New Balance’s classic 610 sneaker is too good to fail. You can splash cow print on this thing and only make it look that much better, as New Balance designer Yue Wu has handily demonstrated with this farmyard-fresh pair of 610 shoes.

Wu revealed these New Balances over the first weekend of November, demonstrating that the 610’s innate appeal transcends colorways and sneaker conventions. You can’t say that for every shoe: try putting cow print on, say, an ordinary 574 and see what happens.

I mean, it won’t be bad, or anything, it’s just that New Balance’s most basic sneaker can’t hold a candle to far-tastier 610 shoe, made only tastier by an outré pattern. Cowabunga, as the kids say.

You can do a lot to the 610 without stripping away its desirability. The shoe don’t need no stinkin’ laces, that’s for sure, or even a big-name collaborator, though that certainly doesn’t hurt.

Patterned and printed New Balances are rare enough as is, though, so you can tell that the sportswear label wants to be sparing with its graphic accents. But a straight-up cow-printed NB sneaker? Unheard of.

Until November 17, finally, when the cow-printed 610 hits New Balance’s website for $140.

New Balance's 610 shoe in a cow print patternNew Balance, Press
New Balance's 610 shoe in a cow print patternNew Balance, Press
New Balance's 610 shoe in a cow print patternNew Balance, Press

Cow prints. They aren’t just for, uh, cows these days. Streetwear brands have dabbled in the pattern here and there but there has yet to be a widespread embrace in the vein of camouflage or checkerboards, even among sportswear brands like New Balance. Snakeskin patterns are more en vogue, by comparison.

But you can find cow embracers here and there, much to Chick Fil A’s pleasure.

NOAH recently dipped a toe into cow-infested waters. Stüssy has dabbled in the art of cow. Dr. Martens offers some cowtastic boots.

Again, though, New Balance doesn’t do cow print. It doesn’t really do anything print.

Happy to see some newness, though. If Wu ushers in a new era of indulgent patterns, I heartily welcome it. Look, technical upgrades, functional sneaker improvements, and even experimentation with conventional materials like suede — which, itself, is sometimes cow leather — are all welcome.

But let’s get some funkier pattern play happening in the sneaker biz. We’ve got all the appreciably understated colorways you could ever want. Nowadays, the more vivacious the sneaker, the better. Make something memorable!

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