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This article was published on October 6, 2022 and updated on December 5, 2022

We love AURALEE, we love New Balance, and we love an AURALEE New Balance. The Japanese clothing brand is much more than a pair of collaborative sneakers, of course, but overseas admirers are probably converted to the good word of AURALEE moreso by its NB shoes than its exquisite garments so they certainly serve a purpose. Plus, they always look amazing.

AURALEE's latest New Balance team-up is no exception. This time, AURALEE founder Ryota Iwai and his team devised a set of pastel and earth-toned XC72 sneakers in leather, nubuck, and suede atop a partially recycled rubber outsole.

Note that the XC72 variants, which debuted during AURALEE's Fall/Winter 2022 runway show, have had two separate release dates (more on that later).

Especially for a shoe so heavily indebted to retro runners, mixing together textural leathers is such a great idea. The end result isn't just handsome but an intelligent balance between the XC72's old-school ethos and contemporary design, unlocking the true potential of the relatively underrated New Balance silhouette. The 550 can't hog the spotlight forever

These New Balances are also a reflection of the thoughtful craft that informs AURALEE's mainline apparel collections: nothing bearing the AURALEE branding is ever carelessly churned out and that includes its New Balances shoes past and present.

"Our ultimate goal has always been to create clothing for real people to cherish and wear," Iwai told Highsnobiety earlier this year.

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"The New Balance collaborations have been a channel for us to introduce and share our work and essence to an even wider audience, to people and communities who may not otherwise even know we are."

As such, AURALEE's NB collabs are a great gateway into the Japanese brand's clothing, which ranges from comfy overdyed hoodies and fluffy kid mohair cardigans to onion-dyed denim jeans and jersey-lined technical anoraks. Pretty advanced, but all very wearable.

AURALEE's first run of New Balance XC72 sneakers dropped October 13 for 19,800 (about $135) via AURALEE's web store, Dover Street Market Ginza, and the T-HOUSE New Balance concept shop; the latter two outlets will release the second collaborative XC72 colorways on December 9.

Expect a limited international release by select partners like SSENSE, in line with AURALEE's instant-sell-out New Balance 2002r.

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