When New Balance brought its 2002r model back from its archive, it was a pretty instant hit with high-profile collabs and popular colorways; but when the American brand started layering panels of ripped-up mesh on the upper, it really started flying off the shelves.

The brainchild of designer Yue Wu, the first “refined future” collection to feature this unconventional design sold out immediately and got the nickname “protection pack”. This was followed up by more colorways and the 1906, one of New Balance’s most popular models of late, also getting the protection pack treatment.

As the market’s gotten more saturated with protection pack models, it’s fair to say that sell-out times and IG hype have diminished, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still bang — and the latest colorways prove that.

Adopting monotone finishes on the upper, the current crop of protection pack 2002r’s are available in staple colorways: navy blue, black, slate grey, and a neutral-hued “driftwood”.


The latest iterations are reminiscent of the early batch of refined future drops that got the hype started but, with there being less contrast between the mesh underlays and ripped-up suede, these have a cleaner finish.

Regardless of whether you’re getting tired of seeing them or continue to be surprised by the beauty of the protection pack, New Balance isn’t slowing down with new options and the latest are available to shop down below.

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