The New Balance & United Arrows' M1500 makes beige appealing


There's a lot of New Balance collaborations out there, but the real draw to the brand is the past performance purity it carries. When we've done work with them, we've generally stuck to a formula that displays a certain conservatism. We just want to be able to throw on some 576s, 577s or 1500s with any outfit and tried to intelligently create some no-brainers, because we're of the opinion that you should leave the silly stuff to the other brands. Some recent collaborations have left us a little cold, but they're sprinting out the store as soon as they're launched. These sandy New Balance United Arrows M1500UASP colourways are very beige - beige is normally a bad thing: the symbol of fence-sitting mediocrity and when it's on a China-made M1500 (seriously NB, please, please, please remove the panel inside the toe that's rounding off that shape), all signs point to terrible, but guess what? This is a nice shoe.

What this version of the 1989 classic lacks in stealthy silhouette, it makes up for in the quality of the suede on the upper and the pigskin lining. It's whisper quiet in its execution, but that neutrality is good with any outfit. Or are we just making excuses for basic makeups? The shelves seem to lack a good middleground between lurid rubbish and basic executions right now.

United Arrows generally don't mess with noisy shoes - we think their true masterpiece was that M997.5 from a few years back with the pink and purple accents that Kanye unexpectedly broke out (causing the shoe to more scarce than it already was), but their sub-brand, Beauty & Youth nailed the 1700 (which was always a shoe that cropped up in Tokyo spots) earlier this year, while United Arrows themselves have put out a few premium makeups of that less-obvious silhouette themselves over the years. As a paragon of Monocle-endorsed retail tastemaking, with a lot of doors, these guys strike a nice commercial balance and maintain a dedicated audience who aren't cheapskates. Bland in the nicest possible way, it's interesting to see some buzz around these building ahead of their release this Saturday. Low numbers, hefty price, good materials. Better make sure your denim isn't bleeding if you want to break out a pair of these - jeans with the dreaded blue hemophilia will tarnish the United Arrows M1500 in minutes...

Posted by, gwar on 22 April 2013