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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New Balance 990 Re-issues

There’s been a lot of NB 990 posts recently on Instagram, so I figured that it was only right to pay homage to them, especially since the year is drawing to a close and one of the best things to come from NB USA was the introduction of the 990 retros.

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We all love old footwear advertisements, and this one from New Balance back in the 80’s is great… “On a scale of 1000, this able is a 990.”

So if we start from the beginning.. First introduced in 1982/83, the turn of the year just happened to fall on the 990’s 30th anniversary so when the first news drew that NB would be welcoming back the model, we were all very excited!

Even back in 1982/83, the 990 was one of the most expensive running shoes on the market, so it was inevitable that we would be looking at a high retail price in 2013, especially with an added Vibram outsole, pig suede and closed mesh.

First to release was arguably the most anticipated pair, a special “1 to 1” reissue of the OG Grey colourway which would be limited to only 990 pairs and feature a a commemorative metal hang tag and a retail price of £160 ($180) back in December 2012.

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New Balance 990GRY – 30th Anniversary

I picked this pair up from Hanon Shop in Scotland and there was only 4 of us queuing for opening on a very cold and wet December morning. There seemed to be very little interest but as 2013 went on, and the other colourways were released, there was a common theme of many people saying that they had wished they’d picked up the grey and now had to pay the high resale price!

Following the grey pair, there was to be 5 other colourways of the 990, three of which are pictured below;

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New Balance 990N

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New Balance 990BLK

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New Balance 990BD (with 3M N and heel tab)

These four simple colourways that were first released are all stunning and feature a great build construction, materials, shape and excellent comfort.

Q4 2013 was to see the release of another colourway, this time it would be a green/navy colourway which wasn’t particularly doing it for me but after seeing them in person, it works very well.

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Image taken from EU Kicks.

This pair, 990GB is available at many US New Balance retailers just now but has still not dropped in the UK, however, we hopefully will see it in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye on the usual spots.

Finally, the 5th colourway of the 990 is royal blue/red and is due for a release in Q1 2014. There are a few pictures floating around the internet if you look hard enough.

A bonus on-foot shot of the NB 990GRY 30th Anniversary;

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It’s been a great year for New Balance USA, trumping the majority of products that Flimby and Asia released, due to their superior quality and consistently great shape.

Next up is the 997….. And no-one does suede and mesh better than New Balance.

Ronnie Fieg x New Balance 1600 ‘Daytona’

We’ve just had one worldwide Ronnie Fieg release, and only 4 weeks later, another one will be upon us, and as always, no matter what he puts out, there will always be MASSIVE hype surrounding it!

There had been talk for a while of Fieg doing another New Balance, with plenty of rumours speculating as to what model, some saying 997 (which may still not be ruled out for next year..) and others saying 1600, which of course, that is now confirmed with the first full pictures being released following some earlier teasers.

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Image taken from Sneakernews.com.

I’m not the biggest Fieg fan but I appreciate the position that he has managed to reach now, and obviously, for many ‘sneaker’ lovers, that is where they want to be, designing their own colour ways on some of their favourite models and having them sell out in minutes.

Anyway, with regards to the shoe, an Asian made New Balance 1600, first thoughts on hearing this before the images? I guess I wasn’t really looking forward to it as the 1600 has never been a model that’s appealed to me, and much like Flimby made products, Asian manufacturing has went downhill over the years.

However, surely with Ronnie stating that they will be “the most premium NB upper you will ever see in your lifetime”, I guess we were all pretty intrigued..

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As with any big release, the good folks over at Crepe City, put a post on Instagram to gauge people’s reactions to the 1600, and here’s a screen grab of the comments and/or possibly everything that defines ‘hype’;

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Image taken from Crepe City Instagram (@crepecity).

My first impressions of the shoe is one that if you know me, it won’t surprise you;

ROPE LACES!

Overkill or what? Is it really necessary to include them on every release, whether it be RF or a GR? + in my opinion, they look horrific on this model and make it look really ‘cheap’.

Secondly, the lace locks, unlike his Asics releases, he includes branding on his NB collaborations, but again, I think they’re better served elsewhere and not on this pair.

I always thought that Fieg was up for doing designs and colour blocking that had never been done on shoes before, but it seems that certainly from some of his past releases, he’s following suit on other stores techniques, for example, the block coloured toe which seems to be extremely popular after all the Solebox releases.

However, it’s not all bad, I feel that he has definitely used the panelling on the 1600 to it’s maximum potential, showing off the excellent material use. Also, the micro-perf on the saddle and heel is a nice touch, but if used too much, could give off a sort of ‘cheap’ look.

On a final note, a lot of NB collectors/enthusiasts would overlook these, but that’s not going to stop them flying off the shelves…

Look for a release at KITH on the 29th of November, followed by a worldwide release on the 14th of December.

Also expect more of the same when they drop in the UK and EU stores, queues queues queues.

Check out more pictures below;

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Above images taken from Sneakernews.com.