Classic then, classic now.
It’s the motto behind New Balance and STAUD’s longstanding partnership, which began in 2019 and has been flying off shelves ever since. The duo’s sneakers — including the 327, 574, and 57/40 models — effortlessly combine New Balance’s heritage with STAUD’s modern touch, resulting in kicks that are well, classic then and classic now.
The two brand’s newest collaboration “embodies the perfect union between two brands, proving that great style is an evolution, not a revolution,” said Sarah Staudinger, STAUD co-founder and creative director, in a press release. Designed to celebrate New Balance’s classics, the capsule features a heritage-inspired take on the 574 alongside a modern revamp of the 57/40 sneaker.
Both shoes accent their gray uppers with primary colors, referencing ‘80s workout videos with bright blue, green, yellow, and red shades. Accompanying apparel takes on the same hues — although an equally retro campaign suggests you can wear the sneakers with scrunchies and leotards, too.
Amongst the sea of colors and vintage graphics, STAUD’s rework of the New Balance 57/40 shoe is especially enticing. For the first time ever, the sneaker boasts translucent panels at the forefoot, allowing wearers to make their socks a staple look. A chunky, curvy sole unit bolsters the 57/40’s vintage design, and a myriad of lace colors — each matching one of the primary shades on the shoe — means the sneaker is the most customizable of the collaborative offerings.
Tried and true
Dismissing fall’s usual orange and brown palette, STAUD and New Balance’s latest collaboration encourages people to add a little (or a lot of) color into their everyday life. The 57/40 can reflect someone’s favorite shades with matching blue, green, yellow, black, and red laces, or show off their wearer’s funkiest socks. Please, I beg, do not wear the sneakers sans socks, as demonstrated on the STAUD website.
Styling the 57/40 was a bit more difficult than I expected, thanks to its translucent panels. It didn’t feel — or frankly, look — right to wear the sneakers with plain old white socks, but adding a colorful pattern made the look too much. Out of the box, the kicks seemed to match anything, but on feet, they became a little harder to handle.
A tale of trial-and-error.
After trying out some bolder patterns, I settled on a pair of gray polka-dot socks, which replicated some of the colors seen in the shoe. They mismatched the sneakers in just the right way, contrasting the chunky white sole unit and matching the blue and red shades in the upper. A black pair of socks offered a similar look, enhancing the colorful accents a bit more, but I preferred the gray look.
Let’s get weird
The range of big names who've worn previous Staud and New Balance collaborations — like Larry David and Timothée Chalamet — speak to its versatility, and the 57/40 is no exception. Combining traditional details, like a suede heel tab, alongside more modern features, like its translucent forefoot panels, means the shoe won’t go out of style anytime soon. How could it, if its style reflects both now and then?
New Balance and STAUD’s rainbow shoe is the best of both brands, but brighter. Based on the original 574 model, the 57/40 sneaker exaggerates its features much like chunky running shoes of the ‘80s. Its stacked sole unit and mudguard combines wavy and flared out shapes, making for an eye-catching (and comfortable) base. A more traditional textured gum outsole rounds out the look.
The running silhouette is actually engineered for the gym — ”combining functionality with modern details,” Staudinger reassured in a press release. A modified tread pattern outsole, as well as New Balance’s notorious padded insole, helps your foot grip onto every step you take; an important factor if you’ll be wearing these kicks to the gym (or simply flaunting your new sneakers).
Walking around in the 57/40 was a less sweaty experience than I anticipated. Haunted by memories of jelly shoes and translucent slippers, I expected my feet to be sliding around in the sneakers about 10 minutes into wearing them. With a textured fabric covering the frosty panels, however, my feet stayed put — and there was no fogging in the sneakers, either.
As fashionable as it is functional, the ‘80s-esque sneaker boasts a simple design that makes it easy to love. While it fits right into trending vintage styles, the colorful shoe transcends trends, somewhat justifying its $150 retail price. Just consider the sneaker an alternative to go-to shoes like the Air Force 1 or Samba — trust, you’ll get more compliments, and unique fits, out of these kicks.
Unlike past STAUD x New Balance collaborations, the 57/40 sneaker is still available weeks after its release. Extensive sizing, ranging from a men’s 4 to a men’s 16, can be found on both STAUD and New Balance’s websites.
Effortlessly cool, the translucent 57/40 is a shoe you’ll want to wear everyday, granted your accompanying socks are clean. Its interchangeable laces and translucent details are enough to keep you from getting bored with the sneaker, and with winter around the corner, you’ll want a colorful style in your rotation.