As New Balance celebrates its signature hue, we’re reminded why 50 shades of grey will always be in fashion
Worn by everyone from street stylers in Copenhagen to dads in Ohio, New Balance’s classic grey sneakers are, in many ways, so understated they become a statement in themselves.
An unrelenting part of Nordic normcore (one of those ambiguous 21st-century terms that saw sartorial acolytes subvert any notion of edginess, filling their closets with the mundane), there’s something irresistible about the Jerry Seinfeld energy of a pair of grey NBs. So much so that it has led to ‘Grey Day’: the unofficial annual holiday (and equal marketing effort from the folks at New Balance) designed to create excitement around a usually not-so-exciting colour.
“Grey Day is a moment for the brand to declare our unwavering position at the intersection of performance and style and celebrate the design innovation that continues to propel us into the future,” explains Chris Davis, chief marketing officer & senior vice president of merchandising at New Balance.
In the late 1970s, New Balance’s grey designs were originally conceived as a solution for urban runners whose white shoes were destroyed by city conditions. The grey suede reinforced durability, matched the colour of asphalt, and fit seamlessly into consumers’ lifestyles. Countless iterations of grey products later, the connection between the tint and New Balance remains everlasting and endlessly versatile. “To New Balance, the colour grey represents a history of innovation and serves as a global symbol of style,” explains Davis, who pin-points the colour as “emblematic of New Balance’s unique path forward.”
The 'MADE in USA' Grey Day sneakers being produced in the factory.
To celebrate this push towards the future, New Balance finds inspiration beyond the stars for its new bespoke ‘Moon Daze’ collection. Featuring versions of four classic New Balance silhouettes (the 550, 580, 9060, and Fresh Foam x More Trail v3), it prompts us to think further about the future, begging the question: What would shoes look like after walking on another planet?
To New Balance, the colour grey represents a history of innovation and serves as a global symbol of style
Chris Davis, chief marketing officer & senior vice president of merchandising at New Balance
Alongside the ‘Moon Daze’ pack, this year’s iteration of ‘Grey Day’ also comes with a MADE in USA* capsule: a distinct monochromatic drop of new and existing silhouettes aim which represent New Balance’s unwavering devotion to craftsmanship, outfitting the 990v4, 990v6, 996, and 998 in the single signature hue.
Overall, these sober sneaker shades are arguably more impactful than the introduction of any zany new colourway. New Balance’s ‘Grey Day’ offering isn’t begging to be seen, but we find ourselves compelled to do a double-take. These are shoes that speak volumes by staying silent. After all, there’s no sound in space.
The ‘Moon Daze’ collection will be available on NewBalance.com starting May 12 with the 'MADE in USA' collection dropping June 6.