The long-awaited update to the New Balance custom builder is finally here. The update brings forward a better user experience, new colors (some old ones gone), new model, and a new 3D render to dress up. The new silhouette they decided to add is the iconic 990. Personally, I’m a bit surprised by this new addition; it does make sense though. Seen the amount of love NB has given this model since its release and the history it bares, it was a logical step to take at this given time. Talking about time, I took a short stab at it tonight to see the new color palette and what other options, if any, were added. While doing so, I decided to take out my 2009 Nike iD “Midnight Rose” and made a rendition of it as you see above…
The one thing I noticed right away is the new hues given to the consumer to choose from and dress the 990 (574 or 993). It’s hard to say until you can compare them to swatches, but I’ll go over what I think has been renamed or changed. Hot Pink is now Pink Flamingo, Houndawg looks like Classic Camel but a littler darker, Vintage Indigo looks like the new Chambray, Nearly Navy has been replaced by Dark Royal which seems a bit brighter and richer, Pacific green is gone (really upset about this), but looks to be replaced by Neptune in a weird way, Sulfur yellow is gone, Yellow is now Lemon Drop, Orion Blue looks like Steel Blue from the classic NB 1300, Fireball bares resemblance to the hue from the New Balance x JCrew 998 inferno, Rosin is like a military green, Crushed Lilac is new, Wine is new (YES! Finally a burgundy like hue), Espresso (I think that was the name) is replaced by Dark Chocolate, Red is now Strawberry, Electric Blue is new but not available for the 990 as an option (574 only), the old purple is now Royal Purple, Kelly Green is now Turf Green, Glacier Blue is gone, and the old off white is now called Dawn White. I think that’s it for the color changes; if anyone else notices something I missed, please let me know in the comment section. Again, I’m guessing as I go because I haven’t seen any of these colors in person. I’m going by what I remember and some of my personal New Balance 574 Customs.
The standard New Balance pig skin suede is what these hues will soak into. This is what gives us the beautiful color saturation we’ve come to love from New Balance. This is the only leather option though. Hopefully we’ll see smooth grain leather added in the future like the 574 had. The only other material accent applicable is the synthetic (3M) available for the logo ‘N’ and heel tab. The synthetic options of black and white are not here. The outsole can only be picked in white, but we do get the stellar Vibram outsole not available on the other custom models.
The new Custom Builder has been reworked completely. The positioning is spot on as well as the 3D render you dress up. The movement of it as you touch the model is much smoother and gives you a realistic view of the 990. The placed color palette sits comfortably to your right and gives off a nice distance from the 3D render. The drop down windows for the details and technology are nice added accents too. The one touch 3D button is pretty kool. One touch and the color custom you built spins in a single 360 degrees. But, there are some needed positions for the shoe. I would like to have a flat side angle of the silhouette and one where I can see the full back of the model. Other then those two things, I think New Balance has done a well job of consistently improving their builder. Kuddos
Overall, these new additions of the NB 990 and color switcheroo seems nice. I haven’t spent too much time with it, but I’m excited about the Neptune, Rosin, and Wine hues. The added silhouette of the 990 is a much welcomed one too. I can’t wait to get in there and make some new CWs and old ones from my 574 custom stack. However, I do wish they had just kept the old hues, and only included the few new ones here. It wasn’t a huge flip on the color palette, so I don’t see why you couldn’t keep them in there. Anyway, I’ll be ordering one very soon and look forward to sharing my findings as always. Box price is $219.95, ships in 6 to 8 days (<-out of this world!) and is Made In The USA. Go get yours!
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