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New Balance is best known for its hits: the 990, 993 and 997. But collaborations have made even the 574 hot. The first-ever 574s, shoes originally introduced as economy runners, were supposed to be comfortable, capable of a light workout, and well-suited for long walks.
To better understand the silhouette, it's important to remember that with New Balance sneakers, generally speaking, the higher the model number, the more tech. The lower that number is, the more "lifestyle" the shoe leans.
That being said, while the 574 might be basic, it helped New Balance grow. The sneaker's lower price point made the shoe more accessible, and the "N" logo on the sneaker's upper (as well as the suede side panels around it) aided in making New Balance sneakers more recognizable—and fashion-forward.
Nowadays, the 574 is still essentially the same shoe is was 34 years ago, when it first dropped. But New Balance quality dropped an elevated edition aimed at reviving components of the classic model: the 574 Legacy. Simply put, the 574 Legacy is to the 574 what the Chuck 70 is to the Chuck Taylor All Star.
(For those unfamiliar: the Chuck 70 is an upgraded Chuck Taylor All Star. It's $30 more, but the jump in price promises stronger canvas uppers, a more supportive insole, and tread with better traction control.)
Right now, 574s retail for anywhere between $55 and $90, depending on the time of year (and which sales are happening when). The 574 Legacy, on the other hand, is $130. That's because it's not only a better shoe, but it's only been made available through high-profile collaborations thus far.
Earlier in 2022, three colorways dropped as part of New Balance's collaboration with eYe Junya Watanabe MAN. These, however, were only available in Japan, making Bodega's upcoming 574 Legacy drop, at least to my knowledge, the shoe's official U.S. debut.
Bodega introduces two versions of the 574: colorways called "Departure" (blue) and "Arrival" (yellow) inspired by the tagline "Internationally Known, Locally Respected," an ode to the 574s humble origins and eventual ubiquity.
Further, the brand says, these sneakers pay "respect to the original release back in 1988 and the influence it had on the emerging lifestyle category," calling the Legacy a way of "discovering new old stock pairs from the initial late '80s run" all over again. The shoes are new, of course, but they come with accents and additions you'd otherwise only find on pairs original to the era: reflective 3M patches at the heel, retro hairy suede uppers, the signature gray encap and midsole, a black gel outsole, a perforated tongue, and woven logo patches that look pretty '90s.
This tribute to New Balance's best-selling lifestyle sneaker should satisfy both super-fans and first timers, especially if they're into sneaker manufacturing at large. These feel like a higher-quality design from the first wear.
Bodega x New Balance Legacy 574
Both pairs drop on Friday, July 15th at 12 pm EDT.
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