aime Leon Dore New Balance 650R launched in early August, allowing customers to secure their pair months before general release.
The sneaker hype moves fast and runs on instant gratification. Even if you get a W on the SNKRS app today, there’s a good chance you’ll be stressed out about another raffle next week. A pre-order system like this promotes patience as a virtue and exudes a confidence that suggests they don’t mind their audiences being distracted by the official release next year.
In addition to the shoes, the brands also offered for pre-order two of the high-end products in the clothing collection: a chunky, court-ready leather varsity jacket and a luxury leather duffel bag. Reservations quickly filled up for every product, with shipping and fulfillment slated for early 2022. It’s hard to see such a move as more than a claim: ALD and New Balance aren’t just here to stay. , they’re here to change the way the sneaker industry works. The first feedback looks pretty good.
In November, brands hit customers with a surprise drop that consisted of two 993 colorways, one in a rich brown and green, while the other played off-white and purple suede against a cerulean mesh. Both pairs are wearing a black sole.
While they were originally teased in ALD’s FW21 collection lookbook (among others, the Queens Action icon Bronson can be spotted in the brown pair), the draw went live with very little warning. Unlike previous collaborations, there are very few published accounts confirming the inspiration behind this collection (at least as of this writing). Still, it has been noted that the brown and green pair appear to draw inspiration from the same color. Timberland Beef and Broccoli Boots, while the other seeks to pay tribute to metro graffiti, as evidenced by a promotional video accompanying the drop. A full line of clothing was then officially announced, including a range of tracksuits and muted fleeces perfect for cooler New York days (one particular piece comes with pockets fitted to hold cans of spray paint for all the budding metro artists).