Today we have a little lesson for you in sneaker nomenclature, thanks our friends over at Complex Sneakers. We've always seen all those numbers on New Balance sneakers, but we never we really knew what they meant until now.

From the very beginning, New Balance started assigning numbers to its shoes with the belief that no two sneakers are alike. The original numbers were based off of the company's pricing structure, but as the company grew in size and popularity, a new way of numerically categorizing the shoes was needed. That is how New Balance developed today's six to seven digit code that you see on all of their sneakers.

The first one or two letters of the code stands for the sneaker's gender with an "M" signifying Men's and a "W" meaning Women's. Simple enough, right? Well things get a little trickier in the gender department when you incorporate a sport or collaboration, as "M" can became "MR" or "MT" for Men's Running or Men's Trail, respectively. For gender neutral shoes, the first letter of the code is a "U" for unisex.

The next part of the code stands for the sneaker's model number. The higher the number is the superior the technology and quality is along with its price tag.

Finally, the last two numbers represent the sneaker's colorway. For example "BWG" stands for "Blue/White/Gray." Every now and then these letters are switched out for "ST" or "MC" which signify whether it is a stability shoe or motion control shoe. When you add up those three parts, you get the number that you see on your New Balance sneaker.


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