Brand: United Arrows x New Balance

Model: 550 "Ecru Grey"

Release Date: December 25 (original release December 3)

Price: TBC

Buy: Online at United Arrows

Editor's Notes: With the year's end just days away (where it went, I don't know), the debate is rife concerning the best and worst sneakers and collaborations of the year.

New Balance's efforts this year have drawn particular praise, as it delivered one of the strongest string of collaborations that the sneaker industry had or has had to offer in a long time.

There were plenty of 990x options, ranging from Todd Snyder to Stray Rats and Aimé Leon Dore; Casablanca made the 327 a popular choice, and the 2002R (which took the top spot in our Footwear Editor, Fabian Gorsler's Best of 2021 list) stole the spotlight on several occasions.

There's no denying the crazy popularity of the 550 this year, which served as somewhat of a counter-balance to Nike's Dunk Low mania.

Even though the 550 was perfected through general releases, ALD and AURALEE delivered some of New Balance's strongest colorways of the year via the silhouette.

At first glance, the colorway isn't too dissimilar from AURALEE's version; both feature a muted, fabrication-focused construction, yet United Arrows' take feels more premium.

This can be attested to the "Ecru Grey" suede that fills the upper, subtly contrasted by touches of white and grey for a finish that says a lot without doing a lot.

Calling these the best 550 of 2021 may be a stretch, but they're definitely worth including in the conversation.

​​To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, check out the best sneakers to add to your rotation this week, follow @highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, and sign up to our newsletter for early access to the best drops sent straight to your inbox.

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    These ASICS GEL-Kayano 14s Are Just Too Icy

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Lanvin's New Bag Looks Real Familiar...

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    The Final Drop of the SUPERGUCCI Collection Is Here

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Highsnobiety's HighPride & MOTHER.LOADING's Berlin Pride Celebration Was One for the Books

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    For Rihanna & A$AP Rocky, Couple Dressing Is A Walk in the Park

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    From Donald Glover to DiCaprio, Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' Party Brought the Stars Out

*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.