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New Balance turned the 550 into the new Dunk

And it's not good news

New Balance turned the 550 into the new Dunk And it's not good news

Released for the first time in 1989, in recent years the New Balance 550 have become the hit sneaker of the American brand, managing to overcome the boundaries of the circle of fans to land in the shoe cupboards of a large and diverse group of buyers. Accomplice to the success of the collaboration with Aimé Leon Dore in 2020, the minimal and versatile silhouette has allowed the New Balance 550 to resume in many ways the path taken by Nike with the Dunk, passed from a shoe linked to basketball and the skate world, to one of the most popular sneakers of recent years. Dozens of colors, continuous restock and a growing demand are just some of the ingredients of this success, one that has given New Balance its flagship model that today, as often happens in these cases, can count on a hashtag from over 47 million views on TikTok, while only a few days ago Teddy Santis announced the arrival of a new colorway in the collabo between New Balance and ALD.

As with the Dunk, however, the success of the 550, leads us to wonder to what extent a brand can "squeeze" a sneaker, but especially if this process can not become, over time, almost counterproductive to the success of the shoe itself. Apart from the fascination dictated by the moment, a part of the fortunes of a sneaker is also linked to its availability that, as years of sneaker culture have taught us, is linked to the strange relationship whereby the lower the offer for a sneaker, the higher the demand. It was this formula to give, in the first instance, the success of the New Balance 550, which in the wake of the success of the collabo with Aimé Leon Dore and with resell prices skyrocketing, has led a slice of fans to rediscover the original silhouette thus giving the brand the opportunity to use this second youth as a springboard to transform the 550 in their flagship sneaker.

@squiintv Reply to @user0976562450 #greenscreen #fyp #viral #streetwear #nicekicks #sneakers #sneakerhead #newbalance #newbalance550 #550 #youtube A work of art by s_johnson_voiceovers - Stefan Johnson

If, however, the success of the Vans Old Skool or Chuck 70 by Converse has taught us something, it is that a sneaker to become "eternal" must first be recognizable. Despite the hundreds of versions born over the years, both the Old Skool and the Chuck 70 are linked to their original versions that, as well as the Air Force 1 by Nike or the Samba by adidas in their original versions, have remained unchanged over time, remaining always recognizable in a market like that of sneakers full of drop and news. New Balance, on the other hand, in an attempt to satisfy the largest possible segment of the public, risks delegitimizing its silhouette, transforming it, without wanting to offend anyone, into yet another "normie" sneaker.