This past week New Balance made its comeback in the basketball space as they released two Kawhi Leonard shoes. As you may not have heard last November the highly sought after “sneaker free agent” surprisingly signed with Boston based brand New Balance. Yes the New Balance that was proclaimed the show of the alt right after VP of Affairs Matt Bretton made some pro Trump comments in an interview. Leonard made a bold move leaving Jordan Brand for New Balance, perhaps to make his own mark in basketball wear.
Kawhi got his own basketball shoe called the OMN1s and his own 997 colorway From the pictures I gotta say that these look pretty good. So the OMN1s is New Balances first basketball shoe and it is definitely is looks unlike any other silhouette they currently produce and that’s a good thing. I tend to get a lot of the classic NBs confused as I think they look all very similar, and that’s not a bad thing as I’ve definitely gone through a bunch of them. But the first thing you will notice is how high the leather ankle collar goes on this sneaker along with a mesh breathable upper. I would totally check these out if given a chance even though I’m the biggest basketball shoe wearer. But I would totally without a doubt rock those 997s. If I see those in store they might be the first pair of NBs I’d buy in awhile.
The one thing that the OMN1s share with the 997 is the distinct black, midnight blue colors, and gold accents. The colors are vivid and eye catching yet neither of the shoes look gaudy and that’s what I love about them.
These shoes are a great effort to get New Balance noticed by a new audience. And judging by how quickly these sold out I’m not the only that feels that way. Could the Kawhi bring New Balance to prominence the same way that Steph Curry increased the visibility for Under Armour when he made them the hottest sportswear company a few years ago. A little competition never hurt and really hope these sneakers reinvigorate New Balance.