Amidst the smell of seafood broils and crawfish, Baton Rouge, Louisiana is home to a vibrant sneaker ecosystem. Widely recognized for their collaborative “Crawfish” Nike SB Dunk Low in 2014, sneaker boutique and skate shop Rukus have announced their latest joint effort alongside New Balance’s Numeric banner that effortlessly invokes the area’s deep-rooted history.
Traditions and tales have been passed down across the bayous for generations with Voodoo culture permeating throughout the marsh since the 18th century. In a testament to that longstanding culture, the Baton Rouge brand explores a myriad of textiles atop the low-top New Balance 440. Resembling the aesthetic of a Voodoo Doll, a tan-tinted shaggy suede textile fills the vamp, quarter and heel counter while the midfoot is treated to a rich burlap paneling. Reminiscent of the doll’s construction, a persistent amount of tack stitching animates the bright red pebble leather “N” logos and the heel with jet-black buttons mirroring the doll’s eyepieces.
Further pops of crimson animate the heel tabs and inner linings that simultaneously feature bright blue custom Rukus vévé detailing – a nod to the commonly used symbol in Voodoo rituals where vévés are drawn on the floor.
The Rukus x New Balance 440 “Voodoo Doll” will be released on Friday, December 1, 2023 at the Rukus pop-up inside of Perkins Rowe at 10156 Perkins Rowe Suite 110, Baton Rouge Louisiana 70810. In the meantime, the pair can be seen ahead in detailed imagery.