This article was published on March 9 and updated on March 14, 2022
Brand: New Balance
Model: 2002R "Protection Pack"
Release Date: April 2022
Editor's Notes: New Balance's 2002 "Refined Future" Pack, more widely known as the "Protection Pack," is set to receive a two-piece sequel injected with color.
Last year, New Balance made some serious waves. Thanks to Teddy Santis' appointment as Creative Director, the brand was catapulted to the top spot of the sneaker industry.
Aimé Leon Dore's founder injected new life into the brand's classics, making the 550 the new Air Force 1, and ushered in a new era of collaborations that has so far included everyone from WTAPS to The Basement, ALD, and returning partners like Todd Snyder and JJJJound.
Perhaps its biggest release of 2021, and arguably one of the industry's best of the year, was the 2002R "Refined Future" or "Protection Pack."
Affording the 2002R some well-deserved time in the spotlight ahead of the 990, the three-heavy pack was met with huge success – basically, it sold out fast.
For those that missed out on the monochromatic pack last year, fret not, New Balance has heard your cries, and a six-piece sequel is on the way.
This time around, the desaturated palette of greys and off-whites has been switched out for a seasonal dose of color that includes "Steel Blue," "Vintage Orange," "Dark Navy," pink, and purple, alongside a pre-distressed white iteration.
Each colorway maintain the "wearable relic" aesthetic that ensured the pack's success. For those seeking a darker-toned palette, the "Dark Navy" pair is perfect thanks to its deep-hued overlays, lighter blue mesh base, and dark grey branding.
This wash of blues is balanced out by the rusty green tones of its "Steel Blue" counterpart, which is a pair consolation prize for those that missed out on the JJJJound 990v3.
Following the initial tease of the blue and khaki pairs, official images of all six pairs have arrived, courtesy of New Balance. The two-toned aesthetic that appears across a majority of the pack has been best applied to the pack's two pastel options, the first of which matches dark purple suede underlays with paler lilac overlays, while the second pairs dark and light pink hues with the same blocking. Both pairs are perfectly contrasted by vintage white, grey, and purple/pink across the sole.
The boldest pair of the six comes in the way of a "Vintage Orange" which comes wrapped in a deep shade of orange, complemented by lighter shades and touches of white throughout. Wrapping up the selection is a blank white slate that is pre-distressed, taking on an aesthetic right out of Balenciaga's sneaker design handbook.
Despite the release of official images, it looks like the release of the full selection could be staggered, or come as two sets of three (following the same strategy as the original pack) – stay tuned for further updates.
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