We’re all used to the premium materials that New Balance are renowned for using on their footwear, but over the last year or so, New Balance have been partnering with Horween Leather and using this to create some awesome pairs of shoes.
The most notable pairs will be the two Made in USA New Balance 998’s which donned full Horween Leather, however, they commanded such a high retail price, that many of them hit the sale shelves, and this is when NB fans capitalised.
But New Balance are back, and this time they present to us a 1400 and a 990 as part of the “Crooners” Pack, which is inspired by dark corners in high-end jazz clubs and cocktail lounges – and all with a slightly lower retail price too.
It’s inevitable that when New Balance hits the ball out of the park with these Horween Leather releases, and trust me, they do… that they’ll inevitably carry a high retail price, but we’re no stranger to that, it’s nothing new for us. At the end of the day, I’m sure we’d all rather these shoes to continue being manufactured domestically.
Here at NB Gallery, we think the use of full Horween Leather certainly works better on these two models, as well as the 991 which we’ve seen it on previously, in comparison to the 998. The 998 has been getting increasingly chunkier as the years go on, like it’s gaining weight, and well, if you’re going to add Horween Leather to it, it certainly isn’t going to help, so we passed on the 998’s since they were on the relatively bulky side of things.
One thing we’re still waiting on is a full Horween Leather 997. We had thought it was coming with the 997BTS which looked amazing, but that seemed to get scrapped, or maybe it’ll come later. We’re certainly hoping it’ll appear at some point!
Anyway, let’s touch on the 1400 first. This Made in USA New Balance 1400BR features a really lovely deep burgundy shade of Horween Leather, one of the nicest colours we’ve seen so far, and is a little similar in colour to the 577 from the UK Made “Test Match Pack”.
The upper sits on a contrasting all white midsole, with gum brown outsole, and is finished off with a Horween Leather hang tag.
This pair is carrying a $320 price tag, and this is definitely a pair that we’ll be keeping our eyes on.
Next up from the pack is the Made in USA New Balance 990BCK, which features a grey shade of Horween Leather with contrasting burgundy ‘N’, heel tab and tongue label.
The upper sits on a contrasting all white midsole, with grey coloured outsole, and is finished off with a Horween Leather hang tag.
The New Balance 990BCK will carry a retail price of $340.
If you’re looking for some Horween Leather on your New Balance, but aren’t willing to pay the retail price which the pairs that are decked out in full Horween command, then check out some of the other Made in USA releases, as New Balance have utilised the use of Horween Leather in various forms across many models and colourways, such as the “Mid-Century Modern” Pack.
Both pairs are currently available at Sneaker Politics, and other select New Balance retailers. We can also expect them to hit the UK very soon.