After months of teasers, Tuesday finally saw the full unveiling of the Stone Island and New Balance collaborative sneaker. The news flow started with the announcement of Tokyo Design Studio’s involvement in the project and culminated in a series of macro images of the sneaker. The hype and anticipation was at its worst.
The polarizing nature of the silhouette (dubbed the RC ELITE_SI | NB_1) instantly became clear once it was displayed in full screen. Unlike the pair’s 2013 collaboration which offered a two-piece selection of the classic New Balance 577 that featured Stone Island’s popular Raso Gommato, the RC ELITE is an ultra-modern performance sneaker.
Now that the dust has settled and we’re heading into release day, our editors are reacting to the Stone Island x New Balance RC ELITE in all its glory.
Fabian Gorsler – Shoe Editor
“A lot of people don’t understand why Stone Island and New Balance got involved in this collaboration. What people might have missed is for Stoney to focus on material innovation and push the boundaries of technology in fashion. This translates perfectly into one of New Balance’s fastest sneakers. I also love the way the upper feels like a performance sneaker breaks through a heirloom design. It’s a nice change of pace from all the legacy collaborations (which have all been amazing as well).
Jake Silbert – Style Editor
“Stoney x NB takes everything that makes the protection pack cool and amplifies it endlessly. Like it or not, this is precisely the kind of collaboration we should be seeing more of: a pretty colourway, experimental textiles, an underrated model. In fact, the best part about this collaboration is that it’s not just a boring reskin of a trendy sneaker.
Fuelcell’s understated silhouette has a killer shape and is a great base for that wacky (de) build. Could live without the mark on the toe, sure, but it’s at least true to the original. If all the moans on social media are any indication, it should be a pleasantly easy cop day. “
Graeme Campbell – Main Feature Editor
“There are some brands that when they try their hand at sneakers feel a bit like new. Stone Island is one of them. Like the Sock Dart and Samba collaborations in the past, this isn’t a necessarily bad shoe, and I’m sure it contains the kind of advanced materials that would make a CERN technician knee-weak. But what would you even wear branded Stoney kicks with? To me, it’s as shocking as the idea of a New Balance rain jacket. It is a beautiful collector’s item, nothing more.
Tora Northman – Editor-in-Chief
“I’ve never bought Stone Island before this collaboration, and that probably won’t change after seeing them.”
Sam Cole – Associate Style Editor
“If you like your HOKA, then I think the silhouette is about perfect, but I just can’t hide behind the massive mark. For me, this is far too blatant. It’s obvious at this point that any collaboration Stone Island offers is going to polarize its audience. In the end, the Nike and Supreme collaborations won over many OG fans, and I’d be surprised if that didn’t happen again.
I salute the change of pace of all the collaborative 990X and 2002Rs we’ve had this year. That being said, while I can appreciate the direction, I’m going to have to be a total hypocrite and admit that I would have preferred a heritage silhouette that makes the most of the fabrics and dyes from SI.
To stay up to date with all the happening in the sneaker world, check out the best sneakers to add to your rotation this week, follow @highsnobietysneakers on Instagram and sign up for our newsletter for early access to the best drops sent straight to. your inbox.