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Another day, another first look at a new Aimé Leon Dore New Balance. Let's put the 550s in the rearview and focus instead on an underrated New Balance gem that's finally getting its time in the limelight.
NB's Rainier Boot isn't even really a sneaker. Or, if it is, it's a sneaker boot at most. But that's okay. With the Aimé Leon Dore touch, it'll sell out as quickly as any basketball silhouette or running shoe would.
Note that Aimé Leon Dore hasn't confirmed the New Balance Rainier Boot as its next collaborative model, we've just been getting first looks at the shoe from menswear #influencer types who've been receiving their early pairs in the mail.
Fitted with GORE-TEX lining, rip-proof Cordura paneling, and a grippy Vibram sole, Aimé Leon Dore's latest New Balance collab is truly meant for the trails.
Previous ALD NB team-ups really don't explore the technical side of New Balance's design ethos, leaning much harder into the acts of running or lounging around Lower Manhattan.
The Rainier Boot, meanwhile, is truly a functional piece of footwear, albeit one that's pretty retro in design.
Aimé Leon Dore did, admittedly, showcase its New Balance 990v2 sneakers in outdoorsy campaign imagery, but the Rainier boot is ALD's first proper step into utilitarian New Balances.
It's not even a big reach for the brand either: As part of its Leon Dore vintage collection, ALD recently sold off pairs of vintage New Balance 615 sneakers and Rainier hiking boots, illustrating that the old-school trek shoes are very much part of its design inspiration.
It ought to go without saying that Aimé Leon Dore, which always plays its cards close to its chest, hasn't confirmed anything official for the New Balance Rainer Boot collab but all will surely be revealed in due time.
At least those shoes are basically confirmed, unlike the suede ALD x NB 550 sneakers that've leaked elsewhere online.