New Balance 'Refined Future' 2002R
We’ve seen a lot of great shoes over the years, but every so often there’s a release that outperforms what everyone expects. In recent history, it’s the reworked New Balance 2002R that blew us all away with the reception. So high was the demand that the first drop, this pack was gone in the blink of an eye.
Most of you may know these by their nickname: the “Protection Pack”. Here’s a fun fact though, the designer of this shoe Yue Wu never named them that & actually dislikes it! The official designation for this model is “Refined Future”, which when you consider what’s been done makes a hell of a lot more sense than Protection Pack. We’re pretty dubious that anyone’s going to call them anything different at this point though, so we’ll just run with it.
The idea from freshman designer Yue was to reimagine the classic 2002 silhouette for a more fashion-conscious marketplace. He wanted these shoes to be worn and appreciated, that’s why these come distressed straight out of the box. They’ll never look crispy clean so there’s no reason to avoid wearing them. Seeing how much people loved the first releases, NB is back again with a new trio drawing from their catalogue of iconic colourways.
The most vibrant of the bunch is covered in blazing orange suede, which might come as a shock given that New Balance is company best known for grey shoes. That being said, orange is actually one of the oldest colours in the NB back catalogue – you can trace orange uppers all the way back to the 1970s on shoes like the SuperComp.
For the predominately navy pair, there’s a few possible inspirations but that petrol blue mesh should be a dead giveaway to any New Balance aficionado. This combination has featured predominately on the 57x series of shoes, which spans some of the most popular models like 576, 577 and the “gateway” shoe for many NB addicts: the 574.
The final colourway to discuss is also arguably the most iconic in the trio. Even the most casual New Balance fan is likely to recognise that distinctive greenish-grey, blue-tinted mesh and bright blue outlined N. It’s possible that the original 1300 colourway is the most famous from NB, is there anything it doesn’t look good on? At this point it’s featured on just about every type of NB you can imagine: from walking shoes, to boots and now the 2002R as well.
Elsewhere it’s pretty standard fair, all shoes use the premium suedes and nubucks you’ve become accustomed to and the re-tooled N-Ergy sole is still one of the best you’ll experience.
The M2002RDD & M2002RDE are now open for registration on Up There Launches with the draw closing Saturday the 4th of June. For those of you chasing the trio, never fear as the M2002RDF will hit Up There Launches mid June.