Sneakers, kicks, trainers – whatever you call them they’ll likely be the first form of footwear to have graced your tiny feet on graduation from the crib. They’ll befriend you through childhood, stick with you in your teens and still take space in your wardrobe for a brief cameo when necessary. With age, there’s often a strange neglect that befalls the humble sneaker; the older you get, the lesser time you invest in sourcing that perfect pair, and in my case, the more awkward it is to introduce them into my ‘grown up wardrobe.’ That said, it’s always nice to come across something a little special that catches my attention and sparks interest outside of my comfort zone (ironically, these shoes are very comfortable.)
Though the likes of Nike (with Nike ID and other projects) having paved the way for custom sneakers, New Balance have pleasingly followed suit by introducing a similar service around the much loved 574 silhouette. The 574 online service greets you with a blank canvas shoe, broken down into four key zones for customization. There’s a great selection of colours on offer and each choice is mirrored in a real-time demo shoe that sits to the side of a simple, well laid out control panel.
At present the platform solely allows control over the colour of various portions of the shoe, though I hope you’ll soon be able to explore different fabric options and other NB silhouettes. In addition to the control of colour options throughout, you can have a custom message embroidered on the heel of each shoe. I opted for NCL and NYC for my custom text, a nod to being on the cusp of leaving my hometown Newcastle and moving over to New York in the near future. Once ordered, the shoes will arrive with you in one week which is a pretty staggering turn-around for a custom pair; there’s great scope to be as subtle or as loud as you like with your choices and I do hope this is indicative of NB’s future projects.