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29th May 2023 EDT RELEASES

The New Balance 550 “Hemp” Brings With It the Mood of the Imminent Spring

A hot silhouette with a finish to keep you cool in the warmer months.


[Update 29 May 2023] The release date for the New Balance 550 “Hemp” has been announced. For those looking to cop a pair, head over to New Balance’s website on 1 June to cop. It will retail for US$120. Good luck!


New Balance’s 550 has a storied past. As the adage “history is written by the victors” goes, the 550 “lost” that battle in the basketball grounds in the ’80s and was relegated to obscurity for three decades—until one Teddy Santis. Along with his Aimé Leon Dore imprint, he brought the “basketball oxfords” back into the fore.

Thanks to the vintage boom, there’s now a fertile landscape for NB’s seeds to proliferate. The iron is hot once more, and NB has struck. In the midst of its renaissance, the 550s have seen an array of iterations like the recent “Verdigris” makeover but rarely does it feature a new build throughout. Thus making this “Hemp” colorway a curious yet coveted case.

Foregoing its usual leather, the titular textile fabric dresses the 550 from the toecap to the heel on the upper, creating a uniformity in the shoe while complemented by the signature cream-colored sole unit below. Other elements of the design only serves to improve it holistically without being intrusive to the eye. These include the mesh tongues underneath the white laces and the white tongue tag with NB’s imprint in black.

Moreover, the aforementioned black carefully frames the suede “N” logo on the profiles as well as the “550” embroidery adjacent. Finishing touches are applied on the midsole featuring its maker’s name and initials embossed onto its rubber make.

A release date hasn’t been announced but they’re expected to carry a RRP of US$120. Expect to see them on New Balance’s brick-and-click stores when the winter takes a bow.

Similar in vibe and palette, have a look at the Nicole McLaughlin x Vault by Vans Slip-On “Gardening Tote”.