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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HANON x New Balance Epic TR "Terrace"

This summer we join forces with New Balance to mark the return of the Epic TR. Teaming up with four of their earliest partners, New Balance have invited hanon of Aberdeen, Sneakersnstuff of Stockholm, Firmament of Berlin, and 24 Kilates of Barcelona to present their take on the Epic TR. Constructed exclusively at the legendary Flimby factory in England, each pair stays true to the original make up with a hand crafted mix of premium materials.

The Epic TR is a based on the original upper design of the EPIC football boot, which was originally produced at the Flimby factory in the 90’s, and was a pinnacle performance boot at the time. The transformation of the EPIC football boot into the Epic TR sees the upper stay close to the original design but with a modernised look, and a brand new rubber cupsole to compliment the upper.

With the Epic TR and it’s very obvious football relationship, it’s hard to take your mind elsewhere, so this is where the inspiration for our design comes from. Football is such a massive thing in the UK and across Europe, and in the UK there’s a passion for clothing and footwear that embodies a look which is unique, so we wanted this collaboration to have a quintessential terrace feel to it, something that you would find at any football ground throughout the country.

Our premium ‘Terrace' edition of the Epic TR features an upper which is executed in a mix of rich earthy tobacco and mushroom pig suede, offset with a vibrant blue pig suede around the collar and heel tab. Our Epic TR is finished off with tonal stitching throughout, a large white leather ‘N’ and it sat atop a clean newly designed rubber cupsole.

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The first 35 in-store customers will receive a branded leather credit card wallet which was handmade in Amsterdam, along with one of our Hanon New Balance "memories" canvas tote bags which were first release in 2013.

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Also, each pair of our New Balance Epic TR "Terrace" purchased from us both in-store and online will come with a bespoke publication by MUNDIAL, which features a lookbook shot on location, as well as interviews with the collective brains behind the project.

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New Balance x Concepts "City Rivalry" Pack

Now I'm not one for Concepts collaborations usually, plenty of people can vouch for my ramblings about their previous work with NB, and I don't own any of their collaborations, but their last few pieces have caught my eye, particularly the Trailbuster in all it's 3M glory, and the 998 from this very recent "City Rivalry" Pack. I've already taken a look at this pack here over on New Balance Gallery, but I got my hands on a couple of pairs thanks to my mate Joe, so I took them out for a spin.

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The New Balance x Concepts “City Rivalry” Pack is a two shoe pack which is inspired by Major League Baseball and the rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

Concepts have stores in both New York and Boston, and in case you didn’t know, New Balance infact have a pretty big presence in baseball, and if you were to visit Fenway Park in Boston, you’d be hard pushed to miss the huge New Balance sign which resides there.

So pulling all that together, we have the beginnings of a great collaboration in the form of the “City Rivalry” Pack. As mentioned previously, the pack consists of two shoes, a 997 which represents New York, and a 998, which represents Boston.

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Let’s take a look at the 997 first, and for this model, Concepts have taken cue from the historic design behind the New York Yankees team’s logo, adopted in 1909 and originally a medal signifying the highest decoration for bravery exhibited by public safety officers.

Personally, I think this colour is a little played out, and it definitely isn't my favourite from the pack, but the devil is in the detail. I reckon if Concepts had the option at the time to do some of their previous 998 colourways on a 997, then I  might have bought into them.

Anyway, the 997 comes dressed in a premium teal suede upper with a pebbled leather reflective tongue, leather lining, and a Concepts-branded footbed and custom designed packaging modelled after the well known ballgame snack Cracker Jack.

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Next up is the 998, and most definitely my favourite pair from the pack, and one that I'm glad to have gotten a hold of. I've got a bit of a thing for red shoes to be honest, the Colette 1500's, SNS 577's, and so on, so these are right up there.

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For this shoe, Concepts have executed it in a rust red and green suede as a homage to the clay baseball diamonds around the league, as well as the low saturation greeney grey on the heel wrap inspired by the green facades along the historic Yawkey Way.

Shouts to New Balance UK for the kind gift, it is always greatly appreciated!

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NB Gallery 2 - NB1 Custom

Last month, I was lucky enough to get the chance to design two pairs of New Balance from the NB1 custom site, which you can find here. It's taken some time to get round to shooting each pair, but first up, I've taken a look at "NB Gallery 2".

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I don't know about you, but over the last few years, I've spent a lot of time on the New Balance custom site designing colourways on the 574, and then the 998 when it was introduced not so long ago, so it was good to finally get my hands on a couple of pairs. The current options at the time of designing were suede and mesh, along with reflective detailing, but currently nubuck leather accents are also available.

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In total, there are 18 parts that you can customise on the 998, and my wish list on the NB site was already stacked full of previous designs, but I wanted to create something new, and go with something that would be super wearable for me, so it was a no brainer to start the base colour off with navy on the saddle, tongue, and base underlay. The 'navy' actually turned out to be a lot darker than I had thought it would be, and looks almost black.

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Usually, you would use a darker colour around the toe wrap and heel wrap, but I went with 'ocean blue' on these areas, as well as matching the lining and tongue stitching.

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Next up are there accents, which include the base accent, and heel accent, and for these two parts, I wanted there to be some form of reflective detailing on the shoes, so these were the perfect places for it. I used 'juniper', which is one of my favourite colourways available from the current palette, and I think it adds the perfect amount of pop against the navy and ocean blue.

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For the two piece 'N', I've always been a fan of a reflective backer, so I went with reflective 'juniper' to match the other reflective accents, and then 'asteroid' on the top piece, also in reflective material. You can also customise the speed lace and the collar accent, which are molded plastic pieces, and I just used 'black' on these to keep things simple and discreet.

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Now to onto the rear of the shoe, which is one of the most customisable areas because of the fact this is where you can really personalise the design with some text. I was tempted to not bother at all, but I ended up going very simple with "NB" on the left heel, and "GALLERY2" on the right shoe, both in 'navy' so that it blended it rather than stood out. While we're on the subject of the heel area, I used 'asteroid' for the heel tab, and 'ocean blue' for the NB logo stitching.

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There's not much left to go over now, just the laces and the sole unit. For the laces, if they aren't white, I always try to match the laces to the midsole colour, or to the tongue colour, so I went with 'navy'. There are only four sole unit options, and I wanted to make use of two of them since I was designing two pairs, so for this pair, I went with the 'cyclone' sole unit as it best matched the colourway of the upper.

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Check out what they look like on-foot below, and stay tuned to my site and www.newbalancegallery.co.uk for more on NB1 in the future. I still have one more personal design to cover, as well as some exciting content to come for NB1 themselves. In the meantime, if you want to check out my design on the NB1 site, then click here. Big shout to NB1 for giving me the opportunity!

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New Balance x Hanon - Flying Club Samples

In August last year, for the first ever Sole Bloc sneaker festival in Glasgow, I was lucky enough to get my hands on some never before seen New Balance x Hanon samples for the NB Gallery display. So, before we get into this post, I suggest you take a look at the first post I wrote about the samples here, and then jump back to this one. Since then, I've started working at Hanon, and the other week, Murray was lucky enough to get his hands on two pretty special samples, one of which was part of the "Flying Club" Pack, which was released back in 2008.

Obviously, knowing the excitable New Balance geek that I am, Murray was kind enough to let me borrow his now prized possessions, and along with some other samples as well as the two released pairs, I put them together and created this post.

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To kick off the post, we should take a brief look at the released pairs, so that you can compare them to the samples throughout the post.

The New Balance 670GKY "Tornado" features a grey suede upper, with dark grey Ventile fabric underlays, a kind of very dark navy leather heel tab and heel wrap, with yellow leather 'N', off-white midsole, and special "Flying Club" tongue tab.

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The second released pair is the New Balance 670BRY "Spitfire", which features a black suede upper, with red Ventile fabric underlays, and a black leather heel tab and heel wrap, yellow leather 'N', off-white midsole, and special "Flying Club" tongue tab.

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For the first sample, let's look at my favourite. The red 670 features a predominantly nubuck upper with Ventile fabric underlays, a charcoal leather heel wrap and heel tab, a normal 670 tongue tab, as well as a big grey suede 'N', and a grey midsole.

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Next up are two samples which haven't really been seen before, well, one hasn't been seen at all, and some pics of the other surfaced a long time ago, and have been elsewhere until they turned up the other week.

I shot them both together so that it's easier to see the slight differences between them. In terms of materials, they both have the same make up, but the colourways are slightly different.

The first pair was dubbed the "Lancaster" and is the pair that had some images of it floating around many years ago.

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This next pair, I actually found when I was digging around the vaults for the red nubuck 670, I pulled out a random NB box and this was stashed inside, and as you can imagine, I was pretty chuffed to stumble across it.

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Now that we've got the introduction to these two samples out the way, let's get down to the side by side comparison.

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As mentioned already, both pairs feature the same material make up, utilising suede overlays and Ventile fabric underlays, with a black leather heel wrap and heel tab, as well as the big yellow 'N's on both pairs, the "Flying Club" tongue tab, and off-white midsoles.

The "Lancaster" pair has lush brown suede with a lighter brown Ventile fabric underlay, while the other pair uses dark grey suede and an almost light tan Ventile fabric for the underlay. It's really hard to choose a favourite between these two.

So in terms of the "Flying Club" Pack, that's it for the samples, but you might have caught that there's another pair featured in one of the very first images, and I wanted to include that in this post because it has a "Flying Club" tongue tab, although it has absolutely nothing to do with the pack, and features no Ventile fabric whatsoever.

This New Balance 1300 was another project that Hanon were working on some time ago, and never came to fruition for whatever reason, but it was very interesting seeing a UK Made 1300 almost being used for a collab. The shoe itself features a mixture grey nubuck and grey mesh underlays, with a burgundy suede 'N' and burgundy Terry Cloth lining.

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I hope you enjoyed this exclusive look into some more Hanon Shop samples, but there's a lot more where that came from, so stay tuned to my blog.

Until then, here's one last picture of the four of them together...

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New Balance 577NGO "The Napes"

Over at New Balance Gallery, I took a look at the Made in UK New Balance 577 "The Napes" Pack, and you can check it out here, but I took a few extra shots of the shoe, so I wanted to do a post on here with them all. A big big thanks to NB UK for the kind gift!

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Each pair also comes with a really great booklet which provides a look at both the shoes, as well as a history of the Napes Needle.

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