Detroit’s love of Vernors ginger ale goes way back. The soda was first produced in Michigan in 1866, and it’s wildly popular in the state to this day.

Burn Rubber—a sneaker shop located in Detroit—has teamed up with New Balance to release a Vernors sneaker. Store co-owner Rick Williams tells Complex, “I always try to pick a silhouette that represents something from where we’re from.”

The hybrid sneaker takes the upper from the New Balance 576 and sole from the 580. As for the Vernors references, Complex’s Matt Welty explains,

“The wood grain on the can is seen on the toe box. The actual liquid was photographed and printed on the insole, and it connects to the gold speckles on the gum sole made to resemble the soda, too. And let’s not overlook the most glaring Vernors reference: the colorway of the sneaker that’s a direct play on the green and yellow that can be found on the can.”


A little Vernors history: It is the oldest surviving ginger ale brand in the United States. After returning from the Civil War to Detroit in 1866, James Vernor found that a beverage he left in an oak cast barrel took on a sweet, gingery flavor. And that’s how the cult soda was born.

About the Vernors sneaker, Williams says, “This is something that so many people care about. We were like, let’s tell the story. People will get a chance to try it and see something we experience all the time in Michigan.”

Burn Rubber held a friends-and-family release of the “Vernors” at its newly constructed store last weekend, and the shoes went on sale for $180 on the store’s webshop this past Saturday, November 29.

Don’t think you have to be from Detroit—or even a Vernors fan—to appreciate these New Balances. Williams tells Complex,

“At the end of the day, a dope shoe is a dope shoe. I’m not selling it based on the story. The story is secondary. The shoe has to be fresh first. If the shoe is dope, a lot of people are going to rock with it.”

Cheers to that.


[via Complex Sneakers]

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