New Balance’s 990 Got an Upgrade (But You Have to Look Close to See It)

If there’s one thing I know about a generic sneakerhead, it’s that they don’t like change. So I’m certain they’ll appreciate New Balance’s revamped 990v4, the latest silhouette from the Teddy Santis Made In USA conveyor belt.

At first glance, you’d be forgiven for presuming that the 990v4 pictured on your screen is the same 990v4 you’ve been seeing for years. But no, you’re be wrong. Take another look. A closer look at the cord-like material that’s taken the place of the silhouette’s customary mesh upper.

A subtle change? Yes. A very Teddy Santis change? Most definitely.

The rest of the sneaker stays true to the 990’s archetypal form – pigskin suede, “N” logo on the side, chunky midsole – with the only change the aforementioned material switch up.

While there’s no official release information on this new-look 990v4 thus far, Highsnobiety has reached out to New Balance for any confirmation. That being said, if previous Teddy Santis drops are anything to go by they’ll likely be launching soon and retail at around $210.

Since Teddy Santis’ arrival at the helm of New Balance’s MIUSA line in April 2021, the results have been exemplary. The Aimé Leon Dore founder’s less-is-more approach has seen him continue to churn out NB’s most popular silhouettes (like he was doing collaboratively with ALD before) and decorate them in a slew of new and experimental colorways.

This 990v4, though, is the first time Santis has really played with a design so tried and tested. New Balance’s 990 series is, without doubt, the label’s most iconic, so to fiddle with the formula, albeit only slightly, is bold nonetheless.

Then again, this is Teddy Santis we’re talking about, the designer who can do no wrong. The designer who made his own ALD Porsche, opened an in-store cafe that’s now more popular than ALD, and single-handedly revived the NB 550. So whether he’s switching up materials, devising new collaborations, or even selling classic NB sweaters for, frankly, extortionate prices, we’re behind him him all the way. After all, in Teddy we trust.

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