New Balance x Carhartt WIP Is the Hardworking Collab We've Been Waiting For

The brands teamed up on the 990v1 and a slew of apparel, available September 16.

New Balance and Carhartt WIP both put in the work. Granted, it's a different kind of work for each, with New Balance rooted in the world of running and Carhartt WIP tracing its origins back to Carhartt (sans the "WIP") and American workwear worn on job sites, ranches, farms, and countless other locations. And for both, the nature of the work has evolved. New Balance still makes top-notch running shoes, but what gets a large segment of the brand's fanbase hot under the collar isn't athletic innovation but the lifestyle sneakers—like, say, the famed 990 series—meant to be worn for everything but a 10K. Carhartt WIP, for its part, is similarly lifestyle-focused, taking the hardwearing styles of its parent brand and tweaking them for folks who spend more time in offices and cafes than mending fences or pouring concrete.

Considering the shared ethos, which could be distilled down to something along the lines of "make great product that people can truly use," these are a natural pair. And it makes straight-up perfect sense that the hero product in their upcoming collaboration is a riff on the 990v1 ($190), which was released in 1982 as a super-advanced runner and now occupies the position of a highly sought-after everyday shoe for the kind of guy who's entirely familiar with the charms of Carhartt WIP's Michigan chore coat.

Photo by COURTESY.

"We're really proud and excited to work with the Carhartt WIP team on this collection. Our inspiration came from the brand's iconic running heritage," says Brian Lynn, New Balance's general manager of lifestyle. "Our brands share a similar thread of craftsmanship, timelessness, and enduring quality as well as a clear focus on highlighting brand staples, which has translated seamlessly onto the 990v1 and accompanying apparel in this collection."

Photo by COURTESY.

"This project allowed us to step into the world of sportswear, working with an iconic New Balance product, while also developing an apparel collection that fuses both brands' unique sensibilities," a spokesperson for Carhartt WIP says. "You can see distinct elements in the products that can be traced back to both us and New Balance, but the overall result is one of harmony."

Photo by COURTESY.
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Speaking of harmony, there's unlikely to be much of it among the shoppers hoping to snag something—especially the sneakers—from the collection, which releases in select retailers and Carhartt WIP stores, as well as online at both Carhartt WIP and New Balance, on September 16. So mark your calendar and get ready. And maybe turn in a little early the night before. You'll need the energy—or at least some fast typing fingers—to put in the work the next morning.

Photo by COURTESY.

FromEsquire US

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About The Author
Jonathan Evans
Jonathan Evans is the style director of Esquire, covering all things fashion, grooming, accessories, and, of course, sneakers. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son. You can follow him at @MrJonathanEvans on Twitter and Instagram.
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