New Balance Launches Literature-Inspired Shoes

The M997HL should look familiar…
The M997HL should look familiar… –

Who said athletes can’t be nerdy, too? Not New Balance.

The Boston-based athletic company released this month the “Authors Collection,’’ a three-tier shoe collection inspired by great American literature. If J.D. Salinger and F. Scott Fitzgerald sported sneakers, these would be them.

This isn’t the first time New Balance has repped its American heritage. The shoes are part of New Balance’s “USA Collection,’’ a domestically-manufactured line inspired by the nation’s history and patriotism.

Ben Cuthbert, associate product manager for New Balance’s lifestyle department, talked to Boston Magazine about the thinking behind the new line:


“Our muse for the New Balance Made in USA collections has always been the storied history of the United States. No one captures the essence, spirit, and the American experience better than American authors and the stories they have told throughout history. For the Made in USA Authors Collections, we pay homage to great American authors by building a collection inspired by their stories and moments.’’

The collection is being released on a tiered basis, according to Sneaker News.The Bespoke Authors collection shoes, which are selling at around $300, are the first part of the collection released earlier this month. The “Distinct Authors’’ and “Connoisseur Authors’’ parts of the collection are expected sell from around $150-$240 beginning in August and September respectively.

Other “USA Collections’’ include National Parks and U.S. Military-inspired designs.

The literature-inspired shoes combine the classic New Balance silhouette with colors and fabrics that hint at themes of American literature. The shoes aren’t dedicated to a single author, but the true literature junkie should be able to figure out the inspiration behind each shoe.

The M997HL should look familiar…

The M997HL should look familiar… —

Recognize the font on that sole?

The Catcher in the Rye Cover —Amazon

The Connoisseur Authors 998 is a little less obvious, though.

Connoisseur Authors 998 —New

But with the “mix of premium suede and mesh’’ and the nautical colors, I’m sensing a little “Moby Dick’’ or “Old Man and the Sea’’ inspiration for this pair.


So we have the Salinger Sneaker and the Moby Dick Kick. What else can we expect? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

h/t Boston Magazine.

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