hanon shop x Diadora N.9000 'Saturday Special' - In-store Release

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Saturday 31st of May, saw the anticipated release of the Diadora x Hanon Shop N.9000 'Saturday Special', so I headed down to check out the instore release.

With plenty of people queuing from the early hours of the morning, and some even making the journey up from London the previous day, all were eager to get their hands on a pair or two. The first 30 lucky customers would also receive a free t-shirt along with the trainers, if you're into rocking that matching tee and trainers thing.. always a nice touch nonetheless.

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The materials and construction of this shoe really are the talking points, with some of the finest materials, such as a kangaroo leather upper, silky pig and bovine suede, and closed mesh. Not to forget that the whole shoe is hand crafted in Italy!

The colour palette of the shoe is inspired by 80′s trains and buses, the upper features dark marine and burgundy, with red and sky blue accents. On topic of the colourway, I'd liked to have seen this pair release in A/W right enough, rather than S/S, as the maroon/burgundy tips it more into that season.

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As always, the guys at Hanon never fail to impress with the details and seeing the shoe in person provides a much more thorough look – old school multi print on the in sock and tongue backer, with dual branding embroidered on the heel and tongues

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All pairs released both online and instore will come with three sets of laces and an additional dust bag, and then the first 30 customers instore also received a free tee.

The release itself went smoothly, with a few guys from Diadora making the journey across from Italy, and it was good to catch up with old and new in some Aberdeen sun for a change.. Until next time!

Be sure to check out some of the pics below from the release.

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New Balance 577RRK + 577OOK

The New Balance 577 is a classic archive running shoe from the 80’s, and a must have in any collection, so the fact that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the model, it's only right that we see some stunning colourways, and some other special releases.

We’ve been screaming out for some 577 goodness, especially because we’ve seen so many stunning pairs release in years gone by. However, in recent times, this model, much like most of the Flimby made product, has been let down by the shape. This seems to be an on-going issue but it looks like we are finally seeing some improvements, which is a massive plus for us!

The first two colourways of the 577 to drop this year were the 577RRK and the 577OOK, and we will take a closer look at both of them here. First off, both are Made in England at the famous Flimby factory and they both share extremely similar colourways. The 577OOK is decked out in an orange and black upper, and the 577RRK in a red and black upper, with both pairs using a combination of a premium suede upper and mesh underlays. We see an unusual style of colour blocking on these pairs, almost a tale of two halves if you must, with the front and middle portion of the shoes wielding either the red or orange, and the rear of the shoe has been blacked out except for the heel tab. Both pairs feature a two-piece N with black backer, traditional heel counter and the shoes are sat on the iconic 577 ENCAP sole unit.

As mentioned previously, one of the first things we look for is shape, and the improvements are very noticeable. We’ve seen a toe puff creep into all UK models in the past couple of years, and it creates structure and support, but it is a little too defined and leaves the toe box looking excessively bulky. However, in these two pairs, we don’t have a toe puff, merely just the upper material, but through the use of what looks and feels like a side shaper, this keeps the toe box stretched and therefore we have a much sharper shape.

These two New Balance 577’s are a great start to this iconic models anniversary year, and we are eagerly waiting to see what else New Balance release.

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New Balance 997GY

Well, I FINALLY have a pair in my hands! After weeks of holding off and then being let down, a fine gent over at Crooked Tongues helped me out massively to secure a pair so I'm forever in his debt!

Anyway, I wrote a heads-up post over at The Drop Date so I'm just going to include that in here with a little extra, and as I've not actually had the chance to shoot them in detail so I'll use the shots from Crooked Tongues, and then my own on-foot shots.

For many of us, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the drop of the NEW BALANCE 997 reissue and now, we can finally welcome back this sheer classic! This follows on perfectly from last year when we were lucky enough to see the return of the 990, but that wasn’t the only model that New Balance connoisseurs had been calling out for. Over the years, there had been continuous talk of NB bringing back the 997, but unfortunately, ‘no’ seemed to be a common answer and all rumours were quickly played down.

Well, where to start with this shoe? We’ve seen versions of the 997 in recent years, such as the 997.5, a subtle hybrid that consists of a 997 upper on a 998 midsole, but we’ve never seen the 997 reissued in its truest form, until now. The model that was first introduced back in the 90’s looks ever so stunning, and we’re sure that this pair will pull on the heartstrings of all NB fanatics!

Now for the details, and there’s a good few to take note of. The 997 is US made as this stays true to the original, and this means that the shape is exquisite. It features a signature grey-on-grey upper consisting of pig-skin suede overlays, premium mesh underlays and sublime pebbled leather. This great use of pebbled leather is also featured on the tongue and the shoe is finished off with a clean leather inner lining, which certainly gives that premium feel. Also, last but not least, there is some 3M thrown in on the ‘N’ for good measure.

One of the most important components of the New Balance 997 is the striking midsole, which features a duo of densities; fused C-Cap within the Encap sole unit, and a refined heel support. As this shoe was all about comfort, aesthetics and technology, NB have upped the ante by including a triple density innersole and also added XAR-1000 rubber to the outsole for increased grip.

However, one thing that many have come to notice is the colour change to the rear of the midsole, a slightly darker colour than the OG but something that we can definitely put on the back burner to appreciate this stunning shoe.

I'm not going to say much else except link to an article from Matt Kyte (Twizm) for Sneakerfreaker and if you know Twizm, then you know that this is 10000% worth a read.

Here's the link for anyone interested;

http://www.sneakerfreaker.com/articles/new-balance-welcome-back-the-classic-997/

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New Balance 577AS - Audrey Stewart - Centenary Edition

In this day and age, it's rare to get a pair of trainers from this Flimby era that are still in this condition - (Deadstock, that is) - but when you do, there's always some enjoyment in lacing them up for the first time. The pair featured here is a stone-cold Flimby classic, well, theres three to be precise, but this pair is one of them. If you asked any New Balance aficionado to name three models that are Flimby favourites, I reckon they'd name the 577, 670 and 1500, actually, I'd be willing to put money on that. But if we wanted to stretch that further and choose colourways of the 577 for example, 99% would most likely say the 577NG (navy/grey) and it's no wonder when this colourway is a cult classic.

The New Balance factory in the UK is located at Flimby, near the Lake District, and behind every good factory, are it's loyal workers. New Balance was founded in 1906 as 'New Balance Arch Support Company' and when 2006 came around, it was time to celebrate New Balance's 100 year anniversary. For this celebration, NB were to produce three limited edition trainers to honour it's three longest serving employees; Audrey Stewart, Ian Byers and Victor Dixon, who each have around 70 years of work between them at the Flimby factory, these are our 'Flimby heroes'.

This celebration would be kept simple but effective, with the original grey/navy colourway being used on the three models, and only 1906 pairs will be produced. This may seem a large quantity when we compare it to numbers of store collaborations of around 120 units, but trust me, these pairs are harder to come-by than some of the rarest collaborations. Maybe it's because they were bought, worn and appreciated like they should be, or some other reason, but if you have the set then consider yourself lucky!

Before we focus on one specific shoe, I thought you would enjoy a look at each pair from the Centenary Edition pack, so check them out below. (All images by Dean Chalkley).

Audrey Stewart who appears on the 577 is the longest serving of our Flimby Heroes and she has been working in the stitching department for almost 25 years when 2006 came around.

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Victor Dixon appears on the 670 and he has been with the company since 1982. He is currently the warehouse operative but used to be in the shoe making teams.

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Ian Byers who appears on the 1500 has also been working with New Balance since 1982 and works as the 'toe and side laster'.

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Just for reference, the model codes are as follows - 577AS, 670VD and 1500IB.

Now that you've got an overview of the project, here's a little bit about the 577AS with some detailed images and on-foot shots.

In my person opinion, the 577 is the best of the pack, and it's made even sweeter because of the fact that the 577NG is produced and released every year with a consistently higher price but a consistently lower quality, which the price definitely doesn't justify. However, the Audrey Stewart version of the 577, mainly because of the time it was produced (577NG from this time frame are the same quality), has a lush premium suede upper with premium nubuck and mesh underlays in a navy and grey colourway. Like I said, simple but effective. The AS features a tongue tab with a graphic on it of hills and a windmill, rather than the traditional text. One of the major plus points of the AS is the shape; because it is from 2006, this pre-dates Flimby's experimenting with toe puffs and therefore the down-hill of the 'sharp wedge' shape that is sought after so much.

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Each pair comes with a Flimby Hero specific hangtag and Play Mobil like model (includes a little questionnaire), a certificate of authenticity, special insoles and tissue paper.

New Balance 998CH - Made in USA

Well, I wasn't really planning on picking this pair up, but after initially visiting Hanon Shop to vent my anger with regards to the pre-buy status of the New Balance 997GY, I didn't want to leave empty handed. So, an obligatory "I'll just try these on" turned into me having no doubt in my mind that these would tide me over until some time in February when the 997's drop. Since we first saw the catalogue and sample images a good few months back, there's been a great deal of anticipation for two pairs of New Balance 998's in particular, the pair featured here - 998CH, and a second pair, 998LL. The interest that developed for these two pairs is mainly down to the simple but effective colourways, and also the fact that the Made in USA product rarely lets anyone down when it comes to build quality, materials, colourways, comfort and shape, however, they do hold a pricey RRP for those buying out with the US - £155 in the UK.

The 998 is a classic archive New Balance running shoe, and this particular pair as already mentioned, was made in the USA for Spring/Summer 2014. This pair features a premium tonal upper of lush pigskin suede and mesh underlays, finished off with a two piece premium leather 'N' with white backer, and the trademark EVA 'Abzorb' sole unit, which makes for excellent comfort.

When it comes to grey suede and mesh, no-one really does it better than New Balance, and there are already a few similar style 998's out there, however, the 998CH definitely warrants a place in amongst them.

This pair is available to buy at Hanon Shop now, and will also be available at the usual UK stockists this month.

Check out some detailed and on-foot shots below;

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Adidas Torsion Integral S OG - LPU + WOMFT

Amidst the Volcano hype, this week also saw the release of a long awaited classic 90's running silhouette; the Adidas Torsion Integral S retro in the OG colour way along with two other new colourways. For me, and like many others, the OG colourway was the pick of the bunch and a must have for anyone not lucky enough to own the original from almost 20 years ago.

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Image taken from Hanon Shop.

It's been a strong year for Adidas and looks like it's set to continue in 2014, especially for all the fans of their running models.

Although the toe box is a lot more 'boxy' than the OG, it's still a great shoe and definitely one of the best pairs released by Adidas this year.

In my opinion, the Integrals fit quite snug but long so you may have to go true to size if you have wide feet, otherwise, half size down may be a good starting point!

Available to buy from Hanon Shop and many other retailers now.

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