The Sneaker That’s So Anti-Fashion It’s Fashionable Again

New Balance's 574 is back in the limelight and even better.
IMAGE Kathryn Wirsing

The New Balance 574 isn't made for flexing. It's not flashy or attention-grabbing or even particularly hyped. If you want to get a pair, there's no need to line up overnight or enter a raffle and cross your fingers. Just head to the store or click around online and you'll find a pair in your size, readily available, for around 80 bucks. It's easy. 

Which, in other words, means it's a shoe that's directly at odds with the marketing-driven, intentionally scarce, sellout-to-resale sneakerscape of 2018. That's exactly what makes it great! Well, that and the fact that New Balance recently reworked the iconic style, slimming down the silhouette and making it feel more modern. But deep down, it's still the same old 574. And that's why you should have a pair in your rotation.    


It's a Low-Key Classic

Give a few swipes on your phone and bring up the sneaker emoji. There's a very good chance that what you're looking at is a gray shoe with distinctive paneling and a conveniently rendered couple of lines that look like two-thirds of a capital "N." It's basically a 574! You know why the folks who make those little cartoon icons that rule our day-to-day written communication went with that particular design? Because the 574 is a legit classic. It's simple, it's versatile, and for a lot of guys, it's the first thing that comes to mind when someone says "sneaker." If you can't appreciate the value of having a shoe like that in your wardrobe, well then there's just no helping you. 



It's Better Than Ever

Okay, so the 574 is a classic sneaker style, you say. But it's 2018. I don't need a decades-old design. I need something new! Well, first off, that's bullshit. Some of the best things in the world of menswear have roots going back ages (think field jackets, jeans, and spring's most versatile jacket, for a start). But if you've got a driving need for something of-the-moment, the 574 won't let you down. New Balance just reworked the silhouette, slimming crucial areas like the toe box to make it feel updated and essential for 2018—all without losing that perfectly calibrated classic vibe. Think of it as the best of both worlds: old and new.  

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It's a Statement

The sneaker craze is reaching a fever pitch. Your friends, family members, enemies, and girlfriend's second cousin all have a pair of the most hyped sneakers on the planet in their rotation—and they're all itching to show them off. Don't feel compelled to go with the flow. Instead, walk into the room wearing something that swerves hard in the other direction. Rock some sneakers that were never designed to turn heads or catch eyeballs—sneakers that are, by their very nature, humble, simple, and understated. Because right now, wearing those sneakers is one of the most stylish statements you can make. 

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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About The Author
Jonathan Evans
Jonathan Evans is the style director of Esquire, covering all things fashion, grooming, accessories, and, of course, sneakers. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son. You can follow him at @MrJonathanEvans on Twitter and Instagram.
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