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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Not only fashion-forward but also functional, the New Balance 574 Sport v2 employs a padded collar and tongue with accommodating pull tabs on the heel for ease of entry. The sneaker sits atop a Fresh Foam midsole that is sliced into two parts by a plastic shank. Laces on the vamp complete its lockdown.
The sneaker is created for both men and women with different construction for both genders. These men’s New Balance 574 Sport v2 casual shoes can be copped in a size range of 4 to 14. Women’s are available from 5 to 12 in a B medium width.
Fashioning the 574 would never be the same as before due to the updated look the v2 offers. Giving in with the dad sneaker pantheon, the New Balance 574 Sport v2 showcases a clunkier tooling courtesy of the Fresh Foam midsole that starts full at the heel then gradually slants towards the forefoot. The classic straight pants that our uncles usually sport were now replaced with skinny jeans for men, and leggings for women. Lastly, the men’s New Balance 574 Sport version 2 has a triple black iteration called Black Caviar.
Somehow, the New Balance 574 Sport version 2 retains the sleekness of the OG model as evident with its vamp saddle and overlays. What gives these sneakers the pop is the beefed-up Fresh Foam midsole that almost lies within the plains of the dad shoe image.
With the proliferation of outdoor sports and athletic upheaval, people, or athletes as supposed, from all around the world had been investing in something to enhance their performance. After the Second World War, humanity has been subliminally craving for a niche that would ignite their unprecedented urge for adrenaline and action. Being an established name during this zeitgeist can be the quintessential entry point towards the success in the following decades, heck even for centuries.
One of the fortunate companies to exist before the sports boom was New Balance, and at the right time to add to that. Established in 1906, the Boston-based company started out with foot orthotics to aid wearers with arch support issues. The pinnacle person responsible for its creation is William J. Riley, an English immigrant. Around a couple of decades later, he joined forces with Arthur Hall, a salesman under Riley’s company and the brand’s direction soon began to change.
One of the pivotal silhouettes that New Balance offered to the ever-so-hyped consumer public was the Trackster. The revolutionary shoe was introduced in 1960 which comes in a different width construction, relatively a first in the shoe business. It also had rippling underfoot which provided a sure grip for runners on the track.
In the dawn of the ’70s, New Balance was purchased by Jim Davis. Replenishing the company’s vision, he focuses on quality and the customer’s preference even though he had only six full-time workers at the time. Aside from top-tier products, Davis also invested in customer satisfaction, an attribute that would unknowingly span for years to come.
The first to sport the iconic “N” logo on the crazy bunch of numbered shoes was the 320. Using a numbered system defines what the New Balance stand for plus it signifies that the quality of their footwear is basically the same, but with a different purpose. Different runners suggest different gaits thus stability, speed, and arch support are varying in every athlete. Capitalizing on this concept made New Balance what they are today.
Another climactic shift in the New Balance timeline happened when the New Balance 990 series debuted in the 80s. Superseding other performance shoes concerning all other essential aspects for running, the 990 proved to be a favorite option for athletes and casual joggers alike. The 80s was also a prolific year for the brand, and the revenue generated from the success of their favorite silhouettes gave birth to more editions.
Birth of an icon
Then came the 500 series in the mid-80s. Known as probably the most coveted iteration when talking about New Balance shoes, the NB 574 was ahead of its time, and its predecessors. It took two 57x’s before the Boston brand resorted to the famous 574 we now know of. In 1986, the first on the 500 franchise was released namely the 575. In 1988, the 576 followed, and both of these shoes showcase the coveted ENCAP technology for stability.
The New Balance 574 was the result of the prevalence of an athleisure choice of a broader sneaker market. Runners, eventually, were not the primal focal point during this period and the footwear consumer demographic broadens to the casual walkers and, of course, the dad’s and uncles. The 574’s rise to stardom was not a product of intensive advertising, to say the least, and was the outcome of a company slogan stating that it was “endorsed by no one.”
The functionality, comfort-wise and aesthetically, of the New Balance 574 lasted for decades thanks to its loyal audience which is composed of, stereotypically saying, middle-aged men that prefer comfort over extravagant style. Though the sneaker’s supply did not somewhat run out for the right part of the ’90s, it was reissued in 2003. The dad portion of the demand soon tapped other classes including teens and lifestyle aficionados. The sneaker has also been a consistent vessel for collaborations and whatnot.
It seems that the success of the 574 was not enough. In 2017, it was revamped with innovative new tooling called Fresh Foam. The hip and trendy new midsole allowed the sneaker to be lighter yet more responsive to keep up with the concurrent trends that ‘heads need nowadays. The New Balance 574 Sport seemed to be a heralding option for lifestyle, but New Balance just can’t keep their hands off the iconic sneaker.
Jump to 2019 when the sneaker was entitled to another chic revamp. Introducing a chunkier profile and more leisure feel to its upper, the 574 was given a somewhat ugly sneaker rendition. The New Balance 574 Sport v2, or version 2, beefs up the midsole towards the heel while including a C-Cap cushioning for support. The official release date was February 5 and features OG colorways like the grey and black ones.
- The New Balance 574 Sport v2 has a retail price ranging from $90 to $130 depending on colorway.
- The dirty-looking color options like the NB 574 Sport v2 ‘Raid Cloud with Black’ and ‘Black Caviar’ are sold with a higher price tag.
- Colorway options for men include Pigment, Light Shale, Nimbus Cloud, Black, Rain Cloud, Dark Navy, Magnet and White with Pigment, Moonbeam, Eclipse, Steel, Dark Current, Dark Agave with Trench, and Steel with Deep Ozone Blue.
- Women’s versions come in Arctic Fox with Deep Ozone Blue, Gunmetal with Dark Violet Glo, Incense with White Peach, Black, and White.
- The sneaker is usually composed of suede and mesh uppers.