There’s no denying that the New Steadiness 550 is likely one of the hottest silhouettes available on the market proper now. Designed in 1989 by Steven Smith, the sneaker was made as a modification of the NB740—James Worthy’s signature sneaker—to appease the wants of highschool, school and choose Boston Celtics gamers.
Smith, whose résumé contains the Reebok InstaPump Fury, NB997, Nike Zoom Spiridon 2 and choose Yeezy fashions, created the low-top counterpart, which featured pivot circles on the outsole, tip saddle foxing and a forefoot sway bar the place numeric branding was positioned.
“I obtained that concept from automotive design language,” Smith mentioned to Sneaker Freaker. “It helped athletes maintain their toes after they have been operating, reducing and altering course quickly.”
Initially generally known as the 550 Basketball Oxford, the sneaker was priced at $45. After a small US run, the shoe was exported to UK and Asian markets earlier than it was finally shelved. Three a long time later the sneaker returned, thanks partly to Teddy Santis, founder and artistic director of the New York-based model Aimé Leon Dore. He sought to revive the mannequin after shopping a Japanese catalog. Santis and New Steadiness tracked down an unique pair from an abroad collector and instantly went to work.
“We discovered a scan in our archives of the outdated tech pack Steven Smith drew by hand,” Paul Kaseumsouk, a product line supervisor at New Steadiness, advised Sneaker Freaker. “Nailing down the form, the tooling, each single sew line right down to the millimeter—we obsessed over it. It took us 10 rounds of samples and 18 months of trial and error to get it to the place we needed to be.”
Santis’ ALD and the Boston-based model had already fashioned a partnership, releasing a myriad of collaborations—997s, 990v2s, 990v5s, 827s and 1300s. For the 550’s return, ALD launched 4 colorways as a part of their “Worldwide Friendship By Basketball” assortment, with slight updates to the 31-year-old sneaker. The white leather-based was changed with eggshell tones and the midsoles featured an aged aesthetic.
Other than ALD, different cultural figures have been in a position to put their touches on the 550, and a slew of inline colorways have been launched during the last two years. As a part of his “Conversations Amongst Us” initiative, Chicago artistic Joseph Robinson, aka Joe Freshgoods, launched his iteration of the late ’80s basketball sneaker—a cream canvas higher with bushy suede overlays and an aged yellow midsole—final April.
Klutch founder Wealthy Paul additionally has his personal set of 550s. Two years after changing into the primary sports activities agent to have a sneaker collaboration, Paul and New Steadiness launched a pair with an off-white perforated leather-based higher, navy detailing and yellowed New Steadiness logos. His identify was featured on the woven labels and insoles to customise the design in a method much like most player-edition sneakers.
Paul’s sophomore collab, which launched again in July, contains a premium lavender suede higher with purple accents. His identify makes one other look on the tongue tag, with contrasting white shoelaces, a white midsole and a lavender-colored outsole to complete off the look.
“The 550s for me have all the time been about that nostalgic really feel,” Paul advised Esquire final month. “I had this sense in regards to the 550, and for the primary [collab], I assumed the 550 silhouette wasn’t new, however it wasn’t actually recognized or understood. Now I really feel like extra of the lots are aligned with the 550, so I needed to deliver it again yet one more time. The subsequent one shall be a unique silhouette.”
Practically three years because the return of a as soon as forgotten mannequin, Kaseumsouk admits he didn’t know the impression the shoe would have on right now’s sneaker tradition.
“We knew we had one thing particular with the 550 and that ALD was going to inform that story completely,” he advised Sneaker Freaker. “However we didn’t know simply how large it was going to be.”
Picture through Getty Photos.