When shopping for clothes and shoes, we’re constantly deciding between aesthetics and functionality. Occasionally, we stumble upon the holy grail of apparel that leaves us both comfy and stylish – but more often, our buying choices lean heavily in one direction. Some companies have also started boasting sustainably and responsibly-sourced materials, an important consideration to be sure, but one that leaves us with yet another checkbox to tick when trying to buy one stinkin’ pair of shoes (why is it so complicated? When I was a kid, I swear – there were like, 3 pairs of shoes).
On May 1, New Balance, the OG dad shoe, unleashed a pair of kicks that ticked all three of the all-important shoe boxes. Comfy, check. Responsibly sourced, completely. In fact, New Balance’s MADE Responsibly 998 model uses surplus and new materials to craft some pretty dang unique pairs of shoes. Because New Balance pulls whatever extra materials they have on hand, no two pairs of these Earth-saving kicks are exactly the same.
Remember Frankenkenstein’s monster? You know, the dude that some mad scientist built by stitching together pieces of whatever dismembered corpses were available? That’s basically how New Balance created their MADE Responsibly 998s, minus the corpses and the destruction. These shoes look like cool remixes of New Balance’s existing styles, pulling leftover materials together to create a brand new shoe entirely.
“New Balance remains committed to high-quality craftsmanship and making every piece of material count,” said John Timulty, Product Manager, MADE Footwear at New Balance. “Our designers created a color palette that is both creative and aesthetically pleasing, which resulted in a MADE Responsibly 998 style that is truly one-of-a-kind.”
New Balance only released about 2,700 pairs of the $180 MADEs, and despite the fact that some of them look like they walked into a JOANN Fabrics and asked the clerk to just fuck ‘em up, the one-of-a-kind sneakers sold out almost immediately. Hopefully, the success of the limited edition kicks means that more frankenshoes await us in the very near future.