The New Balance 576 is deeply important to the Crooked Tongues narrative.
These 'Cutting Room' editions help thicken the plot. The 1988 running classic (supposedly made from 675 components) developed a life of its own by the late 1990s when it became a bestseller alongside the 572 (a far less memorable shoe). When we collaborated with New Balance in 2004, we were definitely taking a step into the unknown and this model seemed like the logical choice for a reworking. What worked in say, Japan, wouldn't necessarily work in the UK. We're inclined to think that it was a successful project for all concerned. So this is the model that started it all. The anniversary editions from 2008 were masterpieces of Flimby construction and they're getting a deserved re-release soon, but there's still more tales to be told with this model. We've had pubs, Olympic talk and some local tales using the 576, but this takes it to the source.
Just as the 100th anniversary releases singled out some Flimby heroes, this trio of a definitive running shoe shape commemorates the long-serving men behind the shoes. As a UK-based entity, we cherish the option to have our NBs locally made and having visited the UK factory several times and even playing on the machines, we can assure you that gentlemen like Roy Bell, Billy Edgar and Andy Mandle have forgotten more about shoes than we've learnt. That's not shoe knowledge in the memorising release year sense, but as something far deeper — expertise in materials, construction and quality control, plus plenty of passion for what they make. Compared to the New Balance brand, our source of locally sourced shoes is fairly young by comparison, celebrating the 30th anniversary of its 1982 opening just over a fortnight ago. Made up of leather, suede or nubuck, themed on each Cutting Room characters' personal interests, from football to northern soul and keeping it muted, the extra details on the tongue, footbed and lacelocks are effective and this is a project worthy of support — they're in the Crooked Tongues store right now