Extremely popular sneakers because of their price range, versatility when it comes to style, and freedom of movement. Almost everyone is guaranteed to have low-top sneakers in their shoe rotation.
Mid-top sneakers extend toward the ankle for a little more support and hold. These lie somewhere in the middle between low-top and high-top sneakers in terms of usage and popularity.
Sneakers with collars that go above the ankles for optimal hold and support are some of the most sought-after models in lifestyle shoes. Most of these shoes take their roots from basketball and have easily or fashionably crossed to mainstream wear.
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Regardless of cut, it's always good to start with sneakers that can be worn for the daily grind, also called as "beaters" by some, as these are usually cheaper, easy to clean, and still gives that lifestyle "edge" before going for those wallet-thinning models.
Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.
Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.
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Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.
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Shoes sharing the same inspiration, history, materials, or technologies are routinely assembled under one compilation for the convenience of those who may wish to categorize or label their own collection as such. The classic collections like the Adidas Originals, Air Max 1, Air Force 1, new balance classic sneakers, and the Classic Leather head the pack of frequently asked about collections.
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New Balance 345 History
New Balance is one of the oldest sports footwear manufacturers based in the US that has mastered athletic shoe construction for over a century now. Its entry into the footwear industry started as early as 1906 as a maker of arch support and after a couple of decades later, around mid 1980s it earned a solid reputation in the running circuit.
The brand managed to retain some of its distinct qualities such as its attention to workmanship and ability to market shoes in extreme varieties of widths. While several brands started to manufacture products overseas back in the 1980s for a much cheaper cost, New Balance opted to keep its domestic production. A single brand that up to this day affirms producing 70 percent US-made products with facilities in Norridgewock, Norway, and Skowhegan in Maine; Brighton and Lawrence in Massachusetts.
New Balance managed to survive the challenges faced by most of its contenders in the footwear industry in the early 1990s. The brand even rose to the top as one of the five leading athletic footwear companies just before the turn of the new century.
After earning legions of supporters for its 900 and 1000 running series, New Balance attempted to immerse into the growing skateboarding industry. In 2013 the Numeric category was conceived which particularly addressed the needs of the skateboarding communities.
The venture of the brand into skating was further amplified by its initial tie up with pro rider PJ Ladd, which grew into a team supported by other prominent skateboarders Arto Saari, Levin Brown, Tyler Surrey, among others. These men became the voice behind the developments under the Numeric line.
On the onset, the skateboarding range is supported by veteran retailer Black Box Distribution and other experts in the same field such as Mystery, Fallen, Zero, and Slave. And with its foundation pegged at the right ground, the New Balance Numeric skateboarding collection immediately earned a cult of followers, from amateurs and enthusiasts to pro-skaters.
One of the Numeric front liners that has an appeal among skateboarders is the slim, low-top New Balance Quincy. This cupsole skate shoe provides enough cushioning and support coupled by good ventilation through its laser perforations and mesh tongue. The New Balance Stratford, another low-profile skate shoe in a super slim form, charmed heaps of skaters as it is lightweight, durable, and made with a plush genuine suede cover. One more skate shoe that got the nod of professional and amateur riders is the New Balance Logan, which is more up-to-date in terms of technical specifications that features the proprietary foam compound called the REVlite.
Soon, through the recommendation of professional riders, the Numeric range grew exponentially in the coming years that led to the birth of vulc models like the Brighton 344 in 2016. This vulc shoe, made of leather base and suede heel tab became a go-to footwear among skaters.
This silhouette is succeeded by the drop of the New Balance 345 in the Spring of 2017, which also came in streamlined, low-top profile. The updated 345 is likewise built with a vulc construction and trademark ABZORB + insert, which offers protection against shock and impact.
New Balance 345 Style
The low-top New Balance 345 comes with a bunch of skate-specific advantages as it is built with a reinforced primary upper and durable rubber outsole. The suede upper is made of subdued monotones which makes it so versatile to pair up with a mélange of casual street wear like long shorts, cargos, khakis, slim-tapered pants, and straight-fit bottoms.
Fit & Sizing
The New Balance 345 has a standard lacing system that offers a customized lockdown fit. The elastic band under the tongue provides a slip on feel to the foot and offers a snug fit. This skate shoe is available in men’s sizes ranging from 6 to 13 US. New Balance Numeric shoes are made with a narrow fit. Thus, the brand recommends to get half a size bigger than a regular NB lifestyle shoe in order to take the full performance benefits of this shoe.
The New Balance 345 is a remastered version of the Brighton 344 that is made with a sleek, clean, one-piece primary upper. The minimal cushioning around the collar enhances the slim-profile look of this shoe coupled by a thinly structured tongue. This vulc shoe variety may look like any ordinary sneaker from the outside, but the upper down to the outsole are made with hard-wearing components which makes this sneaker a stable and durable skateboarding companion.
- The heel is reinforced with an additional panel for support, especially during heel flips.
- Just like any vulc shoes in the Numeric range, the New Balance 345 is flexible, lightweight, and does not need a long period to break-in.
- The sole of this shoe is made with multiple layers of rubber, which are glued together and bonded to the upper with a strong rubber foxing tape.
- The toe cap is reworked so it can withstand the abrasiveness of skateboarding. Multiple layers of rubber are placed in that region to extend its life, which is covered with a singular-piece suede upper to enhance its aesthetic charm.
- New Balance custom insert called ABZORB + insert is placed inside the shoe to add protection to the foot, particularly in high-impact zones.
- The “N” branding is stitched to the side panels while the NB# logo is embedded to its hex tread sole.
- The sole is made of durable gum rubber.