New Balance’s WRPD Runner shares the same DNA as a number of sneakers on the Boston brand’s current footwear rotation. Yet at the same time, it’s also completely different to anything we’ve seen from New Balance before. Go figure!

When the bulbous WRPD Runner first graced our social feeds during an unexpected Paris Fashion Week debut as a part of Auralee’s FW24 presentation, the shoe had the sneaker community talking.

Sure, it has all the characteristics of a New Balance shoe, but the finished result — with its clean lines, minimalist branding, and voluminous YEEZY-like midsole — was the antithesis of NB.

Following the WRPD Runner’s eventual “Sea Salt” release one month later, New Balance dropped the wavy sneaker in a slew of new colorways. Last week it also finally released the two-piece Auralee WRPD Runner collaboration that started this whole affair.

Of all its WRPD Runner iterations so far, though, of which there have been many, New Balance’s latest “Licorice” colorway is by far and away its best-looking — and not just because it’s the first shoe good-looking enough to make me feel physically hungry.

Does it make me peckish because it’s akin to Barratt’s Fruit Salad Chews? Perhaps. Or is it because the concoction of pinks, oranges, and yellows work so seamlessly together? Certainly seems more likely.

After a quiet start to life as a New Balance sneaker, NB's pretty in pink WRPD Runner, which is available at Highsnobiety for $200, is the beginning of a new era for the silhouette, one that's likely to see it become a lot my hyped in 2024.

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