A couple of weeks back I wrote about Hanon Shop's collaboration with New Balance on the Epic TR "Terrace", and with the worldwide launch being this weekend, I figured I would take some time to look at the other pairs from the #EpicTRProject.Read More
We've known for a while now that 2015 meant the re-release of the beloved New Balance 1300JP, and I was wanting to write a nice article on it, however, NB Encyclopaedia Matt Kyte wrote an excellent piece called Mortgage The House and I'd advice you all to check it out.
Anyway, back in 1984, New Balance introduced the M1300, a shoe which at the time was one of the most expensive on the market, however, the shoe was a bit of a technological breakthrough, with extremely high levels of craftmanship, luxurious materials and the technology necessary for performance. However, even though the M1300 was brought in as a performance shoe, the Japanese seen no reason as to why it shouldn't also be used for casual wear.
The M1300 original from 1984, M1300 from 1995, M1300J from 2000 and 2005 were only released exclusively in Japan, until the M1300JP in 2010 which was the first to be released outside of Japan. This year, the M1300JP2 will see a global release on the 28th of March, however, some stores in the US released the shoe early so we managed to get an early look at the JP2, and how exactly it compares to previous versions.
Image via Complex
The New Balance 1300JP2 is handmade in Maine, USA, and features a bluey-grey premium upper of high-quality nubuck and mesh, sat on a PU-ENCAP midsole and a durable Vibram outsole. The shoe has a plush leather lining, big original N logo, and a yellow coloured heel counter.
As with almost every New Balance shoe released these days, we all love to moan about the shape, and albeit, the 1300JP2 has a prominent toe puff, unlike the 2010 1300JP, however, this shoe should be appreciated for what it is - the best that New Balance has to offer, and boy is it good.
The 1300JP2 will run you $300 in the US, and £189 in the UK, and releases Friday 28th March. It also comes in women's and kid's sizes, which are available via New Balance themselves.
New Balance aficionados love to compare the various versions of the New Balance M1300 from 1984 all the way through to 2015, and there have been various images created to compare the tiny differences.
Here's an original advertisement of the New Balance M1300 from 1984;
New Balance M1300 Original 1984 -
New Balance M1300 1995 -
Image via Up There Store and Sneakerfreaker
Check out the article in the above hyperlink from Sneakerfreaker and Up There Store, it has a pretty great comparison of the 1995 pair and the 2015 pair.
New Balance M1300J 2000 -
New Balance M1300J 2005 -
New Balance M1300JP 2010 -
Here are some comparisons between 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010 from CatWhy.com; the site is in Chinese (I think?) but I used Google Chrome to translate -
Finally, a comparison picture from New Balance Korea from 2015 to 1984 (I will try to source a better copy of this) -
It goes without saying that the New Balance 576 is one of the classics, and in 2008 the shoe turned 20 years old. Since it's inception in 1988, the shoe was produced in the UK, and to celebrate, New Balance produced two pairs of 576 in their vintage original versions;
When we think of New Balance, we think of colours like grey and navy, and materials like suede and mesh, all of which are timeless. The New Balance 576 20th Anniversary pairs came in both navy and grey, paired with the original sole unit from 1988 to give it that original feel.
Both the New Balance 576NGA and 576SGA are a must in any collection, those colourways are just perfect. The soft mesh, lush suede, luxurious leather lining, pebbled style heel tab, original style sole unit, and that faded heel counter all come together to make two excellent pairs of shoes.
In this day and age, the 1300 is Made in the USA, however, a few years ago, there used to always be a few colourways of UK Made 1300's releasing each season, and the New Balance 1300KOG was one of these pairs, which released in 2009. I wish at the time I had scooped up all of the UK Made 1300's as there really was some great colourways, but unfortunately I let them slip, even in the sale.
Picture by @s3mgw
There weren't many New Balance collaborations in 2014 that caught my eye, but when New Balance teamed up with Miami natives Shoe Gallery, this was a pair that I had to get my hands on.
This shoe draws inspiration from the biking culture and the vibrancy of South Beach, and this is shown in the striking blue uppers with bold red accents to compliment, reminiscent of the colours of cycling clothing company Rapha. Another nice touch is the carbon-fibre heel set, commonly found on high performance bikes to reduce the weight significantly. Every shoe needs some reflective material, and we find that in the way of the red collar.
Now, the MT580 isn't a model that I would usually go out my way to buy, I personally find the model quite chunky with the roll bar, and then very clumpy when worn. However, add a RevLite midsole to drastically reduce the weight, while increasing comfort, and then a no-sew upper giving the shoe a really sharp wedge profile, and in steps the MRT580. That is a shoe that I can wear.
The collaborations have been coming thick and fast all year, and with the year coming to a close, they don't seem to be slowing down at all. A month on from hanon shop in Aberdeen's last collaboration comes the second instalment of the '3 Castles', and their third collaboration with Reebok.
I posted all the information surrounding the shoe itself on a previous post when the release was first announced, but in case you missed it, check it out below:
"If you're not familiar with Aberdeen's coat of arms by now, then both the leopards and castles depicted go back to the times of Robert The Bruce, and are commonly associated with the city, featuring on plaques, historic buildings, statues and railings or adorned to lamp posts and gates. To illustrate the castle and hills they were once situated on, the '3 Castles' edition of the GL6000 is a simple execution of rich pig suede in shades of mole grey with tonal rugged suede overlays. An old-school sun burst perf is called out on the vamp whilst a granite grey leopard print collar lining completes the shoe. Attention to detail and a nod to the official colours of Aberdeen is represented on the red woven tongue label and heel counter.
Additionally the hanon shop flame logo appears embossed on the left heel whilst the Reebok Certified logo appears on the right. Each pair will come complete with three lace sets – one tonal, one white and one red."
There's little worse than queuing for hours upon end, thrown in the month of December and the city of Aberdeen, and we have ourselves a bit of a hellish morning. As expected, not even a bit of cold and rain can deter all those who turned out for the release with jackets, jumpers, gloves and hats a plenty, braving the near zero temperatures.
The GL6000 was extremely well received, apart from the biggest talking point of the day which just happened to be the sizing, with the majority of punters going at least a full size down, if not more. I bottled the ideal of a full size down since my feet are already small enough, wearing a UK 6 risked some unpleasant comments from my better half!
Along with the Reebok, there was also the highly anticipated Adidas EQT collaborations with both Highs and Lows of Australia, and Solebox of Berlin, which flew out the door. Two extremely well executed shoes and some of the best make-ups that the Adidas EQT range has had to offer all year.
Anyway, be sure to check out some shots below, with most of them being taken by the good sir Adeel Mian, and let's hope that's one of the last queues for the year, but at least the snow stayed away... for now!
I apologise for the lack of content recently, but I picked up something different recently, so figured that it only made sense to write about them, and a big thanks to Urban Industry for the hook up! Anyway, you may have seen the MH988 doing the rounds over the last few months, no, it's not a strange version of a 998, like I've seen some people say. Easy mistake to make, especially when we are so used to seeing the ever popular 998 wherever we look.
The New Balance MH988 is a men's sports style shoe, which essentially combines performance and style into one shoe, straight out of the Tokyo design studio. The shoe features a premium suede upper sat on top of New Balance's revolutionary Fresh Foam midsole which is comfy and looks great, two very important factors when buying a shoe.
We are all used to Encap and C-Cap cushioning, but this Fresh Foam is something special. It is created from 3D Printing and the midsoles are equipped with intelligent geometries which respond the the wearer's natural gait. If you've tried RevLite midsoles, then you may find the Fresh Foam to be a little harder and more responsive.
Now I'm not one to shy away from my feelings towards New Balance as a brand currently, but they really have got it bang on with this one. This is a shoe that I'd be happy to spend my money on without the worry about the quality of the materials, or how good the shape is. That combination of blue and brown suede with perforation detailing, canvas tongue and brown leather tongue label is to die for. Mid to high styled footwear may not be everyone's cup of tea, they certainly aren't mine, but I urge you all to give these a try.
The last Saturday of September saw the instore launch of the hanon shop x Onitsuka Tiger x Asics "Glover Pack", a joint collaboration which pays homage to Japanese and Scottish pivotal figure, Thomas Glover.
Both the Colorado 85, and Gel Epirus weren't very well received, despite hanon's continual excellent work on each and every collaboration they do, but the problem was more so with the models, rather than the colourways. It seems like every person wants to see the same silhouettes (GLIII, GLV) being used for EVERY collaboration, which I'm sure you can agree, it would get very boring if this was the case, so I welcome the working on other models.
Surprisingly, the turn out wasn't as large as the recent Reebok release, but as always, the locals were still out in force to support their local independent store, and many punters left with both the Onitsuka Tiger and the Asics.
The Onitsuka Tiger Colorado 85 is decked out in a black and golden yellow colourway in lux perforated suede, nubuck and synthetic overlays. The speckled lace-stay and screened in-sock, along with the embossed moustache on the back representing Thomas Glover's iconic moustache are all great touches.
The Asics Gel Epirus isn't the strongest model from Asics' arsenal but it looks great with the plush mix of mint green suede, with purple nubuck overlays, closed mesh vamp, red quilted collar lining and a superb screened tartan in-sock. Like the Colorado 85, the Epirus also has some embossing on the heel, but this comes in the form of a thistle, the inspiration of this colourway.
It certainly felt like the general consensus was that both shoes were much more appealing once you got a feel of them in the flesh, and tried them on to see how they look. The standout for the Gel Epirus being the lush tropical green and purple colourway, with the gum sole, and the Colorado 85's matching speckle laces to compliment the speckles on the upper.
Below are a few quick on-foot shots of both the Colorado 85, and the Gel Epirus; thanks to Adeel for being my brief instore on-foot model while he tried both pairs on.
Check out some shots below from some of those who were queuing on Saturday morning.
The whole 'Flux' technology from Adidas has been the talk of the town for a good while now, and it definitely doesn't seem like it's going to die down anytime soon, especially with all the excellent upcoming make ups. It's been pretty ground breaking, much like the hyperfuse from Nike, but Adidas seem to be going that one step further, and it's paying off big time.
Now don't get me wrong, the ZX 8000 itself is one of the best Adidas models out there, but for me, it had almost felt a little bulky on-foot, but now that it has been given the flux treatment, I can't use that as an excuse.
The ZX Flux 8000 Weave is an identical representation of the original much loved ZX 8000 model that launched back in '89. That distinctive turquoise blue upper with yellow accents, duped the 'Aqua', is a favourite colourway for many Adidas collectors, and trainer aficionados alike. We see this shoe get the Flux treatment, and all the panelling is now woven in using a jacquard technique, which creates a stunning minimalist silhouette, one that we really cannot fault!
If you're yet to pick up a pair of the ZX Flux Weave, then you really are missing out. There's plenty of great colourways out currently, and even more on the horizon, and all for a fair price in comparison to other shoes out there, so don't miss out.