This has been a good year for New Balance 1300 fans.
If you wanted an American-made thing of beauty, and your buying finger was quick enough, you would've scored a pair of the New Balance JP reproductions, but there's always a steady stream of Flimby-made pieces that trounce the competition. The shoe that redefined sneaker price points, the poised weapon in any monied serious runner's artillery back in 1985 has retired from performance with a certain dignity. It still looks pretty perfect to us, and the RRP has gradually dipped - a reverse inflation of sorts. But the quality's intact. We're prone to lapsing into a puritanical streak to suit ourselves - praising the Yeezy one minute and putting a classic runner under the microscope the next. We're complicated like that. Sometimes odd shades on a New Balance 1300 can sicken us, but done right and it slaps us out of our love of drab tones on this shoe. This is a case of 1300 done right.
Look at the pop shades there - especially on those blue and greys - that's our kind of colourway. Got to love the curious audience this shoe attracts too, from ageing 'Runner's World' subscribers to inner-city folk Stateside who saw their local pusherman flexing in a pair solely because they cost a grip compared to other sneakers on the shelf. We're glad that New Balance seem to revere the shoe too. Great use of colour on those soles, heels and 'N's, excellent taste throughout the trio and quality build has already made these a Summer highlight for us. New Balance UK are bringing it over the next few months - expect some good collaborations and a set of 576s that we've been impressed by too. The new 'Inventory' talks lovingly about the good folk at New Balance US, but we still think Flimby-build takes it in the construction stakes. You can't get better quality for that sort of cash. These drop in-store around July, so in the meantime check out the current New Balance roster in the Crooked Tongues store