Usually, when we look back at a year of sneaker releases, the ones that stand out are collaborations. This year, the luxury-sportswear crossover ruled the roost with multiple showings from the sportswear giants and leading luxury labels joining forces. But cutting against the grain, and standing out above all else because of it, was the New Balance 1906.
This retro silhouette was the burgeoning force in the landscape of 2022 sneaker releases. Gaining momentum in the summer with the announcement of the New Balance x thisisneverthat 1906R, the silhouette broke into all-out domination of headlines over the following months as more and more general-release colorways graced our newsfeeds.
Originally hitting shelves in 2009, the New Balance 1906 settled perfectly into the ever-growing trend for normcore-leaning runners in 2022. In this way, 2022 set the perfect framework for the mindblowing resurrection that we saw. Leaning into the desire for Y2K visuals, the New Balance 1906 landed in simple, athletic-style colorways often built on a slightly off-white sole unit. And boy, did we go mad for them.
We’re currently in the epicenter of the 1906 boom, with new colorways dropping on a seemingly weekly basis. From hard-wearing Cordura iterations to collabs and classic GR colorways, the 1906 is yet to show us something it can’t do well.
The stage is set for the New Balance 1906 to have a 2023 to remember — as if 2022 wasn’t good enough. Below, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite colorways to either start or build out your 1906 rotation before the market hits new levels.
Shop the best New Balance 1906R colorways below.
Sea Salt / Eclipse / True Red
In keeping with the silhouette itself, this three-tone colorway makes the most of the retro credentials. The majority-white upper is highlighted by Eclipse trims and flashes of True Red to the sole unit.
Black / Taos Taupe / Magnet
Simplicity is the name of the game for this version of the New Balance 1906. The black upper features tonal black stitching, all atop a yellowed ACTEVA LITE sole unit.
This colorway really proves the power of a general release. While collabs have the power to swap out materials and adjust the build, this GR drop upped the levels with a True Red & White upper and gum outsole. The final product is eye-catching yet super clean.
Metallic Silver / Metallic Gold
One of the earliest New Balance 1906 general-release colorways, this Metallic Silver & Metallic Gold number has been a lynchpin of the shoe's success.
Grey / Indigo
New Balance x Akio Hasegawa
Two archetypal New Balance colors come together to make this pair a serious blast from the past.
Atmos Tokyo Dimension
Atmos Tokyo Dimension 1906R
Atmos has a penchant for chaotic sneaker design. Contrasting textures and hues define this pair which features a speckled midsole, printed leather trims to the upper, and hits of purple to underline the sole unit.
Protection Pack — Harbor Gray
1906D Protection Pack
New Balance continues to roll out its ragged Protection Pack to its favorite silhouettes & we fans can't get enough of it. This Harbor Gray version boasts the inimitable jagged-edged suede upper.
Arguably the best-received New Balance 1906 collaboration thus far has been the thisisneverthat "The 2022 Downtown Run" release. Landing with faded trims and distressed mesh uppers, it was divisive, but those who liked it loved it.
N.Hoolywood x INVINCIBLE
N.Hoolywood x INVINCIBLE 1906R
N. Hoolywood's take on the 1906 dropped back in May 2022 and didn't cause as much of a stir as we thought it would. perhaps that was down to the fact that the 1906's resurrection was still in its relative infancy back then. Whatever the reason, it means that breaking out a pair of these is the ideal way to flex your 2023-rotation muscles.
The Cordura iterations of the 1906 landed in tonal, grayscale hues, which made them some of the most versatile versions of the silhouette we've seen yet.