Hot on the heels of its collaboration with Stone Island, New Balance’s Made in UK umbrella has just presented a brand-new iteration of its 991 silhouette — and it’s the first-ever “version 2” to come out of NB’s family-run and Flimby-based hub.
Since its original release in 2001, New Balance’s 991 has set the standard for modern running design. It launched as the first 99X model of the 21st century and now, this new Made in UK 991v2 edition represents the new pinnacle, standing as an evolved take on its predecessor. The shoe has also become a spontaneous phenomenon in Italy and was picked up particularly by those working in creative industries.
Crafted with streamlined pig suede, its mesh upper is complemented with synthetic details for a sleeker profile. Full-length FuelCell cushioning mirrors the upper’s evolved, yet familiar approach by pairing the updated construction with classic ABZORB and ENCAP features.
Meanwhile, the subtle change in shape to the upper’s paneling is used to showcase the all-around pig suede fabrications and is hit with speckles from an archival New Balance 998 colorway. Rounding off the design, the 991v2’s tongue reads “Made in England” for the first time — a subtle nod to the 991’s status as a signature Made in UK model.
In celebration of the first 991v2 to come from the UK, New Balance has also dropped a short campaign film, capturing a pair of boxed 991v2s on a car journey from the Flimby factory to Milan, paying homage to the 991’s Italian connection.
The film features a cameo from UK rap star, Loyle Carner — as well as Patta’s Lee Stuart, Stone Island’s Gabriela Angelova, One Block Down’s Patritzio Vita, Slam Jam’s Paolo Manciola, and New Balance designer, Dawn Brankley — before the boxed-up sneakers arrive with its new owner: Massimo Bottura, world-renowned Michelin Star chef and 991 enthusiast, who owns over 100 pairs of New Balance.
With this in mind, Hypebeast caught up with Massimo Bottura in celebration of New Balance Made in UK’s first-ever 991v2 — be sure to read on for a short transcription.
Hypebeast: What do you love about the New Balance 991?
Massimo Bottura: I’ve been wearing 991 for as long as I can remember. When I wear them, I feel a warm hug on my feet, I feel the obsession with the quality of the ingredients — the same as in the kitchen. I love the different tones of colors you can match with everything: a tuxedo, jeans, or even cooking pants — and that’s what I love about them.
What are your thoughts on the 991v2? What were your first impressions?
One step back, two on the side, and three steps forward. What NB did with the 991v2 is what we have always done in Osteria Francescana: looking at the past in a critical way, never in a nostalgic one, to get the best of the past into the future. And to me, getting the best of the past into the future is what you do when you walk wearing them.
How many pairs of New Balance 991 do you own?
Infinite, in my future there will always be one more pair of 991.
You can take a closer look at the New Balance Made in UK 991v2 above and it’ll be available to shop via the official New Balance website and with select retailers from October 27.
In other footwear news, take a look at this new release from Dior.