Shohei Ohtani’s Debut Signature Shoe Has Arrived

Shohei Ohtani, Major League Baseball’s brightest star, is about to launch his first-ever signature shoe. The New Balance Ohtani 1—the two-time American League MVP’s new cleat from the Boston-based athletic brand—will be released exclusively in Fort Worth, Texas during MLB All-Star Weekend on July 14, before landing on retail shelves worldwide 24 hours later. It’s a landmark drop for the most dominant two-way player baseball has ever seen.

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New Balance

The Dodgers star’s deal with New Balance was first announced last year. The Ohtani 1, as expected, is a versatile shoe designed expressly for two-way play, with a low base for proximity to the ground and a premium PU upper for increased durability. The outsole is made with New Balance’s proprietary FuelCell foam, and there is a distinctive pitted pattern across the toe box, which the brand describes as “reminiscent of the ceilings in some NPB ballparks in Japan.” The shoe will arrive in two clean, striking colorways: a white version and a black version, both complete with bold gold accents.

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New Balance

“I have a deep respect for the heritage of baseball and the sport itself, and I love that the collection pays tribute to the traditional old-school style while bringing a new-school twist,” Ohtani said in a statement. According to New Balance senior product manager Matt Nuzzo, the shoe was designed with Ohtani’s own specifications in mind. “Comfort, durability and ground feel were the most important to him, so there are no contours or recesses to allow the studs to interact with the ground,” he explained. The studs on the Ohtani 1 are actually lower to the ground than normal spikes, in order for better leverage. Nuzzo said this is “well-understood in Japanese baseball but less so in other parts of the baseball world.”

The Ohtani 1 will be released alongside a new signature apparel collection, featuring a variety of on-field and off-field gear. The entire collection drops at New Balance on July 15.

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