New Balance Shows Us the 'New Old School' With the XC-72

It’s another step in the right direction for the brand.

New Balance continues its onslaught of throwback-inspired fresh new styles with its latest offering that hits local retailers beginning this month. With the overwhelming success of the 327 and 237 models, the Boston-based brand builds on its Shifted collection with the release of the XC-72, a new androgynous silhouette that once again fuses the best of the past and future. 

Photo by New Balance.

New Balance gives props to heritage by evoking nostalgia from the 1970s in the shoe’s design while also looking to tomorrow by making sure to incorporate sustainable details in this head-turning new addition to the brand’s stable of styles.

The XC-72 is designed to embody the retro-futurism trend. “(The shoe) describes the future as seen from the past and the past as seen from the future,” says New Balance Product Manager Alana Burton.

As we’ve noticed in most of the brand’s recent releases, gone are the days when shoes were categorized specifically per gender. Unisex seems to be the new world order. In line with its progressive design, the XC-72 is a modern interpretation of runner silhouettes from the past with a tri-textured CR and outsole that can be worn by both men and women. The CR features a herringbone outsole pattern previously seen on the 620. The outsole is vertically split and features two hard ground traction designs: the XC15’s ‘gripper’ and the 375’s studded pattern. 

Photo by New Balance.

It’s also important to note that the synthetic upper features chrome-free pigskin overlays. The tanning process used in chrome-free leather passes up on the use of chromium which is harmful to both humans and the environment when the time eventually comes and the leather is ultimately disposed of. It’s another step in the right direction for New Balance which hopes to achieve a few things between now and the year 2030: source 100 percent preferred leather and 50 percent recycled polyester by 2025; source 100 percent renewable electricity for owned operations by 2025; eliminate use and discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2025; achieve zero waste to landfill in our footwear factories by 2025; and achieve a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. The clock is ticking and every little thing should count in our collective effort at saving the planet. 

Photo by New Balance.
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The shoe blends high-quality materials and modern trends with throwback details such as a squared toe that’s inspired by concept car designs from the ‘70s. 

“The XC-72 is the physical embodiment of retro-futurism,” says the shoe's designer Charlotte Lee. “As with the 327, I asked myself ‘if I was a designer in the ‘70s, what would I create as New Balance’s concept car?’ I took inspiration and specific elements from the past and reimagined them for today’s consumer. This methodology creates a timeless design that we hope will be reimagined, yet again, in another 40 years.”

Photo by New Balance.

We’ll see you in the future.

Three colorways of the XC-72, which retail at P5,995, will be available locally exclusively at Commonwealth and Sole Academy this October 2021.

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