Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz doesn’t have many games left in his Major League Baseball career, and New Balance is making sure its star athlete hits the diamond in style for his final trips to home plate.
The brand announced on Sept. 21 that for the final four regular season series of his playing career, Ortiz will be in custom cleats inspired by each city. The teams his Red Sox are scheduled to face are the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. Additionally, the brand announced that for his last regular season game, which is scheduled for Oct. 2, Ortiz would wear a fifth custom cleat dressed in his team’s colors that will boast the dates of all of his walk-off home runs on the toe.
For Ortiz’s fans, New Balance will sell iterations of its 574 lifestyle shoe that correspond with the cleats he wears in limited quantities on newbalance.com as well as the brand’s Boston storefront.
For the Baltimore iteration, the cleat will still be dressed in red but boast crab-themed elements. It will also feature gray newspaper print on the upper, a nod to laying out newspaper for busting open the crabs while eating. The corresponding 574 is available now for $160.
The Tampa Bay cleat is inspired by hammerhead sharks, and is executed in gray with hints of ice blue, a nod to the ocean. The matching 574 style arrives Sept. 23 and will also retail for $160.
The New York style boasts a yellow finish, representative of New York City taxis, with a black and white checkered pattern on the “N” branding and chrome hits (a nod to the taxi’s bumper). The corresponding 574 arrives Sept. 27 and also retails for $160.
For the Toronto cleat, New Balance incorporated a maple leaf on the heel, the Toronto skyline on its medial side of the shoe, the city’s two area codes on each toe, and Toronto’s nickname — “The 6” — on the tongue. It’s matching 574 shoe hits stores on Sept. 30, also with a $160 retail price.
The final cleat for Ortiz, dubbed the Final Walk Off, includes New Balance’s “Walk Off 34” logo on the right foot and the dates of Ortiz’s walk-off home runs on the left foot. Instead of a matching 574 for this cleat, New Balance will offer the Boston 998 — only available at the brand’s Boston location on Boylston Street — for $200.