‘Sensuous physicality’: Issey Miyake reveals barefoot sneaker collaboration with New Balance

The Issey Miyake x New Balance MT10O is based on minimalist running sneakers from the 2010s, designed to replicate the feeling of running barefoot

Pictures of the legs of people wearing the new Issey Miyake New Balance sneaker in black
The new Issey Miyake x New Balance MT10O, photographed by French image-maker Antoine Picard
(Image credit: Photography by Antoine Picard, courtesy of Issey Miyake)

Japan has a rich history of long-distance running, including the ‘Ekiden’ – road races covering vast distances over multiple days, the first taking place in 1917 from Kyoto to Tokyo. And, while contemporary Japanese runners now likely use the high-stack, bouncing-on-air carbon-plated sneakers that have since become the norm, a sleek new collaboration between Issey Miyake and New Balance returns to the ‘barefoot’, minimalist running sneakers of the 2010s, promising a feeling of ’sensuous physicality and barefoot mobility’, according to Issey Miyake designer Satoshi Kondo.

Indeed, the sneaker – titled the Issey Miyake × New Balance MT10O – looks back to the MT10, a minimalist trail running sneaker that was first introduced in 2011 as part of the Boston-based sportswear brand’s ‘Minimus’ series. With minimal padding and cushioning and a slim ‘close-to-the-ground’ sole, the new riff sees the original design reinterpreted by Kondo and his team in monochrome white, black and blue-green. Kondo says he was inspired by the ’natural and honest shape’ of the sneaker, which reflected the house’s S/S 2024 collection, where the design first appeared.

‘Sensuous physicality’: Issey Miyake x New Balance MT10O

Picture of legs jumping on a black background wearing Issey Miyake x New Balance sneakers

(Image credit: Photography by Antoine Picard, courtesy of Issey Miyake)

In terms of construction, the Issey Miyake × New Balance MT10O combines aerodynamic panels of mesh with leather, while cord shoelaces recall trail-running sneakers and hiking boots. The outsole, which is designed for ’grip and durability’, is made for off-road and trail running, created by Italian rubber and sole expert Vibram (the ‘drop’ is just 4mm, designed for a midfoot strike). New Balance says the overall impression is to feel as if you are running without shoes. It is completed with a co-branded logo and a special shoe case to reflect the sneaker’s limited-edition status.

The partnership follows a slew of recent collaborations between New Balance and fashion labels – from Junya Watanabe to Aimé Leon Dore, Todd Snyder and Kith. Most recently, a collaboration with Miu Miu – for the brand’s S/S 2024 collection, a suede style with double-colour laces – has proved a sell-out hit, with re-sale sites selling the co-branded sneaker at almost triple its £780 retail price.

The sneakers launch in Japan on 15 May 2024, with a global release to follow on 14 June 2024.


Picture of legs on colour background in New Balance Issey Miyake sneakers

(Image credit: Photography by Antoine Picard, courtesy of Issey Miyake)
Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.