New Balance's top running shoe gets a Tokyo Design Studio upgrade

The RC Elite V2 takes on a new cool blue look.

New Balance

New Balance Tokyo Design Studio is always putting its best foot forward. As the mastermind behind some of the brand’s most innovative footwear to date, the experimental Japanese offshoot is taking its expertise back to the racetrack by taking on the top-of-the-line RC Elite 2.

Because Tokyo Design Studio played a part in its construction, you can tell that the sneaker is a winner in the design department but has all the right performance potential to match. It was aesthetically inspired by another cross-cultural heritage sneaker, the New Balance 1300JP, but stands just as well on its own.

These kicks will take you places — The RC Elite V2 sneaker packs a punch in terms of its performance capabilities. It strays from typical New Balance dad-shoe territory into a more traditional running shoe structure. A FuelCell sole unit aims to provide a high energy return with a minimum of 55-percent rebound, while a multi-directional carbon fiber plate offers a blast of toe-off propulsion and speed.

New Balance
New Balance
New Balance

Breathability is the main factor for the upper, thanks to an incorporation of mesh. But the material actually gives way to a 3D-printed knit that allows for more air flow and flexibility. A few brands have hopped on the 3D printing wave with slides, clogs, and sneakers, making for a surprisingly durable and capable piece of footwear.

It’s a steel — Similar to the Stone Island unit, the sneaker features distressed detailing on the upper. Strips of the exterior are peeled away to expose a slashed “B” underneath, a design described by the brand in the previous release as an emergence from a classic predecessor. Shedding the skin also reduces its overall weight, making for a lighter, swifter shoe.

Visually, the kicks are said to be inspired by the New Balance 1300JP running shoes, a heritage sneaker that built on the success of the New Balance 1300 but appealed to a new Japanese consumer base. Its “Steel Blue” color scheme dresses the mesh bases in an icy blue and the suede overlays in gray. Eggshell white takes over the sole, laces, and collar. The traditional “N” takes its usual place on the lateral side “Tokyo Design Studio” is stamped on the tongue tabs.

The latest project from the New Balance Tokyo Design Studio will release August 6 for~$266. You can find it on the New Balance website and select Japanese retailers. It’s sure to be a favorite for runners and New Balance geeks, so if it’s calling your name, you’ll have to be fast.