After the huge success of their ASICS GT-II collaboration, Melbourne’s premier sneaker and fashion boutique Up There is back at it again with another huge collaboration, this time around with New Balance. Up There and New Balance join forces to create a custom version of the 2002R dubbed the ‘Backyard Legends’. Born from a love of sports footwear, inspired by a laid-back Australian lifestyle, translated through the lens of the New Balance expertise.
The neo-retro 2002R forms a base for the collaboration, with it’s technical panelling and N-ergy infused sole representing a high watermark for early 2000’s running technology.
Rich green suede uppers are intersected by purple ultralight panels, fused to a highly breathable white mesh. The contrast of classic suede against performance focussed materials merges two often-opposing ideals.
Powder blue borders the custom N logo — designed in homage to the990v3. This inspiration carries over to the tongue, which mirrors the shape and distinctive diamond pattern of the v3. Keen-eyed fans might also notice the subtle flip of the tongue’s “USA”
badge to “AUS”.
The v3 fabric carries over to a custom lace shroud, one of the shoe’s most recognisable features. This accessory allows the shoes to effectively be worn as slip-ons. Laces are also included, albeit anything but conventional ones. Instead the shoes employ Sure Laces — an early-2000s New Balance innovation designed to stop laces coming loose.
Subtler details include asymmetrical sole colour blocking between left and right shoe, along with a small square NB logo on the heel. The latter, a nod to the Blue Tab series created by New Balance in the mid-2010’s.
The Up There x New Balance M2002RUT ‘Backyard Legends’ will be available exclusively in-store at Up There from 8AM AEST on the 15th of July and with an online release from 8AM AEST on the 16th of July with a suggested retail price of $250AUD.