For baseball players looking for elite performance and comfort on the diamond, New Balance has been a top option for years. And for trend-setters on and off the diamond, New Era has been a go-to brand with the hottest hats around. So a partnership between the two was sure to combine the best of both worlds and deliver a jaw-dropping product. These special, limited-edition New Balance 3000v3 cleats and New Era 39thirty hats don’t disappoint. We sat down with New Balance Baseball Product Manager Matt Nuzzo to discuss what makes this collab so special.
Eastbay: This seems like a perfect collaboration. New Balance and New Era are both so popular in the baseball world. How did this all come together?
Matt Nuzzo (MN): This is just the start of a year-long collaboration that New Balance is doing with New Era across many different sports. But we wanted to kick it off with baseball because of how genuine and authentic we both are in the sport.
Eastbay: The look of this cleat is really interesting and unique. What are some of its special features?
MN: The main story is on the reflective upper. Since both brands are big in baseball, people recognize both our logos. The reflective hits throughout the upper really help the cleat stand out on the field.
Eastbay: How did you settle on the reflective design?
MN: New Balance and New Era agreed that a crazy cleat in crazy colors wouldn’t be true to our brands. That’s not really our styles. We both love making really clean looking stuff with subtle style touches. We embody that here and focused on making something really wearable. Usually, when kids get these special products from brands, they can’t wear them in season because they are too over the top and their coach won’t let them. We want kids to be able to wear it and use this while also still getting something progressive and cool.
Eastbay: What about the outsole?
MN: The first thing that stands out is the iridescent studs. We really wanted to highlight the construction of the cleat and by making the outsole translucent, you are even able to see the top of the studs. That’s not typical in baseball, so we wanted to showcase that part and make the cleats compliment the upper.
Eastbay: The New Era hat is just as cool as the cleat. Can you break down some of its features for us as well?
MN: Just like the cleat, there are three parts of the hat that are reflective. The New Balance logo in the middle of the hat is a TPU piece and has a color-shift effect similar to the cleat studs. Underneath the lid, in the spot you would write your name, that material is the same material that’s on the saddle of the shoe. So if you take a photo underneath the hat, it’ll shine. The taping down the back of the hat features the New Balance and New Era logos and is reflective as well. So there’s a lot of cool tie-ins between the hat and cleat. The mesh on the cleat is even the mesh that New Era uses for their hats.