In September of 2020, ownership of the New York Mets switched hands to Steve Cohen, the billionaire hedge fund founder and a rabid Mets fan since childhood. With the new ownership came deep, open pockets and a new management regime that made its biggest splash in the franchise’s offseason history since trading for Mike Piazza 1998. Always in the shadow of the more successful Yankees franchise just miles away, the New York Mets quickly regained its stats as THE team in the Big Apple by acquiring shortstop Francisco Lindor, a superstar-level talent that would make any team in the MLB in the conversation for championship contention. With an assortment of other front office moves and roster shakeups, the New York Mets are now considered among the favorites to compete for the trophy, with Lindor certainly a primary reason for that change in fortune.
Not even a month after the trade, Francisco Lindor reported to camp at Port St. Lucie, draped in orange and blue for the first time in the public eye. Truly a welcome sight for Mets faithful, Lindor’s playful, laid-back charisma is the type of attitude that fits in perfectly with the rather young Mets core that includes fellow young phenoms in Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto. But our eyes were fixed on his feet, because Lindor brought to NYC his first-ever signature shoe – the New Balance ‘The Lindor 1’.
Since signing with New Balance in 2017, Francisco Lindor has become the fact of the surging brand. New Balance has become one of the most recognizable brands on the diamond thanks to the top-flight representation, but this debut of his signature shoe in a large market (and a city with a huge Puerto Rican population) is essentially a pleasant aligning of the planets for the infield dynamo. ‘The Lindor’ exists both in Cleat and Turf form – one for playing days and the other for casual/lifestyle purposes. Lindor specifically wanted that on-and-off-the-field purpose, but that versatility also stretches to the state-of-the-art removable ankle strap that allows the shoe to live as a Low or a High.
The Lindor 1 is presented in a number of colorways, but one that stands out is the tie-dye edition that that draws in the colors of Puerto Rico – a nod to his heritage. Each version also features a thick mid-foot strap featuring an all-over pattern of the New Balance logo and Lindor’s personal emblem. Furthermore, as part of the launch, a special Lindor hoodie and headband will also be available when the entire collection releases on March 1st on newbalance.com.
We spoke with Francisco briefly on coming to New York and his new New Balance gear, so check out the interview as well as the official photos of the New Balance The Lindor 1 below.
Sneaker News: Being a pro athlete in New York, having your own signature shoe is a big deal. There aren’t too many athletes in New York sports history that have that distinction. Do you feel any added pressure knowing that so many more people will be paying attention to you?
Francisco Lindor: No, not at all. I’m just really happy and excited for what the future is going to bring. Just having my own shoe with New Balance, the Lindor 1, there’s no pressure to be added at all man. You just gotta go out there and play the game right way – just keep doing what got me here. At the end of the day, I play the game the right way and if we all click at the right time, we can possibly win a championship and we know the city will be grateful.
SN: It must be crazy to have your name on a signature shoe with the number “1”, just thinking about the history of shoes. The LINDOR 1. Must be an amazing feeling.
FL: Yea man, it’s super cool. It’s a blessing. I’m humbled by it, this opportunity to create a shoe from scratch and to work along with the New Balance team, it’s special for sure. I only wear my shoes now, and that’s really dope. It’s special to me.
SN: You worked closely with New Balance on the design. What are some aspects of the shoe that you were involved with? Is there anything you told them “Hey, I need THIS in my shoe.”
FL: So the most important thing that I wanted was to get away from the baseball life. For baseball players, we have the cleats, and we have the turfs. And I wanted it to be more lifestyle so I can wear it anywhere I go – something that wasn’t strictly for turf. Something really important for me is that…in my family there are a lot of girls, and for them to wear it was really important. So to create a unisex shoe that girls could also wear was also a key thing in making this shoe. Then adding different things to make it comfortable, and swaggy, and not going away from the New Balance brand.
SN: Looking at some of the colorways – the black/grey, the tie-dye, the white/gold – which of three is your favorite?
FL: It’s a tough one! I like colors for sure. But every time I put on that white and gold, it’s so clean, different, you can wear it anywhere man. I think that one’s my favorite. The colorful tie-dye is really dope, and you can match it with anything because of the colors, but you can’t go too crazy.
SN: The LINDOR 1 is really the first off-the-field shoe that New Balance baseball has put out on the market for a while. How does it feel being that athlete for New Balance and having your own shoe that’s not just a cleat?
FL: Exactly. What you just said right there is exactly it. To be the first one and crossing bridges. I don’t want to “stuck” in baseball. I’m a baseball player and everybody knows that. But I want to cross the market. How do we bring the person that might have no idea about baseball, and with the shoes they become a baseball fan? That’s kind of how basketball players do it – you have so many shoes who may not know anything about LeBron and Jordan, but when you see their shoes in the stores, it makes them think “oh, who is that person? Oh that’s Jordan, that’s LeBron, that’s Curry, that’s Kyrie.” I got those shoes now, so i’m going to follow that. That’s what I wanted. To cross that bridge to the other side and bring other fans to the mix and not just to baseball, but to New Balance. The last 2 or 3 years, they’ve collaborated with a lot of people and made a difference, making lifestyle shoes in a fashionable way. I wanted to do that.
SN: I like that you brought up fashion and collaborations. If there was one designer that you could collaborate with on your show, who would that be?
FL: Ohh. Man. There’s so many. I like Jerry Lorenzo because I like Fear Of God and ESSENTIALS. Salehe Bembury is definitely one. I wear his shoes all the time.
SN: Besides your own shoe, what are some of your favorite New Balances to wear casually?
FL: The 247 for sure. Those were a big hit for me for a while. There’s so many. The 327 are very cool, light, and comfortable. Those are cool.
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