hanon shop x Onitsuka Tiger x Asics "Glover Pack" - In-store Release

DSC_0716 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Check out some shots below from some of those who were queuing on Saturday morning.

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TEASER: hanon shop x Onitsuka Tiger x Asics - "Glover Pack"

The collaborations are coming thick and fast, the last two years have felt like a bit of a collab conveyor belt in all honesty, and with countless pairs dropping each month, it gets a bit hard to keep up. Anyway, 11 months on from hanon shop's last work with Onitsuka Tiger, they're back again, but this time with a joint collaboration between themselves, Onitsuka Tiger and Asics. Just this week, the first teaser images were released, along with a teaser video, which doesn't exactly follow the usual script, and is enough to make anyone feel like they're on a weird trip. It's genius. Check them out below.

http://vimeo.com/106401912

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So what can we take from the video and the images?

First off, the name of the pack - "Glover Pack" - paying homage to Thomas Blake Glover, a man who's name may not mean much to you, but he hails from Aberdeen and was a bit of a phenomenon in Japan. (when the full images release, I'll focus more on the man himself, for a bit of background).

Well, there's two shoes to start with, with the Onitsuka Tiger looking like another Colorado 85, partnered up with an Asics Gel Epirus. Not exactly everyone's favourite models, but you've got to make the most of what you're given!

Stepping away from the models, and onto the colourways; the thistle and the moustache seem to play a key part in the video, so we can expect the colourways of the shoes to somehow reflect this.

Keep an eye out for the full images to be released early next week, and as always, I'll have all the details on my blog.

hanon shop x Reebok Classic Leather '3 Castles' - In-store Release

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Following on from the Reebok Classic Leather 'Leopards' edition from Summer 2013, Saturday 6th September 2014 saw the release of the next instalment; the Reebok Classic Leather '3 Castles'.

The Reebok Certified Network programme has been making some big moves recently, with some huge releases over the past year, and although it was initially very well received, it has been increasing even more in popularity since the first drop. Around 30+ people queuing on another early morning outside hanon shop, with punters waiting for either the Reebok '3 Castles' or the Le Coq Sportif LCS R1000 x HAL 'Swan Pack', which happened to coincide with the hanon collaboration release, and some even looking to bag both.

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The '3 Castles' design draws inspiration from the coat of arms of Aberdeen, the same famous coat of arms that the leopards appear in, a crest which dates back to the times of Robert The Bruce. The shoe is decked out in plush grey pig suede, with lawn green overlays, and a red woven tongue label and heel tab. When the images of the shoe released, some used the well known phrase "red and green should never be seen", and even a couple said that it reminded them of a Christmas tree, maybe a little, but these colours work when done correctly, and this shoe looks great!

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To complement the clean colourway, we see some perforation on the suede toe box, and a granite speckled collar lining, giving a nod to Aberdeen's nickname, the 'Granite City'. As always, hanon kill it with the branding, and their fire logo appears embossed on the left heel, whilst the Reebok Certified logo appears on the right heel. Unfortunately, no dust bag or t-shirt this time around, just two sets of laces - one tonal, one white.

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As always, it's great to spend some time chatting with friends and regulars, and props to the hanon shop team once again for a clean collaboration and a smooth release day!

Be sure to check out some on-foot shots below of those in the queue on Saturday morning.

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New Balance x Sneakersnstuff - Collaboration History

Originating in Stockholm, Swedish duo Peter and Erik have been in the business for well over ten years now, and are widely regarded as two of the best in this industry. Due to their popularity and successfulness in Stockholm, in 2005 they opened a second store in Malmo, and subsequently took their business overseas and have recently settled in London. With their success came many opportunities, and Sneakersnstuff have collaborated with many brands over the years, having been named as the 'King of collabs' numerous times. For many years now, New Balance have been collaborating with stores across the globe, but very few have as strong a relationship with New Balance like Swedish heavyweights Sneakersnstuff do. In fact, New Balance were one of the first brands to give Sneakersnstuff the opportunity to do a collaboration.

 

2005

New Balance x Sneakersnstuff "Round 1"

As the title of the collaboration suggests, the first collaboration between New Balance and Sneakersnstuff came in 2005, and it wasn't without drama, that's for sure. However, mistakes sometimes pay off and when it comes down to footwear, it usually makes things a little more interesting.

The Sneakersnstuff pair were invited to the famous Flimby factory in Cumbria, England, and they knew that the visit was mostly about doing a collaboration, but around this time, it was still relatively early days for NB UK on the collaborating front. After receiving a grand tour of the factory, they had very little time to come up with the designs for these shoes, but knew the model that they wanted to work on, and started to hand pick the materials they wanted to use, so that was a good start at least.

There were only 96 pairs of each colourway produced for the "Round 1" pairs, a time when New Balance collaborations were extremely limited, with sub 200 pairs seen very very often.

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Image from Complex.

The 577SNS1 was designed by Erik and it draws inspiration from the Swedish flag, and also the flag of the Canary Islands as this was the birthplace of Erik's father-in-law. The shoe features blue suede, and yellow leather on the upper, with a white leather perforated toebox, all sat on the traditional Encap 577 sole unit.

577SNS2

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Image from Size Eleven.

Material options were limited at the Flimby factor, however, they are well known for their premium materials, and we see this on Peter's design, from the leather toe box to the suede heel wrap. A classic design, which was slightly inspired by the classic 577 in navy and the 997 in grey, uses all these colours and a clean white leather toe wrap and perforated toe box with mixes of suede on the rest of the upper.

As I mentioned previously, the first collaboration wasn't without drama, and the SNS guys got a little more than they had originally bargained for.

577SNS1 "The Secret Colourway"

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Image from Complex.

As can be seen in the first 577SNS1 posted a couple of pictures above, Erik's Round 1 samples were blue and yellow, they way he designed them, but when they received the pairs, Flimby had changed the blue to more of a mint green and also added some more yellow to the shoe.

It wasn't the shoe Erik designed, but they decided to release them anyway, but rather than releasing pictures of them prior to launch, they had a countdown clock on the Sneakersnstuff website for 'The Secret 577'. Unfortunately, some pictures managed to leak a few minutes before the launch, but the shoe was well received and all 96 pairs sold out.

 

2007

New Balance x Sneakersnstuff "Round 2"

Two years on from their first collaboration, they were back, and once again, revisiting the 577, a model which had quickly became one of their favourites from the New Balance arsenal.

This time, rather than the original 577 sole unit, they wanted to do something different and have an all white sole unit (outsole included), which wasn't exactly received well, but it works, and compliments both colourways extremely well.

Both colourways were produced in 252 pairs each, so there were 504 pairs in total for the set, which was quite a lot at the time of release but unfortunately this had to be the number as it was the minimum for a new sole unit then.

577GSI "Peter"

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For Peter's colourway, he used the same premium synthetic leather which was used on the original 1500, along with some premium pig skin suede. The yellow New Balance detailing is a nice touch and looks good against the bluey/grey colourway.

577GPI "Erik"

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Images from Complex.

The 577GPI is arguably one of the best 577's around, that earth tone colourway works perfectly and it has some of the best materials ever used on a New Balance. One unusual touch on this shoe is the pink lining, and unfortunately, this wasn't available at Flimby so Erik had to source the pink silky smooth lining himself.

 

2008

New Balance x Sneakersnstuff "Round 3"

There was a bit of a familiar theme by the time the third round of collaborations came about, I guess that was one of the benefits of having two people behind a store - two shoes each time, and often two very different takes on the colourways.

For the third round of the New Balance x Sneakersnstuff collaborartions, did you really expect them to work on any model other than the 577? Not a chance, it was almost a tradition by this point, but a very good one at that.

Much like "Round 2", Erik and Peter wanted to change up the midsole a little, and now Flimby had the ability to create a midsole that was different to the traditional 577 midsole without having to produce larger quantities of the shoe. This is why "Round 3" has a smaller production run of 150 pairs each, in comparison to the 252 pairs each for the last round.

577SNP "Peter"

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As you might have gathered by now, Peter likes to keep his colourways simple, but always with the most premium of materials, so for "Round 3" he did a black upper with mostly suede, but also some leather and hints of 3M. Similar to an artist signing his work, Peter darkened the 'P' of the 'ENCAP' on the midsole to mark his pair.

577SNE "Erik"

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Images from Complex.

Much like his "Round 1 and 2" colourways (577SNS1 and 577GPI), Erik pulled together something a lot more colourful. The shoe features a lime green, light blue, and navy blue suede upper, along with a purple mesh toe box. Similar to Peter's pair, he also went for the signature touch on the midsole, highlighting the 'E' from the other letters, and also doing the same to all the 'E's' on the tongue.

Make sure you check out this interview via Sneakerfreaker with Erik and Peter regarding the "Round 3" collaborations with New Balance.

 

2009

New Balance x Sneakersnstuff "RGB Pack"

This time, SNS teamed up with New Balance to produce this pack in celebration of their tenth anniversary after they first opened their doors in 1999. The pack duped the RGB Pack (red, green and blue - simply the three colours used to render colours in an electronic display), consisted of three different models; 577, 1500 and 1700 - red, green and blue, respectively.

This was the fourth collaboration with New Balance that Erik and Peter worked on, and if it wasn't already evident that they were the masters of materials, then this pack confirms it. The guys at SNS each worked on a shoe individually; Peter worked the 577, Johan the 1500 and Erik the 1700.

The three shoes were Made in England at the legendary Flimby factory, and all consist of the high-grade premium materials that were consistently used around this time. They also sport the very sought after 'original shape' if you must, which makes them just that little bit more delightful.

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The 577 is decked out red suede and leather, has a pigskin perforated suede toebox and some 3M flashes for good measure, and of course, represents the "red" of the "RGB Pack".

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The 1500 has some plush leather on the tongue, and a mainly suede upper in green and grey, with a deep white mesh toe box and some 3M piping, and represents the "green" of the "RGB Pack".

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The 1700 comes in a couple of shades of blue with some yellow, and features to the ripstop upper and faux nubuck but the man-made materials are completely vegan, so a perfect shoe if you're into that and/or appreciate the diversity. This pair represents the "blue" of the "RGB Pack".

Check out the below image from EU Kicks of the full New Balance x Sneakersnstuff "RGB Pack".

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2012

New Balance x Sneakersnstuff x Milkcrate Athletics

For Sneakersnstuff's fifth collaboration with New Balance, they revisited the 577, which they are particularly well known for using in their earlier collaborations, a favourite model of theirs indeed.  This time they partnered up with Aaron LaCrate of Milkcrate Athletics, and Baltimore meets Stockholm to produce two 577 make-ups.

The collaboration comes about through friendship and also a mutual love for footwear, and both sides agreed to have two separate colourways, one of which represented Milkcrate Athletics, and the other represents Sneakersnstuff Stockholm.

577SN1 -

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The New Balance 577SN1 is "Easter egg-colourful" and if you were to hazard a guess, 99% of you would probably work out that this was the pair put together by Aaron of Milkcrate. Aaron's refreshing and vibrant personality and style shines through on this pair, decked out in pastel coloured suede, and some white perforated leather.

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Images from Sneakersnstuff.

The SNS side of the collaboration comes correct with a subtle grey colourway, very traditional of New Balance as a brand itself. Lush suede and white perforated leather is also used on this pair, mirroring the 577SN1 except for the colourway.

Check out the following video for the collaboration with a little insight into the relationship of Milkcrate and SNS, and also some details about the 577's.

http://vimeo.com/38786555

Gary Warnett of Crooked Tongues interviewed both Erik and Peter of Sneakersnstuff, and also Aaron of Milkcrate Athletics, ahead of the release of this shoe, so be sure to check it out here, as it makes for a very interesting read.

 

2014

New Balance CT300PSN x SNS "1999"

So, this collaboration with New Balance is a little bit different from all the previous ones, because instead of working on an archive running model, NB proposed the CT300, a Made in UK tennis shoe which was first released in 1979.

This collaboration would come as a part of a set of 4, alongside make-ups from hanon shop, Firmament and 24 Kilates. The CT300 features an extremely lightweight upper, which consists of closed mesh and suede overlays. It is also built with superior cushioning and the unique sole unit of polyurethane and encapsulated gum rubber provides great durability.

Diving into the archives and bringing back a piece of history seemed like a good opportunity for the SNS guys to revisit how their Stockholm store first looked in 1999. When the Stockholm store was first opened in 1999, the walls were painted grey, a colour more subtle than white, and one which would distract attention away from the products. The store wasn't exactly the largest space, so to make it feel bigger, the ceiling was painted white, and a burgundy border was added at the top of the walls. So that's the inspiration behind the colourway, and add in the premium materials, which are typical of the Flimby factory, and you have a great shoe.

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Image from Sneakernews.

Be sure to check out the below video for the New Balance CT300 collaborations.

http://vimeo.com/98823188

 

So the most recent New Balance CT300 collaboration rounds up the Sneakersnstuff collaboration set, but I'm sure that this isn't going to be the last with New Balance, maybe we'll even see them revisit the 577?

A lot of brands and stores try to bring out shoes that are inspired by a storyline, or some sort of inspiration, but excluding a couple, it's nice to see people just designing shoes based on what they like. Also, Round 1 to 3 are probably some of the strongest pairs of New Balance, and the way that Erik and Peter work independently on the uppers and then try to tie together the sole units works perfectly, and gives some amazing results.

Here's to more collaborations and success from the Sneakersnstuff team!

hanon shop x Reebok Classic Leather '3 Castles'

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Reebok haven't been shy about collaborating with anyone and everyone recently, and it may seem like every weekend there's at least 4 different Pump Fury's dropping, but this programme from Reebok has been the cause of some great collaborations, from Pumps, to Classic Leathers, and to Pump Fury's.

Only recently hanon shop in Aberdeen released their own make-up of the Pump Fury, and now they are back and eager to present a brand new collaboration with Reebok through their Certified Network program.

As a follow up to the Classic Leather 'Leopards' edition of Summer 2013, we again take inspiration from the coat of arms of Aberdeen, this time via the 3 castles that feature on the crest. Both the leopards and castles are symbols that 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 depict the castle and hills they were once situated on, our 3 Castles edition of the CL is a simple execution of rich pig suede in shades of grey with lawn green overlays. A micro- perforation appears on the quarter and an old-school sun burst perf is called out on the vamp whilst a granite speckled 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 our fire logo appears embossed on the left heel whilst the Reebok Certified logo appears on the right. Finally each pair will come complete with two lace sets - one tonal, one white.

hanon x Reebok CL '3 Castles' is released on Saturday September 6th 2014.

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New Balance Autumn/Winter 2014 - Part 2

Following on from a previous post of A/W 2014 Leaks, here are some more unseen pairs via hanon shop which will be available to pre-order from September 1st, and releasing in October sometime. I had already posted a few of the Made in USA pairs on the previous post, but here we get to see them in all their glory with the clean stock pictures, and that 1300 is still looking superb.

New Balance 1300DGR -

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New Balance 998BK and 998DO -

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Continuing on with the 577 25th Anniversary vibe for this year, NB are dropping more colourways, and that shape somehow seems to be getting better with time, which is always good news.

New Balance 577SGB and 577STK -

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Along with the 577, one of my favourite Flimby made models is the 670, but maybe for the last year or so, there haven't really been any eye-catching colourways and the shape has never been close to comparable to some of the pre-2010 stuff. However, these two upcoming colourways get the thumbs up from me.

New Balance 670SBG and 670SGK -

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As well as the above shoes, I was just browsing hanon shop website and realised that they have a few others up for pre-order but don't actually have any pictures of them. The Gentleman's Choice 1500's are there too for £145, 1500GMN and 1500GMB respectively.

Here's the pics via End Clothing:

New Balance 1500GMN -

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New Balance 1500GMB -

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New Balance 1300BK -

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New Balance 574BG -

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There'll be some more A/W 14 pairs to drop in the following months so as soon as they hit pre-order, I'll upload a blog post for them. Keep an eye out.

LEAKS! - New Balance Autumn/Winter 2014

Following on from the last post, I checked out this collection back in April, and it's taken a long time for some pictures to show up on the internet, but nevertheless, they did, so check them out below.

Again, we see more of the same from New Balance USA, but that pair of 1300's really caught my eye, and I'm looking forward to checking them out in person. We also see New Balance sticking with some denim on another 1300 make-up.

Stay tuned on my blog for when more pictures become available.

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All images via The Shoe Game.

LEAKS! - New Balance Spring/Summer 2015

There's been a few times that I've sat down and wrote a couple of pieces about 'leaks', but I've never actually posted one. It's a touchy subject for all brands/stores together, and for people who initiate leaks when they're not meant to that represent the brand/store, well, I can't imagine they'd be in their employer's good books. However, it is 2014 and the world has been engulfed in social media, whether it be Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever other social platform there is, so it's pretty inevitable that leaks are going to happen. It's not all bad though as the consumer love leaks, and that's no word of a lie. There's nothing the next man wants more than a sneak peak at an upcoming collaboration with a store, or a couple of their favourite models from a brand's unreleased collection let slip and up for sale on eBay. It creates a huge amount of anticipation, and excitement amongst everyone and keeps them talking, which surely for the most part is good for the brand.

Anyway, that's a discussion for another time, I just wanted a brief introduction before I let loose some of these samples for New Balance Spring/Summer 2015 Collection, which were advertised for sale on eBay and Klekt. This was a month or so ago and they've been populating the world wide web ever since, so this isn't exactly the first time they've been seen.

So what's in store for Spring/Summer 2015? I had seen various pairs from this collection a couple of months before they surfaced on the internet, and only a few had really caught my eye.

Made in USA -

More of the same, that's for sure, the New Balance 997 is sticking around for a while, and although I welcomed back this model with open arms, much like the 990, it seems like it's going down the same road - at least two colourways every season, and then throw in a couple of collaborations. The word 'overkill' springs to mind, I'd of been more than happy sticking with the grey and navy pairs, then maybe a couple more.

New Balance 997DOL -

 997dol - ss15 sample

New Balance 997JNB -997jnb - ss15 sample

On-to the New Balance 990 now, and just recently this model was made available on the US New Balance site for customisation, so now the possibilities are endless - material choices are currently limited to just suede and mesh.

We've seen a lot of 'Premium Packs' if you must, with a bunch of standard NB pack names to go along with them, 'Connoisseurs', 'Distinct', 'Author', etc etc etc, so we will be welcoming the Horween Leather 990 very soon.

New Balance 990CRD -990crd - ss15 sample

New Balance 990BHR -990bhr horween2 - ss15 sample

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What more can we expect from the Made in USA side of things for Spring/Summer 2015? Well, the New Balance 998 firmly holds it's place in the USA collection, along with maybe another 997, a premium 990 which looks really good, but the most exciting news about S/S 2015 is the USA Bringback Collection.

The USA Bringback collection will consist of the 990GRY, which you may remember was released not too long ago for it's 30th anniversary, so if you missed out then you'll have another chance to grab them. Along with that will also be a grey 998, possibly very similar, if not the same as the pair which Roadrunner Sports have been releasing for the last few years, and finally, the 1300JP (5 years since it's last release), probably the most anticipated shoe from the USA collection.

Made in UK -

The Made in UK side of New Balance is my forte, but for the last few years, it's all been pretty poor in my opinion, and that's not just because of the shape issue, the colourways and materials haven't exactly been up to scratch when you compare them with what Flimby were capable of pre-2010.

The usual UK models making an appearance, but not much to really talk about. A while back we seen some pics of the 'Gentleman's Choice' Pack and you can see one of the 1500's in all of their glory below.

New Balance 577SMO -

577smo - ss15 sample

New Balance 1500GMN -1500gmn - sample

New Balance 1500SG -1500sg - ss15 sample

New Balance 1500NAV -1500nav - ss15 sample

New Balance 576PGT -576pgt - ss15 sample

Much like the Made in USA collection, Flimby have also been working on some premium packs, and one of them worth noting, probably only because of the 1500, which is guaranteed to be a winner with everyone. The only picture I can share is of the pack in the colours of the 'Union Jack', the red 1500, blue CT300 and the tip of the toebox of the white 577.

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Once the pre-orders are up at all the usual retailers, I will compile another post of both collections. Until then, enjoy speculating, I'm sure more leaks/teasers will appear soon.