The New Balance 576 Pub Pack takes a British institution as a conceptual jumpoff and works it well.
In an ideal world, the UK-made 576 would enjoy the same pub-shoe status as the Classics and Max models of the world, yet it remains a connoisseur's pick - not dull like a CAMRA real ale choice, but a tasteful selection for locals in the know. Coincidentally, we had grand plans to do something similar, until this trio proved a little close to comfort. The best brand won, and the fact they're constructed in Flimby made it seem a little more relevant too. A premium leather New Balance is always a winner, and the colours here are similar to some we've seen before, but they've been given a pretty effective public house twist. The navy, tan and burgundy aren't going to earn you a glassing for rocking deviant footwear in even the most roughneck boozer - the linings, evoking the glum lo-fi flamboyance of pub curtains are a little more madcap, and the footbeds match the haggard carpeting of your home away from home - providing it hasn't been transformed into some smug hotbed of overpriced dishes with reductions instead of sauces and a wine list that takes up a whole blackboard.
Based on some popular pub names - The Kings Head (with the possessive apostrophe seemingly optional back in the day), The Red Lion and The Royal Oak, with the pick of shade somehow tied in to the titles, this feels like a sequel of sorts to the equally plush Classic Car set a few years back. Union Jacks on the heel reinforces that UK identity too - a sequel set with Scampi Fries, bathroom-based flavoured condom machines and the half-naked lady on the peanut display card referenced would be a perfect finale, but these are a very good start indeed. Extra points for referencing our beloved booze culture and keeping those toeboxes splash proof too. Throw in a branded bar towel and beermat and you've got another good reason to like our division of New Balance's lifestyle releases a lot. These are set for a August release, and they'll be available in the Crooked Tongues store
. In the meantime, check the current selection.