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New Balance Collabs with Snow Peak & Tokyo Design Studio for a Niobium Snow Boot

  • Jan 4, 2024
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New Balance Collabs with Snow Peak & Tokyo Design Studio for a Niobium Snow Boot

In 2020, New Balance, known for its subtle yet effective footwear collaborations, teamed up with Japanese outdoor gear brand Snow Peak and design firm Tokyo Design Studio on a new hiking boot, the Niobium. Based on New Balance’s MT801 trail runner and named after the 41st element on the periodic table, the modular shoe had a waterproof bootie inside which could be swapped for a sandal lining. As unique as its function was, the Niobium Concept 1 looked similar to a standard outdoor shoe. The trio followed this up a year later with the Concept 2, a two-way outdoor sandal that could transform into a mule thanks to a detachable heel strap. It’s been nearly three years since the last iteration but we finally get to see the Niobium Concept 3, and it’s the wildest design yet.

Built to be a legitimate snow boot, the Concept 3 still sports the modular design of previous Niobium models. The outer shell features a sole that’s inspired by New Balance’s MT580 in both look and feel. This sneaker was a favorite in Tokyo streetwear in the ‘90s. Here, it’s given boosted performance in snowy terrain with its grippy Vibram XS Trek Evo outsole and is attached to an upper made from eVent, a waterproof-breathable fabric previously used for the inner bootie in the Concept 1. Colored in white, this shell is also given bungee laces in the back, a rubber heel scraper, and loops on the front and top for attaching snowshoes underneath.

For added versatility, this shell can be completely removed to reveal the inner shell, featuring a graphic-heavy Cordura nylon upper that’s been quilted and insulated with Primaloft. Likewise, the shoes come equipped with a ROLLBAR stability post system for increased support by controlling movement in the rear of your foot.

Priced at $300, the Snow Peak x Tokyo Design Studio Niobium Concept 3 will be available from New Balance’s website starting January 5.

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