BEAMS + NB’s 2002R = Your New Mules

If there’s one good thing to have come out of the pandemic (remember that?!), it’s the rise of the humble mule.

For too long our footwear had been pigeon-holed as either a sneaker, shoe, or a slipper, with each style often having a specific habitat or scenario inherently linked. But now, in this post-pandemic era, our footwear is finally free and as flexible as ever, and the mule — the humble freeing mule — is thriving.

While labels like Birkenstock and Crocs have always had their feet firmly set in the realm of backless silhouettes, others have entered the fold more recently thanks to the increase in the “mulification” of sneakers.

Yup, brands have been taking some of our favorite sneaker silhouettes, chopping them in half, and creating sneaker-cum-mule hybrids.

New Balance and its 2002R (or M2002R to give it its mule name) is arguably the most high-profile brand to have done this, most notably last year when it teamed up with Swedish retailer Sneakersnstuff.

Now for SS23, NB returns alongside Japanese imprint BEAMS for a second bite of the M2002R cherry to drop a crisp summer-ready take of the same silhouette.

Available to pre-order now, BEAMS’ take features shades of white and gray and its corporate color orange on the insole. Of course, the clean upper sits atop an ABZORB midsole for additional comfort and houses the epochal N logo on the medial side of the sneaker.

In layman’s terms, the M2002R is a chopped up sneaker disguised as a mule which, as we head towards full on summer, is a perfect way to combat the increasingly sweaty-footed scenarios.

If you don’t have a pair sitting and raring to go already, you’d do worse than to get on board with a BEAMS x New Balance collab, that’s for sure.

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