Like it or not, New Balance isn’t jumping off the mule train anytime soon. In fact, the reigning sneaker label is cooking up more and more backless kicks as we speak.
On October 14, New Balance shoe designer Yue Wu gave us a sneak peek at the 2002R mule sneakers going through the “development process,” as he called it in an Instagram post.
In the post, the New Balance 2002R – a 2002R with its heel and laces missing in action – appears in fuchsia, rust, and light and dark gray color combinations.
It’s also worth pointing out that two of the NBs featured toggled laces, insisting that upcoming pairs will offer a hassle-free lace setup without compromising the ease of the silhouette.
Aside from a few new color combinations and lace additions, the 2002R mule still retains the same suede upper, immense comfort of the 2002R, and slip-on design that won fans over (and enticed haters).
Appearing in April, the New Balance mule – coined “Mule Balance” by Tora Northman, head of TikTok at Highsnobiety – has proven to be a real deal despite many thinking it was a fish prank. april.
I mean, McDonald’s had a lot of its followers (and me) believing that Spicy Sprite was happening (unfortunately, those were just jokes).
Nonetheless, it was just about seeing the popular 2002R sneaker with the cut-away heel that made New Balance look like it was pulling our leg (but it wasn’t).
Over the summer, the 2002R mule received its first collaborative spin from artist Bryant Giles, with the Sneakersnstuff iteration arriving soon after.
During its introductory year, the slip-on sneaker also got a few general drops in classic colorways like black, green, and of course, the famous NB Grey.
With these samples in sight, it’s safe to say that New Balance plans to continue living in the mule for next year (and maybe, so on).