Brand: Sneakersnstuff x New Balance

Model: 2002R

Release Date: September 17, 22

Price: $140

Buy: SNS Café Tokyo (September 17) & (September 22)

When New Balance turned its 2002R into a mule earlier this year, I don't think anyone saw it coming.

Sure, it's no secret that the rise of cozy footwear had been in fifth gear for a number of years following COVID, but you’d have been a brave man to lay money on New Balance chopping up one of its most popular silhouettes and throwing a slip-on into the ring.

Well, they did. And they're great, irrespective of what Highsnobiety writer Sam Cole said at the time when he begged NB to not make chopping shoes in half and calling them mules a thing.

It turns out I wasn’t the only one keen to ride New Balance's mule train. Following an initial release in April that saw the 2002R mule debuted in “Mindful Grey,” such was the silhouette’s success it re-released a few months later in a myriad of colorways, including a recent collaboration with Bryant Giles.

For its latest release, NB is keeping the collaboration train rolling by teaming up with Sneakersnstuff to drop a “Homegoods” collection, an offering that sees the return of the 2002R mule in a green colorway not too dissimilar from its JJJJound collab.

Set to arrive alongside an array of items crafted in Japan by Kobayashi Kouichi, Blackboots Ceramics, APFR, and Ikki Kobayashi, “Homegoods” is expected to land at SNS Café Tokyo on September 17th, followed by a global release five days later.

For me, the silhouette shouldn’t work. Chop any other daily sneaker in half and call it a mule and you’d be laughed right out of Bodega, yet when it comes to the 2002R there’s something that really gets the blood flowing – plus they’re great to wear taking the bins out, which is a bonus to say the least.

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