New Balance 992 “Rewind”: Out of the Box
- Price: $180 [Sold Out]
- Pros: Quality Materials, 90’s style
- Cons: Limited Availability, Higher Retail
Here at 100wears there are a few recurring themes on shoes we like. Generally, they are made with higher end materials, are assembled in the United States, and often have a hit of 90’s nostalgia to them. When I heard that there was a pair of sneakers coming that met all these criteria – and a collab with a local sneaker store no less – I knew that I had to pick up a pair. Is YCMC’s New Balance 992 Rewind worth it? Let’s take a look.
The inspiration for this shoe is the 1990’s – specifically 90’s hip-hop, TV, and fashion in Baltimore/DC area during the 90’s. If you’re interested in more background on the 992, take a look at our review of the 992 Blue Teal Rose. We go into a lot of history related to New Balance and the 992.
Like all of the 99X-series New Balance Runners, the 992 rewind is not shy with the number of panels. Starting at the front, a navy colored mudguard in a medium thick suede sets the toe of the majority of the upper. Note: I’ve noticed other reviews say this is black, but it’s definitely navy. This color and material makes up the majority of the shoe – the midfoot panels, the heel panel, and most of the eyelet areas.
Breaking the subdued navy is hits in a variety of bright highlights. The mesh panels on the toe box, tongue, and heel counter are a bright metallic aqua. New Balance stabilized these mesh panels with fuzzy purple ones.
However, the part that pops the most is the neon green outline on the N logo. It’s the first thing that catches your eye.
One other area that is really interesting on this shoe is the 3M reflective hits. Unlike most 992s, these shoes feature an extremely reflective material on the back “USA” logo, the tongue, and the side panels. This panel also shines back with a slight rainbow hue. It’s hard to describe but, in person, but it’s right out of 1994. YCMC also opted for a different font on the 992 rewind compared to a normal 992, upping the 90’s nostalgia even higher.
The shoe comes with 4 different laces – the navy pair seen here, an all white pair, a white pair with pink and yellow accents, and a pink pair with navy and yellow accents. While I’m normally here for multi-colored shoes, the last two are too much. There is basically no other yellow on the shoe. In typical New Balance fashion, they are also all about 4 inches too long.
Inside, the shoe is lined with a bright purple sock linger, and a multi-colored comic-book-style insole.
Mid- and Outsole:
The midsole of this shoe aims to let the upper do the talking – at least mostly. The majority of the midsole is made up of various shades of white. Up front the midsole foam has a slightly blueish tint, in the back the foam has a slightly yellowish tint, but you can really only tell if you’re a few inches away.
These whites are broken up by a hit of purple rubber up front, and a pink heel counter in the back – with the green “New Balance” logo. It wouldn’t be a 90’s themed shoe without pink and green together somewhere. The only other color on the midsole is the off-white rubber of the “ABZORB” panel on the back of the shoe. I wish that they had made this purple like the panel by the toe box. This color just doesn’t match on this pair.
Under foot, the majority of the outsole is a stark white in a typical running shoe pattern. The colorful 992 logo is primarily blue, with navy, pink, and yellow hits.
Fit & Comfort:
The 992 rewind fits like all other 992s. In other words, it’s a fairly long last that is wider in the heel and tighter in the toe box. Widefooters are probably not going to ever be 100% comfortable in these. Thankfully, the materials are fairly forgiving and will accommodate most feet, but the fit might be a bit sloppy. I take these in a size 13. For comparison, I’m a 13 in the Jordan 1, a 12.5 in Stan Smiths, and a 13 in Ultraboosts.
Click Here for a full sizing list of all the shoes we have reviewed.
If these are your first New Balance shoes, the comfort is different than what you might be used to on a modern sneaker. Adidas’ boost and Nike’s react/ZoomX/etc. are all incredibly plush. Combined with modern engineered uppers that fit like a sock, modern running-shoe style shoes have a very distinct feel.
The 992 rewind doesn’t feel like that. Instead, the shoe is built up to be supportive. The midsole is big, thick, and heavy. It has foams of different density between the front and back. The heel counter is hard. The upper is thick. This is a shoe that is designed to support your foot, not adapt to it.
When you first walk out the door they certainly don’t feel as good – and I wouldn’t suggest actually running in these – but if you’re looking for something to wear all day these are a great option.
Materials & Construction:
As I mentioned up top, one of the reasons I wanted to pick up these shoes was the materials that New Balance uses in their US-made sneakers. The majority of the shoe is really quality stuff. The biggest draw here is the pig-suede navy panels that make up the majority of the upper. These have a really great hand to them, and should last the life of the shoe.
Building on the suede is the quality materials of the mid and outsole. The 992 rewind is built to take miles of wear. The EVA foam is supportive and will be long lasting, while the solid rubber outsole is fairly thick and won’t wear through too quickly.
It isn’t all perfect though. Some panels are surprisingly cheap. In particular, just about everything purple on this shoe is pretty bad. The purple support panels feel like vinal and the purple sock liner is an incredibly thin piece of fabric. I’m all but certain the first fail point on this shoe is going to be the sock liner getting a hole.
The build quality is similar to the materials. For the most part the shoe is put together extremely well. There are a few places on the upper where the stitching isn’t entirely straight, though.
Still – comparing this to a pair of Nikes is night and day.
Ease of Care:
While the materials mentioned above may be premium, they are also a lot harder to keep clean. Unlike Jordan 1s – which are coated with plastic and only need water to stay clean – these shoes will require more effort. The suede will shoe everything. As you can see in the pictures, just the natural oils from my hand was visible on the navy suede. I’d suggest spraying these with a suede protector before the first wear if this is going to bother you.
If you didn’t and you want to get them clean, there are special suede and nubuck cleaners available.
The other thing worth point out is that the 992 rewind has bright white outsoles. These are going to get dirty the first time you pull them out of the box and will never be this white again. I think that’s pretty obvious but I know some people won’t like that look.
Pricing & Value:
Originally priced at $180 on YCMC.com, they have since sold out and are no longer available. This was a $5 premium over a standard 992.
Resale prices are all over the board. Stock on these was fairly low, but these didn’t get the hype some other New Balance collabs had, so it really just depends on your size. Ebay has a number of sizes available with pricing ranging from $106 to $220. I normally note that eBay only authenticates on shoes $200 and more, but I’m not sure there are many fakes of these.
StockX has pairs for similar prices and will authenticate everything, but with fees you’re going to end up paying a lot more.
So, the real question, is the 992 rewind worth it? If you’re like me – in other words, someone who is willing to pay a bit more for materials and a shoe made in the U.S. – absolutely. The materials on these are significantly better than something from Jordan brand or Adidas, while costing the same or even less than most of what they put out. That I can support US manufacturing and a local store in the process is the icing on the cake.
That being said, if you’re searching for the hype (no judgement from me) or want something with maximum comfort – these might not be the right pair for you.
The YCMC x New Balance 992 rewind is a nostalgia filled shoe for people who want something premium, and are willing to pay a little bit more in retail pricing to get it.
If you’re someone who sees value in higher end materials and US manufacturing, pick up a pair. You won’t be disappointed.