Brand: New Balance

Model: 2002R “Toasty”

Price: $150

Editor’s Notes: The New Balance 2002R quickly made a name for itself, following a strong introduction as a Salehe Bembury collab and the coveted 2021 “Protection Pack.”

As a fan, the New Balance model — which borrows its design from early 2000s runners, hence the name 2002R — doesn’t miss when it comes to consistently good colorways, from SSENSE spins to apocalypse-ready takes.

The New Balance 2002R “Toast” maintains the model and brand’s legacy of tasteful color schemes, surfacing in a clean look complete with Toast, Tawny Birch, and Apricot Illusion hues.

Coming together on the leather and suede upper, the warm shades give off an almost-monochromatic look akin to bread fresh out of the toaster — not too burnt and not too light, but just the perfect amount of crispy.

The shoe’s colorway also instantly reminded me of Japanese brand Hender Scheme’s tonal aesthetic, as seen on its un-Nike Air Force 1s and not-so-Air Maxes.

“The Intelligent Choice” graces the insole of the latest 2002R with a shimmering finish, while NB branding surfaces elsewhere. And lastly, 2002R signatures like the N-ERGY midsole and rubber outsole rounds off the toasty iteration.

As you can see, there ain’t much to this 2002R, and that’s quite okay. After all, it’s New Balance we’re talking about here — simple flexes are undoubtedly where the Boston-based footwear label thrives.

The New Balance “Toast” sneakers are expected to arrive soon to keep you cozy — well, based on the style-focused definition of the word, at least — during the cooler months. With a colorway this good, I wonder if New Balance will slash the heel off and add it to the next round of mules.

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