New Balance Spring/Summer 2012

New Balance  Spring/Summer 2012

Although New Balance is based in Boston, Massachusetts, it could easily be described as a British company. Founded by English immigrant William J. Riley in 1906, the company continues to manufacture shoes in both the US and the UK. The New Balance UK HQ has been situated in the coastal town of Flimby, Cumbria for almost 30 years.

The factory there produces around 28,000 pairs of shoes every week. New Balance originally named each shoe based on the RRP, so for example the 990 would have sold for $99. These days though, it is said the higher the number, the better quality shoe. If the shoe has a higher number, it will be more comfortable and made to a higher specification.

A year out we get a look at the upcoming New Balance 576/577 releases. Spring/Summer 2012 will see strong drops drawing from jean, suede, mesh, and nylon uppers. Wheat, denim, and classic colourways are set to drop all pulling from fine materials and heritage branding. Every year we see a themed New Balance 576 pack straight out of Flimby.

They don’t necessarily need to be making concept driven shoes, because neutral and eye catching suede’s can do the communications for them. The ‘Road to London’ releases do it in a particularly refined way and seeing as they’ll be a ton of New Balances on the feet of competitors, there’s an authenticity to these shoes.

The London theme here is pretty well handled, with the weather-resistant’s. Despite the deliberately muted tones that make up the majority of the upper, gum soles are always a happy finish though and nobody does the 576 like the Flimby crew do.

New Balance Made in England M577R Red Trainer Shoe now at Stuarts of London

New Balance Made in England 576 Brown now at Stuarts of London

New Balance 577 was introduced to the world in 1989 and the original colourway is navy/grey. All three shoes have a mesh upper with suede overlays and of course the shoes are made in England.

New Balance M576 Road to London Limited Edition now at Stuarts of London

New Balance M576 Green Made in England Shoe now at Stuarts of London

Today, New Balance holds onto its history through the numbering system that owes its origins to a man named Arthur Heckler. Instead of naming the different shoe models, Heckler chose to number them because he wanted to place an emphasis on the New Balance philosophy, not any one particular shoe. To this day, that philosophy is upheld as model numbers are advanced to incorporate new technologies and designs.

New Balance now at Stuarts of London

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