Our verdict

The New Balance 550 will surely tickle your fancy if retro sneakers float your boat. It boasts a clean and straightforward style that amplifies its adaptable vibe from the hardwood to the playground. Despite having no modern technology, this kick thrilled us with lasting cosy strides while keeping us stylishly chic on the city streets.


  • Attention-grabbing throwback look
  • Well-cushioned insole
  • Incredibly clean details
  • Suitable for various outfits
  • No visible wear after several uses
  • Easy to clean
  • Striking shades
  • Reasonably priced


  • Insufficient lockdown feel
  • Fits wider than expected
  • Released in a limited quantity




Who should buy the New Balance 550

Grab a pair of New Balance 550 if you:

  • enjoy wearing throwback-styled sneakers with modern comfort
  • are looking for an affordable New Balance model to add to your rotation
  • prefer kicks that are easy to maintain

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Who should NOT buy it

The New Balance 550 might feel weird if you've got narrow feet, as it fits broader than usual. Alternatively, you may check several New Balance models in narrow sizes, such as the New Balance 530 or the popular Adidas Forum Low.

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New Balance 550: Recreating a timeless classic

The Boston-based brand dropped the modernised NB 550 to pay homage to the '90s basketball generation. Being a part of the brand's core line of sneakers, the NB 550 remains faithful to its original details - uncomplicated and polished. And to add some modern hints, this sneaker is dressed in different hues giving us the luxury of picking which NB 550 colorway fits our style.

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Simple and versatile flair

The 550 is not a brand-new silhouette, as it was initially unveiled in 1989 as basketball footwear. It has a clean and adaptable look reminiscent of the famous and luxurious Louis Vuitton Trainer. We think this pair looks great when paired with countless attires - from denim jeans and work days to cargo pants for weekend adventures.

New Balance 550 flair

Dependable durability

After many of our tests, this model remains unscathed, giving credit to its high-quality leather upper, mudguard-overlaid toe box, and thick rubber outsole.

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Pristine finish

We inspected the shoe in great detail and could nod find any visible glue stains or unfinished stitches. It's crazy how many polished details the sneaker has despite its affordable price.

New Balance 550 finish

Double-layered insole

It has a removable two-layered Ortholite insole. We realised it actually provides better comfort and underfoot support than most ordinary insoles. The Ortholite insole also helps wick moisture - because of it, our feet remained dry and odour-free for hours.

New Balance 550 sole

On-the-go lifestyle friendly

Thanks to its leather upper, upkeeping this sneaker is such a breeze. The only thing we needed to do was simply wipe the dirt off using a damp cloth and voila!

Easy on the pocket, too!

Unlike most New Balance models sold at pricey ranges, the New Balance 550 is reasonably priced without sacrificing the overall quality. However, because of its limited release, sometimes it can be difficult to get one.

What's the update?

New Balance collaborated with lifestyle brand Aime Leon Dore to revamp the vintage New Balance 550. After comparing the updated and the retro versions, we've come up with a list of their minute differences:

  • The N logo of New Balance 550 is made with smooth leather, while the Aime Leon Dore version is covered with crack-styled leather. 
  • The midsole of the Aime Leon Dore version is a bit yellowish, while the retro New Balance 550 is in pristine white.
  • Set side by side with the mass-produced NB 550, the Aime Leon Dore version is covered with slightly better quality leather. 
  • The ALD logo is found on the heel of the left pair of Aime Leon Dore's version. Meanwhile, the general released 550 has the NB logo on both sneakers..