Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Balance 70: eco-preferred (and Robin preferred) sneakers

New Balance contacted me and asked if I'd like to sample the first in their eco-preferred line of shoes - the New Balance 70 sneaker. I'd already heard about the sneakers from my MNN colleague Shea Gunther. He's been raving about them for months now. So when they offered to send not only me, but Brian too, a pair of sneakers, I couldn't pass it up.

When the package arrived, we were impressed by the style and colors. Bri
an's shoes are the rust orange color. Mine are the green. We put them on and walked around a bit - quite comfortable. Brian's first comment was about the good arch support (he's a big fan of arch support.) The next day I put mine on to wear for the day. The first time all summer I believe I've had on socks and sneakers if I wasn't working out.

Now, I usually have a huge problem with new sneakers. I think I have oddly shaped backs of my ankles, and new sneakers usually rub them raw - sometimes to the point where they will bleed right through my socks. I'll usually suffer with it until the sneakers get broken in and then wear the sneakers until they are just about falling apart so I don't have to go through breaking in a new pair again. The sneakers I had been wearing were about four years old.

The New Balance 70's didn't cause me any problems at all in this area. I wore the shoes all day long and at the end of the day, the backs of my ankles were fine. Amazing. I've worn them without socks, too, and I've had no problems.

In fact, there is nothing I don't like about these sneakers. They're comfortable, light weight, stylish and eco-friendly. I e-mailed Shea last night to ask how his were holding up and this was his response.

I LOVE my shoes, they're holding up like champs.

That's good to know. From what I know about Shea, he's a very active guy and his sneakers must get good wear.

So what's so eco-friendly about these shoes? I'll let New Balance's PR people fill you in on that:

The first shoe in New Balance’s eco-preferred collection, the New Balance 70, is developed for fashionable consumers who consider the environment without relaxing their standards of style and comfort. Seventy-five percent of the upper components are “environmentally preferred materials.” The laces, webbing, rand, quarter, tongue and saddle incorporate recycled polyester; the foxing and the tip of the shoe are synthetics made with fewer solvents than traditional materials. Rice husks filler in the outsole reduces the amount of rubber needed, thus reducing the amount of petroleum used. Water-based adhesives (rather than solvent-based) are used to join the upper and the sole unit and no paper stuffing or paper wrapping are used in the packaging of 70.

The 70 was also thoughtfully designed to reduce waste. The upper is constructed with minimal layers to reduce unnecessary material usage. It features a uniquely efficient design--the parts fit together much like a puzzle--in an effort to utilize as much of the original cutting material as possible. The 70 will launch this July 2009 and retail for $80.00.
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1 comment:

Despairing said...

Sounds like you've had more success than me in the shoe department. As well as my disintegrating Simple slippers, I've also recently bought a pair of Ethletic sneakers. I can't walk more than 20 minutes in them before my achilles tendon is screaming at me.

Can you ask New Balance if they have any plans to launch in the UK?