Take a look at this cross-trainer. You like this cross-trainer? They’re New Balances. I’m pretty sure Bea Arthur used to wear New Balances before she passed. Maybe David Duchovny. Sting, perhaps. I’m not sure exactly. But there’s something you should know about these particular New Balances before you go out and try to get the new “Arthurs.”
The Massachusetts-based shoe company scraped each and every one of these “574 Clips” shoes off the floor of their production factory. Gray pig suede and swatches of material left over from nicer, newer shoes that cool people like David Duchovny are walking around in.
It’s like if your dentist collected all the food he picked out of your teeth during a cleaning and sold them to you for lunch today. Yeah, gross. I know. That face you’re making after reading that last sentence is exactly the face one should make at the thought of paying $75 for a shoe that belongs on the Island of Misfit Toys.
How can New Balance get away with the 574 Clips collection? Well, for starters, they’re going after the hipster / environmentalist / shoe-collector demographic (oh, that ol’ group!) by launching a website with 480 short videos, each spotlighting an individual pair of shoes in the collection. As neat and original as that sounds, let’s not stop being angry just yet. Let’s think back to the sloppy production methods that allowed these Frankenshoes to come into existence in the first place. And then to have the gall to charge $75 dollars for such a creature. Who does New Balance think they are? Nike? And don’t get me started on pig suede, which sounds as delightful as ostrich burgers, but are probably an equally poor replacement for cow meat.
Also, the shoe is called the 574. Yet there are 480 stories on their website. Where are the other 94 stories? New Balance must be a mess. First they overestimate how much material to use on their new shoes, then they underestimate the amount of scraps available for their old shoes.
“We wanted to find a way to make each shoe extra special,” said the creative directors of the company in charge of making the short videos. “We did this by creating 480 stories for 480 shoes, shooting people and places across the country. We were there for 443/480′s entrance into the world. We screamed with 298/480 throughout its first roller coaster. We held 016/480′s laces as it raced in an ambulance. We even had to chase a zebra to get 002/480 back.”
Whoa. How’d that zebra get ahold of those shoes? That’s crazy. I mean … that’s lame. Who cares about zebras?
Oh, who am I kidding? These things are awesome. I wonder if pig suede comes in cornflower blue. Are environmentalist hipsters into cornflower blue?
Photo courtesy of www.newbalance.com