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New Balance Helps Levi Strauss Sneak Into the Shoe Business

By James Brumley - Mar 6, 2020 at 5:01PM

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Both companies have a history of product collaborations, but this denim-themed running shoe is a whole new concept.

Consumers are going to see a curious new look on shelves at some shoe stores before the end of the month. Denim company Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI -1.86%) has collaborated with shoe brand New Balance to make what it's calling an "authentically American sneaker." That is, a special version of New Balance's 1300 design using the same materials used to make a pair of jeans -- blue denim and brown suede, with white stitching and the tiny orange Levi's tag that's on every pair of Levi's jeans.

Hand browsing through athletic shoes, sneakers on shelf

Image Source: Getty Images.

The shoe scheduled for release on March 26 celebrates New Balance's 35th anniversary, and will be available at Levi's and New Balance stores, through the Levi's app, and at some of the companies' retailing partners. The sneaker isn't exactly meant for the casual consumer looking for a new pair of kicks though. At a price of $200, it's aimed at collectors and enthusiasts. The orange and tan box they come in adds to their collectability.

"We are excited to bring two iconic American brands together that share the same quality and craftsmanship values," New Balance collaboration manager Joe Grondin said.

Collaborations are nothing new for the shoe company. New Balance has made special edition sneakers with New York-based retailer Kith and J. Crew has partnered with the athletic-oriented cobbler on multiple occasions, just to name a few. Levi Strauss has designed products with unique partners too, unveiling a wide array of Star Wars themed apparel in November.

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