Confession: I've never been much of a sneakerhead. I like to think of myself as more of a casual sneaker wearer—I like the pairs in my collection as much as any other shoes I own, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that they define my personal style. I certainly didn't think I was the type to be subscribing to an email list for exclusive drops or setting an alarm to be the first to shop them. But lo and behold, that's exactly what I found myself doing when one pair, in particular, came into view: the New Balance 550 sneakers.
This spring, the heritage sneaker brand continued its collaboration with NYC-based streetwear boutique Aimé Leon Dore to bring back the 550s, a late '80s basketball shoe style. The drop also featured a curated selection of items such as satin bomber jackets and baseball hats, but it's the sneakers that have gone on to earn It status. I constantly see them pop up in the feeds of fashion's most in-the-know people, who've taken to styling the retro kicks with cool basics like crisp shirting and relaxed denim.
While it has earned a lot of buzz simply because of its hyper-exclusive nature (the limited run sold out within minutes, prompting shoppers to obtain a pair through resale sites like StockX), the style also happens to hit on a big sneaker theme we've been seeing in fashion this year, namely basketball-inspired silhouettes, primary color palettes, and an overall retro feel.
One thing's clear: They've soared to the top of everyone's wish list, this editor included. Ahead, take a look at some standout styling moments and shop all the colors the must-have sneakers come in.