So You Got Your New Balance Sneakers, Now What?

Come on, you didn’t really think you could wear them athletically, did you?


I often really have to wonder whether or not my strange, unwitting and sudden fashion predilections are a direct result of the sense of manipulation I probably feel upon desiring – or learning that I should desire – to function the same way, sartorially speaking, that the fashion designers heating my loans with their indispensably cool clothes and even cooler personal style do.

Case in point: the pictured New Balance sneakers which I can’t take off.

Some personal historical context: I had a pair of these in middle school but that was way less about looking cool and much more about feeling comfortable. In high school, I made contact with them again but if I’m going to get really honest about it, I only really wanted them because the boy I had a crush on – he went to a school on the South Shore of Long Island – wore them day in and out. I know, what the fuck, right?

But here’s the thing about my decision to indulge in them now. I am pretty sure if not blatantly positive that this is all Phoebe Philo’s fault. I know I’ve been alluding to it at nearly every opportunity that has presented itself since the initial purchase but when I look down at my feet and seriously, actually, for the first time in a long time feel “effortlessly cool,” I have to wonder where that’s coming from.

And furthermore, in fact, why the high-fashion labeled shoes of these designers don’t always do the same thing for me.

The New Balance sneakers are not cool. They are not universally trendy. They are the product of what Philo disseminates into our Cosmo, what Colette collects, chews up, swallows and regurgitates and finally, what I concede to wearing in a pithy effort to be a more hip person.

Maybe, too, it’s another nod to irony. I’ve heard myself say that I love them ironically at least ten times. I’ve had a hard time saying it if the sentiment isn’t tethered to the descriptive, conclusive adjective. Which, of course, means that they cannot and will not be worn with athletic clothes. In the slideshow above you’ll find three outfitting suggestions to answer the question that brought us here in the first place: so you’ve got your New Balance sneakers, now what?

Outfit #1 includes an Isabel Marant blouse, Chloe pants and DannijoΒ and Mark Henry necklaces.

Outfit #2 (the further fall appropriate variation) includes a Vanessa Bruno sweater, Balenciaga skirt (bought 70% at a Barney’s in Las Vegas, home girls did not what they were sitting on!), Dannijo necklace and Proenza Schouler bag adorned by hairy totem pole slash purse catcher.

Outfit #3 includes a Topshop mini dress, Steven Alan hat (though make no mistake, it is not any better than the Duane Reade version I bought last summer), Valentino purse and bracelets by Heads Up for Charity and Lionette. The rings are by Khai Khai.

And finally, because it ain’t a Tuesday afternoon without a gif that follows an important musical note, I beg you all to…

3bKwUo on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

Bounce with me, bounce with me.

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  • Love how you styled them. New Balance sneakers are the best!

  • Heidi

    I’m a HUGE New Balance fan as they’re the only remaining athletic shoe company that makes sneakers in the United States. I know you’re not wearing them for sport, but my running shoes are New Balance and I’m eyeing up a similar pair as yours for my next casual shoes. I figure if I can run 40+ plus a week in them then they are certainly solid enough for a casual day hoofing on sidewalks.

    • Madame Ostrich

      Interesting! I didn’t know that New Balance makes their sneakers stateside… very cool!


      • Mona

        some styles only are made in the US, check their websites for options

        • Heidi

          Sorry, didn’t mean to make it sound as if all New Balances are made in the USA! Only select models are made in the USA, but other than that I’m happy to support a company who makes even one shoe here.

    • Sara

      Yep! That is why I only wear New Balance sneakers. I refuse to wear anything else.

  • monkeyshines
  • Nico
  • Stephanie Ward

    For some reason I can’t picture you talking the way you write in person.

  • sharla

    super obsessed with my new balance kicks, wore them with all black yesterday so yeah I feel you on that!!

  • Sylvie

    Leandra, what is your nationality? If you don’t mind me asking.

    • Leandra Medine

      My mom is from Iran and my dad is from Turkey! I am first gen. American

      • kls

        hey! our parents have the same background!

      • Allergistmommy

        I had no idea! Your writing always captivates me in and I totally relate to your sarcastic personality. Persian love from SoCal!

  • juliuslove

    I just can’t get on with this trend of New Balance sneakers paired with non-sporty outfits. The shoes still scream too sporty for me

  • c.

    I’m getting a pair of 574s but I can’t decide which color. Red, Gray, or Black?

  • Natali

    “Black” outfit is just wonderful!

  • andrieya

    Please tell me you’ve all seen the SNL skit about New Balance!

  • mayjayday

    the dress is amazing

  • Mona

    I love this specially the last pic with the music! Hahaha

  • C

    I just cannot get the new-balance-sneakers-or-nike-airs-with-everything thing. It’s a look that is everywhere and it seems like people only started on it because, like you said it, someone up there in the fashion food chain decided that it was cool. It’s not the same as a converse sneaker. It’s the same thing with the Birkenstock, another trend which I cannot understand. Fashion people used to diss it but the moment Emmanuelle Alt puts it on together with some trousers, it’s super hot and everybody suddenly decides that cork-based sandals are sartorially awesome and flock to get a pair. What’s next, havaianas with a three-piece suit?

    • Andy

      Actually, scandinavians, especially Danes, have been pairing sneakers with everyday clothes for a long time. It’s very scandinavian πŸ™‚

  • Linzi Gurney

    Where can I find this colour way? Must continue on my life mission to be you.

  • Jennifer

    Love the sneakers with the dress!

    xo Jennifer

  • I love your dress with sneakers look! Works surprisingly well πŸ™‚

  • Are you Steve Jobs? Hold on a second – are you the billionaire owner of Apple computers?

  • Style StreetStalker

    totally awesome!!!


  • Aww, you pull them off beautifully! Not many people could do that with new balance!

  • gabby

    and perfect for yk services!

  • The blue dress is super good on you. Fantastic!

  • Ok, so maybe I never thought that those New Balance sneaks from middle school would ever be “cool.” Will it stay that way?

    Your Friend, Jess

    • Leandra Medine

      For a second I thought this comment was from James Joyce which seemed really surreal.

  • Sara

    Socks or no socks?

  • Tina Tresses

    They’ve been selling them for men at J. Crew in special colors. You look ahmaz-ing.

  • Elisa Taviti

    ahahaha!! Fab!

    xx Elisa
    My Fantabulous World

  • No!!! It makes me sad to see chic nyc and chicago women wearing tennis shoes (although I love me some supergas) with their nice clothes. Although you make them as cute as they possibly could be! Love your style, but don’t know if I can jump on this trend… πŸ˜‰

  • haha. I love this!
    and I love the GIF πŸ˜›

  • Crystal

    I for one love this trend. There is only so much pressure a girl can take to coordinate all of her outfits perfectly. I like the imperfection that a sports sneaker, especially a pair of New Balance, gives you.

    Also…They’re comfortable.

  • rhodawong

    your accessories are amazing!

  • Irene

    Oh God! the skirt!

  • jas

    i absolutely love that topshop dress on you. new balance sneakers – another thing bloggers wear. but how do you make them look so good???

    reckless abandon blog

  • Greer CLarke

    If that was a direct link to that blue dress I would have bought it by now!

  • Maricruz L. Armenta

    All your necklaces and bracelets look like a dream!

  • Love all these outfits, Leandra! Wore my grey New Balance 574s today to school with a Jane Birkin t-shirt and a magenta, tulle skirt. Love that disconnect. And you’re right…you actually can’t wear those athletically! Any sport or activity that involves impact (mainly running) in those things would probably end in some shin splints! They’re best for walking and being paired with skirts.

  • karine

    I just got myself a new pair of new balance a while ago and I love them!

  • MichΓ¨le
  • Hmmm … That Mini Skirt and the Sneakers, like, worn together? No?

    (life without sneakers is just not that good)


    the sneaks are great but they just do not go with these things-personal preference that is!:)

  • Dominica C

    had them for years and suddenly everyone wants them !! Not only do they have great color combo’s but they are by far the best sneakers I’ve ever had. They never hurt and they match sporty outfits as cute dresses or skirts. love your bag here !


  • Oh gosh, your jumping pictures nearly made me wet myself! Style and humour are a good mix, you’re one of a kind!

    Mafalda ❀

  • her persona

    love the last outfit!!!

  • Mary Lynn Buchanan

    Hahaha that GIF is amazing

  • You manage to pull them off with each look but the Topshop mini dress is definitely my favourite.

  • Pennywise Poundcake

    I used to be all about New Balance…maybe it’s time to rekindle my love.

  • CarlotaLMorais

    Leandra I’ve been wondering when is your collaboration with superga out? Since I’m from far far away Portugal I need to be fast and order the velvet ones before they vanish!
    ALSO love these new balance it seams that they go well with EVERYTHING!

  • Pip O’Sullivan

    hahaha you are a gem. love the gif <3

    love outside is colours

  • YoungMild&Free

    I love this blog so much. Definitely more of a Nike fan for my actual running shoes, but I love how you styled these NBs. Thank you for sharing!


  • cupcake6

    I was wearing trainers with dresses in 1994-1995 – Nike Air’s – that makes me old and on top of this trend. Another relic of the 90’s.
    also been rocking my New Balance lately and so want these.

    • Yes, I remember, too: trainers with dresses are so 90’s – but well worth repeating.

  • maud.schellekens

    Fabulous looks, love it!

    XOXO Maud


  • Kimberly Ariete

    You are one of the most stylish women I’ve ever laid eyes on. Whatever you wear always looks so damn good. You are also one of the funniest, wittiest, and most intelligent women I’ve ever known. You are not only my girl crush but also a role model/total idol. Never stop doing what you do. Ok, I’m going to stop before this gets anymore cheesier.

  • Alyssa Lyon

    These are so cute on you! I love how you’ve paired them with the flouncy mini dress. I have a pair of NB’s but I’m actually about to trade them in for some Nikes. Yes, I know I’m selling out but I feel like if I want to be a fit bitch I need to dress like one and get myself some of those snazzy Nike sneakers in a crazy color pallete like lime green or atomic pink like all the cool girls are wearing. I love trends, what can I say.
    Shop Vintage Levis

  • Cassandra Too

    I like how you style this outfit! The gif is so cute! πŸ˜€

    Google + / Twitter / Bloglovin

    cassandra xx

  • Haha the gif in combination with the music is waaay too funny!

  • jayayzedzed

    I only say this because I’ve seen your commitment to great grammar and the humor and grace with which you accept these comments, but those designers are heating your LOINS, girl!

  • Nicole Pedrozagg

    holy shit Lea…is that a cuff on your clutch? haha

  • Alice Grey

    I love the necklace you’re wearing with your sneakers. fun!! πŸ™‚

  • Ashley Napoli

    I’m getting a pair of New B’s for the fall! You’re awesome

  • Blakey

    Sweetest shoes on the block, circa fifth grade 2006. Wore em’ to graduation, recess, and everywhere in between. Seeing you rock them makes me want them again!


  • Oroma Roxella Rukevwe

    That third look is my fave and I love the skirt in the second one!

    O.R.R’s BLOG

  • The new balance sneakers look great with the skirt. I really need to venture out form the traditional nikes. NB look way better with casual looks.

  • I prefer them styled with all white. And the layered necklaces are darling!

  • Haha so cute. Maybe i’lll try wearing them with a black skirt. Really need some comfort shoes plus style ideas for an up coming asia trip!

  • Maria

    Again in vogue Brasil…. Love it!!!

  • E

    Only seeing this post now– I LOVE New Balances. They’re the type of shoes that are so ugly to the point that they’re not. But I wonder, what’s next? What’s the next sneaker we’re going to recycle from the men’s/tourist’s/fifth grader’s closet?

  • Kelly M

    Not a huge new balance fan but you are changing my mind — love the top shop dress. Bounce with you? Most definitely.

  • Charlottey

    Hey Leandra what style are these New Balances? Have been trying to find them everywhere!

  • I love this so much! Ever since growing up with ’80s and ’90s with Nike Airs and the like, I always gravitated towards these more retro sneakers. The more futuristic they get, the more I pine for a return to the classics, such as these (ok, ok, my Nike Dunk Sky His are the exception..). I don’t care if it’s trendy or jumping on the bandwagon, but those wine-hued 574s that have been in my virtual shopping cart for awhile now? I think it’s time to hit ‘send’. Thanks for the inspiration, Leandra. And btw, that Balenciaga skirt is to die for – what a score!

  • tweety

    Babe, what size are you in that blue Topshop dress?! It fits you like a glove and I believe we have similar body types πŸ˜‰

  • luminlumin

    Hey, just wondering which model are your New Balance shoes? Would like to get them. There are a lot of great colors out there. Trying to think which color should I get to suit my wardrobe.

  • wei dai

    i love this styled them. New Balance shoes are the best! i also see this shoes in

  • Havilah Brewster

    Yeah, but which ones should I get? Is the important thing here. I DON’T WHICH STYLE I NEED TO WANT!

  • You have a couple of awesome outfits here. Cool shoots.

  • Sneakerhead

    I love New Balance Sneakers – my favourites are the 574 models. I love those BFL from the Palm Springs Collection