Unpeeling Aminé’s New Balance Shoe

New Balance has been dishing hot collaborative fire and killer in-line shoes for months, all leading up to the release of perhaps summer 2023’s most-anticipated sneaker: Aminé’s New Balance 610 shoe, otherwise known as “The Mooz.”

A few days prior to the shoe’s release date, we got hands-on with Aminé’s New Balance collab to see exactly what the big deal is.

And, well, if that isn’t apparent from first blush, I don’t know what to tell you; Aminé’s New Balance shoe is a brilliantly thorough revision of an already-attractive sneaker.

New Balance’s 610 is an innately harmonious marriage of chunky dad shoe and tech-y trail runner — honestly, I think if Aminé had simply revised NB’s 610 in a reasonably attractive colorway, that’d be enough to write home about.

I mean, we’ve been waxing poetic about the 610’s immense appeal even before it began receiving sophisticated remixes from collaborators like Bodega and Junya Watanabe’s COMME des GARÇONS HOMME.

But Aminé’s New Balance goes beyond the pale. Or should I say the peel?

Aminé’s “The Mooz,” as it’s called, is interesting enough just by virtue of its yellow mesh and brown patent leather upper but it goes from attractive to amazing when you start unpeeling its many banana-themed details, which align with the Portland rapper’s brand, Club Banana.

There’s the graphic banana crate-inspired shoebox, for one, the banana skin-printed insole, the very Chiquita-esque Aminé branding, even a tiny plastic banana suspended in the 610-branded “snowglobe” near the ankle.

Speaking of the ankle, Aminé devised a neat heel pull-tab that allows the wearer to clip the left and right shoes together, should one wish to hang them like, yes, a bunch of bananas.

It’s all so exhaustive that, even if you somehow loathe bananas, you’ve gotta admit that the level of thought put into Aminé’s New Balance is mighty impressive, especially in an age where so many sneaker collaborators slap a slightly different colorway on a normal shoe and call it a day.

The expansiveness of Aminé’s vision for his New Balance shoes is only equaled by the collaborative 610’s impressive promotional rollout, which began way back in May.

A series of teasers, promos, and campaign images preceded a Mooz-themed, banana-stuffed short film, all for the sake of drumming up appeal (a-peel?) for a shoe that could’ve easily sold itself.

Now that’s dedication.

Appropriately, Aminé’s New Balance shoes release through Club Banana’s website come August 22. Interested parties may sign up now for additional information on the drop.

Given the quality of this collaboration, I expect big things from Aminé’s forthcoming NB sneaker collabs, whether or not they’re also banana-themed.