New Balance

After announcing the collection earlier this year, New Balance's deliciously leather-wrapped 2002R sneaker pack is finally here. The star of the show is a MR2002 shoe realized in all-red leather with an aged, yellowing sole, a really nice-looking sneaker.

The white and all-black 2002R sneakers surfaced at stockists already but now it's the red shoe's time to shine. And shine it does.

This first release of New Balance's M2002 RIE “Leather Pack” delivers a mixed leather and mesh upper in a bright, Crayola-level red shade. A wildly sumptuous look for a quintessential dad shoe typically realized in technical mesh and rubber.

One New Balance critic even wrote on Instagram that it was “finally” a “decent red 2002r” so if you’ve been thrown off by the burgundy-ish drops of late, this might be your sneaker.

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NB's logo on the side is a bright white with some grey details and then oddly, the sole is what the sneaker brand calls eggshell, but you could very easily mistake it for a well-worn, yellowing sole. 

Even though the New Balance Leather Pack models look like someone tried to clean the rubber sole with the wrong solution, they are a pretty sexy iteration of the OG sneaker, especially in red.

The black and white versions are similar in every other aspect, though lack some of the pizazz of this bright, updated red. 

New Balance released some of its other classic shoes last year with leather touches, with more to come for the upcoming season, and the mixed materials never fail to dress up its delightfully casual dad shoes in very good ways.

Consider the suede loafer that transforms New Balance's otherwise tech-y semi-sneaker into a grandpa shoe, or the weirdly strappy 8040 shoe that's all leather, no mesh.

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Seriously, given all of these texturally wild New Balance drops of late, leather just might be its secret weapon for 2024.

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