New Balance 990

  • About

    As a traditional American company, New Balance can now look back on well over 100 years of company history. During this time, several silhouettes have been created that have since achieved cult status. In the recent past, one silhouette in particular has become the focus of attention: the New Balance 990. The first 990 was released back in 1982 through a challenge between New Balance CEO Jim Davis and the development team at the time. The task Davis set his team back then was to create the most innovative running shoe on the market. After two years of development and testing, New Balance launched the first version of the now legendary New Balance 990. At the time, this shoe was the world's first athletic shoe to break the magical 100$ price barrier, but this in no way detracted from its success. Within the first few months of the new silhouette's release, New Balance had already produced over 50,000 pairs. A very respectable number for the time. The 990 combined all the essential features a good running shoe needed: optimal cushioning, flexibility while running and high wearing comfort. The foundation for a legend was laid. It wasn't until 1998 that the New Balance 990v2 followed, with a look and feel very reminiscent of today's versions. On the v2, the distinctive two suede stripes on the toe box came into play for the first time - a key design element that is still used on all current 990 models today. The New Balance 990v3 followed in 2012, and while the technology of the running shoe didn't change much, the design was updated to reflect the times. More mesh was used to make the shoe a bit more breathable and overall the silhouette was given a more modern twist. In 2016, New Balance continued the 990 series with the v4. By this point, at the latest, the silhouette had finally hit the mainstream. With the v4, New Balance managed to make the 990 accessible to a broad mass. As the "father of the dad shoe trend", the New Balance 990v4 could be seen on the streets and catwalks of the hippest cities around the world in the following years. Then in 2019, the 990 got its next update in the form of the New Balance 990v5. The v5 also speaks completely unmistakably the progressive design language of the 990 range, but got a few updates compared to its predecessor. The sole received a slightly more minimalist and modern look and the panelling of mesh and suede elements was slightly reworked. Even in the current v5, you can feel New Balance's heritage spirit in every single seam. The now legendary 990 series clearly shows that you can always reinvent a single sneaker model and adapt it to current trends without forgetting its roots.