Just by first glance this is definitely a polarizing sneaker, but there’s so much more to this sneaker that just might make this the perfect sneaker for you. Since shooting this video, I have worn these sneakers for over 2 weeks straight, so watch below for the unboxing, on-feet look, and more prior to reading the detailed review you should know before purchasing this sneaker!
This striking sneaker is indeed a collaboration between New Balance and Jaden Smith. If you are not familiar with Jaden Smith, you might have heard of his dad, Will Smith. But let’s set the record straight, Jaden has definitely earned this collaboration as he has built himself an impressive resume and brand from his music to acting, to the social issues he supports including being a partner in Just Water and opening a vegan food truck for those experiences homelessness. It’s incredible of what he has done at a young age, and he is continuing to develop his music (which is pretty good in my opinion) as well as push certain topics forward.
This sneaker is no exception to that as Jaden Smith’s first signature sneaker with New Balance does promote something more vegan, sustainable, and eco-friendly. This has been anticipated for a couple years now, after it was made aware that Jaden Smith was signed to New Balance. According to Seth Fowler, he mentions that the sneaker initial design was already created and New Balance offered Jaden Smith to add his branding and certain ideas. New Balance on their site states that this sneaker takes hues from the X-Racer and the 1700 (which is said to be Jaden’s favourite heritage sneaker). Nonetheless, one of the elements Jaden has clearly influenced is that this is really the first time New Balance has put a priority on sustainability when it comes to footwear as each element in the Vision Racer incorporates recycled material and the shoe is vegan-friendly. As the tag states and product description online states:
“Midsole with EVA Regrind: The midsole includes 5% EVA regrind, alleviating a potential waste stream. Partially Recycled Insole: The dual density insert consists of a foam in a heel carrier. The insert foam is made of a combination of 6% castor bean oil, 15% recycled foam, 5% recycled rubber, and 74% virgin PU. The heel carrier is made from 98% post-production leftover foam and rubber.”
This is the main reason why I wanted this sneaker in my collection because I would love all my sneakers to be vegan friendly, and the fact that they did it with this while making it fashion forward, it’s awesome. But let’s talk more about that in the aesthetics.
In addition to the sneaker being vegan friendly and hopefully driving an impact to make more sneakers vegan friendly and sustainable, this colourway definitely was the second reason why I wanted to purchase these. This specific colourway is called the “Surplus” as it uses surplus materials to comprise the shoe, which is also great since no one pair of sneakers will actually look the same. I love the different bright colours used as well as the different materials, from the mesh to the synthetic leather. In comparison to the other colourways that have released, these are my favourite but if you wanted to wait for others or browse what are still able you should visit this page on New Balance’s site.
Something I mentioned in the video wast that I loved the equal amount of collaboration being displayed, from the different New Balance logos (on the upper and heel tab) to the awesome Jaden Smith branding. The Jaden Smith branding includes the VISIONS branding underneath the transition outsole, the vision racer branding on the tongue, the visions name repeated on the pipeline, along with his signature in one insole while a special message in the other. Of course that EVA midsole is definitely the most eye-grabbing piece of this sneaker because of how thick it is, and I will admit this does add some height so perfect for anyone that wants to look a bit taller.
Price and Place of Purchase
Another thing that I mentioned in the video was that I was surprised how easy it was to grab this pair. I was busy with a few things and couldn’t get onto the site during the launch time but I easily grabbed my size at Foot Locker for the retail price of $200 CAD (excluded from discount). Fortunately for all of you, you can easily grab a pair in either the Surplus colourway or the Sunflower Yellow over at Footlocker here. Although I am surprised at the fact that these two colourways are widely available on Footlocker, I wouldn’t recommend waiting for too long.
Size and Comfort
Although there’s nothing really made special for this sneaker in terms of the comfort as the insole and heel carrier are basically foam, it is surprisingly a comfortable sneaker. The reason I say that is due to the fact that I have been walking and standing in these for a long time and not once did I have the urge to take them out. It is interesting because sometimes sneakers don’t require the new and innovative tech to make it comfortable. I would also recommend when wearing the sneaker make sure you are pulling the tounge up or else it would be a bit annoying when walking. I would also strongly recommend going with your true to size for the perfect fit.
Cop or drop? Absolutely cop. One of my favourite purchases this year easily.
Comfort? Surprisingly Comfortable. Don’t expect to be walking on air, but these are pretty nice to wear for casual walks and running errands.
Aesthetic? Amazing. As mentioned above and in the video, just looking at the shoe with no given context it already looks very intriguing and different. But the massive EVA regrind and the use of surplus materials to really push the agenda of making more sneakers sustainable and vegan friendly definitely make this sneaker unique. However, to top it all off the nice hints of Jaden Smith’s vision branding definitely helps the aesthetic appeal and overall this sneaker as a fashion forward shoe.
Packaging? I love it. The fact that the box also states it is made out of Recycled material but still pops with the Visions branding and pink hints is awesome, especially since it is consistent with the packaging paper . Also, the box feels so smooth and premium.
Price? Retail is not too steep but still can be a bit lower in my opinion. I am okay with purchasing this sneaker especially if my quantity was limited. Fortunately for anyone who hasn’t bought this yet they might be in luck soon, nonetheless make sure you stay tuned to Footlocker here to purchase.
In conclusion, this is definitely one of my favourite sneakers of 2020 and it is extremely underrated. I love what this shoe represents, how it was made, and of course, how it looks and feels. Please let me know what you think and if you plan on purchasing. Stay tuned to more posts and don’ t forget to subscribe!