New Balance Epic TR x 24 Kilates

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.

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New Balance 1300JP2

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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.

New Balance 1300JP2

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New Balance 1300JP2_1

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.

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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;

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New Balance M1300 Original 1984 -

New Balance M1300 1984

New Balance M1300 1995 -

New Balance 1300 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 1300J 2000

New Balance M1300J 2005 -

New Balance 1300J 2005

New Balance M1300JP 2010 -

New Balance 1300JP 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 -

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 22.12.55 Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 22.13.06 Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 22.13.19

Finally, a comparison picture from New Balance Korea from 2015 to 1984 (I will try to source a better copy of this) -

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New Balance 576NGA + SGA "20th Anniversary"

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.

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WOMFT - New Balance 1300KOG

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.

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Picture by @s3mgw

IMG_9112Picture by @s3mgw

New Balance MRT580SG x Shoe Gallery 'Tour de Miami'

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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.

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