The hype you don't expect: New Balance Protection Pack
The New Balance brand has become a huge phenomenon in the sneaker world, but that wasn't always the case. Just a few short years ago, in 2020, New Balance was mostly associated with dads who enjoyed gardening and cookouts on the weekends. It was far from the trendy choice for young and trendy sneaker lovers. So what has changed? How did New Balance go from being a boring brand to one favored by hypebeasts? The answer is the New Balance 2002R “Protection Pack”.
This shoe was first released in 2010 as a follow up to the 2001 which was a great but not very attractive performance shoe. The 2002R was a chunky shoe with lots of detailing and a bulky shape. Some casual runners liked it, but not many others. However, in 2020, New Balance decided to bring back the shoe for its 10th anniversary. At first, it didn't get much attention, but some sneaker fans started liking the retro look and bought some of the initial colorways. But the real success came in 2021, when the "Protection Pack" was released.
The "Protection Pack" was designed by Yue Wu, who gave the old shoe a fresh and modern twist. He changed the name from “Refined Future” to “Protection Pack” and improved everything about the shoe. He used premium suede instead of leather and mesh, and redesigned the panels with ragged edges and raw cuts for a cool, unfinished look.
He also made the shoe look like an ancient find, with a worn ABZORB midsole and yellowed accents that gave it a vintage feel. He also created a variety of amazing colorways, such as the "Phantom", the "Sea Salt" and the most popular, the "Rain Cloud". This was the shoe that made everyone wish they had New Balance shoes in their closet. To meet the high demand, other colors were added later, such as "Orange", "Pink" and "Purple". There was also a special edition for the “Lunar New Year” which was very popular in Asia.
You might think suede shoes are hard to maintain, but they're actually quite easy to care for. All you need are some basic tools like a suede brush, an eraser, and a microfiber cloth. You can use them to remove dirt and dust from your suede shoes and make them look brand new again. For stubborn stains like oil or grease, you can use a little cornstarch to soak them up. For sticky things like chewing gum, you can freeze your shoes until they harden and then peel them off. It's not complicated at all.
One of the best things about the "Protection Pack" is that you can wear it with almost anything. Unlike the original shoe which was more suitable for sports outfits, the "Protection Pack" is more of a street style shoe. You can wear it with an Off-White tee, a Supreme hoodie and Carhartt WIP cargo pants for a cool look. Or you can opt for an oversized Palace sweater and Fear Of God ripped jeans for another cool option. There are so many ways to combine it.
These are just some of the reasons why you must have the New Balance 2002R “Protection Pack” in your sneaker collection! It's a shoe that combines luxury, vintage and style in one package. Even though it's more expensive than the regular version, it's worth every penny.