When it comes to shoes, functionality and fashion are no longer the only deciding factors in the design process. In recent years, a number of unique creations have been released with innovative features, such as Adidas’ new runners that come complete with an annual travel ticket for Berlin’s underground sewn into the tongue, or the company’s beer-proof sneakers inspired by Oktoberfest. And now, two of America’s largest clothing brands, New Balance and J. Crew, are the latest companies to announce a distinctive concept; a range of shoes inspired by the country’s national parks.
The collaboration is called New Balance for J. Crew 998 National Park sneakers, and sees limited edition designs being released that were inspired by Crater Lake National Park in Oregon and Death Valley National Park in eastern California. The colouring of both pairs of shoes reflect each of the destinations, with the Crater Lake sneakers being finished in shades of rich blue, calling to mind the crystal waters and snowy surroundings of America’s deepest lake, while the Death Valley pair evoke the desert landscape with brown and tan tones.
Retailing for $180 (€145) for every pair of sneakers sold, $10 will be donated to the National Park Foundation. “This fun and very stylish collaboration with J. Crew and New Balance inspires conversations about our country’s incredible National Park System and what we can all do to help support it,” Stefanie Mathew, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at the National Park Foundation told Lonely Planet Travel News.
In order to ensure the product images were as unique as the designs themselves, New Balance and J. Crew sent photographers Bryan Daugherty and Caleb Diaz to Crater Lake and Death Valley respectively, where they added their personal styles to the process, capturing the sneakers in the environments that inspired them.
The limited edition sneakers are available online at jcrew.com and from selected stores.