Welcome back to our SELEKT series our new series where we present the most exciting upcoming or trending sneakers. This week, we’ll be looking at the latest pilar in New Balance’s popular running catalogue, the 1906R.
What is the 1906R?
The 1906 number isn’t just part of the typical NB numeric system, it refers to the year the Boston brand was founded. Aside from the esteemed name, this trendy little nepo baby has been given all the tools it needs to succeed in today’s sneaker world.
The upper does away with the typical NB pig suede and features that sleek synthetic runner look that’s all the rage right now, being utilised by a tonne of brands like Asics and adidas. The last standout feature is the unique N-lock lacing system, a set of straps that run neatly through the ‘N’ logos on the sides to create a secure fit.
The N-ergy midsoles are also borrowed from another 2010s New Balance runner, the 860v2. But you probably recognise them from NB’s last smash hit, the 2002R. Interestingly, out of the two sibling models, the 1906 originally inspired the shape of the 2002 when they were first released as performance runners in the 2010s. Now the 2002R has paved the way for the 1906R to make its comeback as a lifestyle shoe.
The Korean label, thisisneverthat debuted the 1906R last year. Makes sense, seeing as how they previously had the honours of launching the 2002R as well. While not technically a collaboration, the 1906R was also recently given the massively popular Protection Pack treatment, courtesy of in-house New Balance designer, Yue Wu. It’s safe to say this initial push paid off, with several sold-out GR colourways in its first wave of releases.
What’s in Store?
So what’s next in terms of collabs? Firstly, we’ve got two exclusive drops from Size? Their mint green colourway has already dropped, with a clay and navy colourway version teased for the future.
While we’re talking about the future, the 1906R’s predestined status as the “next big thing” was cemented during Paris Fashion Week. Ryota Iwai’s bespoke Japanese label, AURALEE has had a string of collaborations on New Balance’s biggest silhouettes, including the 550, XC-72, and 2002R. Alongside their Autumn/Winter collection, AURALEE debuted their take on the 1906R, made with a mix of mesh and suede, and comes in two simple colourways of pastel blues and neutral white and cream tones.
Commes des Garçon Hommes were also up on the runway, having recently dropped a set of monochrome 550s. This same black-and-white treatment is now being employed on two upcoming 1906R colourways, unveiled at the A/W 2023 JUNYA WATANABE MAN show.
Just for a brief aside, noted NB collaborator Aimé Leon Dore is going back to where it all began. Recently, Teddy Santis shared a sneak peek at a handful of new colourways for the 860V2.
The 1906R just has everything going for it. Whether it’s the classic runner look or a more elevated collaborative take, this model is sure to be in high demand. The retro runner trend is exactly New Balance’s wheelhouse, and given their figures went up 115% last year, it looks like they know what to throw their weight behind.
If you’re keen to get in on the next big thing, check out the range of 1906Rs available on KLEKT. And don’t forget to stay tuned for more SELEKT features on the KLEKTIVE blog.