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New Balance Celebrates “American Rebels”

July 23, 2013by Aaron Kr.
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When it comes to “being American”, few other brands can back up the claim quite as confidently as New Balance. Unlike nearly all their major competitors, New Balance still manufactures sneakers domestically. Fewer and fewer products these days feature the “Made in the U.S.A.” stamp that used to appear everywhere you looked, but the Boston-based brand has stuck to their guns through a recession and ever-looming overseas temptations. Rather than shaving significant costs from their bottom line by farming all their manufacturing out to Asia, New Balance preferred to keep 1,300 US factory workers employed and the communities that depend on them left with a means of survival.


New Balance does use facilities in Japan and other parts of Asia for a percentage of their shoe production, but by maintaining five functional factories in the States, as well as their Flimby factory in England, the brand has demonstrated a willingness to go against the grain when it comes to maintaining their pride and history at all costs. In this regard, they have proven to be rebels in their own right, but their latest ten-shoe collection pays tribute to another group of American outlaws. You may have seen a few colorways popping up at retailers already, but there’s still much more to come from the New Balance “American Rebel” collection, which is of course… you guessed it – Made in the U.S.A.


THE “AMERICAN REBEL” COLLECTION


The “American Rebel” collection is a nod to the glory days of the 1950s and 60s motorcycle and hot rod culture – a fondly remembered era when your paint job and leather jacket were as earth-shatteringly vital as your sneakers are nowadays. New Balance honors that iconic slice of Americana with ten new colorways spread across three of their classic models – the 996, 998 and 1300 – with each pair inspired in some way by the golden days of the colorful subculture.

New Balance isn’t usually one to go over the top with wild graphics and over the top color schemes, so you won’t find anything as overt as painted flames and shiny materials. As usual, the brand keeps things simple and classy, using predominantly muted tone uppers set off by choice splashes of vibrant color. While none of the shoes in the collection scream for attention the way a candy-painted 1950s hot rod might, these subtle call-outs can be spotted all throughout the ten shoes.

The silver and greys represent the chrome and metal found on motorcycles and underneath the hood of the cars. The use of black


is a reference to the ever present leather jackets that were a staple of the culture. Bright flashes of red, blue, green, and orange can be tied to the bright colors and glossy paint jobs that ruled the age.

Tastefully restrained in its execution, the “American Rebel” collection offers a nice variety of timeless looks inspired by the 50s and 60s, but right at home in 2013. It’s no secret at this point that New Balance has built tremendous momentum in recent years, in large part due to some of their ravenously sought after collaborative releases. But it’s their in-house team who has been churning out tasty colorways year in and year out, finding fresh new ways to keep the brand’s classic catalog relevant with today’s consumers. The “American Rebel” collection is just the latest example of the understated cool exemplified by the New Balance Classics division at nearly every turn.

Continue on for a closer look at all ten models, complete with color, material, and release information for each. Based on the few styles that have already arrived at retailers, keep in mind that some of the shoes may arrive at shops a little ahead of their scheduled drop.


NEW BALANCE  M1300LM

COLORS:  Grey/Green

MATERIALS:  Nubuck/Mesh

PRICE:  $159.95

RELEASE:  November 2013


NEW BALANCE M996GLM

COLORS: Burgundy/Navy

MATERIALS:  Suede

PRICE:  $150.00

RELEASE: November 2013


NEW BALANCE M996ST

COLORS: Blue/White/Red

MATERIALS:  Suede/Mesh

PRICE:  $150.00

RELEASE: Arriving at select New Balance retailers now


NEW BALANCE M1300BB

COLORS:  Black/Red

MATERIALS:  Nubuck/Mesh

PRICE:  $159.95

RELEASE:  September 2013


NEW BALANCE M998MB

COLORS: Navy/Burgundy

MATERIALS: Suede

PRICE:  $160.00

RELEASE: November 2013


NEW BALANCE M996BSN

COLORS: Dark Grey/Red

MATERIALS:  Suede

PRICE:  $150.00

RELEASE:  October 2013


NEW BALANCE M1300LIN

COLORS:  Grey/Blue

MATERIALS:  Nubuck/Mesh

PRICE:  $159.95

RELEASE:  October 2013


NEW BALANCE M998RO

COLORS:  Red/Black

MATERIALS:  Suede/Mesh

PRICE:  $160.00

RELEASE: Arriving at select New Balance retailers now


NEW BALANCE M996BA

COLORS:  Black/Blue

MATERIALS:  Suede/Mesh

PRICE:  $150.00

RELEASE:  September 2013


NEW BALANCE M1300GD

COLORS: Grey/Orange

MATERIALS:  Nubuck/Mesh

PRICE:  $159.95

RELEASE: Available now at select New Balance retailers