New Balance’s 550 sneaker is so ordinary that it was briefly the signature shoe of the most ordinarily-dressed person on the planet. That’s not a diss, by the way: a massive element of the 550’s immense appeal is the simple fact that it’s incredibly wearable.

So wearable, in fact, that New Balance is flipping the script on the 550 with some of the shoe’s wildest colorways yet. What with all the 550s out there, gotta keep the sneaker fresh somehow.

New Balance’s answer is to once again serve the 550 in brilliantly shiny patent leather shades, all flashy pink and green. It’s so Y2K that the 550 sneaker’s new colorways have been drawing comparison’s to the patent leather BAPESTA shoes that NIGO designed for BAPE way back when.

No question, these are some of the boldest 550 sneakers to date and if you were drawn to New Balance’s signature low-top, you’re probably gonna want to steer clear.

That’s not to say that New Balance is only dropping the 550 in far-out colorways. Quite the contrary, in fact.

If you crave 550 sneakers in classically classy colorways, New Balance has you covered. Alongside the shiny patent leather shoes, New Balance is also releasing several sets of super simple 550s as part of the "Clay Court Pack."

This is timeless 550 fare for the discerning sneaker enjoyer seeking something simple.

Here you see New Balance’s fan-favorite shoe in colorways that’re nearly all-white, accented with a couple primary hues and tasteful complementary shades towards the heel and on the outsole, nothing crazy but nothing nearly as milquetoast as your average all-white shoe.

New Balance's 550 sneaker in spring 2024 colorways including patent leather & suede
New Balance, Press

New Balance's 550 sneaker in spring 2024 colorways including patent leather & suede
New Balance, Press

These shoes tie into the perpetual demand for rather regular-looking NB 550s — there’s a reason that general release versions of plain colorways rake in big numbers online.

Not that New Balance isn’t innovating with some fresh silhouettes, either, but it knows how to handle the 550 hype.

The people want uncomplicated New Balances. Nothing wrong with that and there’s plenty to go around.

But it’s also nice that New Balance is also spicing up its already spicy selection of sneakers with some slightly special new looks for its staple shoes.

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