New Balance seems to be all the rage right now in the sneaker world. Be it the grayed out General Releases or collabs, there’s just something interesting about the brand. Coming from a skeptic who dipped in and out of the runner category, I recently picked up a pair that really arose my interest by way of the Salehe Bembury X New Balance 2002R “Water Be The Guide”.

What’s New 

Designer extraordinaire Salehe Bembury takes to a nature tripping escapade. By drawing inspiration from the Havasu Falls located in the Grand Canyon in Arizona, we are given a colorful and texture-heavy take like we’ve never seen before on the NB 2002R. The result is an eye-catching pair that traces back even to its packaging.

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The material choices probably are the stars here as we are treated to some hairy suede and grass like materials for the “N” logo which gives the shoe a nice natural feel.

The nice salmon-like mesh on the toebox and smaller panels provide extreme breathability that took me by surprise as I was rocking this pair for three consecutive days and felt like it’s one of the comfiest pair I ever rocked. Oh, and they come with two colored lace options, who does that nowadays?


Go True To Size on them as runners feel better when they’re a bit snug and form fitting. If you want more room, then .5 isn’t that bad either. The suede stretches over time and considering the mesh toeboxes, your feet is not going to scream bloody murder for their freedom too. 

How Do We Feel About Them 

For sure, New Balance maybe getting some real hype nowadays but the fact is they never lost it. They’ve always been spearheading their releases with great collaborations and concepts that somehow flew over the radar of the sneaker buying masses. This pair though is a testament to their greatness as it both brings Salehe Bembury’s affinity for nature and NB’s trademark for quality and overall stylistic performance—how can you complain?

Where to Buy 

Thry are currently going for Php 14,000 to Php 15,000 a pop in the secondary market, which is actually almost double its SRP. We really can’t complain as it is really justified. From the materials to its storytelling element to the overall wearability, this shoe is definitely one of the best NB has put out in awhile. 

The Salehe Bembury X New Balance 2002R “Water Be The Guide” Verdict

If you want a New Balance shoe that’s quirky and damn creative enough to turn heads, then this is a pair that you should own—pronto. Some sneakers are bought only to be kept for some special occasion and this pair begs to differ. It wants you to give it some scars and bruises from nature trips and rocky walks. That’s a beautiful thing which is reason enough for us recommend that you check it out ASAP.

In other shoe reviews, you should check out our review on local brand Portray Footwear on their futuristic take on the Purple Pigeon Dunk. 


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