New Balance’s Pre-Distressed 2002R Sneaker Is Here To Stay In 2022


New Balance has reached the mass cultural cache in which it does not need a collaboration to produce a highly sought-after sneaker. Perhaps the best example of the brand’s in-house capabilities is last year’s “Protection Pack”, which saw the 2002R silhouette undergo a pre-distressed makeover. The decaying aesthetic worked beautifully on muted colors, and now it’s ready to make a comeback in much more vibrant hues.

The 2002R “Protection Pack” has been confirmed in three new colors, with two additional variants also appearing early in the leak process. “Vintage Orange”, “Steel Blue” and “Dark Navy” 2002R all have official nicknames and are set to be released on April 1st, it’s no joke. The rust orange version is easily the star of the confirmed trio, but the purple and pink seams coming down the pipeline also give it some serious competition for the supreme color scheme.

Each pair of kicks from the 2002R “Protection Pack” will cost $150, and resale of previous versions hovers around a double increase. In other words, you’ll want to be hawkish in your pursuit of the pre-distressed sneakers, which seem to be among the best in-house releases from any brand this year.

A brief history of the 2002R — Despite what its name suggests, New Balance first released the 2002 sneaker in 2010 as a successor to the 2001. The silhouette was far from a hit, however, and few consumers were willing to shell out the $250 it ordered. using premium materials and manufacturing in the USA

The silhouette could have easily been forgotten, but the recent dad shoe trend has prompted New Balance to bring it back slightly tinkered with like the 2002R. A midsole from the 860 v2 was replaced and production was moved to Asia to reduce costs. A series of high-profile collaborations went on to help usher in a fanfare the sneaker had never enjoyed before, including the Salehe Bembury “Let Water Be Your Guide” release widely regarded as one of the best releases of 2021.

Now, the “Protection Pack” and its Daniel Arsham-esque sense of decadence is only helping the 2002R win the hearts of more sneakerheads. Release of the first three editions of 2022 has been confirmed on April 1 through European retailer AFEW, but more retailers are expected to be announced closer to the date. You can also expect to see plenty of orange, pink, and purple versions on TikTok and Instagram as they become favorites with tastemakers.


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