Regarding the technological race that brands engaged from the late eighties on running shoes, many models that have been released over the years were quickly abandonned, because if the public was not receptive, many important marketing issues could have turned into the disfavour of brands. This is quite a shortcut to tell the story of the New Balance 576: a broken-winded start, then a scattered succes, just like an athlete who would have retired after a successful career and came back two years after to win again. Maybe in the past the New Balance 576 was leaving people indifferent, but it has become really popular today, in an era where everyone looks for authentic products, here is its history :
The 576 was created in 1988, in a time when technically, everything remained to invent in the field of running equipment. In a time when this practice also went out of the professional sphere to enter people’s everyday life, and in an era of deep change in sport sponsorship : this was the period of Senna, the beginning of Michael Jordan, the Olympic Games of Seoul…
This shoe is dedicated to a sport use, more precisely to all-round running thanks to its grip sole and equipped with New Balance C-CAP and ENCAP technologies intended to cushioning and comfort. 27 components are usually necessary to make one pair altough most training shoes are made with an average of 12.
The legend says its design would be inspired of the 675, that after he received a sample of the sole in the Boston headquarters of the brand, the designer changed the colors and material, he modified the shape and the 576 was created. Until then, New Balance had never ever proposed any shoe totally made of leather (they always offered a mix of mesh and leather) and the 576 was the first to be released in full-smooth leather or full suede version.
Initially created for the US market, the model is only a success in New York and struggle to be accepted in the rest of the country. As the shoe is commercially on the blink, a German sales manager of the brand notices the model during a visit at the American headquarters. He decides to import the surplus stock in his country, and he launches the production of the 576 in Germany. Besides, at this moment the number 576 was given to the model, Americans had chosen an other option before. The model is a success from the first year, but then seems to be run out of steam, until it disappears from the production line of New Balance.
In 1997, the 576 makes a comeback. At the same time, Bill Clinton is shooted leaving hospital after a knee surgery wearing a pair of New Balance. Many people like to say that he who kind made the model revive. This time, it was no longer produced in the United States but in the European factory of the brand, in Flimby, England (which we visited last year : http://www.frenchtruckers.com/manufacturing-new-balance/). The 576 find its feet, wears the most beautiful smooth leathers and suede, and has the biggest brands ask her for collaborations.
A decade later, in 2007, the 576 comes back once again under the spotlight. In a completely different world, where the market, the consumer’s demand for unique products encourage brands to collaborate together, where fashion is trusted by retro running shoes, where a distribution in selected stockist is essential, where producing locally is a marketing argument… in short : the 576 is a success !
Since 2007, many things happened to the 576 which has become a wardrobe essential for all sneakers lovers. Many collaborations with the most prestigious worldwide streetwear shops were made : Atmos (Japan), Mita (Japan), Hanon (UK)… and even haute couture designers such as Junya Watanabe. Then, when a pair for a royal wedding has to be made, or another to celebrate the 30th birdthday of the brand in England, New Balance still choses the 576. As always, here is a selection of some collaborations around the world :
In 2003, the 576 celebrates its 25th birthday, to mark the occasion New Balance released the “25th anniversary pack” : two pairs in limited edition with exclusive colors. Made of mesh and buckskin, in blue or grey, we advise you to hurry up because few pairs are still available today. You can buy them at Size?, if you are looking for any other edition, check the brand page.