New Balance Low-Key Has the Best Combination of Casual and Performance Apparel Right Now
That classic logo just keeps getting better
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The prevalence of athleisure in the past year has been overwhelming to say the least. As we found ourselves bound to the confines of our homes with little use for our usual everyday wardrobe, it wasn’t long before brands sought to capitalize on our situation, inundating us with sweatpants, sweatshirts, hoodies and more, over-saturating our inboxes and social media feeds to a dizzying effect. Yet there’s one brand that’s had it right all along, even prior to the pandemic, never once trying to reinvent the wheel but instead simply offering what they know and do best.
Long before athleisure even really had a name, New Balance has been churning out styles that fit the bill, sporty enough to wear for light activity but not so sporty to the point where they can’t be donned for more social, casual settings. And the brand continues to produce those same highly functional and diverse styles, whether it be a boldly logo’ed hoodie or casual pair of all-purpose shorts that would give everyone’s beloved Patagonia Baggies a run for their money.
Below, some of our favorite pieces from their current line. Some are best-suited for the backyard, while others will thrive on your next long run. All of them, though, will have you looking good.
NB Essentials Mesh Short
In case you haven’t heard, basketball shorts are making a comeback, so what better way to get in on the trend than with this pair of mesh shorts from New Balance’s Essentials line. Don’t worry, this pair offers a more streamlined silhouette than the ones you were likely to find yourself drowning in as a middle schooler in gym class, while still hinting at a retro vibe. Whether you find yourself wearing them on or off the court, you’re bound to look endlessly cool thanks to details like the neon yellow drawstring at the waist and heritage vintage woven label.
NB Essentials Dad Pack Tee
Even if you’re not a dad, there’s no reason you shouldn’t rep this tee paying homage to the brand’s reputation as the purveyor of dad shoes. The black graphic and heritage label against the stark white of the tee is simple but effective, the perfect alternative for those days when a plain white tee just feels too boring. And if you really want to get in the dad spirit, pair the t-shirt with the ultimate dad sneakers, the 574 Core, and get to manning the grill.
NB All Terrain Short
Taking inspiration from New Balance’s trail running and outdoor roots, these All Terrain Shorts give the famed (and increasingly difficult to find) Patagonia Baggies a run for their money. Made from a polywoven fabric that’s equipped to handle the elements, the shorts are just as stylish as they are functional, especially when they arrive in this ‘Sour Grape’ hue. So even if you don’t consider yourself much of an outdoors person, there’s no reason why you should deprive yourself of the stylishness of these shorts, even if you’re hitting the streets instead of the trails.
New Balance 574 Core
One of the most iconic and instantly recognizable sneaker silhouettes, the 574 Core has long been lauded for its universality, beloved by those across a range of ages for its ability to work for a diversity of occasions and styles. Whether you’re looking to throw them on with sweats or pair them with jeans for a casual day at work, the sneakers will meld easily with any outfit and it will quickly become apparent why they’ve continued to endure as a classic. After all, there’s a reason they have ‘Core’ in their name.
NB Essentials Stacked Logo Hoodie
A grey hoodie is a classic, and New Balance takes the wardrobe essential and makes it all the more interesting to wear with their Stacked Logo Hoodie. Inspired by heritage designs from the brand, the pullover hoodie features a roomy and relaxed fit for optimal comfort while the bold New Balance logo emblazoned across the chest will let everyone know just how stylish you are.
NB Sports Style Optiks Wind Short
As much as we’re fans of the iconic New Balance grey, we instantly found ourselves smitten with this bold turquoise pair of the Sports Style Optiks Wind Short. Ideal for those who desire both fashion and function from their clothing, the shorts are made from a durable woven fabric that’s cut into a relaxed fit with plenty of room throughout the hip and thigh, perfect for everything from hitting the gym to just running around town. You know what they say — go bold or go home.
New Balance NM1010V1
The NM1010V1s might be skating sneakers, but you don’t have to skate in order to wear them (although that would admittedly make you a lot cooler). Featuring a heavily 90s-inspired design, the sneakers are made from a premium suede and mesh upper and are outfitted with a FuelCell foam midsole that delivers on both comfort and a reinforced feel. So if you’re feeling nostalgic for your own days of skating or just want to posture as skater, cop a pair of these and you’ll fit right in with the cool kids.
NB Fortitech Henley
It’s no secret that we’re henley fanatics, and this one only serves to fuel our obsession. The sleek, simple design means whether you’re going hard at the gym or participating in far less strenuous activities, you’ll look handsome either way, while the brand’s drirelease fabric work to wick moisture away and keep you calm, cool and collected.
New Balance Impact Run 7″ Short
Who says your running shorts have to be plain black or boring gray? These mid-length, moisture-managing Impact shorts feature a nice bit of color-blocking that’s sure to get the attention of the many runners you leave in your dust.
New Balance Q Speed Fuel Short Sleeve
Pair this number with the shorts directly above, and you’ve got yourself a crisp, bright get-up that’ll last you all summer long and easily withstand whatever post-run errands you’ve got lined up.
New Balance Accelerate Jacket
Oh man, and when summer starts to fade and you get that first hint of a chill on an early-fall morning? Throw this lightweight jacket on top of the two pieces we just discussed, and you’ll look like a million bucks.
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