New Balance’s TDS Derby Is More Hender Scheme Than Sneaker

New Balance’s TOKYO DESIGN STUDIO imprint is behind some of the past few year’s most experimental (and best) NB stuff, ranging from Stone Island collabs to an unbranded 997 remake. Its ripple-soled New Balance 574 derby is one of TDS’ wildest creations and its latest colorway might be its best.

Stripped of the typical “N” logo, the TOKYO DESIGN STUDIO New Balance 574 is barely recognizable as NB’s classic runner, retaining only the original sneaker’s paneling, ENCAP bumper, and heel branding. With the stitchdown Vibram sole and clean upper, the TDS New Balance 574 intentionally looks more like a dress shoe than a sneaker, though the 574’s wide toebox does give it light bowling shoe vibes (for better or worse).

Launching November 19 at TOKYO DESIGN STUDIO’s T-HOUSE New Balance flagship, New Balance Roppongi, and other Japanese NB outlets for ¥30,800 (about $220), the latest TDS New Balance 574 is realized in stunning veg-tanned leather. If you like Hender Scheme’s naturally aging designs — and really, who doesn’t? — this one is right up your alley ‘cuz it’s gonna only look better with age.

Previous TDS New Balance 574 derbies were realized in tonal suede and more muted tones so this is an appreciably fresh look and, frankly, one that better befits its dress shoe influences.

This shoe also neatly dovetails with the recent slew of brown and beige-tinged (and very, very handsome) New Balance sneakers we’ve seen recently, including a lovely “Toast” 2002r, JJJJound 990s, and some CORDURA runners.

They ain’t for everyone, naturally, but the TOKYO DESIGN STUDIO New Balance 574 derbies are exactly what I like to see from a heritage footwear brand. They’re progressive, they’re weird, they’re a stylistic risk. Better than a million new colorways of the same ol’ shoes, if you ask me.

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