A showcase of the best colorways the New Balance 550 has to offer.
Thankfully, Teddy Santis flipped through an old New Balance catalog and spotted the archival New Balance 550, sparking its return shortly thereafter with a collaboration between his Aime Leon Dore label and the Boston-based company. Since then, the silhouette has emerged as one of the most popular in the sneaker game, rivaling that of the Nike Dunk as it scratches that itch of a low-top retro basketball silhouette. Just like the aforementioned Dunk, it too has been released in a wide range of colorways, so let's go over what are arguably the top 10 New Balance 550 colorways you can pick up today.
Images via GOAT
10. New Balance 550 Cream Black
Starting off the list with a simple, easy-to-wear colorway, the New Balance 550 “Cream Black” brings its titular shades to the low-top model with the latter of the two acting as the accenting shade. Unique details to this colorway included the pebbled leather “N” logo and sandwich mesh on the tongue, making this unlike other inline NB 550 releases. If you need something wearable, but with a touch of vintage, the New Balance 550 “Cream Black” is definitely for you.
9. New Balance 550 White Blue
Perfect for any school program or youth team, the “White Blue” rendition of the NB 550 oozes classic vibes thanks to its simple white/blue color combo that comes with black accents throughout. High-quality leather gets covered in white while branding details from the tongue tag, “550” text, and New Balance logos come in a royal blue shade. This same hue is featured on the sockliner and collar portion while black hits come courtesy of the collar overlay and on the vamp. Summertime ready, the “White Blue” 550s are definitely a must-have in your rotation.
8. New Balance 550 White Red
Arguably more iconic of the team colors, the New Balance 550 “White Red” gets the same treatment as number 9 on the list with red shades replacing the blue in the exact same locations. Later on our list, we’ll go over a more premium version of this same colorway, though this inline release will definitely come at a cheaper cost.
7. New Balance 550 White Green
Seemingly taking inspiration from Michigan State University, the Spartan's colors of green and white shine through on the low-top model. Unlike the majority of NB 550s, a small patch of grey suede is present on the mudguard that elevates this “White Green” iteration. Even though this small change occurs, the same majority white leather upper is present with accenting hits of green appearing in the same locations as the previously mentioned pairs. For those that appreciate collegiate-inspired colorways, the New Balance 550 “White Green” is a strong choice, though we’re not stopping with college-themed colorways just yet.
6. New Balance 550 UNC
The University of North Carolina may be Michael Jordan’s alma mater, however, NB killed this version of the 550 by taking the iconic “UNC” blue and contrasting it with white leather overlays and mesh underlays. These blue hits are reserved for the branding details, collar, sockliner, and portions of the outsole while the rest of the sneaker comes in the previously mentioned white hue all throughout. Even if you don’t have any connection to the Tar Heels, bust out a baby blue shirt and you’ll be just fine.
5. New Balance 550 Au Lait
Translated from French to “coffee with milk,” Café au lait gets translated once again into sneaker form with this women’s exclusive colorway of the New Balance 550. Creamy coffee-like hue on the collar, sole, and tongue accents the white leather seen throughout the model's overlays and underlays. The suede mudguard elevates this colorway even further, getting a grey makeover while the midfoot’s “N” and heels' “NB” logos come in a cream hue similar to that of hot milk, a key ingredient in the drink. Keep it classy with this understated 550 colorway.
4. ALD x New Balance 550 Evergreen
We couldn’t list off 10 New Balance 550 colorways without mentioning one of the first that came with the silhouette’s revival, the Aime Leon Dore x New Balance 550 “Evergreen.” Following suit with the same colorblocking as number 7 on our list, Teddy Santis’ label brings premium leather and mesh alongside vintage details to bring us back to 1989, the year of the model's original release. Cracked leather on the “N” logo and co-branded details may not catch everyone's eye at first glance, but for those in the know, you’ll be rocking one of the freshest pairs of kicks that NB has to offer.
3. New Balance 550 Conversations Amongst
Who doesn’t appreciate it when sneakers can bring more to the table than just good looks? This couldn’t be any more true than with Joseph Robinson and the “Black Soles” team at New Balance bringing us the “Conversations Amongst Us” 550. As a part of a larger collection of footwear and apparel, the CAU 550 is the one that started it all and helped honor the Black community, done so through capturing conversations within the community itself and promoting dialogue amongst everyone no matter their color or creed.
This pair specifically takes inspiration from white tees and what happens once age does its magic, turning them into a yellowish-cream shade. Canvas and suede panels throughout grab this color while “Conversations Amongst Us” branding takes over in key spots, such as the tongue, insole, and heel. This pair will always remind you of the actions you can take in your life to better the lives of others and encourage open dialogue amongst every member of the human race while looking as clean as ever.
2. ALD x New Balance 550 White Red
Launched alongside number 4 on our list, and having the same colorblocking as the 8th entry, Aime Leon Dore’s “White Red” version of the NB 550 will take you back to 1989 with its perfectly-aged white leather and cracked leather details found on the “N” logo. Co-branding may not be as in-your-face as other collaborators often do, but again, it's an IYKYK deal with ALD x New Balance collaborations.
1. Rich Paul x New Balance 550
Sitting atop our list isn’t a collaboration with a brand or person that consistently works with NB, though his take on the 550 is in our opinion the best of all time. This mystery figure, Rich Paul, the high-profile sports agent who represents some of the NBA's best and a good friend of LeBron James, brought vintage aesthetics with a classic and easy-to-wear color combo to the model. Off-white shaded leather that mostly comes perforated pairs well with the LA Lakers gold and purple found on the co-branded tongue tag and navy blue hits on the pebbled leather overlay on the collar. For those whole love a blend of sports and luxury, the Rich Paul x New Balance 550 is a must-have sneaker.
To stay updated on the latest releases for the New Balance 550 and more in the sneaker and streetwear world, including news and raffles, keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app. If you're looking for an in-depth breakdown on the 550 silhouette as a whole, check out our New Balance 550 Buyers Guide.