New Balance is behind the trendiest dad trainer around, the 990, but the 550 is fast gaining on it in terms of popularity. The low-top basketball shoe is a revived ’80s-era style from the NB archive, which was catapulted into the limelight by a collab with Aimé Leon Dore founder Teddy Santis, and has remained a firm favorite among celebrities ever since.
The New York-based design legend reworked the retro shape – retaining the premium leather silhouette and non-invasive branding – much to the delight of sneakerheads, who were quick to snap up the reimagined style. (He’s collaborated on 997, 990, 827, 1300, 650R and 993 sneaker shapes, too.) In keeping with the peerlessly cool ALD identity, he chose collegiate colorways for his take on the 550: preppy cream styles with dark red, forest green, navy, and grey accents, and a yellowed, vintage-look sole.
Bella Hadid, Rihanna, Hailey and Justin Bieber, Emily Ratajkowski, Laura Harrier, and Kendall Jenner were among the first in line to buy the sell-out sneakers, which routinely fetch upwards of $100 on resale sites.
Next New Balance tapped Rich Paul, the celebrated sports agent (and Adele’s other half), who joined forces with the brand on a new 550 in 2021. Like Santis, Paul’s 550 was another understated hit: his design came with a cream upper and buttermilk, sky-blue, and navy details.
The carefully considered tie-ups have boosted the appeal of the New Balance 550. The brand also has its own versions of the cult sneaker and has now announced the release of new colorways available at its own e-commerce site and selected retailers.