As the popularity (and irony) of expensive pre-worn sneakers grows, streetwear boutique Extra Butter has teamed up with New Balance to create a pack of 2002R sneakers complete with distressed panels and eroded details. Inspired by the early ‘00s, the shoes look as if they’ve been worn since the 2002R was introduced in 2010 — or perhaps, since its original counterpart debuted in 2002.
Composed of three neutral colorways, the designs were crafted by New Balance designer Yue Wu, who suggested a different take on the shoe’s Y2K influence. While many revamped ‘00s trends celebrate youthful celebrity aesthetics, Wu wanted to highlight the era’s age, creating the illusion that these 2002R pairs were “trapped in time.”
A sneaker time capsule — Hairy suedes and leather overlays, ripped up to reveal underlying mesh panels, help get Wu’s point across. Arriving in three color schemes — a monochromatic black, a white with colorful details, and a dark gray — the shoes continue their time capsule theme with yellowed sole units and retro New Balance “N” branding. An updated NERGY cushioning system rounds out the trio, offering more support than the original 2002 model.
Ironically named the “Protection Pack,” the three disheveled sneakers will likely sell out, joining other exclusive yet eroded models. While clout today revolves around owning limited, hard-to-get items, adding a destroyed look to such products only increases hype — there seems to be nothing more effortless than paying top dollar for already distressed sneakers. Extra Butter and New Balance’s 2002R models, for example, cost $150 each despite their beat-up appearance.
Refining Y2K — To lean less into the aged look and more into actual Y2K styles, Extra Butter has prepared its own “Refined Future” apparel capsule. Three T-shirts bearing the boutique’s name feature chrome and code-like details to nod to the early ‘00s internet, while a trucker hat and crew socks call back to the era’s popular styles. A limited-edition Y2K mixtape will also be offered to customers who shop the apparel, with tracks produced by Extra Butter and mixed by Darling Chuck.
The retro-inspired apparel, as well as the New Balance 2002R “Protection Pack,” is slated to drop early on a first-come-first-serve basis on August 13 at Extra Butter retail locations. A more accessible release happens on August 14, when the capsule launches on Extra Butter’s website ahead of New Balance’s global August 20 release. So, in total, you’ve got three chances to cop the distressed yet fresh sneakers.