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New Balance’s Next Great Sneaker Is…a Penny Loafer?

A year after New Balance made a splash at Paris Fashion Week with a blazing-hot Comme des Garçons collaboration, everyone’s favorite Boston athletic brand returned to France with yet another boundary-pushing partnership—one that might fundamentally alter our perception of dress shoes and running sneakers forever.

Junya Watanabe MAN unveiled its Fall-Winter 2024 collection in Paris over the weekend, and among its many highlights was the latest collaboration between the legendary Japanese designer and New Balance. The offering? An all-new shoe that seamlessly fuses the techy, cushy silhouette of the New Balance 1906R with a traditional leather penny loafer.

It’s an unholy juxtaposition that really shouldn’t work…but somehow absolutely does. The chunky, bouncy soles pair brilliantly with the sleek patent uppers, providing athleisure comfort without sacrificing the overall formality that makes ’em the ideal pairing with one of Watanabe’s advanced suits. It’s rare to see formal and casual styles so well synthesized—as one commenter joked on the New Balance subreddit, it looks like the perfect shoe for “when you’ve got to do a 5K right after the opera.” Or, you know, if you want to go to the opera looking stylish as hell.

The New Balance x Junya Watanabe MAN loafer is set to release later in 2024.

Originally Appeared on GQ


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