New Balance has an obscure waterproof sneaker worth lusting over

In collaboration with the Japanese brand Auralee.

Auralee New Balance Tokyo Design Studio R_C2

New Balance’s always excellent Tokyo Design Studio is teaming up with Auralee on the “R_C2” sneaker for the second time. Once again, they’ve given the waterproof casual sneaker a soft, tonal color scheme — but they’ve also got something darker to release alongside it.

The two Japanese brands will release the R_C2 in two variants, one in light purple and cream and another in chocolate and black. Both come equipped with Gore-Tex for full waterproofing, but the R_C2 is more of a lifestyle shoe than some of Tokyo Design Studio’s other recent releases.

If you’re looking for a shoe you can wear everyday, in fair conditions and weather far from it, this collaborative R_C2 is a perfect catch-all. You don’t need to go full gorp to enjoy the benefits of Gore-Tex.

New Balance
New Balance
New Balance

All the tech you need — In addition to a Gore-Tex membrane, Tokyo Design Studio’s R_C2 makes use of New Balance’s Abzorb cushioning system. In use since 2013, Abzorb combines a combination of proprietary foam and a Dupont Engage Isoprene rubber for high comfort and low compression. Like many other cushioning systems on the market, it’s lightweight — but it’s also able to hold up longer than standard EVA foams.

The silhouette itself is essentially a more casual runner, with a bulkier upper than you’d see on out-and-out running shoes. Suede, leather, mesh, and ripstop nylon panels come together for a premium feel. Atop it is a semi-translucent rubber shell, with a big “N” logo embedded, for security. And rounding out the shoe is a tread more like what you’d see on a boot, adding to the R_C2’s versatility.

Like it did in 2019, the same year the R_C2 was first introduced, Auralee leaves the shoe as is while contributing its own vision of color.

New Balance

Only one place to buy in the States — Auralee and Tokyo Design Studio’s second R_C2 collab is slated to release March 19. While the bulk of the shoes will drop in Japan, Ssense will be the only place you can buy for (direct) delivery to the U.S. It sold for $230 last time around, which gives you an idea of what to expect since New Balance has yet to confirm a price.

Scoop up a pair and you’ll be all set for the impending spring showers and beyond.