JJJJound’s New Balance collabs typically yield brown shoes. Maybe beige. But what if those New Balance sneakers weren’t just the color of mud, but they could actually protect from it? Oh, JJJJound, you done did it again!

It’s actually rather surprising that it’s taken JJJJound this long to devise GORE-TEX-lined New Balance shoes but hey, better late than never. It’s just that you’d think that the Montreal-based studio would deem it necessary to create collaborative sneakers able to fend off inclement weather.

First-look imagery at the JJJJound x New Balance 2002 may not even make it clear that the shoes come with GORE-TEX lining but if you look closely at the blurred image, you can see the recognizable GORE-TEX tag on the right-hand side.

There you have it: irrefutable evidence that JJJJound may or may not be dropping a GORE-TEX New Balance. Now, there’s no other evidence to suggest that the shoe is real — no release date or confirmation from JJJJound or New Balance, of course — but it definitely is neutral-colored enough to be a JJJJound NB sneaker, what with its ordinary-looking brown and black colorway.

Certainly, it’s a more appealing makeup than the grey 2002 sneakers that JJJJound and New Balance dropped in October. The most surprising thing here, really, is that JJJJound might be dropping yet another New Balance 2002 mere months after dishing its first take on the 13-year-old sneaker.

It’s actually quite uncommon that JJJJound would repeat a collaborative sneaker: of the many JJJJound New Balances out there, for instance, only a handful of models have been repeated.

Like, out of JJJJound’s many NB 990s, the only repeats is the 990v3, which was offered in two typically brown or beige sneaker colorways. Otherwise, JJJJound’s NB 992 is really the only other doubled-up NB.

Not that the streets are lacking in collaborative JJJJound sneakers. This year alone has granted safe shoe obsessives access to JJJJound-ified Salomon shoes, Vans skaters, nubuck Reebok Classics, and what is probably the most normal Crocs partnership of all time.

But that’s the JJJJound difference: there’s hardly any difference at all!

So, the fact that JJJJound is actually blessing its next New Balance 2002 shoes with GORE-TEX is actually a big step forward.

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