Who should buy New Balance 2002R

The New Balance 2002R is a more affordable edition of the original 2002 luxury kick. This running-inspired sneaker is perfect for those who:

  • prefer the old-schoolish dad-shoe vibe in their footwear
  • are looking for a lifestyle shoe that provides arch support
  • need an NB shoe that they can wear all day long
  • want a sneaker that feels airy when worn

New Balance 2002R tryb

Who should NOT buy the sneaker

The New Balance 2002R may feel narrow, so if you have wide feet, it is best to consider getting the New Balance 550 or the New Balance 515 v3 instead.

New Balance 2002R no

City walks are made cozy with the NB 2002R

Users are impressed by New Balance 2002R's day-long comfort with the right balance of softness. A video reviewer cites that he could definitely have a long walk in this pair, which he could not have in many Jordans or Nikes. More than a few sneaker experts consider it one of the most comfortable lifestyle kicks from New Balance.

This model uses quality materials and technologies that will make your city walks as cozy as they can get. Even the step-in comfort feels nice, according to the reviewers. Here are the primary technologies responsible for that:

  • The ABZORB cushioning technology found on the midsole offers a springy feel for maximized comfort and stability.
  • The visible N-ergy technology, which effectively absorbs shock, is seen on the lateral side of the back heel and pretty much looks like the popular Nike Shox.

On top of that, it uses a very well-padded foam insole which contributed to the underfoot comfort. It can be easily removable to fit in your custom orthotics if needed.

New Balance 2002R comf

This NB sneaker updates the look (and price) of its predecessor

The New Balance 2002R is the modernized take on the 2010 running shoe dubbed the NB 2002. The NB 2002R kept the OG look of its predecessor and incorporated some changes to make it even more comfortable and affordable for today's wear.

It has stepped down from the $250 asking price of the OG 2002, which was also a "Made in USA" sneaker. It was also deemed as "the big boss" shoe as not that many people were ready to pay a full price that high for a "boring" shoe like that. And yet it was so exclusive that it was primarily sold from the brand's mail-order catalogs.

That's why the more down-to-earth and "anti-hype" 2002R update picked up so fast.

New Balance 2002R updat

It's got a versatile design

Many adore its classic running-derived style that instantly won the popularity race. Dressing the NB 2002R up and down is easily done with its stylish look.

It is also the type of sneaker which is released in special editions and collaborations multiple times throughout the year. But these tend to sell out rather quickly, so you must pay attention when there is a new release.

This lifestyle shoe actually gained its popularity thanks to the collaborations with Salehe Bembury, a former Versace designer, as well as Invincible and Thisisneverthat. 

New Balance 2002R brea

Don't worry about sweaty feet

NB combines mesh and suede on the upper for an authentic classic running footwear look. The mesh upper is responsible for its breathability.

New Balance 2002R bgt

Steady and light steps with the New Balance 2002R

Thanks to the TPU web found underneath, this sneaker delivers reliable arch support and stability. You can trust that you will be able to walk around steadily with the support that the New Balance 2002R provides. 

Even those who are suffering from foot conditions will find this shoe dependable. A reviewer with severe foot and ankle swelling says that it's "the first sneaker in years that [he] didn't have issues with."

Aside from providing support, this sneaker also feels very light when worn!

New Balance 2002R steps

Oops, the upper is not holding up well

The New Balance 2002R is not exactly the type of lifestyle sneaker that you can beat and wear every day.

While the purpose of the suede overlays is to add durability and style, its suede overlay did not hold well after several uses. Also, those who used the shoe for moderate daily wear complained that the mesh material started to develop holes too. Some reported signs of wear after only a few weeks of using the shoes.

New Balance 2002R upper

Facts / Specs

Style: Dad, Retro, Sporty, Deconstructed
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collection: New Balance Abzorb
Closure: Laces
Material: Mesh, Suede, Rubber Sole / Fabric
Season: Spring, Summer

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New Balance 2002R unboxing and on-feet videos


Jaydee dispels the myth that women can't be experts when it comes to sneakers. With hundreds of sneaker articles under her belt, she gained a surefire edge over others claiming to be experts. Since joining RunRepeat in 2017, she’s published formidable arrays of sneaker write-ups - some covered in lifestyle magazines. Interested in scrutinizing a pair of sneakers? Jaydee is the best person to talk to as she can intuitively chew it over with you even while doing her laundry. When she’s not writing, you can catch Jaydee playing with her two kids, online shopping, and spending far too much time on Instagram.