WOMFT – New Balance 1500CBW

This is a little latest pick-up of mine, and I really couldn’t wait to get them on-feet, so took them for a spin yesterday evening down near the harbour.

The New Balance 1500CBW, has probably my favourite material combination – nubuck and leather. The little series that New Balance UK done of these was just sublime – 1500CBW, NGW, BGW and SGW. Luckily I have three out of the four, just trying to track down the NGW then I’ll have the complete set of probably my favourite 1500’s.

I forget when these were from, I think it was maybe 2006? Correct me if I’m wrong, but anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures, dolphins and lighthouses included.

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WOMFT – New Balance 1500NO2 x Norse Projects

Norse Projects are one of my favourite brands. If you see me, there’s a good chance at least one item of clothing I’m wearing will be from the Danish heavyweights. So when they come together with my favourite footwear brand, it’s always going to be a winner in my eyes.

Anyway, we headed out last night for a wander through some woods, while trying to avoid being attacked by cows, and it felt fitting to wear the second shoe from this pack as it has some nice earthy brown tones. Hope you like.

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Private Preview of the New Balance 1500FPK x Footpatrol ‘Encyclopaedia’

It seems like every week there are at least 5+ collaborations releasing, and I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s pretty hard to keep up, but Made in UK New Balance collaborations are few and far between these days, so when one of them come along, there’s always quite a bit of excitement surrounding it. Then when you throw in UK heavyweights Footpatrol from London, the anticipation for this collaboration was only ever going to increase!

Before I get into the private preview of the shoe, let’s take a look at the Footpatrol images of the New Balance 1500FPK, along with some details about the collaboration.

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The release has been dubbed ‘Encyclopaedia’, and the tagline ‘Knowledge is Key’ has accompanied the collaboration since the first few teaser images were released. Footpatrol have came together with New Balance UK to pay homage to arguably the most informative and detailed reference source – the Britannica Encyclopaedia.

The Britannica Encyclopaedia was first published in 1768, and was produced in fifteen editions until it’s present physical volume in 2012, and this shoe uses this source of knowledge as it’s inspiration. If you look at the shoe, and then look at the Britannica Encyclopaedia pictured, it’s clear that the people of Footpatrol and New Balance have worked extremely hard to execute this concept to the highest of standards.

The New Balance 1500FPK has a screams premium at first glance, with it’s predominantly black upper, decked out in only the best materials, with plush suede on the toe wrap and ankle sections, complimented by some smooth black leather across the toe box, side panels and tongue. Some contrast gold detailing comes in the form of the embroidery on the tongue, heel logo and of course the traditional small single embroidered ‘N’ logo on the lateral side. The heel logo on the medial side features a blacked out double embroidered ‘N’ logo, which is a really nice touch. There is also an embroidered tab on the rear of the tongue, which features an illustration of a book with the tagline ‘Knowledge is Key’, while the insole takes elements from some of the content found in the Encyclopaedia, in an off white colour with an anatomical illustration of the human foot. It doesn’t end there though, as no shoe is complete without some reflectiveness in my opinion, and this comes in the form of the reflective piping around the ankle collar.

You’d think we’d be finished by now on the detailing front, right? But no, adding to the already class details, the shoe is sat on top of an off-white midsole, and has everyone’s favourite gum coloured outsole. As a little reminder as to who the brains are behind this collaboration, the famous Footpatrol gas mask comes in a black and gold swing tag. Finally the vibrant Red New Balance logo situated on the heel and the outsole is a nod to both the bookmarker found in the reference book and the flagship colour used on the NB logo.

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With the release set for Saturday 24th January, Footpatrol and New Balance personally selected a small number of people, mainly press and loyal customers to join them for a special preview of the Footpatrol Encyclopaedia ‘Knowledge is Key’ 1500. The event took place at the stunning Library on St. Martin’s Lane, an exclusive private members club just off London’s famous Leicester Square, and this is where the original shots featured above were taken.

Here we would also be treated to a personal Q+A with the New Balance team – Tom Henshaw, Andy Okolowicz, Chris Hodgson, and Jamie Metcalfe, as well as an insight into the Footpatrol shoe, while being able to indulge in some fine food and drink. It’s quite rare to be treated to events of this form, as usually it’s just a case of a venue with some music and lots and lots of beer, but the efforts that both NB and Team FP went to organise this classy event fits in with the whole theme of the collaboration perfectly.

When we talk about New Balance, and discuss things online, a lot of the information is taken from various websites, or stuff you’ve picked up through the years, but to be sat down with people like Chris and Andy, and be able to tap into their comprehensive knowledge of all things NB, whether it’s creative or technical, it really is quite something. Hats off to Jimmy and the rest of Team Footpatrol too, who were more than happy to discuss any aspect of their great project, and obviously like us who were just grateful to be in the room, they were grateful to be one of the very few who are given the opportunity to work with New Balance UK and produce such a stunning shoe.

When you think about this project in more depth, and as was pointed out by Jimmy of Footpatrol, the use of the Encyclopaedia Britannica as inspiration for a Made in UK New Balance is very appropriate, especially since the Encyclopaedia has a long standing tie to British heritage – it even has a thistle for it’s logo! The Encyclopaedia is high quality to touch, and craftmanship is something that New Balance pride themselves on, especially when it comes down to materials, with only the finest being used on this project. One particular interesting fact mentioned by Chris Hodgson in relation to materials was that the leather used throughout the shoe, is in fact, waterproof, and it was sourced from English tanneries.

The New Balance 1500FPK sees a production run of around 1320 pairs, which doesn’t seem like all that many, but be sure to keep your eyes open for a worldwide release soon, but in the mean time, check out some pictures below from the event.

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New Balance 1500SNS x SNS – ‘RGB Pack’

I originally had the intention of using this blog to post what I was wearing on my feet that day, which is in fact what I’m technically doing, but I figured that if you are taking the time to check this page out then I may at least give you something else to read about.

So, on that note, continuing on the 1500 trend, I was wearing the New Balance 1500SNS x SNS today, which is part of the RGB Pack released back in 2009.

The Swedish crew over at Sneakersnstuff Stockholm 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. Check out the below image from EU Kicks of the pack.

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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. I don’t care for the 1700 much, mainly due to the ripstop upper and faux nubuck but the materials are all veggie apparently, so a perfect shoe if you’re into that or appreciate the diversity.

However, I own both the 577 and 1500, and they are two stunning pairs. I’m sure that after this post, you’ll agree with regards to the 1500 at least.

The 1500 is based around the green colour and features a mainly green, grey and white upper, with top quality pig-skin suede and mesh toe box. The inner lining also features the same mesh used on the toe box which is a nice change, and the shoe is finished off with a leather tongue hosting green embroidery, and everyone’s favourite little touch of 3M reflective piping around the heel.

There’s not really much else to say about the shoe, I’ve covered the collaboration history and outlined the materials, and I think the pictures speak for themselves. I’ll maybe re-visit this again whenever I get around to wearing the 577, but until then, enjoy some shots of the 1500. DSC_0360 DSC_0364 DSC_0373 DSC_0379 DSC_0380 DSC_0382 DSC_0396

New Balance 1500MJC x La MJC x Colette – ‘Vivre Sans Temps Mort’

The Parisian boutique Colette have worked on a few New Balance collaborations and are probably most known for their three 1500 efforts (2006, 2007 and 2010). I think it’s true to say that they probably should have stopped after the third pair (1500MJC – the one featured in this post), as the fourth pair which they worked on with UNDFTD, to put it simply, was a bit of a letdown in comparison to the others.

Anyway, Colette and creative firm La MJC worked on this 1500 for a couple of years which seen multiple delays with the pair being eventually released quite late on in 2010, December I think(?). This was around the time that the Flimby factory in the UK were reworking the shape of the 1500 and other models, which is why a lot of people regard this pair as the ‘last of the good shape’, but as you can see, in my opinion it is still quite bulky. It’s a shame as we al know Flimby were once renowned for their quality craftmanship and stunning shape.

The design of this shoe pays tribute to the website Wesoldout.com which was founded by Colette and La MJC in 2006, however, it no longer exists today. However, what it lacks in shape, it definitely makes up for in the colourway of this model and the PREMIUM (emphasis on the word premium) materials used. The upper is mainly lush pig skin red and grey suede with stunning white cow-leather accents, but there’s also excellent use of premium brown leather on the ankle surround and tongue (my favourite part!). A premium leather is also used, which further increases the whole premium feel to the shoe, but it doesn’t stop there. What would a shoe be without some 3M? This pair features 3M reflective piping on the ankle area and also a hit of 3M on the front tip of the toe box.

The insoles have “Vivre Temps” imprinted on the left and “Sans Mort” on the right side. The phrase “Vivre Sans Temps Morts” means ‘Life Without Dead Time’ in French, made famous by protesters during the May 1968 France protests.

This shoe was always known to be notoriously bad for the suede bleed on the midsole and also the inner lining, but to be honest, I think it looks better and reminds me of the 1500CT Chiantis. Like the majority of collaborations, this shoe came with three lace sets, red, white and grey, and for me, the grey works best, followed by the white lace set.

Check out some detailed shots below and also some on-foot shots.

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WOMFT – New Balance 1500CHF x Hanon Shop

Towards the end of last year I managed to pick up a second pair of this shoe, and to be honest, I don’t own many doubles, but with this pair being one of my favourites, it really is necessary.

As always, Hanon Shop ALWAYS deliver when it comes to a collaboration no matter what brand it is, and this 1500 was no different. Since 2010, in my humble opinion, Made in UK NB have been dealing with shape woes when it comes to their models, and the GR’s were gradually going downhill and starting to have a horrific banana shape teamed with a bulbous toe box, so when news leaked of Hanon collaborating with Flimby, we were all wondering the same thing….

Will Flimby sort it out??

The answer was yes, well, for this release anyway.

The guys at Hanon were well aware of the shape issues and pushed for it to be corrected for this release. The CHF used a different mesh to a normal 1500, a softer type which can be found on the 576NGA, and they also pushed and pushed for Flimby to use a different toe puff (the piece of material we hate). NB state that the toe puff creates structure and shape to the shoe, which yes, is correct, however, it gives the shoe this hideous bulbous appearance due to the size of said toe puff. Therefore, Hanon requested that a different and smaller toe puff be used.

It goes without saying that if the 1500CHF had been produced with the same shape of GR’s at their time then they wouldn’t be as much as a loved and sought after shoe as they currently are.

The 1500CHF was released back in 2012 and pays homage to 30 years of Flimby, with colourway and material ideas taken from iconic colourways on the 577 and 576 model. You really can’t go wrong with suede and mesh and navy/blues/greys when it comes to New Balance.

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WOMFT – New Balance 1500NO2 x Norse Projects

There was a lot of hope when Norse Projects announced that they were doing another collaboration with New Balance, following the success of their 670 from a few years back.

However, as they started to release teaser pictures, there was some doubt starting to arise as to whether Flimby UK would sort out the shape issues..

.. turns out they never….

So, enjoy a little toe push to make this pair look less ‘banana like’.

One half of the Danish Weather Pack released 2013 by Norse Projects and New Balance –

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