Story By: Sol Tucker
Photos By: Hal Jalikakik
For many of us who have been around the game of baseball for years now, there is something that is always around the clubhouse, gum and shoes.
Who remembers grabbing that fake tobacco looking package from the store as a kid? Pretending to be a like a Big Leaguer with a huge flavorful wad of shredded bubble gum goodness in your mouth? Yep, that’s the Big League chew we all know.. But wait, it never went away right? That’s right, only now its releasing for your feet. Wait gum for you feet? Sounds awkward right? No, its not going to be stuck to the bottom of them like you get walking somewhere, but a collaboration with the New Balance brand finds their logo and that animated Big League Chew baseball player printed on the side and back of New Balance’s new baseball creations in the form of a trainer and cleats. Yes all of the original flavors available in the form of different color releases just as the Big League check package would be.
Since have heard so many of the New Balance athletes talking about these new trainers, we had to see what all of the hype was about and try a pair for ourselves.
As a collector of shoes since 1987 or there about, I personally have seen quite a few “bricks” as we refer to them in the industry, but wow, New Balance you might just have set the collaboration bar pretty high for 2020. It’s going to be hard to touch these unless you are customizing your own shoe for several hundreds of dollars.
Right out of the box, you will see why these need to either be on your feet or in your collection. I haven’t seen packaging like this from any of the major sneaker manufacturers in quite a few years, if at all. Opening the box is simply amazing and when I say I was wowed with the presentation, it takes quite a bit to excite me 6000 pairs or so later. This shredded paper (aka the replica of the wad of gum) with the trainers inside of a Big League Chew bag is about as close making it to the custom show for a consumer as you can get when releasing a shoe. With more of the guys like World Series Champion Adam Eaton sporting New Balance, on and off the field, and with guys like NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard on their roster with his own line of signature shoes, New Balance has been forced to step up to appeal to a new generation of consumers. This collection steps to plate and hits a homer.
New Balance has also done an amazing job with the design on the shoes. We really like the engineered knit upper with the embroidery detail. Its not just some basic press on design on the back. The quality inside is there too.
One thing New Balance has done is transferred from a lot of their running technology is their FuelCell midsole which is designed to help drive you forward. It gives great support and as I tested, it was great to have that knit stretch at the top that allows for thicker baseball style socks without a jammed in the foot feeling.
If you like the cool flavorful colors of Big League Chew, there are plenty of flavor options for your feet, including the matching slides for the clubhouse. Check out the detail of the smashed gum on the sole too. This design team left nothing out of these.
Both the trainers and cleats are set to release on February 28th at major retailers online like Dicks and on the New Balance website. Matching t-shirts can also be found for each flavor.
Congrats, New Balance, you have hit a homerun here with collectors and those looking for all around performance.
For more information on the shoes, visit www.newbalance.com