Brand: WTAPS x New Balance

Model: 990v6

Release Date: September 1, 2023

Price: ¥44,000 (about $300)

Buy: WTAPS' web store (raffle)

Even if WTAPS and New Balance never collaborated again, the duo would still be GOATed for their glorious tonal 992 sneaker, a true masterpiece that balances texture and silhouette into a painfully perfect shoe.

But WTAPS and New Balance aren't a one-trick pony: they're back with a sequel to their underrated all-grey 990v2, this time dropping a collaborative greyed-out 990v6, marking WTAPS' first stab at New Balance's latest and chunkiest 990 update.

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First revealed by sneaker leakers in mid-August 2023, the WTAPS x New Balance 990v6 is, yes, very grey. But the main feature isn't the color this time.

Instead, WTAPS has decided to emphasize the fact that its 990v6 sneaker is made in America, and we mean really emphasize it.

WTAPS has removed the typical 990v6 branding that normally appears towards the heel. replacing it with a giant, all-caps "USA." Subtlety has never been WTAPS' thing — this is the brand that initially became famous in the '90s for remaking field jackets and military fatigues, remember.

On the rear, "WTAPS" is printed in a comparatively bashful tiny size, along with another reminder that this shoe is indeed USA-made.

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Props to WTAPS for preferring to minimize its co-branding, perhaps, but strange that the main takeaway from this New Balance collab is "USA."

Perhaps this very patriotic NB shoe was meant to drop closer to America's independence day on July 4? It'd have benefitted from a red, white, and blue colorway in that case.

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