When the original New Balance 990 debuted in 1982, it was the brand’s most uncompromising sneaker. At the time of its release, it became the first athletic shoe to retail for $100, according to New Balance — that’s about $260 today when you adjust for inflation. Because of its high price, New Balance didn’t expect to sell more than about 5,000 pairs in its first year, but it ended up selling about ten times that much within the shoe’s first six months on the market. Today, the 990 is considered an icon.
To celebrate that history, New Balance is bringing out a limited edition version of the 990’s current iteration, the 990V4. It gets a suede upper and comes finished in a gray, navy and white colorway featured on the original 990. New Balance is only making 1,500 pairs, though, and they’ll only be available in seven retailers nationwide. (Highsnobiety has the list here.) On the bright side, the price is once again $100, a far more palatable price now than in 1982.
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