The essence of simplicity combined with the complexity of a modern release – that is exactly how I’d define the second generation New Balance 442.
Crafted for players that pursue quality and excellence, the 442 v2 Pro is the brand’s most timeless boot to date. They feature a traditional construction and luxury leather materials through the upper for a premium feel on foot. This pair we have had in a few weeks, in which time we’ve had the opportunity to wear test at least a dozen times.
When you combine a lightweight, cross stitched k-leather upper with a modern soleplate, you are half way to a winning formula, a great start. Next is ensuring all the material work together in unison and provide comfort right out of the gate. Can the materials mesh together and provide players with a next level type of performance on foot? The answer to that has been a resounding yes, and right out of the box they prove to be super easy to break-in and wear. Everything about the design offers a pliable feel and natural stretch. Even the soleplate provides a flexible bend right out of the box.
This is the type of release that comes in at a mid-tier price point but is intended to compete with upper level silos like the Nike Tiempo, Adidas Copa and Puma King. In other words, they offer a viable alternative for players on a budget that want next level comfort and old school performance. But you also have to factor in that they are not designed to be a long-term solution like those listed, and the materials won’t provide you with the same durability. This also plays a part in the lightweight nature of the silo, and trust me when I say they are far lighter than their competitors. You get the benefit of a modern, lightweight construction, but that also takes a way from the lifetime of your pair.
An interesting addition that I’m a real big fan of lies on the inside of the boot, around the heel area. New Balance has placed three strategically positioned comfort pods, intended to grip your heel while reducing pressure in the area. They actually work really well and allow for a more secure fit without any unnecessary distractions.
And then we arrive at the all important question – how do they fit? Well, I’d compare them as being a suitable true to size option, with a comfortable medium-wide fit. This might reside more on the medium side of the scale starting out, as you loosen up the materials. But that K-Leather upper will give you some stretch during wear, adjusting to your foot shape over time. For those with a wider fit, New Balance has the solution for you; there is a wide fit version available!
Find all the latest 442 colorways available at SOCCER.com.